Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reflections on Drawing - Nafeesa Jafferjee

Before this class, any sketch that I drew was in preparation of a painting. This semester I was able to stop thinking about how images are colored or how the brush stroke will define and make it more realistic. Instead I had to focus on what was light and dark to make different aspects of a drawing stand out.

I have always been passionate about drawings figures and faces and it was really difficult for me at the beginning of the semester to draw still life. I found it boring and tiresome and looking back at my work, I realized that my drawings reflected my attitude unfortunately. As the weeks went by however, I was fascinated with perspective drawings, shading and incorporating images into observed spaces. I had also never used charcoal before and it was interesting to see how much more of contrast charcoal created. In terms of detail and making my drawings realistic - I still very much prefer pencil.

The class also led me to open my eyes around Duke. At the beginning I was frustrated drawing objects in my room, but the moment we started focusing on larger spaces, I gained a lot of knowledge on how to draw different perspectives of an open space. I had never drawn such huge spaces from observation before and so it was a challenge, but was one I really enjoyed. I particularly enjoyed the last project, where I worked under the BC plaza and was approached by many Duke employees instead of students. It was really interesting to hear their comments and fascination about the work I was doing. I felt the people I met also helped add a personality to my drawing.

In terms of my own skills, I very much want to focus on being able to draw figures and faces realistically in the future. I have compiled images that I have collected through email and the web, of

drawings that look like pictures to me. I am amazed at how the human eye can detect different shades of light and dark to such a great extent and would love to work towards developing this skill.

I also enjoy drawing that is creative and uses imagination. When drawing in my sketchbook I researched some of Tim Burton's work, which were very detailed and realistic but were fantasy at the same time. That itself is an extraordinary skill - being able to see what is in front of you and being able to manipulate it into something surreal and abnormal.

I am taking a painting class next semester and am relieved that I get to go back to using color, but I am convinced that my painting will also improve in terms of drawing images with the brush. I felt I learned a lot on how to draw architecture and buildings and hopefully I can work more on my object drawing.

Drawing really forced me to give time to myself which was very important. This semester I was extremely busy , overloading in classes and very stressed and my drawing assignments forced me to relax and put in constructive effort towards something I enjoyed.

The class made me think about the creative ways I could use drawing and what my weaknesses and strengths were, and I hope I get to build on my skills in the future.

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