Tamer of Beasts

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enoshade's Sketchbook

  • Tamer of Beasts
  • Sharing the Knowledge
    2 users agree
    9:44 PM, Thursday July 2nd 2020

    Starting with the arrows -

    +You have understood the concept of depth quite well and are able to explore deep 'into the page' with your arrows.

    +Your initial curves seem to be quite adventurous, well-defined and smooth.

    -The lineweight you add at the end is very choppy and loose. Add lineweight using the same technique as you use to draw the initial lines - ghost it out, and draw the section in a smooth motion.

    -Hatching on the bends is similarly loose, while it should be done confidently and as accurately as possible, with each line being a single stroke from one side to the other.

    Remember that solidity and flow are both something that needs to be carried through the whole drawing in order to make it feel believable. Straying from the principles at any point runs the risk of breaking the entire illusion.

    Onto the organic forms -

    +The initial curve and organic form drawn around it are well done as they are smooth and not overly distorted.

    -In both the contour ellipse page and the contour curve page you do not shift the degree of the ellipses throughout the form. This is important to do as it gives them greater dynamism and reinforces solidity by including a visible effect of perspective. Refer to this diagram.

    -When you draw the contour curves on the second page, many of them are boxy (which flattens them and makes the form seem more like a thick leaf seen from only one direction) and a great deal of them also do not line up with the organic form. While the boxyness may be addressed by ghosting for longer and imagining these as a section of an ellipse (it sometimes helps me to ghost an entire ellipse before starting to ghost the contour curve), the inaccuracy is harder to deal with and is something you should naturally improve at by continuing to do the Drawabox exercises.

    When it comes to your texture analysis page, it is done well and follows the instructions. The only thing I would note is that you could attempt to put in more detail into the first study on the left, and then selectively remove it when doing the light to dark study on the right.

    The texture dissections are similarly well done, but in a few cases you seem to resort to using outlines instead of putting down the cast shadows. Spend more time considering how a texture can be represented in ink, and don't forget that it doesn't all have to contain a uniform level of detail - you can convey most of it through the silhouette, and fade towards white at the center of the organic form, similarly to what is done in the texture analysis exercise. And remember - the goal of these textures is not to capture the original with 100% clarity, but to indicate what it could feel like to the touch.

    With the form textures, you start the constructions quite well but seem to run into issues with matching their foreshortening. Re-read this section and perhaps do some more form intersections in your next warmup. Also worthy of note is that many of the actual form intersections are incorrect as they cannot define an intersection of those particular forms. These are often even inverted from how they should be when taking into account all the planes of the form. Here's a correction I've done to help demonstrate what I mean: https://i.imgur.com/Pucmqry.png

    Keep in mind however that the actual intersections are not the main goal of this exercise, and you will have a chance to improve at them in later lessons.

    For the organic intersections, you seem to have got on quite well. It would however help to make the forms saggier so that they flow over each other more rather than being awkwardly stacked one over the other.

    Next Steps:

    Go on to lesson 3; have fun with the plants!

    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.
    8:06 PM, Wednesday June 17th 2020

    Looks good! You've put the advice I gave you to good use. Overall, your grasp of spacing is great - the scales on the back of the Camel spider, for example, are really well done and follow the shape well while not becoming distorted. You clearly take the time to plan things out, which is good.

    One thing that could help make the drawings more grounded is to implement simple shadow outlines for insects which are on the ground, as Uncomfortable suggests in the lesson pages. This not only increases the perceived solidity of the forms when executed well, but also helps you grasp the drawing you have made in the full three dimensions, as drawing the shadow challenges you to estimate how the 3-dimensional object will cast a flat shadow onto the ground. This is sometimes difficult, especially with really complex forms, but is worthwhile for the benefits it can give.

    Something that you could pay more attention to is the contour lines going around the forms - think about how the degree of the contours should change depending on which angle they are being looked at from. Something like this example (https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/5/degree), but keeping in mind that the degree of the contour lines will keep on getting wider and wider as they get further out from the center of vision. The main situation where I see this slip up is on the cricket, as you draw the contour lines on it's 'tail' in the opposite direction of the ones on it's abdomen. This makes little sense in terms of perspective. Also think about what the contours suggest about the form of the object they are describing; on the bottom section of the cricket's abdomen, the contours start going in the opposite direction from the ones on top, and don't feel like they wrap around the form convincingly. Contour curves can describe complex surfaces, but in those cases you have to make sure that they are explicitly passing on the information you need them to, rather than confusing the viewer. Sometimes it can be a good idea to simplify the contour curves, even if they are different in the reference.

    Besides that, everything seems pretty good to me. Make sure you're not forgetting to add the small contour curves in the intersections between leg sausages, and good luck with lesson 5!

    Next Steps:

    Carry on with lesson 5, keeping in mind the critique I gave here.

    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.
    2 users agree
    11:09 AM, Saturday June 13th 2020

    If you were to make one takeaway from my critique, it's that you should focus more on solid construction rather than texture. It is a good idea to take photos of your work before adding detail, so that it is easier for the reviewer to see the construction. There are numerous cases where you use your wrist to add wobbly outlines, as a 'cleanup pass.' You shouldn't be doing this, as it encourages complacency in construction and lowers the solidity of the forms. The reason you should use a single .5 fineliner for all of your lines (no matter if they are texture or construction lines) is to avoid this kind of thinking, and to give all aspects of the process equal weight.

    Remember that in Drawabox, the primary objective is to learn constructional drawing, and you shouldn't be trying to create a finished product (though in many cases I find that a well-executed constructional drawing can look beautiful in it's own right). To reiterate - you seem to be using several fineliners with different lineweights, or else a drawing utensil that lets you greatly control the lineweight. Instead, stick to a single .4 to .6 mm fineliner throughout all of the drawing stage, and don't do a cleanup pass, instead adding lineweight using the confident, single-motion ghosting method.

    For the legs, you apply the sausage method well in the majority of cases and they feel firm and organic. Not much to say there, other than that you make sure to apply the sausage method every time (you end up drawing complex shapes on the Cosmoderus femeralis and on a few legs on some of the insects). If you need to add additional forms to the legs, follow the recommendations Uncomfortable gives in the lesson intro - wrap the additional forms around the sausage, instead of drawing them in all at once.

    Next up, there are also many cases where you seem to be trying to shade the drawings. Do not forget that in Drawabox, we stick with only drawing cast shadows to avoid visual clutter and work within the constraints of only having black and white tones. Since your construction is meant to give the drawing solidity, trying to add form shading to accomplish the same goal is redundant - instead, use the textures in order to create a basic feeling of what the surface would be like to touch. You do not need to go overboard with this, a few areas of higher detail and some subtle hints at texture in other places is enough. You can refresh your memory on what is expected in texture by reading these pages from Lesson 2: https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/2 and https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/textureanalysis.

    One thing that can help you with everything I have mentioned so far is drawing bigger. Drawing bigger makes you naturally more inclined to use your major pivots (the shoulder and elbow) over the wrist, and also gives you a lot more room to put in texture without it getting cramped. To this end, it is also good to draw only one insect per page, as it gives you more space to work in and also makes it simpler to critique.

    Otherwise, your construction seems quite good in many of these - you just need to spend a bit longer ghosting lines, and think more about the underlying form in some cases when adding contours (such as on the whip spider's abdomen, the atlas caterpillar and to a lesser extent the abdomens of your butterfly and praying mantis). You can do the organic forms + contour lines exercise as a warmup, which will help you with this. Also refer to this informal demo: https://drawabox.com/lesson/4/7/layeredsegmentation. I also recommend reading the rest of the informal demos, and possibly following along with some of them (such as the crab claw) before carrying on with my revision recommendations.

    Next Steps:

    Do three additional drawings, one per page, as big as you can fit, with two of them having no detail or texture whatsoever. On the last one, try to really analyse the texture and simplify it however you can. You can refer to this informal demo: https://drawabox.com/lesson/4/7/texture. Do not worry if the texture doesn't come out right, as it is less important than the constructional aspect of Drawabox and is difficult to learn to use well. After these three pages are finished, put them in a reply to this comment and I will take a look at them.

    Don't forget that you can be doing the 25 textures challenge at the same time as the other lessons, which may help with learning to simplify and organize what you see.

    When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
    2 users agree
    9:19 AM, Saturday March 21st 2020

    Remember that for the branch exercises, you're expected to draw with curves. In a large number of your branches, and quite a few of the stems of your plant studies, you use straight and stiff lines. This shows a lack of confidence; you should try to loosen up a bit, spend longer ghosting if that helps you, and don't be afraid to miss the marks - I'm at lesson 5 and still often miss my marked out points, but that's a secondary concern to confidence in mark making. When going through Drawabox, you should first aim for confidence and then try to improve accuracy once your lines flow well.

    Your sunflower study could use contours on the seed pod section - right now it feels like a flat circle, which couldn't be further from what it is. Make sure you always do your best to show the form of something, and employ contour lines for all of your organic forms - these help both you and your eventual viewer understand the 3D form of the objects.

    Similarly for the unlabeled round bush plant - I can't be sure that you didn't use contour lines there since it's heavily textured, but I can't seem to find any traces of them. While the end viewer wouldn't see them when you texture something like this, it's still good practice to place contours to help yourself apply the texture - remember the texture wrapping from the texture dissection exercises, which is a technique you underutilized here, as the texture feels homogeneous and flat.

    Next Steps:

    You should be good to move onto the next lesson, but try to come back to previous exercises in warmups - particularly the contour sausages and texture dissections, which involve important concepts to apply elsewhere. Also keep practicing your branches in the same warmups, as it's a good exercise to improve the flow of your lines.

    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.
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