CGMA’s Dynamic Sketching 1 Class – Recap

In Spring 2020 I took CGMA’s Dynamic Sketching 1 with Dzu Nguyen. Here’s a brief recap of my experience.

From CGMA’s website. A sample of what you’ll practice.

I was pretty excited to take this course since sketching seemed like a pretty important skill for an artist. I was also excited to be taking courses with CGMA since I’d heard so many good things about them online. I was not disappointed, although I surprised with how difficult the course was. I spent about 1-2 hours per week watching the course lectures and another 5-10 hours doing the homework. Well, the first couple weeks didn’t require that much time since I was mostly just drawing lines and circles, but as the course went on I had to commit more time to practice and assignments.

The lectures were fantastic. Peter Han goes into detail to answer many of the little questions that all the other art classes I’ve ever seen online ignore. Things like, how to hold a pencil, how to hold your arm while drawing, and the direction you should draw lines (away from your body). Dzu’s Q&A sessions went even more into detail and he showed us some of his personal techniques. Dzu also provided detailed assessments on each of our assignments. While it could be demoralizing to hear him pick your art to pieces, the criticism is necessary to improve. Good thing I’ve already got thick skin.

The only real downside to this class was the speed at which we went though it. One week isn’t enough time to practice each topic and become proficient. Near the end of the class, I felt like I needed a month to practice each lesson to get good at them. In time, I’m sure.

Seeing my classmates assignments was both inspiring and intimidating. Many were already talented artists who would submit work that’s year ahead of me, but it did challenge me to try harder. I reminded myself that my goal was not to be the best, just to try my best and strive for steady improvement, which I did.