3 Tips for Left Handed Illustrators

Annie Pancake // Tips for Left Handed Creatives

It wasn't until I became really interested in illustration and began working with paint more that I fully realised the affliction that is being a left-hander. Eternal is the curse of smudging everything you write, seconds after writing. Hands get covered in paint, then smudge that paint over your other paint, ruining your work. We even need our own scissors so we can see what the heck we are cutting. It's a hard life in the art world. So, here's how to stop smudging your drawings with your left hand. 

Try a Graphics Tablet

If you tend to scan your drawings and do some touching up afterwards, a drawing/graphics tablet is a great idea. A lot of right-handers use them too as they give you a lot more control, but most of us lefties have grown up using a right-handed mouse, and rubbing stuff out with your wrong-hand is twice as difficult. A graphics tablet is just a pen that acts like a mouse, and so gives you a lot more control and stops you rubbing out the wrong stuff repeatedly. It also eliminates any of the left-hand smudging, obviously! 

Try Always Starting From the Right Hand Side

It sounds obvious but until I got into the habit I would continually work from left to right out of habit, then dip my hand in the wet paint and end up smudging it all over my painting, ruining it all. Doing as much as you can right-to-left prevents many a broken heart and smudged painting.

Annie Pancake // Tips for Left Handed Creatives

Brush Lettering is a Whole Other Ballgame

I love a bit of brush lettering and it's kind of become second nature to me now, but it took a lot of practice. When I decided to start trying brush lettering, I quickly realised that it's a lot more difficult for lefties. When you try to letter with a left hand, it means you end up pushing the brush across the page, rather than pull, which can result in scrape-y angular strokes. I'm not exactly sure how I managed to adapt my writing style, but it definitely took a lot of practice. One thing I found helped immensely, though, was using a brush pen rather than a paintbrush. Perhaps it's the constant flow of ink or the sturdiness of the bristles, but the letters flow much more easily.

How'd you like these tips? And do you have more to add? (Left) palms up for the plight of the lefties!