Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction

1:56 PM, Sunday June 14th 2020

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The lesson was challenging but nevertheless I feel proud in completeling it. It greatly improved my understanding of 3D. However I still find textures extremely challenging.

For the Organic Intersections, I couldn't add more "sausages" because I added shadows after drawing each shape and so adding more would confuse the viewer (as can be seen on the second page of the exercise). I assume I had to draw shadows after drawing all the shapes?

Thank you very much for the feedback!

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7:23 PM, Sunday June 14th 2020
edited at 7:26 PM, Jun 14th 2020

Starting with your arrows, these are flowing quite nicely through space, and capture an excellent sense of fluidity and movement. Some of them do have a slight issue where they'll get wider/narrower erratically at times, so watch out for that - you want to give the impression that the ribbon is of a consistent width, whose only cause for narrowing is perspective itself.

For your organic forms with contour lines, the first thing that jumps out at me is that your sausage forms appear to be a bit irregular. As explained here, we want to adhere to the characteristics of "simple sausages" - that is, two equally sized spheres connected by a tube of consistent width. Now, I do suspect that you're at least aware of this, but you're struggling to keep both ends equal in size and circular in nature, so you do need to watch out for that. Some of yours on the first page definitely come out well, but you're certainly struggling with others.

Secondly, when drawing your contour ellipses - or ellipses of any kind within these lessons - make sure you're drawing through them two fully times before lifting your pen, as explained here. Right now you're only drawing through them once, maybe one and a half times at most. Also be sure to apply the ghosting method as you would to each and every one of your marks to ensure proper control/accuracy before executing your marks with confidence.

Looking at your contour curves, these don't actually manage to wrap around the sausage form in a convincing manner, and instead come out very shallow and flat, as explained here. Those notes talk about "overshooting" your curves as a way to deal with this issue - it'll force you to follow more of the trajectory of a full ellipse. Remember that contour curves are the same thing as the full contour ellipses - it's just that we can't see the opposite side of the form.

Moving onto your texture analyses, there are some good moves here, though definitely some points to be aware of. Keep in mind that this exercise is not a test - I don't expect students to have prior experience with this, and it is merely an introduction to a concept that you will continue thinking about and working on as you move forwards.

The first thing that I'm noticing is that you're doing a good job of moving more towards employing clear, designed shadow shapes. You do still use plenty of lines however, but I'm not seeing a tendency to outline textural forms, which is good to see. Still, one thing to help you to avoid working with lines is to make sure you draw each and every mark in two steps - first draw the outline of the shape you mean to make, and then fill it in, as shown here. Do this even for narrow things you could otherwise draw with a single stroke.

Secondly, especially in the second row, you fall victim to scribbling, which [as explained here](https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/6/scribbling, should be avoided at all costs. I get it - textures have a lot of information present, they're very dense and can be overwhelming to look at. All the same, you should never just give in and scribble on your drawing in the hopes that randomness will yield a good result. Every mark you put down should be planned and thought through. Every shape should be designed. If you achieve a good texture by scribbling randomly, then there's no actual guarantee you'll be able to do that again, as it will not have been your own intent that achieved it.

You continue to show improvement on these fronts in your dissections, but definitely hold to that point about drawing shadow shapes instead of lines. It should help you continue to improve, and to maintain control over the density of your textures at different points.

Your form intersections have largely been well done. You've drawn the forms such that they feel cohesive and consistent within the same space, though I did notice a bit of a tendency to redraw lines you felt were drawn incorrectly. This is a bad habit - if you make a mistake, leave the line alone, and certainly don't automatically try to reinforce a stroke immediately after drawing it. Always abide by the ghosting method - plan and prepare before every mark you execute.

There is one thing you appear to have missed - in the instructions, I specifically mention students should avoid using forms that are stretched in one dimension (like longer cylinders), and should stick to forms that are roughly the same size in all three dimensions. Make sure you follow the instructions more closely in the future, as doing so helps eliminate any unnecessary complexity from an already difficult exercise.

Lastly, I'm glad that you've made a solid attempt at the intersections - similarly to the texture exercises, this is another one where we're introducing a concept, rather than testing your ability with it. Defining the spatial relationships between forms like this is at the core of Drawabox as a whole, and will be explored and expanded upon further as we move through the rest of the lessons. Here we're just planting a seed so that you start thinking about it as you move forwards.

For the final exercise - the organic intersections - you're doing a good job of establishing how these forms interact with one another in 3D space. In addition to this, the first page does a good job of establishing a believable illusion of gravity in how they slump and sag over one another, though your second page does not achieve this at all (with that big floating mass. Make sure in the future that you think of these forms as having actual weight, forcing them to press down on the forms beneath them. I also feel you need to work a little on your understanding of how cast shadows work. The big floating form would have cast shadows more like this.

Before I mark this lesson as complete, I definitely want to sort out the issues with your organic forms with contour curves, so I'm going to assign an additional page of those.

Edit: Also, to answer your question - yeah, draw the cast shadows after all your forms are present.

Next Steps:

Please submit one more page of organic forms with contour curves.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
edited at 7:26 PM, Jun 14th 2020
10:52 AM, Tuesday June 16th 2020

Thank you very much for the feedback! The contour curves on the organic forms were indeed too flat.

A page of organic forms with contour lines.. For the figure 1 I have attempted to make the shape look like it's bending.

2:38 PM, Tuesday June 16th 2020

These are definitely improving, especially towards the right side of the page. Along the left side you're still not hooking them around so as to give the impression of continuing along the opposite side of the form, but towards the right you're starting to get used to how those contour lines need to be curved.

You should continue focusing your warmups on this exercise for some time as you continue to increase your comfort with this sort of thing, but I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 3.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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