Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants
10:43 PM, Tuesday April 13th 2021
My lesson 3 homework, thanks in advance for looking!
Overall, very nicely done! I do have a few suggestions and little issues to call out, but as a whole you're doing pretty well.
Starting with your arrows, you've drawn them with a great deal of confidence and fluidity, capturing how they move smoothly through the world. When it comes to the places where you've added some line weight however - specifically the bottom left - you do risk getting into tracing over the existing linework more hesitantly and carefully, which stiffens up those lines and reduces the sense of fluidity. Generally you want to keep your line weight only to the limited, localized areas where you're clarifying a specific overlap. You did a better job of this with your other arrows.
That sense of fluidity carries over very nicely into your leaves, where you're capturing not only how they sit in 3D space as real objects, but also how they move through the space they occupy. You're also building up more complex edge detail very well, in successive stages, respecting the structure from the earlier phases of construction. Something you'll want to explore in the future is playing with more complex leaf structures.
Continuing onto the branches, you've done a good job of following the instructions here - extending your segments fully halfway to the next ellipse, layering them over one another to transition more smoothly from one to the next. One thing to watch out for is that you always want to execute those marks with enough confidence that they taper at their ends, as shown here. We can actually see this in some of your marks, like here, but many of the others maintain too much thickness all the way to their ends.
Moving onto your plant constructions, as I mentioned these are mostly well done, though there are a few things I can recommend to help you improve upon them.
For this one I have a couple thoughts:
Firstly, when capturing the impression of these sort of "ball" forms, I've got some notes on this here in the informal demos section. Contour curves are fine, but putting a little contour ellipse on one tip or "pole" of the ball form will help capture the illusion that it's 3D much more meaningfully.
This is less of a concern in this case, but in any situation where you've got a lot of the same part of a plant, instead of drawing all of them and giving each one less room on the page, you can focus on one or two, cutting the rest out, and giving yourself more room to explore those particular parts of the plant. Giving yourself more room to work will help give your brain what it needs to solve spatial problems more effectively, while also making it easier to engage your whole arm when drawing. Drawing small is a common issue that gets in the way (though I don't feel you were showing the signs of that here).
Firstly, draw each petal in its entirety - do not cut off any form where it is overlapped by another. We want to understand how each for sits in space, and drawing it completely will help us do that. This will also help us better understand how the forms all relate to one another within space as well.
Construction is about making decisions with each stage/step, and then sticking to them. The ellipse you started with (the big one) serves to tell us how far our petals are going to extend. With that in place, make sure all your flow lines extend from the middle section of the flower out to the perimeter of that ellipse. Then with that established, draw each petal such that it starts and ends at the start and end of the flow line. You did the second part correctly, but for the first you had the petals extending to different distances. If you do need they to extend to different distances, then simply don't use the big ellipse as that first step.
In a number of your other drawings, I noticed that you're really heavy on your use of line weight, using it to reinforce whole silhouettes of entire forms. For the reasons discussed previously - how it leads to stiffening up linework - it's best that you focus on using line weight only to clarify specific overlaps in localized areas.
All in all, you're doing a good job, so I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.
Feel free to move onto lesson 4.
Thanks for the critique! I understand your points about my line weight and will try to judge the use of it more thoughtfully as I go into lesson 4. Looking forward to the next steps!