Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

8:38 PM, Friday July 17th 2020

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There isn't much detail within the last 4 pages as I was wary of breaking the illusion of form.

I had a hard time tyring to fork branches as to know here would and how a new one would come out. The same can be said for leaves that sort of merge with branches. Also, some branches are often thicker than they appeared in the reference and yes, I know creating a 1:1 replica isn't the point, but the wrong proportions still feel quite off.

On a side note, I finished them almost a week ago. Didn't rush them but this made me wonder if, should I spend more time on them?

Those were my thoughts.

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9:21 PM, Friday July 17th 2020

Nicely done! To start, your arrows flow very fluidly through space, and generally do a pretty good job of capturing the use of foreshortening on both positive and negative spaces, rather than just focusing on how the width of the ribbon itself gets narrower as it moves back. There are a few places where you could stand to compress the gaps between those zigzagging sections a little more, but all in all this is coming along well.

You continue to capture this sense of fluidity and movement very nicely throughout your leaves. I'm very happy with how the leaf shapes came out, though I do feel that there was a missed opportunity in terms of tackling more complex leaf structures here, and getting into how you might approach edge detail through the use of the constructional steps provided in the instructions. Don't be afraid to grab some reference and try to apply the detail you find in it to the leaf forms you've already drawn, and playing with more complex leaf structures like this is definitely well worth it.

Continuing onto the branches, while these are also fairly well done, you do not appear to be extending your line segments fully halfway to the next ellipse, instead choosing to extend it just a small ways past the previous ellipse. Be sure to review these instructions - it shows that the overlap between the two segments is critical to getting those lines to flow smoothly from one to the next, and to avoid the sort of visible hitches and tails that are still at least somewhat visible through a number of your branches. Also, make sure that you avoid any situations where the branches get narrower through their midsection, as happened in the bottom left of the page.

Continuing onto your plant constructions, I am generally fairly pleased with your results. You started off a little uncertain, and there are a few issues I'll address, but by and large you've drawn structures that are quite solid and believable. As you acknowledged yourself, I'm not terribly concerned with proportion here - Drawabox is less a course about how to draw in general, and more about just learning how to understand that we're taking three dimensional forms and combining them to create more complex objects. It's about understanding this truth that we're not just working on a flat page, and pushing our brain's limits in believing that which is not true. Your proportions will improve with practice, and there are ways to focus specifically on your observational skills and assessment of those proportions, but we don't worry too much about that here.

The first issue I wanted to point out is minor, but in the flower at the top of this page, it's important that you draw each petal in its entirety - in this case, that means establishing how those petals go into the cup, and closing them off instead of allowing them to stop suddenly. This does mean your petals will have to fold back over themselves somewhat, but it will help you grasp how the petal in its entirety exists in 3D space, which is an important part of grasping how it relates to its neighbours.

In the bottom right of this page, just a minor point - you're zigzagging that more complex edge detail around the original ellipses that define the structure of those plants. As explained here, this detail should not be drawn with a single continuous line - instead you should take that simpler edge of the form and push it back and forth with individual new strokes that rise off the edge and return to it, one by one. By adhering closely to the existing structure in this way, you're merely extending and modifying the solid structure that is there - rather than treating it like a loose suggestion and redrawing the entire thing.

In a couple places on this page, you filled in some of the little buds coming out of the center of your flowers. Solid black areas should be reserved for cast shadow shapes only - don't try to capture local colour (like if something appears to be black in colour in your reference, it doesn't matter, you should still be treating everything as though it is the same flat colour).

On this page, I think the drawing along the left side got a little cramped. There's nothing wrong with limiting yourself to just one drawing in a page - draw one thing, taking as much room as it requires of you, then assess whether or not you can fit another with room to spare. If you can't, no worries - just put the next on a fresh page. Drawing small, or running up against artificial limits like this will infringe on your brain's ability to think through spatial problems.

I'm actually quite pleased with the last two pages especially - you mentioned that you weren't getting much into detail, but these are honestly some of the most detailed of the lot. That is to say, you dug into a great deal of form complexity - not much into texture, but texture really doesn't matter all that much. What's important is that you tried to capture all of the major forms that were present, rather than just focusing on the two or three main masses.

All in all, your work is looking great, so I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. To the point you raised about finishing this in one week - because your work is coming along well, it does not appear to me that you rushed. That said, I do have to ask - are you still adhering to the 50% rule from lesson 0, or are you focusing only on Drawabox?

Next Steps:

Feel free to move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
11:26 PM, Friday July 17th 2020

Yes, yes indeed.

I began adhering to the 50% rule for this lesson by designating time within the day to sit and just draw for fun. All in all by keeping record on how much time I spent drawing for the course to later be compensated.

This has been the only course I've been following as for lately but now I'm planning on following something else along with, perhaps composition or diving more into perspective.

But overall, yeah.

6:21 PM, Saturday July 18th 2020

Huh, then honestly I am a bit surprised that you managed to get the lesson complete in just a week, while adhering to the 50% rule. All the same, you didn't show signs of rushing so I suppose you're just relatively quick with that stuff.

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