Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction

10:05 PM, Thursday December 10th 2020

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I kept looking back at submitted work and was tempted to work on certain things longer but figured that would be counterintuitive. Making arrows and those sausage things are kinda therapeutic but also maddening when they didn't turn out how I wanted them to. Def have trouble with texture, but will be working on the texture challenge for more practice. Also, need more practice on anything related to intersection haha. Was starting to understand those better by the fourth page and after looking at other people's work. Much appreciate feedback and critique!

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11:56 AM, Sunday December 13th 2020

Hey there, I'll be handling your lesson 2 critique.

You're making progress towards understanding the concepts introduced in this lesson, I do notice some things you can work on and I'll be listing them below so you can hopefully improve in your future attempts.

Before I get into your actual critique I'd like to just point out that your scanner settings are blowing out some of your lines. If you are using a drawing setting it can lead to the scanner trying to make the white of your pages as white as possible which can cause this blow out to occur. It's not the end of the world, but it does make some of your lines more difficult to recognize.

  • Your arrows are off to a strong start, I'm glad to see you're experimenting with foreshortening. The biggest thing I notice here is that some of your lines end up wobbling or your arrows don't flow as smoothly as they could. You show that you are capable of quality work here so it's something that will become more consistent with mileage as long as you keep confident drawing in mind.

  • In the organic forms with contours exercise you're doing a good job of keeping your forms simple. It's a bit of the same story here, as long as you keep the fact you want both ends to be the same size and that you want to avoid pinching, bloating, or stretching in the length of the form they'll improve with more mileage, check here if you want a reminder on what we look for in simple forms. One thing I'd like you to work on in is shifting the degree of your contours along the length of your forms. 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.

  • In the texture exercises you're focusing largely on outlines and negative space rather than cast shadows created by forms along the texture itself. This makes it difficult to create gradients with implied information which we could then use to create focal points in more complex pieces, by doing so we can prevent our viewers from being visually overwhelmed with too much detail. For more on the importance of focusing on cast shadows read here, I'd also like to quickly direct you to this image which shows that when we're working with thin line like textures if we outline and fill the shadow we will create a much more dynamic texture than simply drawing lines. As a final note you're trying to have multiple values by using hatching, this is against the point of this exercise you ultimately achieve this effect by implying some shadows are more intense than others so they remain while less intense shadows would be blown out, (like in the brightest section of your gradient) it's a matter of drawing a pure black shadow or you shouldn't have shadow because there's too much light.

  • If you feel like you don't fully grasp form intersections just yet don't worry, right now this exercise is just meant to get students to start thinking about how their forms relate to one another in 3D space, and how to define those relationships on the page, we'll be going over them more in the upcoming lessons. Your forms are looking solid and like they exist in a cohesive 3D space, good job.

  • Your organic intersections are looking solid and wrapping around each other nicely. My only real suggestion here is to experiment with your light source, your shadows aren't always consistent and hug the form creating them quite a bit. I'd suggest pushing your light source to the top left or right corner and try pushing your shadows further. This is a great exercise to experiment with lighting and shadow before moving on to more complicated pieces.

Overall this was a solid submission, you have some things to work on but I believe your issues are mostly a case of just needing more mileage not a sign that you're misunderstanding concepts being shown here. I'll be marking your submission as complete and moving you on to the next lesson.

If you begin to tackle the texture challenge keep in mind it is an optional challenge and meant to be taken slowly over the rest of the course. Each texture is it's own challenge and it can wear on people pretty quickly if they try to get through the challenge before the next lesson so take your time.

Keep practicing previous exercises as warm ups, spend some time working on texture and focusing on cast shadows and good luck in lesson 3!

Next Steps:

Do previous exercises as warm ups.

Move on to lesson 3.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
2:00 AM, Monday December 14th 2020

Thank you for the review and feedback! I'll definitely use these exercises as warmup and improve on them. Haha texture is difficult for me now but I can see myself getting it with more practice.

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