Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thoughts on Drawing - Yixin Lin

Drawing has been an important part of my childhood. I've spent many days in either weekly classes or by myself drawing, usually from photographs but also a bit of sketching and painting from observation. When I was younger, I especially enjoyed drawing fan art and portraits of my favorite films, and also getting better at shading technique and the ability to recreate textures such as hair, skin, feathers, fur, etc.

However, drawing became rarer through high school and college. I would take the old skills out to draw personalized gifts e.g. for birthdays or Christmas, but the frequency dropped. Throughout this, my pieces would only be up to a normal A4 paper size, nothing as large as the expansive landscapes we drew in class.

I was glad to take a class at Duke which reemphasized my hobby, which I haven't taken a class for in many years. It allowed me to go back to the basics, learning techniques like the use of negative space which is highly useful and yet I haven't consciously thought much of. Again, the landscapes that we drew--much larger than most work I've done-- allowed me to draw buildings and explore textures such as grass and foliage on a much larger scale.

I also enjoyed the concept of a sketchbook-- I've only ever really drawn what we termed as "finished drawings" in class, pieces for which the intention was to finalize. The quick sketches in the sketchbook were useful to practice specific techniques in isolation or to try something new. Perhaps in the future I will keep a sketchbook to experiment with, maybe also in other mediums.

Finally, I appreciated the focus on narrative-driven art, even in still art. In the future, I hope to keep making art which is meaningful to me and express this through narratives.

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