I have always really enjoyed arts and crafts and drawing/doodling for fun. Growing up, I did art summer camps and in middle and high school took a few different art classes. I really fell in love with printmaking through two different classes I took in high school, and I was SO excited to enroll in printmaking this semester at Duke. I’m a senior, and I finally had extra room in my schedule to take a fun elective; I had honestly been eyeing the printmaking course every semester during book bagging, but was just waiting for senior year to hopefully take it. To my initial disappointment, the printmaking class conflicted with one of my required engineering courses. I was mostly devastated by the fact that the required engineering course wouldn’t even be meeting during the allotted time, but I still had to be officially enrolled anyways.
All this being said, I ended up going with Drawing instead, and I’m very pleased that I did. Although I really missed having the element of color in my art, I learned a lot. A lot of the drawings that I make in my free time are ‘salvaged’ by the vibrant use of color— color is hands down my favorite component to artwork and its probably the reason I like printmaking so much. I really believe that any simple drawing can be brought to life with a unique use of color. But, this drawing class really taught me how to focus on what I was actually drawing since I didn’t have the crutch of just adding in some wild colors. One of the biggest things for me was adjusting to drawing large scale on the 18”x24” paper. I had also never used charcoal before, so it was a great introduction to a new medium. I had also never paid nearly as much attention to the details in what I was drawing before this class. Having to really analyze the texture, shadows, tones, and shapes of the objects I drew was exceptionally challenging for me. Through this process I think I also learned how important it is to invest time into drawing. It’s not a quick and simple process to draw realistically.
I learned a lot more than I thought I would, and I’m really glad I took drawing this semester. As a senior, it was really nice to be able to spend time on assignments that required such a different way of thinking than my usual courses do. Though it was a lot of work, the class was fun and Professor Fick is great. Overall, it was really exciting to spend such a large portion of my last time at Duke drawing every week!