Throughout my time at Duke, I had focused most of my energy towards my academics, extracurricular activities and social life; none of these aspects involved any sort of drawing or painting. As a result, my sketchbook, which I had carried around religiously before Duke, lay forgotten and unused. I took this class in hopes of renewing the passion I felt towards the visual arts in high school. It definitely worked in terms of bringing art back into my life- I feel like all I’ve been doing this semester is drawing!
As well as being an extremely enjoyable class, this course has taught me a fair amount. Professor Fick always gave instructions on different techniques at the beginning of every session- one particularly interesting method we learnt about was subtractive drawing. I was also introduced to charcoal, a medium that I hadn’t explored much in the past. I may have blackened and ruined many shirts throughout the class but gaining mastery of this new medium made it worth it! Additionally, the more I practiced the better I got; my work from the end of the semester is definitely better than that from the beginning.
The best part of the course was the sketchbook. The syllabus called for 40 pages of sketches in any medium. I had a great time experimenting with pen, acrylics and even markers. With the sketchbook, I could draw whatever I wanted in whichever way I wanted and whenever I wanted! It also gave me the opportunity to explore different creative ideas that I ended up using in my ‘final assignments’.
Overall, Visual Arts 199 was one of my favorite classes at Duke!