Or: What a Science Person Learned about Art.
I was thinking about what major takeaways I had from the course of the semester. I concluded that while I certainly learned a lot (as someone not completely ignorant to art), five major things stood out.
1. Drawing real things and doodling are not at all the same.
You're probably reading this thinking "No duh..." or "Eh, they kinda are depending on what you doodle..." But as someone whose doodling talents have been complimented since I stopped paying attention in class during the first grade...I thought I had this class in the bag. Joke was on me. The amount of talent (and time) it takes to make something look convincingly realistic is amazing. As someone who dabbles more on the photography side of art, I thought I would easily be able to set up drawings and draw what I'm seeing the way that I set up photos and draw when I doodle. I was incorrect. I think I'll probably stick to doodling...but hey! At least I tried my hand! Speaking of hands...
2. Holding a pencil properly is a real and important thing that people should actually pay attention to.
I've held my writing/drawing utensil incorrectly since before I stopped paying attention in class all those years ago. But my handwriting is stellar (most of my professors would agree) so who cares, right!? Wrong. Art cares. Specifically, art done in pencil (I finally understand my unconscious decision to always use pen). I was fairly convinced on many a day that the pinky side of my right hand (and my forearm...whoops) would permanently be graphite-colored...which does not look nearly as cool as something like Greyscale from Game of Thrones. I often found myself frustrated by the unwanted/unexpected smudges on my masterpiece. But there's a solution for that.
3. Erasers are God's gift to mankind.
I cannot count on two charcoal-covered hands how many times my erasers saved my drawing. Smudges beware, because you will probably disappear at the hands of one of my 3 beloved erasers - let's be real, it's probably the kneaded eraser. The kneaded eraser is not just crucial for clean up, it's wonderful for adding texture and helped me with many a tree and sky. Added bonus: the kneaded eraser is great for stress relief because you can just constantly reshape it.
4. Speaking of Greyscale...It's boring.
I'm very much a color person. I like the color green and I love putting things together because their colors complement each other (like fruit salads and flower arrangements). I do not love grey or shades of grey. There's a reason someone worked so hard to develop color television and photography. Grey is just so...limiting. Alas, I survived. And having to work in greyscale the entire time gave me a new appreciation of color.
5. Artistic liberty is a beautiful concept.
I like humor (in case that wasn't made clear by this blog post). I also like to think that I'm actually funny (my mom says it, so it must be true). The freedom Bill allowed us let me bring some of that into my drawings - especially the last one. Beyond humor though, being able to set up drawings the way I wanted to was great. Biology doesn't really allow for liberties like humor and style aside from subtle jabs and colorful (but not too colorful!) figures. So this class was a blessing because it let me express myself during a semester in which I was slowly being dragged down by a Biology thesis project.