Prior to drawing at Duke, I was introduced to formal art making and drawing throughout my time in high school. I have always loved to draw and doodle growing up, but I had never taken an intensive art class until my junior year of high school. I learned the basic components of line drawing, shading and value but my grasp of the technique was limited. For this reason, I preferred taking classes in painting and mixed media art as a high schooler as I was not confident in my ability to turn in a solely drawing portfolio. However, after a couple years at Duke, I began to miss taking art classes. As an Art History major, I have loved viewing and learning about the different artists and artworks, but I was missing that essential part of studying art such as the practice of art making. To receive full credit for my major, I am required to take a Visual Arts class, and I am truly glad I decided to take Drawing. It has allowed me to understand the many stages and practicalities involved with making major artworks. While my classes have discussed in great detail the process involved with creating different works in multiple mediums, it is a unique experience to utilize these methods.
In addition, I found that my afternoons in Drawing have really benefitted my semester and general schoolwork. The sketchbook was my favorite component of the course. Throughout the semester, I have used my sketchbook as a place to produce small drawings and cartooning that distract me from some of my daily stresses. It is evident from my sketchbook that I do love to draw cartoons. When I was a child, I always tried to copy cartoons I saw from books and television, and even as a 21 year old, I enjoy reproducing images I see daily onto paper. I have never liked tracing, and I think that has influenced my artwork.
Moreover, I have enjoyed the the class’s variation in assignments. Each week, we were encouraged to produce works that engaged with many different areas of drawing. It was incredibly interesting to learn about the variations in technique and style from experience, rather than an academic classroom or textbook. In conclusion, I definitely think my experience in Drawing has encouraged my creativity which is sometimes lost at Duke, as well as has impacted my studies as an Art History major.
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