I decided to take a drawing class in hopes to help me visually express ideas and concepts. While this class focused more on drawing from observation and not from imagination, I realized that in order to draw well from the imagination, a fundamental understanding of the values, shapes, lines, etc. all around us is necessary. I learned that reference materials can help tremendously. For example, in my sketchbook I have a couple of sketches of irons. I know what an iron looks like, I have used many different irons in my life. However, I found that I was unable to just sketch one up from my imagination without having an actual iron right in front of me. This class has taught me to appreciate things like light and proportion. The things around us may seem simple, but until you look at the nuances of everyday objects and really focus on perspective, only then can you make an accurate drawing or sketch of it. While I have learned that sometimes accuracy is not the main goal after seeing many of the drawings at the Nasher, I think that it is a great place to start when developing an artists style.
I don't see myself as some great artist who is trying to enlighten people with my drawings, but rather I just wanted to build a basic skillset so that someday I could use the drawing abilities I gained in this class as a visualization tool for designs of 3dimensional objects. I hope to work in product design as a mechanical engineer, which would involve being able to sketch ideas quickly.
Surprisingly, I found that I did actually quite enjoy drawing strange, distorted faces and cartoons in my sketchbook. Some of it makes sense to me and some of it doesn't. Although, thinking back to previous art classes I have taken as a teenager including a ceramics class...distortions of the human face have been a common theme in my art. Some people may think it is creepy, which I mostly agree with, but it is fun. In my life as an engineer, most things are very orderly, strict, etc. so it is fun to be able to draw without limitations and to distort the reality of things.
I am extremely glad that I had the chance to create realistic drawings and to even let myself venture into cartoonish drawings in my sketchbook. To be honest, I never thought I would ever spend so many hours on single drawings, but I really enjoyed the progress I made as a drawer. I really enjoyed the class, but if I could make a single suggestion, it would be to spend more time on the technical aspects of drawing. Drawing seems to come naturally for some, but from what I can tell, not many people who took the class are studying art (including myself!). I think it could be worthwhile to maybe have some exercises in perspective and even how to use a pencil/charcoal properly. A lot of it does come down to practice and experience, but it would be nice to maybe just watched a skilled drawer (the prof) to draw some things quickly just so we can get a glimpse into the mind of a real artist.