2 users agree
8:37 PM, Sunday December 4th 2022
edited at 8:53 PM, Dec 4th 2022

In addition to your existing critique, as per your request on discord:

Your organic forms are nice and simple. I can see you're varying the degree of your contour curves.

As a general rule of thumb these curves should get wider as we slide further away from the viewer along the length of a given cylindrical form. This concept is explained in the ellipses video from lesson 1, here. You can also see this in action on this tube.

I think looking at this diagram may help you. It demonstrates how to vary your contour curves to show a form in different orientations.

Your insects are pretty good. You're using the techniques from the lesson material to good effect, building from simple to complex, and are demonstrating a developing understanding of how your forms exist in 3D space, good work. I thought this beetle was very well done.

Because we're drawing on a flat piece of paper, we have a lot of freedom to make whatever marks we choose, but many of those marks would contradict the illusion you're trying to create and remind the viewer that they're just looking at a series of lines on a flat piece of paper. In order to avoid this and stick only to the marks that reinforce the illusion we're creating, we can force ourselves to adhere to certain rules as we build up our constructions. Rules that respect the solidity of our construction.

For example - once you've put a form down on the page, do not attempt to alter its silhouette. Its silhouette is just a shape on the page which represents the form we're drawing, but its connection to that form is entirely based on its current shape. If you change that shape, you won't alter the form it represents - you'll just break the connection, leaving yourself with a flat shape. We can see this most easily in this example of what happens when we cut back into the silhouette of a form.

So for example, I've marked on this crab areas where, in red, you cut back into the silhouettes of your forms, and in blue some areas where you attempted to extend your silhouette out without really providing enough information for us to understand how those new additions were meant to exist in 3D space.

Instead, when we want to build on our construction or alter something we add new 3d forms to the existing structure. forms with their own complete silhouettes - and by establishing how those forms either connect or relate to what's already present in our 3D scene. We can do this either by defining the intersection between them with contour lines (like in lesson 2's form intersections exercise), or by wrapping the silhouette of the new form around the existing structure as shown here.

This is all part of understanding that everything we draw is 3D, and therefore needs to be treated as such in order for both you and the viewer to believe in that lie.

You can see this in practice in this beetle horn demo, as well as in this ant head demo You can also see some good examples of this in the lobster and shrimp demos on the informal demos page.

Your lines are really nice, just remember Line weight should be reserved for clarifying overlaps as explained here. You don't want to be tracing back over large portions of your silhouette only add it where you really need it. And solid black should be used for cast shadows, this page goes over the difference between cast shadows and form shadows and explains why we don't use form shading in this course.

Moving on, The last point I want to talk about is leg construction. It looks like you're making an effort to use the sausage method, which is great. It's not uncommon for students to be aware of the sausage method as introduced here, but to decide that the legs they're looking at don't actually seem to look like a chain of sausages, so they use some other strategy.

The key to keep in mind here is that the sausage method is not about capturing the legs precisely as they are - it is about laying in a base structure or armature that captures both the solidity and the gestural flow of a limb in equal measure, where the majority of other techniques lean too far to one side, either looking solid and stiff or gestural but flat. Once in place, we can then build on top of this base structure with more additional forms shown in these examples here, here, and in this ant leg demo and also here on this dog leg demo as this strategy is what we would like you to use for tackling animal constructions too.

Overall you're doing a good job and I think you should feel free to move on to lesson5, good luck.

(etids made for typos whoops)

Next Steps:

Lesson 5

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 2 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
edited at 8:53 PM, Dec 4th 2022
0 users agree
1:18 AM, Friday November 25th 2022

Hi. Good job on completing the lesson.

I will try to be concise in correcting it. I will go in parts:

Sausages with outlines:

The shape of the sausages is simple and the correct one. Also the outlines are well drawn, and align to their axis.


  • The lines are quite clear and crisp, and the use of these is moderate which is efficient.

  • The construction method is well applied.

It is clear how the bases have been drawn first, and then new shapes are correctly added on top of the previous ones.

  • Your use of pure black areas and lineweight is moderate and clean. It does not hinder the previous construction.

  • About errors I can't speak so much.

Problems of proportions as in the shrimp (very large head) will be solved with experience.

  • I also see that you have decided to fill the eyes of some insects with black. This is tentative as the reference shows it that way. But during this course we ignore the local color of the objects; so the best way to represent them is just with a transparent sphere. We save some unnecessary contrast in the drawing.

  • It looks like you have understood the basics of the lesson, and I notice very few mistakes, so I will mark your lesson as complete.

Move on to the next one whenever you want!

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete. In order for the student to receive their completion badge, this critique will need 2 agreements from other members of the community.
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A lot of my students use these. The last time I used them was when I was in high school, and at the time I felt that they dried out pretty quickly, though I may have simply been mishandling them. As with all pens, make sure you're capping them when they're not in use, and try not to apply too much pressure. You really only need to be touching the page, not mashing your pen into it.

In terms of line weight, the sizes are pretty weird. 08 corresponds to 0.5mm, which is what I recommend for the drawabox lessons, whereas 05 corresponds to 0.45mm, which is pretty close and can also be used.

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