Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction

4:08 PM, Thursday July 2nd 2020

DrawABox Lesson 2 - Album on Imgur

Imgur: https://imgur.com/gallery/IcxoOkc

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Finally made it out of texture hell! I apologize if line work is a bit sloppy here as I tried to focus more on understanding the new concepts more.

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4:39 PM, Thursday July 2nd 2020

Starting with your arrows, these are definitely drawn such that they flow quite smoothly and fluidly through space, although I'm not really seeing much perspective being applied to these. Both the width of the ribbon itself should get larger as it moves towards the viewer and smaller as it moves away, and the gaps between the zigzagging sections should follow the same pattern. This will help you capture a greater sense of depth in the scene, making it appear as though there is a third dimension, rather than just having the arrows moving across the surface of the flat page.

You appear to have forgotten to include the organic forms with contour lines in your work here, so I will need you to submit that.

Your work on the texture analyses is a good start - it's clear that you're working on thinking about your textures as a series of clearly designed cast shadow shapes, and that you're moving away from relying on outlining your textural forms, and in doing so you're able to develop a sense of how to blend that solid black bar on the left side into your texture as it moves towards the sparser right side. Your first row definitely struggled with this somewhat (with that black bar being really obvious and not blending in), but show improvement as you move into that last row where you more successfully create a gradual transition.

You continue to explore various textures throughout the dissections, and I think you overall do a pretty good job of it here. One thing I did notice however is that when your textures involve more discrete, separated and individual textural forms, you tend to fall back more to outlining each one in its entirety, which limits your ability to control the density of your texture. For example, with the cobblestone, the corn, the cracked mud, etc. each textural form is fully closed off from its neighbours, not allowing you to break into sparser areas towards the center. I talk more about this issue in these notes.

Moving onto your form intersections, I think you've largely done a good job of drawing these forms such that they feel cohesive and consistent in the same space. There definitely is a tendency to overuse line weight though - you shouldn't be trying to replace the entirety of lines and trace back over them, but rather should limit line weight to very specific, small areas to clarify specific overlaps between forms. This line weight should then be blended back into the rest of your line. I'm also seeing a tendency to correct mistakes, resulting in a lot of loose linework. In general, don't give into the urge to correct mistakes - just leave them be. Every single mark you draw should ultimately be drawn with the planning and preparation of the ghosting method, which means you shouldn't be falling into any habits of correcting mistakes by reflex. This will ultimately help you keep cleaner linework, and avoid having half a dozen strokes in the place of one.

You've got a good start on the intersections. This is something students aren't expected to have any prior experience with - it's just an introduction to the idea of thinking about how our forms relate to one another in 3D space, and how we can define that within our drawings. We'll continue to explore that throughout this course, and I think you're well prepared for it.

Lastly, your organic intersections are showing a good grasp of how these forms interact with one another in 3D space, rather than as a flat stack of shapes on a page. You're also demonstrating a good sense of gravity in how they slump and sag over one another. I do however feel that many of your contour curves are a bit too shallow and don't quite wrap around the forms properly. There are several that are done well, which suggests to me that you may simply not be putting as much time as you should into each individual mark.

Before I mark this lesson as complete, I'm going to need you to submit the organic forms with contour ellipses and contour curves exercises.

Next Steps:

Please submit the missing 2 pages (organic forms with contour ellipses, organic forms with contour curves).

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
4:11 AM, Friday July 3rd 2020

Oh my, I wasn't expecting such a quick reply, so sorry for such a late revision.

I had reused them for the dissections and not taken a photo, so I sadly had to redo them now,so I apologize if they are a bit messy, but hopefully they show the understanding of the material.


3:40 PM, Friday July 3rd 2020

These are looking pretty decent, though there's two issues I want to address:

  • Your sausage forms tend to get thicker all the way through their midsection - keep striving to keep that midsection entirely consistent in its width. Remember that we're aiming for two circles/spheres connected by a tube of consistent width.

  • The degree of your contour lines is very consistent throughout, which is not actually correct. The degree of a contour line basically represents the orientation of that cross-section in space, relative to the viewer, and as we slide along the sausage form, the cross section is either going to open up (allowing us to see more of it) or turn away from the viewer (allowing us to see less), as shown here.

I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete, but be sure to continue practicing these in your warmups.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 3.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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