I have mixed feelings about my experience in Drawing 199S this past semester. I definitely do believe that my skills have improved, but it has been much harder than I had anticipated.
There have been areas of growth and development as an artist, but also many times in which I have struggled to manage what has been assigned in the timeframe. So much time has been spent slaving over projects, a few flustered hours on this railing, another couple of hours in a flap over the best way to draw this tree. Combined with large time demands in other subjects and travelling for athletics two to three weekends each month, unable to take my drawing board with me, Drawing 199S has presented itself as hard work. Often, I would look at what I had done and try to view it from someone else’s point of view. Many times, the outcome has been underwhelming and it has discouraged me that the ages of work have amounted to little. I don’t feel that my drawings reflect the effort that I have put in. This has allowed me to really appreciate the works of my classmates, many of which were unbelievable. I can only imagine this to be due to their ability to put in even more time and effort than I had, or their proficiency that allows them to produce something beautiful without in less time.
Shading is the area in which I have experienced both the most frustration and the most gains. With each of the two week projects, I struggled with underestimating the time required for the drawings, largely because it never sunk in how time demanding shading is, both in more intricate areas such as shadows on rocks and bricks, and in more menial instances like coloring a dark sign. It amazes and exasperates me recognizing that I spent almost as much time filling in the K-ville sign (which despite this extended period I still fail to know how to spell) as I did constructing a circus in the background, which is undoubtedly more complex and requires more focus.
The evolution of my shading style towards the end of semester is indicative of my “growth” as an artist. Initially, and in most of my assignment pieces my shading style was largely without much structure – I would color this way and that so as to fill in every last spot, and it has been as tedious as it sounds. However, lately in completing my sketchbook I have started crosshatching and am much preferring this technique. I’ve found that it is a significantly quicker style that, when completed, actually lends a more skilled and consistent look than trying to color in every dot of white, despite the fact that there is still white remaining. It is also much easier to produce different, consistent tones with crosshatching, and I have really enjoyed applying this technique of shading to add detail to the animals I have drawn, particularly in the feathers of my birds.
Something that I would love to improve on if I continue with drawing is being able to come up with more original drawings and draw from imagination. The majority of the sketches in my sketchbook are attempted reproductions of images I have been fascinated by and which reflect my interests (if you were to look through my drawings you’d be well aware of my love for winged creatures!). The idea of sketching something that I cannot see before me and which exists only in my head is a daunting one, but I would love to overcome this and be able to create without stimuli and from my own dreams. Surrealism is really enticing, and to produce my own surrealist artworks would definitely heighten the appeal of drawing.
Overall, I have enjoyed the past semester of drawing. It hasn’t been easy, though!