I was in the market to try and improve my knowledge of new programming methods, design both graphic and web for my ‘day job’. I somehow saw an ad or article, I can’t recall, about edX which is an online school that offers courses on various topics. Upon visiting the website, I signed up for their mailing list and didn’t think much more of it after that when life got in the way. Then, I believe I got an email about recommended courses, and one of them listed was called “Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101”. TOTALLY off topic to anything I was looking for, I proceeded to impulse sign up for the course after watching the introductory video explaining the course! Who heard of such a thing….impulse buying an online course. XD
The only part that took me back, was after you sign up and decide if you want to get a certificate for the course or not, you need to verify your account by taking a photo of your face with a webcam, and show your drivers license or id for them to verify you are who you are. I imagine it probably ‘said’ that i needed to do that, but I didn’t catch that anywhere so I proceeded to verify myself per instruction. Except, with a post-it note I hid any parts of my drivers license I didn’t want to share…address, number, etc. I only showed the part with my picture and my name. That seemed to be fine because a few days later I was verified. Now onto the course.
Week one opinion is a good simple start, to at least be able to learn the interface. It was confusing at first what I had to do, but after a couple times reviewing the site, it all makes sense.
Week one of the drawing course we had to practice marks and shading. So I proceeded to do so with some old Prang drawing pencils I had on hand from when I was in high school. I also had a sketchbook on hand that I am using for the course to keep all my drawings together. I think I missed drawing and I like the thought process some of this weeks videos explained about this particular type of drawing. It’s not about being creative with this type of drawing, the goal is to observe as closely as possible and draw accurately the subject your observing. It takes some of the pressure out of the whole process in a sense because trying to ‘figure out what to draw’ sometimes dampers the ability to even start a picture sometimes.
Here are my quick tonal experiments. Homework isn’t mandatory, but why wouldn’t you do this part.
Another homework item is researching who in our local areas is a famous illustrator. I found a list of famous people from Pennsylvania, and ‘Grover Simcox’ was on the list. Born in Allentown, he lived in Philadelphia and became a successful illustrator of plants and animals of Pennsylvania. However I was surprised to find that ‘no where’ on the internet could I find any examples of his work! Even on wikipedia, his article was very thin. So I posted about this and i’m curious to find out more about his work.
The system appears to only allow me to progress as the weeks go by so I can’t get to the next week 2 section until week 2 it appears. So I’d like to continue sharing this course progression to see if I get any better.
I’d encourage anyone to take a look at this site [ http://www.edx.org ]. It looks like it has really great courses and they are free! The only thing that costs is if you want a certificate, and for this course the certificate is $50.
I truly appreciate the phrase that education is wasted on youth. I think there are a lot of people when your younger you don’t realize the privilege of free education when your in school. I love learning new things and I’m excited to share on my website to encourage you to never stop learning.