Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thoughts on Drawing

I've been interested in drawing since the 2nd grade, when I found myself very much enjoying my art class.  I had an interesting realization then - I discovered that I could replicate images on paper, going beyond the doodles and stick figures that I and my peers had been drawing for ages.  This is not to say that I was any good at it, but simply that it had not occurred to be before then that I could try to replicated images and real life in a more sophisticated manner.  After that silly realization, I found myself doodling and copying images I saw everywhere - the cover of my textbooks, the cartoons on TV, etc.  For some reason, I thought that because my drawings were based on images rather than real life or my mind, that my talents were sub-par.  Earlier on, I did not want to admit that I copied an image that I found.  I wanted people to think it came from my mind or real life.  I realize now how silly that was.

I drew a lot in elementary and middle school, but took a four-year hiatus in high school.  It saddened to realize that I had forgotten about a hobby that I liked so much, so in college I took drawing up again.  I tried drawing more sophisticated images - people, landscapes, buildings.  It was hard.  I was almost never happy with the result.  I found that I had more talent for drawing shapes and lines accurately, but I had little talent for creating value or texture.  I decided to try this drawing course for two reasons: 1. because I wanted to force myself to give myself time to do something that I enjoyed and 2. because I wanted to learn how to improve my skills in creating value and texture.

I learned several things in this course.  First and foremost, I found that, unfortunately, drawing loses a lot of its fun when the subject is chosen for you and when there is a deadline to meet.  This is why I enjoyed the last few assignments, where we were given more freedom to choose our subjects.  I had a lot of fun brainstorming ideas for our last assignment.

As I predicted, I had a lot of trouble figuring out shading and value.  Up until now, I had only ever drawn with a pencil or pen, so figuring out all of the new tools was interesting.  I was hesitant to create bold blacks in my drawings.  To an extent, I still am, but I admire the bold values that I saw in many of my classmate's drawings, so I am trying to fix that. 

On that note, I really enjoyed being able to see my classmate's drawings every week.  They inspired me to try new techniques, and they helped me figure out how to draw certain things - for example, bushes.  I had no idea how to begin to draw bushes or trees, but after studying my classmate's drawings, I fiddled around with several techniques and found a few that worked for me.  

 I do think that I have improved this past semester, but there is obviously so much room to grow.  One day, I want to be able to draw something that I am proud of enough to hang in my home.  I want to create scenes that only exist in my mind, and I want the image in my mind to be reflected well on paper.  I am thankful for this class, and going forward I am hoping that I will continue to draw in the future.

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