Today I completed Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101 edX course, offered by Newcastle University, Australia. And, I must say, this course has been a deeply enriching experience!
Here is my final drawing assignment:
For anyone interested in drawing, I highly recommend this free course. Using the simplest of artistic tools, graphite pencils and your own choices of paper, the creators ease you in gently with a bit of NHI (Natural History Illustration) history and basic drawing exercises. With video and text, they strike a nice balance in their presentation of material. The tone is friendly and the instruction is clear and concise, yet thorough. They offer lots of extra internet resources as well.
Through the discussion forum there is abundant opportunity to learn from peers through visual posts and dialogue. I particularly liked the peer assessment, as it allowed me to use my newly acquired NHI language as I evaluated my own and other student's work. It taught me how to evaluate art in a useful way and helped me to more fully integrate the material. In the words of fellow student, Danielle During, "... learning how to give useful feedback is great. It also teaches one to look at your own work in a useful, critical manner (I find as artists we tend to be critical but not always in a useful fashion)."
The course is truly designed for all learning levels, as material is forever relevant. Novice students benefit from the insight and practices of more experienced students, while the more experienced can share what they have learned along the way and encourage others along. All levels of artistic development can lend their sight and mental acuity to help one another 'see'. There is sufficient challenge for all levels, as subject matter in each area of study is for you to decide.
Momentum is encouraged by due dates, so if you are thinking of taking this 6 week course do plan to invest a minimum of 6 hrs per week. Follow: NewcastleX: NHI101x
Inspired by the tales nature tells ...