The Resilient (Winter 2022)
Joined 8 months ago
One page of leaf constructions... Concentrate on following the steps as closely as you can.
One page of branches... concentrate on the degree shift in the ellipses and cleanliness of the outside lines drawn as described in the exercise.
Two plant construction drawings... concentrate on breaking the task into its constructive parts and making every mark mean something. Try hard to not deviate from a reference too much... not that copying a reference exactly is necessary, but it is important to take more time to study the reference.
7:37 AM, Tuesday December 27th 2022
Warming up with the lesson 1 exercises helps a lot. When I did the 250 Box, I ended the warm up with at least one box... more if I did not feel comfortable with the first practice box.
6:31 PM, Sunday December 25th 2022
these revisions look better. i can seen where you took more time and did not rush or marks as much as you did initially. The poppy bloom and seed pods are strongest. thr crocus blooms look a bit more simplistic, but still better than the initial drawings. Your leaf constructions are also stronger overall, but to draw the basic outlines without any detail will make a drawing look flat. I can see that clearly comparing the leaves you added detail on with those you did not.
You should wait for more reviewers to agree with moving on, and in the meantime practice using construction to draw leaves and plants with details. Use the texture lessons for thr detail.
The next lesson will apply construction to drawing arthropods. personally, i find this easier than drawing plants. i think it is because it is easier to see the three dimensionality of an animal than in a leaf or plant. Observation of thr reference becomes very important because the creatures have a lot more intricate detail then most leaves do.
6:06 PM, Sunday December 25th 2022
5:11 PM, Thursday December 22nd 2022
My name is Ted and I am going to give you some feedback on your work in lesson 3.
I first looked through the entire body of work you produced to get an overall impression. Perhaps you are trying to do the drawings too quickly, which is a very easy thing to do, especially when working on something that you are comfortable with, or are faced with some tedious detail. I can see the hurriedness in some of your line work and in some small mistakes in the plant constructions. I will be more specific for each of the places I see it clearly.
Arrows... I beleive that you understand the concept of drawing the flowing arrows in 3D space, but some of the arrows are not as 3-dimensional as others. I suspect that you were drawing them very quickly. There are some places where the lines are constricted unnaturally. The lines should look parallel and taper ever so slightly. Every aspect of the ribbon should reflect passage through 3D space: the space between the lines, the space between the curves in the ribbon, and the relative width of a meander should all decrease as the ribbon flows away from the viewer. A few of your ribbons have one or more of those attributes remain close to the same as the move through the space. One trick I used to help myself get better at the ribbons is to make the vanishing point for all of the ribbons the top of the page and concentrate on having all the attributes look the same at different levels of the paper. I even practiced a set by drawing faint lines across the page at 1/3 and 2/3, then practiced making sure that the attributes in the top third were close, second third were close and bottom third would close. The result is a set of arrows that may not be as dynamic or interesting as some you have drawn, but 'interesting' is not the goal in this exercise. The objective is to show a flat plane flowing through 3D space to that the same concepts can be applied to leaves.
Leaf construction... Several of these look rushed and it is difficult to see the basic steps in leaf construction as described here: https://drawabox.com/lesson/3/2/videoleaves . The edge detail shows 'zig-zagging' instead of careful consideration of each mark. Observation of the reference is key for the detail. If you were not using references for the leaves, you should, and concentrate on what the details actually look like. The result of rushing the details and adding them more as a pattern is that the drawings look flat and cartoonish.
Branches... These look particularly rushed, and it is an easy exercise to want to hurry through. Ellipses... for this exercise the ellipses should all be the same length around the initial line that acts as the minor axis. For the most part your ellipses are the same length, but more than a few fall off the line as the axis, which is another indication of rushing. The ellipses also need to show degree shift, with the ends of the branches having round ellipses and the center ellipses being narrower. There is a specific way to draw the outside lines which is described here: https://drawabox.com/lesson/3/2/videobranches . Some of your lines have a lot of visible tails, and a couple look as though the pen was never lifted off of the paper. Some bisect an ellipse and others miss the edge of an ellipse entirely. As a result your branches are a bit too sketchy.
Plant constructions... For the most part I can see the use of construction technique in your drawings. There are a few that look rushed and have some incomplete construction. For example, there are a couple places where a stem/branch or two were not completed with the ellipses and connecting lines, so the result is a stem that is just two parallel lines. There are several places where the lines that should meet at a leaf tip do not, which is a sign of rushing and drawing without a careful study of the reference. The last drwing of the fan palm is a good example. The stems were not constructed at all. The leaves have origination circles, but the line work inside for the fronds is very hurried.
I am going to suggest some revisions for you to work on.
12:44 PM, Tuesday December 20th 2022
Thank you for your constructive feedback. I do have a few questions I hope that you have the time to help me with.
Branches... "as your branches go on they start to get thinner, make sure to stick with the characteristics of basic branches, cylinders of consistent size with no foreshortening." I understand that your comment addresses the branch exercise specifically. As for drawing branches in the plant constuctions, that method of branch construction would result in a more flat image. How do we draw branches in 3-D space without foreshortening or making the branches narrower as they move deeper into the picture away from the viewer? Also, branches naturally taper from thickest at the node to thinnest at the tip, regardless of the direction of growth. Branches also twist and turn, so the ellipse degree shift would fluctuate, wouldn't it? For example, if a branch crosses the field of view at a right angle to the viewer without changing depth, the degree shift would be wide-narrower-narrow-wider-wide. If that branch then turned away from the viewer and traveled towards the horizon, wouldn't the degree shift change to wide and decrease in size as it moves further from the viewer? If you draw a cylinder viewed perfectly from one end, it would look like two concentric circles. As that cylinder turns the circles become ellipses that overlap until the degree of view changes enough that the ellipses are narrow enough not to overlap. Shouldn't the construction of branches have the same effect?
1:16 PM, Monday December 19th 2022
Branches... I drew this set concentrating on keeping the ellipses the same width.
For branches in plant construction, how do you depict the passage of a branch through 3-D space without the diameter of the branch getting smaller as it moves deeper into the field? Also, if the twig or branch is clearly tapering, how should it be drawn without changing the width of the ellipses?
12:27 PM, Monday December 19th 2022
For some reason the link will not open for me... Please let me know it if will not open for you.
12:22 PM, Monday December 19th 2022
It looks like the other person who sent me a critique was responding to the HW set that I put into the sketchbook before I had enough credits to submit it for official critique. It just so happened that that person gave a critique one day before you did. You critique is much better and more thorough.
May I please tackle each of the exercises one at a time and get a little feedback? Here is a set of leaf drawings. I concentrated more on applying the texture process than I did previously. A challenge for me is trying to depict the difference between shadow and pigment. For example, the holly leaf (with the spiny edges). The overall pigment of the leaf is dark green while the veins are light green. This is not a contrast caused by shadow. Looking at the luminance range on the reference photo there is definitely areas of the leaf that are brighter (appears as glare) and darker. But even the brighter glare areas are dark in pigment. I was having a hard time ignoring pigment and only trying to draw the areas without glare as shadows and leaving the glared areas with no shadow. My brain is wired to see color contrast!
I hope that these are better...
Ellipse Master Template
This recommendation is really just for those of you who've reached lesson 6 and onwards.
I haven't found the actual brand you buy to matter much, so you may want to shop around. This one is a "master" template, which will give you a broad range of ellipse degrees and sizes (this one ranges between 0.25 inches and 1.5 inches), and is a good place to start. You may end up finding that this range limits the kinds of ellipses you draw, forcing you to work within those bounds, but it may still be worth it as full sets of ellipse guides can run you quite a bit more, simply due to the sizes and degrees that need to be covered.
No matter which brand of ellipse guide you decide to pick up, make sure they have little markings for the minor axes.