Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Drawing: A story of an enjoyable frustration

I have always wanted to learn drawing, but I did not get a chance to do it until this class.

My drawing experience has been a mixture of frustration and enjoyment. Back to the first day of class where my story with drawing started, confused and frustrated, I struggled with getting the right scale, the right angle, or simply the right picture. I drew a top view of a table that was actually set up as a side view; and I took a lot of time tracing every single line. I was finding it hard to translate a three-dimensional object to a two-dimensional drawing. Also, I was thinking a lot about the lines, angles and shapes that I was observing, hence allowing my brain to misrepresent the actual set-up and mislead me in the drawing. Then, the first time I tried shading and value, I did not know how to go about it at all.  I did not know how shading could be used to make a circle look like a sphere or a ball.  And later on, when we moved from drawing objects to space drawing and empirical perspective where I had to consider the foreground, mid-ground and background and fill in a whole paper, drawing became so daunting that I was going around campus thinking about how a building or a particular space could be sketched.

Throughout these experiences and drawing assignments, I would begin with some frustration and lack of confidence on whether I can actually draw what I was observing; some time later, I would get even more frustrated because I would feel that I was not making any progress; and much later when I finish the drawing, I would feel that there is still room for improvement and the drawing could be made even better.  This process, although overwhelming, was enjoyable and rewarding. Indeed, I enjoyed drawing; and I found it relaxing. Also, I have always been fascinated by the visual representation of objects and spaces, and how a drawing can depict a reality, tell a narrative and convey a powerful message, I therefore loved learning about it and appreciated being involved in it by trying myself how to draw an object or space from observation such that it looks real and tells a story. Furthermore, looking at where I started and where I am now, I indeed learned a lot about drawing, developed a lot of skills and became more confident about it. I learned a lot by taking time in the process of drawing rather than rushing through it, by watching the professor draw and checking drawing videos online,  and by practicing and trying different drawings in the sketchbook.   

After taking this class, I got to the conclusion that drawing is a disciplined process that requires time and focus to get better results, resilience to overcome frustration, interaction with other learners and artists to exchange ideas and learn new techniques, and finally practice to improve and keep improving. 

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