Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thoughts on Drawing - Shutong Zhan

I have vastly enjoyed my drawing class this semester. I found it soothing during drawing while listening to music, and highly fulfilling after I finish each piece. I like to finish my pieces in one sitting, especially for the large assignment.

I used to take some Chinese brush painting lessons when I was in elementary school. Later I took a class in oil painting during high school. I enjoy painting and like the flexibility to manipulate brush and color. I did not have much experience in drawing with pencils, except some doodling of Japanese Anime characters when I was young. I have always preferred painting than drawing before, simply because I thought I can achieve a better visual effect with a brush. 

However, the drawing class this semester changed my thoughts on drawing, because I was introduced to a great new drawing tool – charcoals. I have to say, I still do not like pencil as much. On the other hand, I have fallen in love with charcoals ever since the third week of class when we start using them. I found that I can almost “paint” with charcoals. I have the ability to draw lines, shade areas, and create textures with charcoals. The visual effect can also be different based on the way it is created. I have learned different techniques in creating textures with pencil and charcoal, through my instructor, classmates, and Youtube videos. I felt my drawings were improving every week, especially on how to create different textures. I also found other great drawing tools, such as erasers, Q-tips, or even paper towel for creating a smooth layer of pigments. 

My favorite large works this semester are the Subtractive Drawing with an eraser and the Fiction Drawing. I explored the ability of erasers during subtractive drawing, and found they are VERY useful in creating different shading and texture effects. My last drawing is my favorite drawing of the semester. On one hand, I devoted the most amount of time in it, with planning and perfecting. I also pay much attention to little details in this assignment, with the stones, trees, and water. On the other hand, I found the image I try to draw is highly enjoyable. I have enjoyed walking to West campus through Duke Garden almost every weekday for the past two years. I have decided to draw the pond in Duke Garden ever since the first week of drawing class. 

With graduation coming up in a few weeks, it is nice to conclude my life at Duke with this drawing class.

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