I really enjoyed having this drawing class this semester. I've missed drawing and art so much since getting to college, and it was nice to take a formal class to learn different techniques amidst my other subjects. I took a lot of drawing classes in high school - I followed the AP Studio Art path, completing a final portfolio of work to be judged at the end of my senior year, but I realized through this class that this training left huge gaps in my knowledge.
Before this class, I had only drawn strictly from observation, and only did still-lifes. I never used charcoal, never drew buildings, people, animals, or landscapes, and definitely never used photo references. Looking back on high school classes, I'm sad that I was never pushed to work on subjects I was uncomfortable with - to draw more than fruit and french horns in colored pencil and water color. This class was eye-opening for me in this regard, realizing there were other paths and methods to follow in art. I worked on bigger paper than I was formerly comfortable with, working at a much faster pace to finish pieces in one sitting that I normally would have agonized over for weeks. And I realized I could draw more than I knew. I loved sketching the Duke campus, and imagining narratives and capturing them in graphite.
My favorite drawings this semester were the value still-lifes (something I was comfortable with before this class), and the Fiction drawing (way outside my comfort zone, with landscapes, architecture, people, and photo references). It was very fulfilling to see my journey from being stuck in one genre to spreading out and learning new techniques and subjects. I felt free in my art for the first time, letting my creative imagination run wild. I feel like my sketchbook also reflected this journey, going from doodles and still-lifes to attempts at people's faces and landscapes.
I hope to keep sketching and drawing for fun after this class. I feel it opened me up to the possibilites of subjects to draw all around me. I'm very glad I took this class, and hope to take more art classes my final year at Duke.