As a wise-fool (sophomore) at Duke without any prior arts classes at this university, I needed to fulfill the ALP requirement. I did not want to choose something that I wasn't interested in, what would be the point? With the thought of being in college and wanting to explore different areas of interest, I thought that it would be a travesty if I did not try something new. I first heard about this class from my friend who took it the year prior. She highly recommended if I was into drawing. I took one year of graphic design my freshman year of high school. I enjoyed the art aspect of it, but I also wished that it was on a different medium than that of a computer. I thought, "Why not? This is an art class that does not require the use of Adobe Illustrator. I dig it." With that thought in mind, I decided to enroll in the class.
I had no knowledge of how to draw anything before this class. I occasionally doodled in my notebook, but ultimately, I am sure the best I could draw was a stick figure with hair or a hat. Straight lines? Forget it, I could not even draw straight lines for geometry homework. Shading? I am sure my finest shading work was for algebra homework when it was required to graph an inequality equation and shade part of it. Organic material? As I previously mentioned, my stick figures were the best I could do.
After the 14(ish) weeks of being in this class, I can say that I definitely learned. I have extended my list of items I am able to draw to include landscapes, negative space (which is very messy btw, do not make the same mistake that I made; do NOT wear white clothes), and pictures of various objects or material. Granted, I am no Picasso or Warhol, but I have improved from where I was previously. At the beginning and during the middle of the semester, I consistently ha a hard time making dark lines. I was afraid that it would look worse, so I left it alone. I can say with some confidence that after I made the transition of using dark lines, my drawings became much better. I liked my drawings more after I made the change, and I learned that I should not be afraid to be more confident with my lines and details. I still have a hard time shading dark objects because I press too hard with the tip of the pencil, so when I try to blend it, it does not blend all the way and looks terrible.
The part I liked about this class was the sketchbook. I enjoyed the freedom to draw what I wanted. Most of the time, I had no idea what to draw, so I started this trend of drawing pictures that can be associated with random phobias. I learned that, similar to "There's an app for that," that if you are scared of something, most likely there's a phobia it can be linked too; so "There's a phobia for that." It kept me motivated to not only learn about weird things people may be afraid of, but also practice drawing various objects. I never found my style of drawing, but I hope that if I continue sketching, I'll eventually find it. It was very nice doing something that wasn't swimming or schoolwork. The part I disliked about this class was how we never varied from the type of drawings we drew for the projects due every week. I wish we learned how to draw other art forms than realism, abstract for example. I wanted to explore the art realm because, most likely, I am not going to take any more art classes in undergraduate college. Overall, I'm glad I found something that I'm passionate about and would consider pursing further after college.