Lesson 5: Applying Construction to Animals

5:19 PM, Thursday March 24th 2022

Dropbox - CyTori DaB lesson 5 animals - Simplify your life

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Thank you so much for taking the time and rewieving my work, it helps me a lot :)

a few notes:

I draw in coloured pen, because I already own those and don't want to buy black ones; so don't wonder if everything is drawn with green

I broke my dominant hand after finishing the birds (thankfully I'm all better now). But I had to take a 2 month break from DaB and was really out of practise, so if the drawings after look a bit weird/unprecise, that's why

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8:42 AM, Friday April 1st 2022

Starting with the organic intersections, you're doing a solid job with laying out the sausages in such a way that they wrap around one another with a believable sense of gravity. There are a few things to point out however:

  • Your cast shadows are generally decent, although I would recommend playing with that light source, pushing it to one side or the other to give you more practice in how those shadows should be cast.

  • Speaking of which, you're breaking the silhouette of your shadow shapes and the shapes themselves aren't filled all the way in, leaving a few patches of white here and there as shown here.

  • There's also this sausage form here which feels like it should be sagging even more from its own weight, but that's just a minor nitpick

Moving onto your animal constructions, these are generally looking quite good. You're building up to your forms additively, introducing other three dimensional forms in stages. There are a few places where you're still working in two dimensions but these are mostly limited to your leg construction and head construction which I will be covering later on.

I'm noticing an overall tendency to draw the ribcage area either too large or too small. As seen in this diagram, the ribcage should take up about half the space and the pelvis should take up only about a quarter of the space, leaving the other quarter unoccupied by any solid mass.

The other point I want to make has to do with the usage of contour lines. Try not to make it a habit of placing them wherever you please. We need to think what the mark is meant to accomplish with each and every mark we make and if there are any other other marks already accomplishing the same task. Piling a ton of them isn't actually beneficial-they suffer from diminishing returns, so you're not really getting much out of them.

Continuing onto your use of additional masses, these are generally looking pretty good. There are a few places where I would recommend you look for opportunities to push these masses into other forms to make the construction feel more grounded and give us clear places to use inward curves and sharp edges as shown here. It helps to think about how this mass would exist on its own in the void of empty space. Think about a ball of clay existing on its own.

Then as it presses against an existing structure the silhouette of this form gets more complex. The forms are never random. Inward curves form where it makes contact responding to the form that's present as shown in this diagram.

On the topic of leg construction, you seem to be employing different strategies for the legs. While not uncommon for students to be conscious about the characteristics of the sausage method, but instead they decide not to adhere to them because the legs they're looking at don't actually look like a chain of sausages. The sausage method as a base structure allows us to capture the solidity with the gestural nature of legs. Once in place, we can lay in additional masses as shown in this ant's leg and this dog's leg.

When drawing feet - whether paws or hooves it helps to be mindful of where we place our corners in those silhouettes. Corners can be used to imply the presence of different faces and generally to make these structures feel more three dimensional, like the front and side of a hoof. I do think following the approach shown here from another student's work would help you push this further.

Sometimes, the references tend to cut the feet off from view so I do encourage you to look into separate references when drawing them in the future - don't leave the feet out.

Continuing onto the topic of head construction, Lesson 5 as a ton of different strategies in the informal demos section. Given how the course is developing new more effective ways to construct heads so not all approaches are created equal. As it stands, this tiger demo and this demo from the informal demos is what's generally most useful. This approach relies on a few key elements:

  • the the specific pentagonal shape found in the eye sockets, which allows for a nice wedge in which to place the muzzle into as well as the flat area found in the forehead

  • this focuses heavily on everything fitting together - no arbitrary gaps or floating elements. This allows all the different pieces to feel grounded against one another like a three dimensional puzzle

  • we also have to be mindful as to how all the marks carve along the surface of this cranial ball, working on the individual strokes instead of using an ellipse for the eye socket

I will say that there a few elements of this approach in your work but still need to see it applied a bit more directly. So try you best to follow this approach as closely as you can. It might seem like sometimes its not the best fit for certain heads but with a bit of workaround it can be done. Just look at this example of how the most banana headed rhinoceros is done using this approach. Think about adding three dimensional forms much like you do with the rest of the construction - don't feel like you have to treat it differently just because you're working on the head.

That about covers everything I have to say. While I do feel like there's a good deal to keep in mind here, I also feel like these are things you can work on your own. So I'll be marking this as complete so you can continue onto the next lesson.

Next Steps:

250 cylinder challenge

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 3 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
10:21 AM, Friday April 1st 2022

Thank you so much for such a detailed and time intensive critique, it means a lot to me and will help me improve.

I've always felt like I really struggled with proportions, but I've usually had the most problems regarding the head size and placement. I never noticed my ribcages were off and therefore everyting else looked wrong. So thank you for pointing that out, I'll keep it in mind.

I'll definitely draw the advised informal demos regarding the head construction, thanks for the tip.

And I have a little question regarding the additional masses: should they be 'stuck on' but still 3D masses like the saussage pile exercise or more like intersecting masses?

10:55 AM, Friday April 1st 2022

the additional masses should be piled on similar to the organic intersections exercises so try not to have these masses phase through each other if thats what you're asking.

12:54 PM, Friday April 1st 2022

Yes, that's exactly what I was wondering. Thank you for the clarification

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8:03 AM, Friday April 1st 2022

I'm a little curious about what's going to happen drift boss

10:25 AM, Friday April 1st 2022

Please refrain from posting 'reviews' like this. I was lucky enough someone else did an actual review, but that isn't a given. Your comment is counted as a review from the site and then it stops showing the submission to be reviewed and the person won't get an actual review.

If you feel like talking/discussing (also non-art related) topics, probably join the discord server? It's a really nice community and in the general north/south channels are a lot of people willing to engage with others.

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