Sunday, November 22, 2015

My thoughts on drawing

This class has changed the way I think about a lot of things. When I walk around campus, I’m more aware of the lines and values that come together to make the scene in front of me. I see the detail and intention in the architecture of our academic buildings, residential areas, and recreation facilities. What is interesting to me is how my perspective on drawing itself – drawing as a practice – has changed as well.

Before this semester, I had never really given drawing much thought. I just assumed some people were good at it while others weren’t. And I thought that the people who were good at drawing, were good at drawing because they could copy down what was in front of them accurately. But now I see that it’s a lot more than that. It’s not about duplication, or even representation. This class has challenged me to view my pencils, charcoal, and even erasers as the tools I use to create my own interpretation of what I see. And there are infinite ways I can do that, even for a single scene. I can change the entire context of a drawing by how I cast the shadows, how dark I make the lines, how much weight I give to the background.

This idea reminds me of the photography class I took last semester. The landscape is what it is, and there isn’t much you can do as a photographer or as a sketch artist to change it. But what is amazing is the number of ways that landscape can be presented. Just as two photographers can create starkly different images of the same scene by focusing on different elements, varying the scope, or standing from a different vantage point, we can do the same with our drawings.

There’s not a single, correct way to take what you see and present it on paper, and that’s what makes drawing so freeing and challenging at the same time. I think it highlights how each of our minds are so beautifully different and how all of our perspectives are needed to really see and understand the world we live in. 

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