Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids
5:36 PM, Friday July 10th 2020
The grossest lesson I have done so far
Disclaimer: gross reference pics included
Part of me feels like you included the reference images just to share the disgust, so you wouldn't be alone in that. I think I might have to shower after doing this critique.
All in all you've done a pretty good job, although there are a few things I'm going to point out to keep you on the right course. Starting with your organic forms with contour curves, these are generally well done, although keep working on maintaining an equal size for both ends. You do this in most cases, but there are a few where the sausage ends up getting wider throughout its length. Also, I want you to think a little more about the degree of the contour curves you're drawing. Think about how that contour curve's degree tells us about how that cross-sectional slice actual orientation in space, how much it's turned towards the viewer. There are a few cases where it feels not so much wrong, but makes me wonder whether the degree was a conscious choice, or if you just drew an contour curve and let the degree come out however your instincts decided it would.
Skipping down to the last insect construction, I think this one shows your skills best, specifically because it is the one you pushed the furthest. It is not without some issues, but I'm very pleased with how you approached defining all of its segmentation, thinking about how those forms layer on top of one another, and creating a strong impression that what we're looking at is in fact three dimensional and real. Even that reference image - which is by far the most disgusting of the lot - comes out looking a little flat, much moreso than your actual drawing. That tells me that you understood that this insect was obviously a three dimensional thing, and that you took that understanding and applied it to this flawed photograph to create something that was a solid combination of what the photo told you, and what you knew to be true. Good job.
The main issue I see with this one is that your linework is visibly hesitant at times, especially when drawing some of the segmented layering along the abdomen, and a few of the sausage forms which end up being a little more like wavy noodles rather than smooth, solid structures. Now, these mistakes obviously happen, and you handled them quite well by not attempting to correct that waviness, but it is something to keep on top of, since I'm seeing that kind of hesitation and wobbling in other parts of your linework. It's not there across the board - there are times when you execute your marks with smooth confidence and achieve consistent trajectories, but it's enough of a mix that this is something you'll want to focus your warmups on. That is, your use of the ghosting method when drawing these somewhat more complex forms and lines.
There only other thing I wanted to talk about comes down to identifying the complexity in the references you're looking at, and actually striving to capture them as part of your construction. If we step back to the bed bug you drew (I can recognize this thing anywhere, because when I was going through similar homework for my drawing class back in 2013, I was unfortunately living in a bedbug infested room, and even was so unlucky as to draw one from life). There is very clearly a lot of information that you opted not to capture - for example, the segmentation of the abdomen, and even the actual curvature of the abdomen itself. Now, you went much further with that last drawing, which is why I focused so much on it - but there are even areas there that could have been drilled into much deeper, specifically the structure of its legs. For example, if you look at the insect leg I drew on the left side of this image for another student, you can see just how much farther you can push the structure of an insect's leg. We can do so by first building the basic sausage structure, as you've done, and then adding additional forms afterwards as shown here.
This is something that will continue to be relevant through the next lesson - so, as I'm otherwise quite pleased with your work, I'm going to go ahead and mark this one as complete and leave you to work on building up that complexity in successive phases of construction as you tackle animals.
Feel free to move onto lesson 5.
Thank you for your critique. I will keep what you have said in mind.
I actually included the images because I figured it would help aid in your critique on how I drew the drawings in 3d space (as best as I could). I was also partially inspired by your determination to draw gross things, so I also figured I might as well do the same thing.