Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

4:25 PM, Wednesday December 22nd 2021

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Hi, this is my homework submission for lesson 3.

I hope that i could get a detailed critiques or advices on this, since i'm not really sure if i understand this completely.

Thank you

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3:04 AM, Saturday December 25th 2021

Starting with your arrows, you're doing a great job of drawing them with a great sense of confidence, to emphasize the fluidity with which they move through the world. I would however recommend exaggerating the rate at which the gaps between the zigzagging sections compress, in order to better convey the depth in the scene as shown here.

Continuing onto your leaves, that confidence and sense of fluidity carries forward quite nicely, helping you to capture not only how they sit statically in 3D space, but also how they move through the space they occupy. You've also done a great job of capturing the more complex leaf structures (those with all the sub-leaves), though I do want to warn you against the tendency to zigzag your edge detail, as seen in leaves like this. It results in a weaker relationship between the phases of construction, and thus the solidity of the earlier, simpler phases, does not carry over as you increase complexity.

Moving onto your branches, there are a few issues here that I feel, once corrected, should significantly improve your results:

  • Firstly, be sure to draw through your ellipses two full times before lifting your pen, as is required for all the ellipses we freehand in this course (as discussed in Lesson 1). I am glad to see that you're considering the degree of your ellipses as the branch twists and turns through space (in many of these, though perhaps not all), and they are still fairly evenly shaped despite not following that approach, but it is still a requirement of the course - both to ensure smooth, even ellipses, and to help provide additional mileage.

  • Be sure to extend your segments fully halfway to the next ellipse, following the procedure explained in these instructions, so as to achieve a smoother, more seamless transition from one segment to the next. Also, it helps a great deal to use the last chunk of the previous segment as a runway, overlapping it directly before shooting off to the next target. This will make it a little more difficult, because you're effectively accounting for cases where that last segment went off track, but doing so will help you fix those mistakes more quickly than drawing where they ought to have been.

Moving onto your plant constructions, your work is largely very well done. You're largely doing a great job of adhering to the principles of construction. While some of the issues I've addressed above do come up (like not extending your branch/stem edge segments far enough and zigzagging edge detail on leaves like those here), the overall approach to each of these is still solid. I did notice a few things however that I can offer advice on:

  • This isn't all over the place, but there are some spots where your linework gets a little more hesitant. For example, the ellipses on these flower pots, and the central minor axis line of this vase. Remember that every structural mark should be executed using the ghosting method, and while engaging your whole arm from the shoulder. The ghosting method itself is designed to help push all of our time investment into the planning/preparation phases, to ensure that we think through our marks and get properly ready, ultimately concluding a confident execution free from any hesitation. The idea is that the moment the pen touches the page, we've committed ourselves to the course of action we've practiced, and that our intent for the mark is clear. From there, you may still make a mistake - miss the mark, or whatever - but you have no choice but to push through and commit to the stroke. It's either that, or you guarantee a wobbly line by hesitating.

  • I noticed that on some pages where you had multiple drawings, it felt like you were allotting a certain amount of space for each one ahead of time, then restricting each drawing to that space. It certainly is admirable, as you clearly want to get more practice in (and so you're committing to putting multiple drawings down ahead of time), 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.

Anyway, that about covers it! You're otherwise doing quite well, so I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Feel free to move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
3:54 AM, Saturday December 25th 2021

Thank you so much for the detailed critiques !

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