When I was little, like most other Chinese kids my age, I was forced to attend Chinese school on Saturdays, where I would endure 3 hours of grueling classes of repetitive memorization and boredom. However, after these 3 hours, we were allowed to take an elective. At the age of 6, I was a self-proclaimed professional finger painting artist, so naturally, I decided upon art as my elective of choice. For two years, I drew Spiderman and cowboys, until the allure of a Chinese yo-yo class pulled me away. As the years toiled on, throughout middle school and high school, my free time became more and more limited, and thus went towards other things that interested me more. It wasn’t until last year that my interested in art, especially drawing, rebounded in force. I had to draw for a project in one of my classes, and I realized how fun drawing was compared to my other homework and, at the same time, how my skills were a far cry from adequate. Needless to say, I wanted to get better, so that is, in part (or one big part) why I chose this class as an elective.
My biggest difficulty at first was simply drawing what I saw. Since the beginning of a term is usually light on work, I was able to devote myself to at least attempting to portray reality as realistic. Throughout the term, I was able to get a solid grip on linework, and the ability to draw forms somewhat accurately. On the other hand, my shading skills has only improved slightly, bogged down by the fact that outside sketches require the assimilation of a much broader and deeper range of information, which simply befuddle me. However, I found the subtractive technique especially useful in creating wonderful textures. In one of my sketches, I attempted to represent the odd shadings of fur on a stuffed animal with this technique and it worked much better than I expected.
This class has allowed me to learn a lot of things about art. By assigning sketches every week, I was really able to explore new things. In some weeks, I worked on linework, while on others, I worked on shading, and other still, I worked on my creativity. Despite the fact that my term slowly grew busier and more hectic, I enjoyed working on these sketches because they were not really work, but rather a fun diversion to enjoy myself. All in all, I really enjoyed this class, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who would want to learn how to draw. Although it took huge chucks of time to complete the assignments, it is one of the few classes that I come out with a finished product to display and a skill that I can definitely say has improved since the beginning of the term. I doubt that the me of three months ago could believe I will be able to draw such pieces, but I am proud to say, that I have, and hopefully, I will continue to do so during my stay at Duke and into the future beyond.