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6:53 AM, Friday January 8th 2021

Starting with your arrows, you're doing a good job of drawing these with a strong sense of motion and fluidity. Just keep an eye on your tendency to arbitrarily turn some of the arrow heads to be completely flat on the face of the page, instead of parallel with the flow of the ribbon itself. I see this happening in a couple of spots, so it's not too common, but it is a rather peculiar little hiccup.

Continuing onto your leaves, you definitely do a better job of capturing that same sense of fluidity and movement in the second page of this exercise than the first. One factor is likely that you're drawing these leaves quite small. Drawing smaller can severely limit our brain's capacity to think through spatial problems (which is a bigger factor when dealing with more complex constructions), but it also makes it harder for us to engage our whole arm while drawing, which is likely why your leaves come out a little stiffer at first than they ought to.

You also have a tendency, in at least some cases, to have a lot more lines going down than are necessary. Remember that what we're doing here is not sketching - every mark we draw is planned out and prepared for, so do not get in the habit of immediately following up a stroke with another. Furthermore, once you've got your basic leaf shape in place (so once you've completed step 2 of the leaf construction process), the next phase of construction is not to redraw the whole outline of the leaf. As shown here on another student's work, you only draw the parts that change. Construction is about laying down foundation and building upon it - not building a new house, each one more detailed than the last, at every step. I also talk about this in these notes. There are some places where you adhere to this, especially when you cut little nicks out of the edge of your leaves, but there is definitely some variation.

Additionally, with this one and this one, you're definitely skipping important constructional steps, as explained here. There are of course other cases where you approach more complex leaf structures correctly, so you've got a heavily mixed bag here.

Moving onto your branches, I'm starting to see a bit of a trend here. You're very eager to do a lot of these exercises - each of these had only one page assigned, but you opted to do two each. In your exuberance to do more of them than necessary, however, you've missed important elements of the instructions. That really goes back to why I value students just doing what is asked. No more, no less.

What you're missing with your branches is that the instructions state that you should be extending your segments fully halfway to the next ellipse, then starting the next segment at the previous ellipse. This results in a healthy overlap between them, where the next segment can use this last chunk of the previous one as a runway, ensuring that they'll run smoothly and seamlessly together before it shoots off to its own target. While you're not doing badly as far as keeping your lines together, you frequently don't extend your segments enough, or just outright start one where the previous one stopped, resulting in no overlap and a more notable transition.

I really can't stress this enough - don't deviate from the instructions, not even to do more work. It's so easy to end up putting effort in the wrong areas.

Moving onto your plant constructions, some issues I've addressed previously definitely come up again:

  • Drawing too small, thus severely limiting the room you have in which to develop your constructions. Always focus first on giving each drawing as much room as it requires on the page. When finished, assess whether there's enough room for another. If there is, add it. Otherwise, it is entirely okay to just have one drawing on a page.

  • With leaves in plants like this one, you started out with a more complex overall shape, instead of building up that leaf as shown in this demo by building each 'arm' separately and then combining them together.

  • There's a lot of sketchier linework where you're definitely not applying the ghosting method to maintain individual planned, intentional marks. It's clear you can employ the ghosting method well, and you do so frequently, but there do happen to be a number of areas where you allow yourself to slip into old habits.

I am seeing a tendency to treat your initial phase of construction as being more of an "underdrawing", purposely using fainter marks and then following it up with a darker stroke later on. Every mark you draw should be drawn with the same confident stroke without going out of your way to make them fainter. Furthermore, line weight should be focused only in specific local areas to clarify specific overlaps - not to replace entire lengths of line.

As a whole, there is plenty to show here that you're moving in the right direction, but there is a general looseness to both how you draw and to how you adhere to the instructions that I want to sort out before having you move on. As such, I'm going to assign some pages below, where you will be able to address the issues I've raised above.

Next Steps:

Please submit the following:

  • 1 page of leaves

  • 1 page of branches

  • 2 pages of plant constructions

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
9:22 PM, Wednesday January 13th 2021

Thanks for the feedback, I've tried to incorporate all of it into the extra pages, found here: https://imgur.com/a/bDlcRPO

The looseness in drawing feels the most challenging to incorporate as I tend to tense my arm when going in for the actual stroke after ghosting, but I'm working on it.

12:20 AM, Friday January 15th 2021

Overall these are looking much better, though there were a few issues I caught that I do want you to keep in mind - for example, the importance of never jumping into too much complexity without the appropriate underlying structure to support it. this comes up with some of your more complex leaf structures, as highlighted here. On the bottom left, I'm also rather confused as to why there appears to be two different kinds of leaves existing together, one stamped on the other.

Aside from that, the rest is coming along well. I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
1:31 AM, Friday January 15th 2021

OH. Yeah I know why, I misunderstood/misinterpreted something in the original lesson that I now understand better looking at the link you just provided. Thanks again for the feedback, it's been very helpful.

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