My approach to drawing and art in particular changed drastically after having taken this course. I have no real experience with art - I have never really bothered to pick up a pencil to draw anything in my life. But now, after this class, I understand, little by little, what it means to appreciate art. Art is not tangible, nor is it possible to define it. The best way to understand art, and ultimately beauty, is to accept that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I grew up exposed to musical art, through piano and songs, but it never occurred to me that drawing would be something that I would enjoy. As I approach graduation, I realized that after Duke, I will not have any opportunity to try drawing. With this in mind, I took this class and I am glad I did. Perhaps the most fundamental lesson from this class is that no matter how skilled you are at drawing, it is always possible to express what you see with art. There is no skill limitation to the message you convey through drawing. I am now able to see objects and shapes as their lines and shapes - the angles and the shadows they make. I can understand the objects and make it mine so that I can take my personal interpretation of the object and apply it onto canvas or paper.
This class reminds me of the AMI film class I am taking. They both approach the utilization of art to express everyday life using different yet similar mediums. Film and drawing are different in the sense of dynamic versus static. I personally think that drawing is more complex - trying to capture the essence and stillpoint in life. Both classes have taught me how to appreciate the simple, mundane aspects of life; even the smallest of objects can become masterpieces with the right interpretation and presentation.
I think the best advice I can give students like me who are science/engineering majors and have not been exposed to art or drawing is to accept the fact that in drawing and art, there is no right or wrong. There is no "correct" way to draw something. In the same vein, there is no "wrong" drawing. It is imperative to let go of the binary mentality of right & wrong so ingrained into student's minds and just accept art as a free-flowing medium. It empowers you to step out of your comfort zone and express what you see in the world.