Hello Blankpaper, I'll be the teaching assistant handling your lesson 5 critique.

Starting with your organic intersections you're doing a good job of keeping these forms simple and easy to work with, and I'm happy to see that you're drawing through them all, as this helps to reinforce your understanding of the 3D space you're creating. You clearly understand how to draw your forms slumping and sagging over each other with a shared sense of gravity. Your forms feel stable and supported, which is just what we're aiming for with this exercise, nicely done.

Your cast shadows are coming along well, you're projecting them far enough to cast onto the forms below, and their direction is usually consistent. I did notice that the form at the top left of this page seems to be casting a shadow to the left and to the right, which doesn't happen if we're sticking with a single, consistent light source. Looking at the rest of the page, I reckon your light source is above and to the left of the pile of forms. With that in mind, the shadow cast by the top left form might look a bit like this, although I' guessing at your light source, so this is more of a suggestion than a correction outright.

Moving on to your animal constructions these are coming along very well indeed. You've paid close attention to the idea of taking actions on your constructions in 3D by adding complete forms wherever you want to build or change anything, and you're demonstrating strong spatial reasoning skills by connecting these forms together with specific relationships. Your mark making is clear, confident, and purposeful, which is great to see.

Your core construction is solid, and I'm happy to see that you're making use of additional masses to build on your base constructions throughout these pages.

One thing that helps with the shape here is to think about how the mass would behave when existing first in the void of empty space, on its own. It all comes down to the silhouette of the mass - here, with nothing else to touch it, our mass would exist like a soft ball of meat or clay, made up only of outward curves. A simple circle for a silhouette.

Then, as it presses against an existing structure, the silhouette starts to get more complex. It forms inward curves wherever it makes contact, responding directly to the forms that are present. The silhouette is never random, of course - always changing in response to clear, defined structure. You can see this demonstrated in this diagram.

The design of your additional masses is generally coming along quite well, the main thing I would suggest for you is to wrap the additional masses around the underlying structures more boldly. Right now a lot of your masses have really minimal overlap with the underlying structures, with the silhouette of your additional mass running almost parallel to the edge of the form it's attached to. This can leave your forms feeling precariously balanced, like they might wobble off if the animal were to move.

I redrew some of the additional masses you have one the body of this bear, pulling them down from the spine around the side of the body and pushing them up against the shoulder and thigh masses. The more interlocked they are, the more spatial relationships we define between the masses, the more solid and grounded everything appears.

When it comes to leg construction, you're making very effective use of the sausage method, keeping the sausage forms for your base armatures simple, and you're remembering to apply contour curves for the intersections where these sausage forms join together.

You are off to a great start with exploring the use of additional masses to build on your leg structures, but this can be pushed farther. A lot of these focus primarily on forms that actually impact the silhouette of the overall leg, but there's value in exploring the forms that exist "internally" within that silhouette - like the missing puzzle piece that helps to further ground and define the ones that create the bumps along the silhouette's edge. Here is an example of what I mean, I've blocked out masses along the leg there, and included the one fitting in between them all, even though it doesn't influence the silhouette. This way of thinking - about the inside of your structures, and fleshing out information that isn't just noticeable from one angle, but really exploring the construction in its entirety, will help you yet further push the value of these constructional exercises and puzzles.

The next thing I wanted to talk about is head construction. I can see you've paid a lot of attention to how the pieces of your head constructions exist in 3D space, and how to fit them together. Lesson 5 has a lot of different strategies for constructing heads, between the various demos. Given how the course has developed, and how Uncomfortable is finding new, more effective ways for students to tackle certain problems. So not all the approaches shown are equal, but they do have their uses. As it stands, as explained at the top of the tiger demo page (here), the current approach that is the most generally useful, as well as the most meaningful in terms of these drawings all being exercises in spatial reasoning, is what you'll find here in this informal head demo.

There are a few key points to this approach:

1- The specific shape of the eye sockets - the specific pentagonal shape allows for a nice wedge in which the muzzle can fit in between the sockets, as well as a flat edge across which we can lay the forehead area.

2- This approach focuses heavily on everything fitting together - no arbitrary gaps or floating elements. This allows us to ensure all of the different pieces feel grounded against one another, like a three dimensional puzzle.

3- We have to be mindful of how the marks we make are cuts along the curving surface of the cranial ball - working in individual strokes like this (rather than, say, drawing the eye socket with an ellipse) helps a lot in reinforcing this idea of engaging with a 3D structure.

Try your best to employ this method when doing constructional drawing exercises using animals in the future, as closely as you can. Sometimes it seems like it's not a good fit for certain heads, but as shown in in this banana-headed rhino it can be adapted for a wide array of animals.