Monday, April 23, 2012
Thoughts on Drawing
As this semester comes to a close, I've come to the realization that drawing is no different than any other discipline, of the arts, sciences, or otherwise. I am mainly basing this claim on the principle that you will only get out of your drawings what you put into them. I have always been an avid doodler, in notebooks and binders since the third grade, and I have also tried my hand at a few more serious sketches here and there. But I took this drawing course at Duke to branch out a little bit, to learn more of the technique and the intricacies that make the great artists stand out. I learned a ton about shading and value, as well as using a varying thickness of lines in my drawings. One thing I learned that stands out most in my mind is the concept (in drawing from observation) of drawing what my eyes actually see, and not what my mind thinks it should see. When I took a second look at some of my in-class study drawings I realized I had been letting my mind warp the reality in front of me to fit within preconceived constraints, and that blew my mind. Having learned all of this, I found the most challenging part to be applying these concepts to all of my work. I feel like some drawings I spent hours on, some I spent less than an hour, and some I spent over an hour on a particular character while devoting only minutes to the rest of the drawing. The realization I mentioned before came when I realized how obvious these differences are. I feel like I have learned enough in this class to draw pretty well, from observation or otherwise, but creating a good drawing is a matter of taking the time to apply these new skills to the piece in its entirety. In my drawings, there are characters, flashes, bits and pieces of detailed work, coupled with sketchy backgrounds and shaky lines. Obviously in this academic environment we are all pressed for time and sometimes assignments can feel rushed, but I feel like given the freedom of a little space and relaxation, I've learned what it takes to perfect a drawing. In fact, my only real regret for this course is that I didn't take it during a different time in my career, when I could have devoted more time to some of my assignments. Overall, I feel good about my progress as an artist from doodles to large bristol board finished works, and I think I will take away a new perspective of appreciation and admiration for the work of others.