Monday, December 1, 2014

My thoughts on drawing

Despite having to conquer heaps of pre-health requirements each semester, I'm so glad to have been able to participate in a drawing course during my undergraduate career at Duke.
Growing up, I learned specific skills with excellent precision through imitation. I had developed strong manual dexterity through playing the guitar and learning how to properly hold a fencing sword. My earliest memory of drawing brings me back to art class in middle school, where I realized my artistic potential. I was fascinated by my friends who were able to draw well, and wished I could develop similar talents. For better or worse, I took on a different path and stopped drawing all throughout high school and college.

Upon enrolling in the course, my approach to drawing was very technical, much like guitar playing or fencing. At first, I paid close attention to proper drawing technique, like how I should hold the pencil and how I could achieve different line weights/values by applying pressure on the paper. I used the “pencil angle generator” trick that Professor Fick taught us conventionally. I was intrigued by the concept of perspective drawing, and I began to consciously notice this effect in my everyday surroundings.

Line drawings made sense to me, as this type of drawing fits the 2-dimensional paper on which an object is placed. Then, I discovered how shading captures and preserves the 3-dimensional shape and curvature of the object, which brings it to life. I personally disliked negative space drawings with charcoal only because of the mess it made, but understood and appreciated its significance. As I began to incorporate these “tools” to develop my drawing style, I saw vast improvements in my work.

That being said, the last few assignments were particularly difficult for me. I would spend spend hours desperately trying to brainstorm a “narrative” that could fit the location I chose, only to end up disappointed by my failure to come up with something creative, something presentable to the class. Perhaps this is the next big step I need to take as I think about how drawing can be used not only as an outlet for visual representation, but also as a form of expression.

Samuel Roh

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