Visualizing Sound

In Whitfield’s Introduction to Drawing course, students engage in a variety of assignments that encourage the development of their technical skills and personal creative process.

Recently, students completed the Sound Project, one of nine experiential drawing assignments that will provide them with alternative methods for creating. The purpose of these assignments is to initiate the process of learning to create without adhering to preconceived notions of how observation works. By training the eye, students learn to draw without bias, ultimately developing technical mastery.

“The first few projects of the year are really meant to help students break down artistic inhibitions,” said faculty member Jim Daniels. “I want to encourage them to explore the creativity that is happening in this space and challenge them to think about how they are making their art.”

For the Sound Project, each student recorded a 10-second clip of a sound they heard on campus. After collecting the clips, Mr. Daniels randomly emailed one clip to each student without telling them the source of the sound. Next, each student had to create a visual representation of the sound—representational or abstract. This representation also represented how the sound affected them. Students used charcoal, watercolor, pencil, cut paper, graphic, and acrylic for their work.

“It’s not the medium that drives the project but the project that drives the medium,” said Daniels.

The projects will be on display later this fall in the gallery space at the top of Woods Hall.

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