Although it was a little difficult to gauge my progress with life drawing throughout the semester, looking at my entire portfolio of drawings from the beginning to the end has really allowed me to see that I have made quite a bit of progress. One of the first things I noticed was the extreme difference in my gesture drawings. At the beginning of the semester, my gesture drawings only depicted the outlines of the figure rather than the cross contour lines, and they were also very sketchy. The gesture drawings from the end of the semester show the different components that make up the figure, such as the rib cage, spinal column, and pelvis. The lack of sketchiness in these drawings show that I started to draw more from my shoulder and less from my wrist.
Line variation is something that I need to continue to work on in my drawings, but I think I've progressed in that area a bit over the course of the semester. Varying the weight of lines has always been more of an afterthought for me, and it's something that I would usually address after I already had the whole figure drawn. So being able to do a lot of gesture drawing has helped me learn how to think about all of these different aspects of drawing at the same time.
I've learned over the semester that I'm a very slow drawer, and while I first saw it as a weakness, I learned to see it as more of a strength. A successful drawing should not only be dynamic, it should be accurate as well. Because I give myself more time to observe whatever it is I'm drawing, I think my drawings end up looking much more accurate than someone who tends to jump into drawing before closely observing what it is they're drawing. Although I like for my drawings to be accurate, I also really appreciate the character that some of the other student's drawings have despite them not being as accurate. I don't feel as if I've developed my own style of drawing yet, whereas a lot of the other students have a very distinct style that allows for their drawings to stand apart.
I think the only negative thing about being a slow drawer is not being able to complete a drawing within the 2-hour time slot. I had an especially hard time at the end of the semester trying to get a complete drawing of the entire figure. I have one drawing where the entire upper half is complete, and another where the entire bottom half is complete, but they're from two different people. In the end, I feel like I have a good understanding of the entire figure and I so much more confident with my abilities to draw the figure.
I can easily say that I've learned more in Life Drawing than any of my other studio classes. Amy's knowledge of the human body and of drawing as a whole is beyond impressive, and it makes for an incredible learning experience. Although the building of the muscles on the manikens ended up being much more difficult than I had anticipated, it was also extremely helpful in getting a better understanding of the lines and curves of the body. I started to become more confident in showing the different muscles in my long pose drawings towards the end of the semester, and I know it was because of all of the work we did with the manikens.
Even though Life Drawing may seem like it would be more beneficial to an Industrial Design major or a Studio major, I think I will definitely be using what I have learned in this class in my career as Graphic Designer. Today's Graphic Designers aren't just doing print work, they're doing a whole lot of product design as well. Having an understanding of the human body will come in handy when the task is to design a product that is more ergonomical. I long to work in the fashion industry, so I might be working with apparel and accessories some day, and these types of products directly focus on the human body.
I admit that I was really nervous about taking Life Drawing, mainly because I didn't have a lot of experience drawing people. The whole flow of the class ended up being perfect for someone like me who really had a lot to learn. I never felt like I was falling behind or like I wasn't getting enough feedback from the instructor. Amy was always so involved in our work, and she made the whole idea of drawing the figure a lot less intimidating. Bravo to her and I will continue to recommend this course to other students.