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9:39 PM, Wednesday April 6th 2022

Starting with your arrows, you've done a great job here in drawing these with a great sense of fluidity. I can also see some of the experimentation in terms of achieving more foreshortening, and I'm certainly seeing progress. Circling back to the fluidity however, it carries over quite nicely into your leaves, where you've captured not only how they sit statically in 3D space, but also how they move through the space they occupy.

That said, I do have a couple things to suggest in terms of how to approach the later phases of this exercise:

  • When building up edge detail, be sure not to zigzag back and forth across the previous edge as explained here in the notes. This results in a weaker relationship between the different phases of construction, and impedes having the solidity from the simpler stage carry forward as we build up complexity.

  • Cutting back into the simple shape's silhouette is a good technique to use when we literally want to cut back into the physical leaf in order to add detail. This one is a good example of this (specifically in areas like this where you didn't redraw more of the previous edge than was strictly required). You can also see this in action in this demo. For a case like this however, where the nature of those "arms" don't contact the previous edge quite as solidly, I'd recommend either building it up additively (your initial shape only captures the central channel of the leaf, and then build the extensions off that structure), or as a more complex leaf structure as shown here. Here's how both options would look - I think for this leaf in particular, given how big those 'arms' are, the complex leaf structure approach would be the better fit.

Continuing onto your branches, you've done fairly well, but you aren't following the specific instructions here as closely as you could. Specifically, you tend not to extend your segments fully halfway to the next ellipse (sometimes barely extending them beyond the ellipse at all), which severely diminishes the overlap between the segments. That overlap is important for achieving a smoother, more seamless transition from one segment to the next.

Moving onto your plant constructions, by and large I think you're doing a good job. I have just a few things to call out (although note that the points I raised above are certainly present too, I'm just not going to repeat them):

  • There are two things that we must give each of our drawings throughout this course in order to get the most out of them. Those two things are space and time. Right now it appears that you are thinking ahead to how many drawings you'd like to fit on a given page. It certainly is admirable, as you clearly want to get more practice in, but in artificially limiting how much space you give a given drawing, you're limiting your brain's capacity for spatial reasoning, while also making it harder to engage your whole arm while drawing. The best approach to use here is to ensure that the first drawing on a given page is given as much room as it requires. Only when that drawing is done should we assess whether there is enough room for another. If there is, we should certainly add it, and reassess once again. If there isn't, it's perfectly okay to have just one drawing on a given page as long as it is making full use of the space available to it.

  • When constructing your flower pots, I'm pleased to see that you're using a central minor axis line in some cases (like in the case of your snake plant), though you forgot to do so in this one. Along with including the minor axis to help align your ellipses to one another, be sure to include as many ellipses as are necessary however to flesh out the entire structure - for example, an additional ellipse inset within the opening to establish the thickness of the rim, and another to establish the level of the soil so the plant or its stem has something to intersect with.

All in all, you do have some points of the instructions that you didn't follow as closely as you could have, so be sure to address these points in your own feedback. But you should be good to consider this lesson complete, just make a point of following the instructions a little more closely as you move forwards.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
11:41 AM, Thursday April 7th 2022

Thank you very much!

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The Science of Deciding What You Should Draw

The Science of Deciding What You Should Draw

Right from when students hit the 50% rule early on in Lesson 0, they ask the same question - "What am I supposed to draw?"

It's not magic. We're made to think that when someone just whips off interesting things to draw, that they're gifted in a way that we are not. The problem isn't that we don't have ideas - it's that the ideas we have are so vague, they feel like nothing at all. In this course, we're going to look at how we can explore, pursue, and develop those fuzzy notions into something more concrete.

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