How Dyslexia Can Affect My Drawing Skills?

Last Updated on October 16, 2023 by Editorial Team


Presenting something visually on paper needs noteworthy drawing skills. Artistic abilities are not only about possessing a beautiful thought in mind but also the potential to present it precisely on paper. While dyslexics often have creative[1] minds, can they be admirable artists? To assimilate relevant inferences, here you may check out how good are special people at drawing and thereby edifying strategies to improve expertise if any.

The science behind artistic abilities

While the left hemisphere accounts for logical thinking, creative and Drawing skills are often reaped due to active operations of the right- hemisphere of the brain[2]. Apart from these generalized manifestations, a journal by Cavdarbasha[3] outlined in detail what parts of the brain are responsible for creating and drawing skills. Here, it was shown that the Frontal cortex, Hippocampus, Basal Ganglia, and White matter might play pivotal roles. 

The science behind artistic abilities

Moreover, Spatial abilities also stay significant, as an artist should be able to make out the proportions of entities to trace them appropriately on paper. 

Why dyslexics may prefer drawing? 

Those who may feel it strenuous to opt for traditional methods may look into alternatives. Accordingly, people who may have a tough time with letters may adulate visual means like art, drawings, and flashcards to learn and communicate their opinions and feelings. Further, activities like drawing are evidently a striking take-in for recreation and developing artistry. 

dyslexia and drawing

That being the case, there is a mix of attributes that may or may not cope with drawing skills in Dyslexics. In research conducted by John Everatt[4], the abilities of dyslexics in creative tasks were analyzed. While these showed better performance in creative tasks, it was not confirmed that these talents are due to their enhanced functioning of the right hemisphere. This implies a direct connection between Dyslexia and creative arts like drawing may not be directly established. 

Drawing skills in dyslexics- Analyzing their strengths and areas to enhance

As we are well versed that the connection between drawing and dyslexia may not be directly established, we may look into deriving conclusions after evaluating various traits in these individuals and how they affect drawing skills. 

1. Hand movement needs Motor Skills- Can be mastered.

Dyscalculia is often caused due to nerve issues in the parietal lobe. This may affect the coordination and movement of the body, thereby influencing motor skills like writing, drawing, and other activities. Nonetheless, ensuring a plan of action like outdoor activities, and math games can let them brush up their motor skills. 

2. They are Right Brain Thinkers- A Clear Edge!

Researching the reason behind learning compromises, it is observed that they have an active right hemisphere of the brain. For this reason, most such people are often creative to varying degrees. Max Coltheart[5] studied deep Dyslexia and what characterizes it. Taking inferences from a couple of past research, he concluded that the right-hemisphere interpretation of deep dyslexic reading remains the preferred explanation of deep dyslexia. 

As the right hemisphere is responsible for creative thinking, learning incapacitated individuals can have a clear advantage here. 

3. Spatial abilities – The Impute to Thrust

Spatial abilities are often considered an assisting trait. Nevertheless, solid backing proof may be needed to prove competing dimensional skills in Dyslexics. While they can imagine and plan to start a drawing, they may feel it laborious to ensure proper dimensions on paper. 

Research by Giulia Giovagnoli[6] supports these inferences. In this study of Visio-spatial abilities in Dyslexics, he remarked that despite some contrasting research, the relations between Spatial skills and reading abilities are still contentious. These inferences make us understand why establishing a clear link with spatial abilities is pivotal.

McManus[7] has observed the reasons why such individuals may face challenges in the arts. He did a couple of experiments: one being question-based, and the other was observational. The result of the second experiment showed that drawing ability was related to both the ability to copy simple angles and proportions. People with unclear spatial abilities may thereby have snags in drawing appropriate dimensions, implying people with Dyslexia may also need a thrust to make out appropriate shapes and angles while drawing.

4. The status of the Frontal Lobe

These individuals may occasionally go through emotional stress, substandard organizing skills, and problem-solving abilities. All of these may be the result of their distinct frontal lobe functioning.  The frontal lobe/cortex is often responsible for creativity and thereby may slacken the artistic abilities of the individuals. 

Bonnie E. Levin[8] studied organizational skills in Dyslexic subjects; this research on 20 people with dyslexia and 20 normal readers brought out inferences that unique execution in dyslexia individuals may be due to frontal lobe dysfunction.  

Can dyslexics be good artists?

Comprehending the above-stated factors, one can infer what areas can be strengths and what needs to be improved. In this scenario, these individuals can be perceived to be good artists. Traits like spatial inferences and motor skills may be an incentive constraint. Nonetheless, managing these they can turn out admirable artists. 

can dyslexics be good artists

Muzaffer Corlu[9] in his research, studied the meaning of Dyslexics’ drawings. Firstly, it is outlined that many famous artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Rodin, and Picasso had dyslexia; this may inspire many aspirants to their dream of drawing. Secondly, some pictorial answers given by Dyslexics were studied, which showed how these individuals could effectively communicate even without words and numbers. These were termed navigation signs. 

Strategies to learn drawing skills

Some attributes in these people may be constraining. Some simple strategies may assist them in managing their incapacity to draw better. 

  • Use Scale/Compass to measure: As proportions may be a concerning factor, perfect dimensions can be ensured by employing a scale and compass to have estimations of length, breadth, and angles.  This way, the distortions of any can be mitigated effortlessly. 
  • Rough Drafts: To mitigate incapacities with shapes and angles, the individual can prefer to make a rough draft of the idea and analyze it for drawbacks if any. This way, they can ensure a crafted output minimizing distortions. 
  • Personal Routine Sketchbooks: Artists are often seen maintaining a handy long book that they may employ for regular practice of arts. All aspirants can check for such fitting practices to not only emphasize frequent practice but also to create a meaningful portfolio. People may also look into opting for a tab and a digital pencil if they are intrigued by digital art. 
  • Read/ Listen to relevant books: Aspirants can find multiple books to get self-trained with drawing skills. Ensuring simple yet handy tips can make a noteworthy improvement in the work.  Drawing on the Right side of the Brain[10] can be a fair -suggestion.  This book ensures hands-on exercises, thereby ensuring the learners view things more clearly. 

Concluding thoughts 

The status of individuals in general in virtuosity is comprehended in general. Apart from these, other areas like motor skills and Vision may also have crucial roles in these drawing activities. The perception towards drawing and other creative skills may vary in people. If an aspirant is determined to revamp a career in arts, overseeing a few attributes can make their expedition go smoothly. Edify the above-mentioned insights to evaluate where the boost is needed. 


  1. Alice Cancer, Serena Manzoli & Alessandro Antonietti | Mireille Besson (Reviewing Editor) (2016) The alleged link between creativity and dyslexia: Identifying the specific process in which dyslexic students excel, Cogent Psychology, 3:1, DOI: 10.1080/23311908.2016.1190309
  2. National Science Foundation. (2020b, April). Where in the brain does creativity come from? Evidence from jazz musicians.
  3. Cavdarbasha, D., & Kurzek, J. (2017). Connecting the dots: Your brain and creativity. Frontiers for young minds, 5(19), 1-10.
  4. Everatt, J., Steffert, B., & Smythe, I. (1999). An eye for the unusual: Creative thinking in dyslexics. Dyslexia, 5(1), 28-46.
  5. Coltheart, M. (2000). Deep dyslexia is right-hemisphere reading. Brain and language, 71(2), 299-309.
  6. Giovagnoli, G., Vicari, S., Tomassetti, S., & Menghini, D. (2016). The role of visual-spatial abilities in dyslexia: Age differences in children’s reading?. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1997.
  7. McManus, I. C., Chamberlain, R., Loo, P. W., Rankin, Q., Riley, H., & Brunswick, N. (2010). Art students who cannot draw: Exploring the relations between drawing ability, visual memory, accuracy of copying, and dyslexia. Psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts, 4(1), 18.
  8. Levin, B. E. (1990). Organizational deficits in dyslexia: Possible frontal lobe dysfunction. Developmental Neuropsychology, 6(2), 95-110.
  9. Corlu, M., Özcan, O., & Korkmazlar, Ü. (2009). The meaning of dyslexics’ drawings in communication design. Dyslexia, 15(2), 147-154.
  10. Edwards, B. (1997). Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. In CHI’97 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 188-189).

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