Monday, April 25, 2016

Thoughts on Drawing (Jessica Yan)

Before this class, my most recent experiences with drawing consisted of copying down problem set diagrams and schematics for my engineering classes. Before that, it was middle school art class. I never thought I would be taking a drawing class when I came to Duke, but when the schedule freed up finally in my last semester, I decided to just go for it, and it really has been a great semester of developing my own drawing style and learning about what I preferred and disliked.

At the beginning of the semester I was very nervous that I would struggle to come up with ideas for my sketchbook since I had never really taken classes that encouraged creative liberty, but I found that it was actually easy to find inspiration in current events and in my daily routine. One day it was Pokemon's 20th anniversary, so I decided to draw Pikachu. Another drawing is a sketch for a design I've been developing in one of my engineering classes. I experimented with many types of drawings in my sketchbook, including some abstract patterns and pen and mechanical pencil work, but always felt the most comfortable with realistic observational pencil drawings.

One of my biggest takeaways is learning to enjoy the process of art, instead of viewing it as a task that needed to be finished, as I was used to doing with all my other class assignments at Duke. I also learned to develop patience as I spent hours shading the same gray value for a particularly large side of a building, or as I regretted allotting so much space for my grass that I needed to add texture to. Eventually I learned to not be afraid to draw long lines and curves in one go as opposed to the sketchy short strokes I was used to doing. I learned that even though I liked looking at the sharp lines and geometric details of buildings and other structures, I liked drawing organic, uneven lines and abstract textures such as trees and people more.  

My final fiction drawing is a reflection on my past four years at Duke. Almost all of the classes I've taken have been very structured and lecture-based, so I was unused to this type of skill course at first, but I'm so glad I registered for this class last minute and gave it a chance. Overall, I am proud of the work I've done and the progress I've made over the past few months. I am more confident now in my drawing ability and now have a new creative outlet. I hope that though my time at Duke is coming to a close, I will be able to begin a new hobby of pursuing and appreciating art in the real world. 

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