Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids

4:27 PM, Wednesday March 31st 2021

Lesson 4 Insects - Album on Imgur

Imgur: https://imgur.com/a/N6d2Ktv

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Hey there, thank you for taking a look!

I've been trying to get more comfortable around insects for a while and this lesson (and also the pinned video on the discord channel) really helped me! I'm definitely going to try to hold a bug when I get the chance.

Some insects were really difficult to draw but I really feel like I've improved! I also tried to add my thoughts on the imgur link as well.

Have a great day!

2 users agree
5:57 PM, Thursday April 1st 2021

Hey GoodBoy! i'm gonna go over your work.

Starting by your sausages, good job on trying to draw them big while also maintaining a confident stroke. Though it looks like you are trying to stick to the characteristics of simple sausages, you are not quite there yet; your extremes look a little boxier and you are sometimes doing on side smaller than the other, so don't stop trying and remember to keep them circular and even! Also, try to push your contour curves to make the forms appear more round, right now if your look at your contours, they are looking a little flat, remember that this sausages are completely round! Talking about contour curves, one thing that I want you to start doing, is varying the degrees of your ellipses- Your contour curves represent a cross section that run along the form, in relation to the viewer; if that form starts turning away from the viewer, the degree of the ellipse will be narrower and if it starts facing the viewer, it will start widening up. By varying the degrees of this ellipses, you are creating a more solid illusion of depth! Here is a diagram explaining this.

Moving on to your insect constructions, I'm seeing that you are drawing confidently and big. Most of the time you are constructing them with the use of basic 3d forms, which is great, though in some cases you are flattening your constructions almost completely to a side view.

The first thing I want to talk about is that every single element you add to your constructions should be treated like a solid 3d and solid form in itself. A good example of you giving each form solidity is your spider construction, here, every element is solid and clear on how it's sitting on 3d space.

Now, because we are drawing on a page, we have a lot of freedom to do whatever mark we want on the page- This is not a good kind of freedom, since the page is a 2d surface, we are more likely to make mistakes and draw 2d shapes. That's why we have to really think through every mark we put down, since every 2d mark will undermine the solidity of our constructions and remember the viewer that it is just a flat drawing.

That's were the difference between a shape and a form comes into place; A shape is 2d, and a form is 3d, just that- Whenever we are constructing, we try to avoid shapes and use only forms, because as I've already mention before, shapes work against our forms, you cannot mix them. This is what is happening in a lot of your construction; I want you to take a look at your monkey hopper, here you are doing a great job with the head, torso and legs, but when you did the abdomen, it seems like it's completely flat, you tried to add some contour curves, but it didn't help. This happened also in your ant and butterfly.

What you should be doing instead is working additively- always making sure you are introducing new 3d enclosed forms to your structure and showing how they relate to each other, either by using contour lines where they intersect with each other (like in the form intersections exercise) or by wrapping them around the existing structure, like this. As I said, you've doing this in some cases, for example in your moth construction, in which you are believing that those are 3d forms and not just shapes on a page.

Though, this is not all- By creating a base structure of solid simple forms, you can keep on creating more complexity by introducing new enclosed forms! Here is an ant demo and a beetle horn demo from Uncomfortable himself, showing how he applies this concepts, making more complex forms by adding more forms! Also, I recommend you go back to the lobster demo, in which the essence of carefully adding 3d forms is explained step by step.

Now, one thing that called my attention is that you are not really applying line weight through a lot of your construction- Remember that this is a very important tool for after we are done with setting all our forms, to clarify how they sit and overlap with each other. This makes it more clear and easy to read, not only for the viewer, but for you, helping you to have a stronger belief of how your forms are solid and 3d.

One last thing, I'm noticing that you are clearly attempting to apply the sausage method for the legs as presented here, you are sometimes deviating from it from it in some cases- The purpose of this method is to capture both the gesture and solidity of the legs, while creating a base in which we can build on top on to add more complexity (like what we've been talking). Once the base is settle, we can create this structures by adding more 3d forms, like shown here, here, this ant leg and also this dog leg (you will found it this is a technique you will be using on the next lesson). Again, I wanna praise your ant construction, since in there you are also doing this with your legs!

Now, you did a very good job in this lesson, but I still want you to do one extra page, with just one construction in it, where your focus is creating a solid structure and building on top of it, don't worry, you can just build a little on top and that's it, since it can b hard. But the important thing here is to create, 3d solid forms!

Next Steps:

1 extra page with just on construction on it, I want to put your focus on creating solid forms and carefully building on top of them. Also, I would love to see you experiment with the sausage method on your legs and see what you can create with that!

Don't forget about line weight.

I'm giving you just one page so you can really take your time and focus on it. Good luck!

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
1:53 PM, Saturday April 3rd 2021

Hey Weijak, I know I say this too much but thank you again for the wonderfully detailed feedback. Thanks to you, all of this stuff makes much more sense to me now. Here is my revision:https://imgur.com/a/IWFEE8r. Again, I added my thoughts to the album. I also added the study drawings I did because I feel like they help illustrate my mindset when I was trying my best to create something 3D. Please don't hesitate to point out any mistakes I made.

Have a great day!!

2:52 PM, Saturday April 3rd 2021

Okay, the revision it's looking really good, you are making solid forms and building on top of them, regarding the abdomen, remember that if it's something that relates with how the form feels (in this case those bumps that the contours form) it's not texture, so you did good by taking advantage of them!

Also, good job on the legs, though remember to define how those bumps are wrapping the legs, don't just change the silhouette since it's just a 2d projection of the 3d form, if you change one without the other, you are breaking the connection between them. In the guide that you are using, like this. Though I'm telling you this cause is gonna be key on the next lesson, so don't worry that you didn't do it right!

So, as promised, I'm gonna mark this lesson as completed! Remember to always treat your forms as solid and 3d, don't think about shapes!

Also, I'm happy you found my critiques useful, and it's a pleasure for me to do them!

Keep it up.

Next Steps:

Feel free to move on to 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.
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