I’ve really enjoyed drawing at Duke this semester. I decided to take drawing because I have always loved art ever since I was younger. I spent much of my free time in preschool and elementary school drawing, painting, and crafting. In high school, I scheduled my classes so I could take art, and I took a drawing class senior year. When I had a free spot in my schedule this semester, I filled it with something I thought I would enjoy. My favorite medium in high school drawing was pastel, so this semester, I decided to try using charcoal because it allowed me to blend in a way that is more similar to pastel than pencil is. Also, I had less experience with charcoal, so I wanted to do something I hadn't really done before. I really enjoyed working with charcoal because it allows for very rich pigment, and I liked using it to explore different techniques, such as using the side of the stick of charcoal to suggest leaves in the distance instead of drawing the leaves individually. My biggest struggle was with its messiness. I tend to smudge my drawings, and charcoal is difficult to erase once you’ve added so much pigment. I get frustrated when my drawings don’t turn out the way I want; when I’ve worked so hard on something, I want it to look presentable and perfect. The critiques in this class have helped me to see drawing as more of a learning process because the feedback is presented as a suggestion for how you might improve the drawing. So while I still want my drawing to be perfect, I’m not as disappointed turning one in that I’m not 100% satisfied with, and I’m not as upset when my drawings don’t turn out the way I had envisioned.
I liked drawing Duke’s architecture. I like realistic drawings, but I always want what I draw to be significant to me; I want it to be something I could hang in my house and no one would wonder, “Why did she hang that? That has nothing to do with her.” And since I love Duke so much, my drawings of the campus are important to me, and I spent more time on them and took more pride in them because I was representing something that I really love.
One of my favorite artists from home is named Len Upin. He used to teach at my high school before I was a student there, but he came back once a year for Arts Fest and displayed some of his works. I really like his portraits because he incorporates the people’s personalities into the drawings by focusing on facial expressions. Here is a link to some of his works.