Basics Brawler

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  • Sharing the Knowledge
    11:33 AM, Wednesday September 23rd 2020

    Hi Aero,

    I apologize for the long wait. I've just been a bit busy with a few things lately. Hope you don't mind.

    For the arrows, there's noticeable difference in the foreshortening of the width: as the arrows are coming towards you, the widths increase, and vice versa. Try to include foreshortening in the gaps between them two. Sometimes I notice that the gaps between the arrows closer to the viewer are two narrow relative to further away, whereas it should be the other way round.

    For the contour ellipses, it's a bit better. Maybe push it a bit more though if you can.

    Lastly, the Organic Intersections this time seem better than in the previous one. The forms wrap around each other more. Though, I recommend practicing this more often. You should get to the point where you look at it and doesn't feel as if it's frozen in time, if that makes sense.

    Next Steps:

    Good job. Move on to lesson 3.

    This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 2 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
    3:53 AM, Tuesday August 4th 2020

    Alright then. Thanks for your help anyway.

    2 users agree
    4:59 PM, Friday July 31st 2020

    Hi Robdraws,

    Good job for completing the lesson! Let's get into the critique.


    You've got very good line weight control for your silhouette. Your hatching lines are positioned correctly as well. However, while your foreshortening is not too bad, you need to push it a lot more to make it truly pop. For instance, for the arrow at the bottom right (the largest one), the width between the edges at the very front seem to be of the same size as that directly behind it. Push this more so that you can make the foreshortening really stand out. Same goes with the gaps between your arrow edges.


    The fact that you've drawn a lot of leaves per page shows that you have taken your time with this lesson instead of rushing it. While patience is a very important factor, however, remember that the quality of your work is always better than its quantity. Your line work feels quite off in terms of its weight. For some of your leaves, you haven't added any line weight to their silhouette, and that tends to flatten the drawing. Also when you do add line weight to the silhouette, make sure that edges further away from the viewer are not thicker than edges closer. I can see this in some of your leaves. Generally if you can, have edges that are closer be thicker than edges that are further away, because otherwise it can end up creating unnecessary visual noise.

    Your shadow hatching lines in some places seem off in terms of perspective. Make sure that they run directly across the width of your leaf edges, so that it is perpendicular to the leaf's major axis. In some places, it's running at a diagonal angle. Also, they need to address to the form of the leaves you're drawing. For instance, if your leaf is curved, don't make your hatching lines perfectly straight. If you do, you'll end up contradicting the forms your drawing - something you should avoid at all times, especially because of the fact that this course is primarily focused on construction.

    Regarding flow, it's not too bad. I can see you've exaggerated some of the curvature in your leaves, which is a good starting point for giving them a sense of life. However, keep your flow consistent. For instance, if the gesture of a leaf is an 's' curve, make it obvious. Don't elongate your forms excessively when it's unnecessary to. Like, don't end up using long 's' shapes for your major flow lines, where the flow is mostly straight for the majority of the leaf, and then it has sudden curvature on the end sides. In my opinion, it doesn't look natural.


    Pretty good. Though, your branches tend to come off as flat to me mainly because there doesn't seem to be enough line weight to the silhouette of your forms. Work a bit more on your flow, too. If your flow is meant to be curved for instance, make sure that there are no subtle straight lines to it anywhere. Often that can ruin the gesture of your drawings, so be careful. Remember to always be drawing from the shoulder. Also when forking branches, follow the specific method that Uncomfortable gave you. In your case, there's no ball around any of the connection points. What your currently doing is not giving your drawings a sense of believability.

    Plant Constructions:

    Also pretty good. The constructions themselves seem to have been done correctly most of the time. Though, I have a few pointers here and there. For your cactus drawing, you might want to make your contour ellipses or curves a bit more visible. With the pot that your cactus is sitting in, try to show more of the actual thickness of it along the entire major axis of its form, and not just at the top. Same thing goes with all your other pots. Al'so with your orange drawing, you need to actually draw some contour ellipses or curves in there.

    With your forms in general when drawing ellipses, be more mindful of how their degrees change in space relative to the viewer. With your carrot drawing for example, you could have pushed how their degrees change a bit. To me, it looks a little bit flat. It's not a huge issue, but it's still important to consider anyway. Also, keep each ellipse aligned to the minor axis it's on.

    You could have added in some line weight here and there for some of your plant silhouettes. For your snake plant, you could have added some line weight to make the forms look more solid. You also could have done the same thing with your cactus, even just for the edges that are closest to the viewer. In addition, the stem of the daffodil could use some line weight.

    When looking at your daffodil leaves, I noticed that you weren't being consistent with your light source when it comes to your cast shadows. You can see cast shadows on both sides of the bottom leaf, whereas in reality, it should only be on one side. First decide where your light source is, then go from there. Cast shadows should also address to the form they're on. In your daffodil plant again, looking at the cast shadow on the stem, I can see that you obviously made the edge straight, whereas the stem itself is curved and cylindrical. Your cast shadow should therefore have had a curved edge. This idea is analogous to the organic intersections exercise, where sometimes you really have to push the shape of the cast shadow in order to reinforce the illusion of the form it's sitting on.

    Lastly, I should say, don't have too many drawings on one page. It's better to draw even one plant only on a single page and put more focus into it. Having one plant per page will give you more spacing for you to work on, and if you happen to have spare room for another plant drawing after you've drawn the main one, then that's fine.

    Everything else you've done quite a decent job on. It seems you've attempted to follow all instructions carefully, while remembering to apply some of the techniques learned in previous exercises. So well done!

    Next Steps:

    Move on to Lesson 4.

    This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 2 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
    7:25 PM, Thursday July 30th 2020

    Can you please explain what you mean by me having a lack of gradient exactly for that leaf? Like, what is the difference between the shade of the detail (I'm assuming the texture cast shadows) and the shade of the leaves? I'm afraid I don't understand.

    11:15 PM, Wednesday July 29th 2020

    Thanks for your critique.

    Did you mean this plant that was looking two-dimensional because of a lack of ellipses?

    I thought that for narrow branches, we didn't have to use center lines, because that ends up causing too much distraction. Do we?

    With the details, I believed this part was optional. Can you point out some specific examples of where I didn't apply a gradient?

    2 users agree
    4:25 AM, Wednesday July 29th 2020

    Hi Aero. Sorry about the wait, but hopefully this critique should be worth it.

    So for the Arrows exercise, you need to work more on your perspective. The gaps between your arrow edges tend to not have much foreshortening to them, and neither do your widths of your arrows. You should exaggerate it more in order to show depth, even if it means making the closest end much bigger than the farthest end. Remember to think of your page as a "window" to a 3D world, and not just a flat two-dimensional piece of paper. Also, it's helpful to add line weight to the silhouette of your arrows to show more solidity, as well as to edges that overlap one another, including for adjacent arrows. When adding hatching lines, don't put two sets of them on both sides of each overlapping edge.

    For Organic Forms, you need to push how the ellipse degrees change a lot more. For each form, your ellipses do not have much of a shift in degree. Think of these forms as something that exists in 3D space, and imagine bending those forms a lot more. Again, it's helpful to add line weight to the silhouette of each form.

    For Texture Analysis, it's helpful to not think of your cast shadows as lines, but instead to think of them as shapes. It can be better to draw the outline of those shapes first before you fill it in. You mind want to re-watch the lesson on texture to better understand it. With your crumpled paper drawing, I would probably include some of the smaller bits of cast shadow. If you observe really closely, you can see little bits of tiny lines, so that if you were to include them in your drawing, they would be around the size of a single point. Also, try to be a bit more mindful of the gradient. Make the transition from dense to sparse more gradual, so that the black bar isn't obvious at all. In addition, remember that there will generally be deeper shadows in places where the forms intersect, so if think about where, say, three forms intersect, there will be more shadow in those places than in others. So when you're drawing textures that are really dense, those shadows should be the only things you include.

    For your dissections, it's similar to Texture Analysis, but now you are considering forms as well. With your forms, you should try to include a gradient from dense to sparse - dense on the edges, and sparse around the center.

    For your Form Intersections, I think getting your intersections correct is something that should come with more practice. Though, it might be helpful to think more about how each plane intersects with one another, so sort of imagining a line where they intersect and following along with it, until it either reaches another plane or it stops completely - if that makes sense (please tell me if it doesn't). Add some line weight to the silhouette of each form too, although I think this part is optional (I still suggest doing it anyway). Also include some hatching lines to better clarify your forms, but do so once you've drawn all your forms, and only draw the ones that will be visible if you were to actually see these forms for real.

    For your Organic Intersections, think of each form as actual water balloons, rather than just flat surfaces floating in 3D space. I see some of your forms that look like that they're going to fall off. Avoid this, and try to imagine what would actually happen to these forms in real life if you've placed them there. If they would fall off, then draw them at their resulting position. Don't make your forms too elongated. Just stick to simple "sausage" forms for the time being - make sure that the ends of each form are sphere-like, rather than being tapered. When you're drawing cast shadows, be mindful of where you are placing them. Make sure it describes the surface it is being cast onto. Some of your cast shadows look like they are floating above the ground, rather than actually being on the ground, for instance. If you have to, push it more - make it a lot more obvious. Similar to the organic forms exercise, you should be mindful of the degrees of your contour curves. Try to push them more. And speaking of contour curves, include more of them for each form, as well as line weight to their silhouettes.

    Next Steps:

    Please submit the following:

    One page of Arrows

    One page of Organic Forms (contour ellipses)

    One page of Organic Intersections

    When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
    11:35 PM, Wednesday July 22nd 2020

    No worries. Thanks for your help anyway.

    6:53 AM, Tuesday July 21st 2020

    Sorry, are you saying that some plants have folding leaves and others don't, and that I should draw accordingly? What should I do if a leaf/petal doesn't fold that much? For instance, sunflower petals don't have as much folding as those of a daisy. Do you think I should have folded those more?

    5:28 PM, Monday July 20th 2020

    Thanks for the reply. I'll try that then. Just curious, should I still be draw through smaller ellipses twice just like regular ellipses?

    Also, which petals of mine were you specifically talking about that needed to be folded more?

    8:39 AM, Monday July 20th 2020

    Thanks for your reply. It's good to know how other people here approach it.

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