Essential Tremors and art

I have ‘essential tremors’ and having to try using my ‘less’ dominant hand to do things. I have just about being able to eat with utensils for meals with my less dominant hand because it doesn’t shake as bad. I have always done a little when painting with my less dominant hand, and only doing a few things left-handed. But I don’t know if I can continue using my left hand/arm to do much artwork because it is awkward, but, I’m trying. 1) Have any of you had to start using your less dominant arm/hand because of not being able to work with it, and 2) were you able to do so, and 3) how long does it take for you to master it OR 4) were you able to master it to the point it became natural so you would know to stop using your less dominant hand versus using your dominant hand?

(formally lilnora)

Hi Leonora,
Many years ago I was renovating my houses and working with a carpenter. He suggested I use the various tools using both hands. I did this by constantly repeating actions until it felt more natural. It took about 6 months for me to be happy using a hand saw. On the Virtual Instructor are a number of lessons that teach just textures or shading. Those would be the lessons I would repeat with my non-dominant hand. The latest lesson series, Realistic Pencil Drawing, has one of those lessons on how to draw texture.
Hope this helps you to continue to enjoy creating.
Mike Walker

I’ll try that more often. I’ve just about mastered eating with my left hand. I cannot hold a drink up to my mouth except to use both hands. Then my elbows are folded back to my body and I can’t get it to my mouth very easily. My granddaughter says there are utensils that could be used to keep my hands from shaking. I’ve also seen a prosthetic that is like springs that fit over your hand that is supposed to help with tremors, too.

I’m waiting for a canvas that I painted with Titanium White to dry so I can start painting my next project.


I am completely new to oil painting, in my last painting session i found certain positions awkward in order to refine some delicate areas and i was forced to use my “left hand” and as i was doing this, i thought to myself one of my goals should be to learn to paint with both hands as a skill, and i felt motivated. Your post just reminded me of this. At the end, its all about “evolution” in all aspects of life and learning to do all things better. And it is overcoming certain challenges and tests that give us victory as humans at the end. In time you can get your less dominate hand equal to your dominate hand, and in the process also create and strengthen new neural connections in the brain regarding coordination. Hopefully my post stimulated a different perspective. cheers!

I’m trying to use my left hand to do things that I would normally do right-handed. So far, eating is a little easier because my left-hand does not shake as bad. I use both hands when I am painting because of shoulder issues, so I am finding that I need to try doing things more left-handed. Getting there, just slow. Lenora

Mike, I will try that - looking at the lessons on textures and shading, I have mastered eating left-handed. I will let you know how it goes, maybe I will be able to find you again on this page.