ASSESSING LINE, PROPORTION, PRECISION AND PERSPECTIVE IN TRADITIONAL DRAWING METHOD AND DIGITAL PEN BASED TECHNOLOGY FOR FAMILIARIZED SUBJECTS
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IATED-INT ASSOC TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION A& DEVELOPMENT
Digital tablets for freehand drawing do not necessarily improve the quality of graphical representations in design students. A digital drawing classroom with 20 Wacom Cintiq digital drawing tablets was implemented in the Product Design Engineering Undergraduate Program at EAFIT University. One of the purposes of this classroom was to improve the students' sketching skills, due to the lack of ability that was been detected by the drawing teachers throughout the Program. Digital freehand drawing software promise several advantages to achieve high quality sketches, nevertheless, a year and a half after this technology was in use, significant improvements in drawing skills were not seen, despite the students' training with the digital tablets and their software. Many of them preferred to continue using pencil and paper rather than digital drawing tablets because, they argued, that they had better results with the traditional method. According to this, a qualitative study was made to try to assess these problems, by comparing freehand drawing with traditional pencil and paper (analog) against digital drawing tablets. Four main variables fundamental for a correct drawing in product design were assessed: line, proportion, precision and perspective. The nine studied subjects were chosen following these criteria: medium-high drawing grades, and at least six months of experience in digital drawing with tablets. Results obtained show the students unsure about the use of digital tablets, and it's evident in drawing quality obtained in both methods, when traditional drawing shows better scores. Students still prefer to draw using pencil and paper and then, to use the drawing tablets for detailing, colouring and finishing their sketches. The students recognize though the importance of adopting new technologies in their design process.