Drawing 101: A few things I have learned

Good Afternoon from Madrid!

Today we had final reviews for our Madrid art museum projects!  I am currently sitting on the terrace of our residence soaking up the last few hours of beautiful Madrid sunshine and blue skies that we have left here.  I wanted to take this time to not only procrastinate the packing that I have ahead of me, but also to reflect on the roles that sketching and drawing have played in the past few months and how this role has changed over time.

In Rome, I was very new to the idea of drawing all the time.  Most of my sketches were attempts at representing the pretty things around me exactly as I saw them.  I was mainly concerned with becoming comfortable with drawing and I wanted to prove to myself that I could in fact create pretty things.  In our final project, these drawings became a little more informative, but they were still mainly stylistic representations of history, not detailed analyses of space and structure.

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In Madrid I learned how to combine these two types of drawing: informative and beautiful.  In our group work I used drawing to explain my thoughts and opinions to my group, but this was usually a verbally description accompanied by drawings and the drawings could not explain much on their own.


For our final presentation, my group decided to produce everything by hand!  I am very glad that we did this for many reasons: it required us to work together more; we communicated better this week because of our shared analog mindset; and we could pool all of our individual skillsets in each drawing.  This was a great learning experience for me because it taught me that I can produce drawings that are both analytical, informative, and beautiful.  I also learned a lot from my peers and from their drawing techniques.

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I think that this skillset and confidence in what we produced and my part in the production is something that I will carry forward in my education and in my career.  It saddens me that analog architectural drawings have become overshadowed by computer work.  Since there is no delete or undo button in analog drawing, you are forced to consider the consequences of every decision, adapt to what you have done and learn from your mistakes.


-Amanda Anderson

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