Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles

1:11 AM, Thursday October 19th 2023

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This was a tough lesson and made my brain explode at times ha ha.

I have a question. Back in lesson 2 and I think in 6 and 7 you mention that drawing from life has advantages and I imagine disadvantages as well besides the logistics of finding the thing to draw. I'd love to hear your point of view on what the other advantages and disadvantages are from drawing from reference vs. drawing from life both in terms of this course and for art in general.

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8:48 PM, Thursday October 19th 2023

To answer your question to start, I believe you're asking about this section from Lesson 2, but I am not entirely sure, as it does not say what you paraphrased. Rather than saying there are advantages and disadvantages to drawing from life, I state there that there are advantages to drawing from life (in that it forces you not to be able to rely on simply copying what you see in a two dimensional photograph and skipping the step of understanding how what is represented exists in 3D space). I also explain that constructional techniques help to bridge the gap between working from photo and working from life by forcing us to consciously include that understanding step in our process. The only real disadvantage to working from life would be the fact that we'd be limited to things we physically have access to.

If you're referencing a different section, please link to it specifically.

Anyway, jumping in with your form intersections, your work here is generally okay, although I caught a few points I wanted to call out.

  • Firstly, your linework is at times a bit messy, to the point that I feel you may not be as attentive to the use of the ghosting method and the general adherence to the principles of markmaking as you could be. That's not to say you're drawing badly, just that you're not giving yourself as much time as you need to apply those things consciously, resulting in a number of repeated marks (you should not be correcting mistakes).

  • Secondly, I'm noticing an amount of hesitation/wobbling in the execution of your ellipses, which suggests that you're either not executing those marks confidently enough, or that you may not be drawing from your shoulder with your whole arm. I also noticed a couple spots where you didn't quite draw through your ellipses 2 full times, although you generally held to that pretty well.

  • Here are some notes on intersections I noticed not quite being correct.

Your work with the cylinders in boxes are coming along pretty well - but again, reflect on how you're approaching your ellipses (it's likely you're executing them from the elbow, resulting in it being harder to control the evenness of the shape). Also, for the bottom-right cylinder-in-box, you forgot to draw one of your contact point line extensions.

Moving onto the form intersection vehicles, you did an excellent job on these. Many students get kind of confused in terms of what's being asked (I think the apparent simplicity of the exercise causes some peoples' brains to short out, and they end up making it way more complicated), but you've done exactly what was requested here and nailed it well. The purpose ultimately comes down to understanding how despite all of the other concepts taught throughout this lesson, with building grids, subdividing to find landmarks, etc. that we're still following the same overall process of constructing full volumes and gradually carving them down, as opposed to drawing a bunch of lines in space that come together as an actual vehicle in the last step.

Finally, continuing onto the vehicle constructions, you're mostly doing well, but there are some areas where you could definitely have done much better, but I think you may have burnt out a little on the exercise. That's not excusing it - when we get overwhelmed with something to the point that it results in us neglecting core concepts of the course, it is up to us to recognize that and take a step back so we can recharge and come at the problem fresh and swinging - but it's definitely something I understand. Don't panic though - I'm talking about one drawing in particular, and I'll get to that after I talk about the more successful ones.

Overall, I'm fairly pleased with how you're leveraging your orthographic plans in constructions like the fighter jet, the tank, the jeep, and the truck. You're making clear and concise decisions and then translating them effectively to your construction. There are some places where you extend your plan out in order to accommodate extra structure that you may not have considered - that's an area where you could do a little better by simply ensuring that everything you ultimately end up transferring to your 3D is specifically defined in your orthographic plan, so when you transfer it to 3D you're not guessing.

So for example with the roof of the jeep, as shown here you could take the top quadrant of your enclosing box, divide it in two, then mirror that half-step up. It happens to line up well with where you drew the roof, but ultimately it's all about making a concrete decision so that you're working with consistent proportions between the plans and the final execution.

For the last point, we'll look at that drawing I was discussing before - your C3 Corvette. Unfortunately with this one, you dropped the ball in a lot of ways - from not identifying quite a few specific, important landmarks that would have helped you to pin down the specifics with a lot more precision, to being extremely sketchy and loose with your linework, and ultimately skipping a ton of steps. Here I've pointed out a number of missing landmarks from your plan, as well as inconsistencies between the plan and final construction.

A construction like this is no small task - I've had students invest five, even ten hours and more into a single car construction. I've also seen a lot of situations like this where students will encounter a genuinely complex and involved construction, and instead of giving it the time it requires, they get overwhelmed and end up trying to find ways to complete it within the timeline they desire. Unfortunately that's not how this works - every construction takes the time it demands from us. If it needs more time than we can commit during a given sitting (which many of them no doubt will), we simply spread them across multiple sittings. We do not change the nature of the task, as this changes the exercise and undermines its specific purpose.

Now, I am going to mark this lesson as complete - you've demonstrated an understanding of all the concepts you need to in order to earn that completion, but I do urge you to try and attempt a car like this again in the future for yourself, just to push your own limits in terms of how much you're able to put into a single construction, and to get yourself used to spreading that work over as many sessions as are necessary to get the job done without changing its specifications.

And of course, with this lesson being complete, so too are all the required sections of the course. Congratulations!

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
3:32 AM, Sunday October 22nd 2023

Thank you for this excellent critique and all the other ones you and your TA's have done over the last 1 1/2 years for me! I feel quite a sense of accomplishment completing Lesson 7 which seemed so far away when I started. I felt like I learned a lot more than just the fundamentals of the fundamentals of drawing in this course. The lessons learned here help me in many other areas of life as well.

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