Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thoughts on Drawing

Drawing was one of my favorite hobbies as a child, but I found myself drawing less often as I grew older. This was not due to a lack of interest, but simply a lack of time. As a student in the Pratt School of Engineering, my schedule was already laid out for me most semesters, since I had to fulfill my major's requirements and did not have much room for electives. Drawing is very time-consuming for me, since I am somewhat of a perfectionist and am very meticulous in my drawings. Thus, I could not afford to spend time drawing outside of my academics, clubs, and other commitments.

Ever since my first semester of freshman year, however, I had my eye on this course. My friend and hall-mate was in this course that semester, and I always envied her drawings, since they made me miss the hobby that I once loved. I knew that the only way I would make time in my schedule to draw was if I had to do so for a class, and so I intended to take this course during my time at Duke. Fortunately, from watching my friend's experience in this class, I was aware that it was going to be time-intensive. Thus, I made the wise decision to hold off on enrolling in this course until senior year when I had a fairly light course load.

I really enjoyed this class, and I clearly saw my drawings improve throughout the semester. The two most helpful concepts I learned this semester were the following:

  1. Draw what you see, not what your brain is telling you. Draw shapes and lines, and don't think about what the object is that you are drawing.
  2. Use negative space to help place the objects and make sure that the proportions are not being distorted.
Although I loved this course, I know that if my other classes had been more time intensive, this class would have been much more stressful. Drawing should be relaxing, and fortunately, it was for me. However, I can see how this course would be much less enjoyable for someone who didn't have enough time to dedicate to this class. Therefore, my advice for future students is to make sure you aren't overloading your schedule with this class--it will make it a much more worthwhile experience!

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