While I haven't been active artistically for the past four years of college, I started taking art lessons when I was in 7th grade. However, throughout most of high school my primary medium had been oil paint; thus, it has been a very long time since I have actively tried to create using nothing more than a pencil and an eraser. In that respect, it has felt like something has been missing when I was taking this class, in particular, being able to use color. My favorite painters (van Gogh and Monet) tended to rely very heavily on their use of color in their expression of their subject, and paid less attention to the subject's precise form. I feel as though my painting style leans towards that direction, as opposed to the very detailed work of the artists from the Renaissance period. Hence, particularly at the start of the semester, I was struggling trying to work without using color (The way I think of it is that many people struggle to express 3-dimensional objects in a 2-dimensional space; for me, for a long time, color has been that third dimension).
However, I am grateful that this class challenged me to try to express concepts such as emotion without the use of color; I have found - or perhaps have been reminded - that one can instead manipulate the shape of the object, as well as the relative thickness/darkness of the lines one uses to draw the object. I also appreciate the fact that this class forced me to go back to trying to capture the full detail of an object, rather than just the relative feel of it: I am glad that it is making me slow down and look at objects again before starting to work (as opposed to in painting, when I of late get overexcited and just jump into the work and only after many repeated tries am able to capture the object... with painting you can paint over your mistakes, and each try gets a bit better than the last, as opposed to drawing, where you essentially have to erase whatever section you were working on, and start from scratch). I will be interested to see how much my painting style has changed after taking this class.