(Image credit: Jedicowgirl)
(Image credit: Jedicowgirl)

In high school one of my favourite classes to attend was art. I don’t think I did particularly well in all aspects of this subject but what I did like was drawing/sketching different things such as landscapes, portraits and buildings. My favourite drawing activity though was replicating surf label logos such as Quicksilver, Billabong, Rusty and due to this obsession I filled several school diaries with these designs.

Engineering drawing is similar to this kind of sketching as it requires you to draw straight lines and curves to create something for your eyes to visually see but then it’s that one step further as it shows you how an object or component looks from different points of views so you can imagine how it fits together. This means that you not only need to show visible lines but you also need to show the hidden ones, the sectioning lines and centre lines if there is a hole.

Now I enjoyed sketching in high school and a little bit after I finished but I’ve rarely picked up a pencil in the past 5 years and I think that is why I’m struggling a little with this whole drawing thing.  Drawing is one of those subjects that if you don’t have a talent for you can still learn it but it will require time.

So I’ve been working through my Folio and Assignment questions and I’ll be honest – the drawings aren’t difficult to sketch freehand but neatly – now that is a challenge. It’s not so much the straight lines that I need to work on but my circles – they just plain suck. There is this certain technique you use to draw them freehand by drawing a square first then your diagonals and lastly your arc’s which touch certain points of the square. I’m practicing the technique each time I’m required to do a circle but I haven’t mastered it as they still look skewed.

On a positive note I did complete an isometric drawing using only the orthogonal views (top, front, side) of an object. Something I never thought I was capable of since I never did graphics (technical drawing) in high school and I don’t get to do it all at work. However I really need to work on trying the same thing when I only have two views and there are other variables involved such as hidden and centre lines. This is a little more challenging.

Although this subject has no formulas or mathematical equations I still find it somewhat stressful. My assignment questions are not difficult yet does that mean the lecturer expects me to be close to perfect when I sketch them freehand? And other than neatness and correctness, how does one grade a drawing? Will the finer details be nit-picked to death?

At the end of the day all I need is a passing grade in this course but I won’t go down without a fight. So if that means drawing a thousand components before my skills improve than that’s what I will do.