Lesson 5: Applying Construction to Animals

10:58 PM, Thursday March 5th 2020

Drawabox - Lesson 5 - Album on Imgur

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Post with 143 views. Drawabox - Lesson 5

Tough assignment! Had to really work past the fact the we are not making pretty pictures. Once that settled in I became way more comfortable. That said I had a lot of fun on the galelephant. Thanks again for the feedback and helping me improve.


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11:36 AM, Tuesday March 10th 2020
edited at 2:05 PM, Mar 10th 2020

As hana didn't provide next steps I'll go over it as well.

I think you're doing a good job understanding how construction works, but there are a few things I want to point out, and I think you're missing some important parts of the lesson, so here it goes:

Starting with your organic intersections I can see they've improved a lot compared to your previous ones. These feel really solid and 3d now. As you seem doing well with the intersections themselves, I suggest to try on your next warmups of this exercise to do more forms. Another thing that could help to make them better is the use of lineweight to clarify overlaps just like I did here in red.

With your bird drawings, there are a few things I want to touch upon. The first one is the overuse of contour lines, which you did specially on the first drawing, while not drawing intersections between forms. The contours drawn in the intersections between forms, reinforce the illusion of 3d specially well, so you shouldn't skip them. Specially if you are choosing to do other weaker contours, as you did on your first bird. I noted here a few things on your first bird.

As you can see, I only used contours on the intersections themselves. The main one is the one between the torso and neck. And the other ones are between the legs. This is another issue I did as well when I did my lesson 5 birds, using cylinders for the legs instead of sausages. Even if they look like the legs of the birds are stiff, they have a flow to them, so It's still better to approach them as sausages mostly. You can add boxy forms on top of the sausages after, (hopefully you can see it on my example) to show the perspective as well.

You can see that for the wing and tail I only used one contour, as it was enough. And I only did one contour in the intersections between the legs. Which, with those being specially stronger, they were enough.

For your second bird, you've done less contours, but I'd at least put a contour for each form you put down. For example, I would have added the one that connected the torso in the neck, as it's particularly strong, and at least one for the wings. On the detail of the wings, you've approached it relying on contour. Feathers are texture, and should be approached like that. In drawabox, we need to approach texture just like in lesson 2, relying only in cast shadows to do it. Not using contours at all.

Your wolf looks good, I can see you are thinking of how the adittional masses are in 3d space, though the right one is a bit weak. Try to imagine how it falls into the form putting it on before drawing it. Just like in the organic forms intersections exercise. Sausages themselves look good. Only problem I'm seeing here is the overuse of contour lines. I wouldn't have added any contour on those legs, excepting the ones you already added in the joints. Don't add a contour unless it adds something specific to your drawing. For example, you can draw another contour where there's an important change in the perspective of the form you're drawing, but don't do it otherwise.

Same goes for the adittional forms, normally it's alright to do just one contour.

For the paws, I'd at least, just like I said with the bird, at a side and top plane with a boxy form to show the perspective of them. With the muzzle as well. Don't forget the tiger head demo.

For your mouse these mistakes are a bit more evident. For a start, you haven't drawn the intersections between the body and the legs. Every form should be connected, and you should represent it in some way in your drawings.

Did some notes here In your detail part, you drew each toe of the feet. At least on your construction you should do a boxy form like I did to show the top and side planes. And if you are going to draw the toes, draw them as well inside the boxy form. You can construct them as cylinders or boxes, but construct them.

In general everything should be connected, added intersections and connections on the notes I did, so hopefully you can get the point.

I also just noticed that you've been doing 2 same drawings for the same subjects. In the second one often skipping constructional steps. When attempting these subjects, you should take the same steps when attempting a detailed drawing. Your construction should always be the same, detail is another step that comes after the construction, and you do making using of the construction you did. So even if you've already drawn the subject, never skip construction.

For detail in general, I think you might be scribbling at times. Remember that every mark you put down should have an specific purpose, so if that's the case don't do it anymore.

For the camels, you are forgetting to draw the intersections between joints. Don't forget to add top and side plane for the feet, and don't forget as well to add at least one contour line around the adittional masses. For the neck, an intersection between the body and it would've been enough. For the head, remember to take the same steps as in the horse construction and tiger head construction. Don't be afraid to start with a box for the muzzle, and draw where the muzzle comes from the head. As I did here.

For the deer You aren't using sausages for the legs. Don't use flat shapes for them. Start the muzzle with a boxy shape, just like I did, and don't overdo contour lines. Think carefully of the purpose of each contour you draw.

The pelican looks good, and the otter is better. But again, don't use flat shapes for the legs. Use sausages. There are some demos that use flat shapes for the legs. But they are outdated, so don't follow them.

Added more notes here.

Next Steps:

I think you're doing a good job, but as you've drawn the exact same subject for every page, and you've got the issues I pointed out before, specially not using the sausage method, not drawing through forms, skipping constructional steps, not drawing intersections between forms and not connecting them, as well as overusing a few times contours, I want you to do a few more pages.

I recommend to go over the tiger head and horse head construction demos, as well as the wolf demo. At least just giving them a quick look to refresh some concepts before attempting the pages.

Do 1 more wolf, in a different pose, not just the same subject you did, 1 more camel, and 1 more elephant. Don't use for any of those references you've used already. Good luck and keep up the good work!

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
edited at 2:05 PM, Mar 10th 2020
3:07 PM, Tuesday March 10th 2020


Thank you so much for your feedback. I know you are a busy dude. I appreciate your patience as I work through the fundamentals.

I feel like I am making a lot of the same mistakes I am supposed to be learning from other assignments. Going to change my approach a bit and write the feedback down on sticky notes and put it in front of me. I think I need to stop and think more after each form and line is drawn about what the next step is. I am trying to be free flowing and missing a lot of fundamentals.

One re-occurring error I am making is "Drawing through forms". To make sure that I am understanding this correctly. The point of "Drawing through forms" is to show connections of shapes in 3d space. Is that correct?

For example, I missed the back leg thigh masses in some of my animals. I just drew the portion that was visible which was the leg coming down on the opposite side of the animal (This side also contains the cast shadow). What I should have down is lightly drawn the thigh mass on the opposite side then shown the back leg connecting to it.

3:34 PM, Tuesday March 10th 2020
edited at 3:35 PM, Mar 10th 2020

Yup, you should draw the back shoulder masses even for the legs you cant see. The lineweight for both should still be the same, don't draw it lighter.

After finishing the construction, you can add lineweight with superimposed lines to certain parts. Over overlaps, and over parts that are specially closer to the viewer, like the front legs. This is the step where you separate the back forms from the front ones, but your initial linework should have the same weight.

edited at 3:35 PM, Mar 10th 2020
10:15 AM, Wednesday March 18th 2020


Revisions can be found here: https://imgur.com/a/2hrHeZ4

Feeling a lot more comfortable with animals. Especially the heads. Feeling really good about the Cheetah. Thanks again for your time, critiques and feedback. It is helping me improve so much. You are one of the few that has been very active on reviewing work. Thank you for that. It has inspired me to go back and do more critiques for other students.

11:44 PM, Wednesday March 18th 2020

Hi there again, and no worries! I'm glad I could help!

Good job on the animals, I think you are making good progress, these new ones look way more solid than the others!

Nevertheless, there are still a few issues I can see so I'm going to point them out as best as I can, here we go:

I'm gonna go over each drawing one by one:

Here are the notes I noted on the wolf, I'll go over them one by one, marked 5 numbers on the picture circled so hopefully it's easier to follow.

1. Eyes. When drawing eyes, you tend to use a ellipse to map then down and then jump to the eyes. Never do that. Always follow the steps I wrote on the notes:

1. Cut into the form of the cranium with simple straight lines to clarify how the eye socket is in 3d space. 

2. Add an eyeball, this time drawing through 2 times a sphere. 

3. Now, taking in mind the form of the eyeball, add the eyelids just like I did.

2.Sausage forms

This is something you too repeat over the drawings. For legs, always use sausage forms. Never use flat shapes like you did some times on the elephant or the wolf, always simple sausages, that is, 2 identical balls connected with a tube of consistent width

3.Initial contour line

When starting an animal, you should first draw the mass for the pelvis and the mass for the ribcage, then you shoud join them with a sagged sausage.

After you do that, you need to add an initial contour line , just like I did in orange. When adding adittional forms to the torso, they will have to follow that contour line you drew, as it defines the perspective of the torso.

4.Additional forms and intersections, when adding adittional forms, try to think like in the form intersections exercise; they have to wrap around the forms you are adding them to. This is something that you do way better on the elephant, so I can already see improvent! But try to keep it in mind as you keep doing more of these drawings, approach them more like you did in the elephant.

Intersections Always, in all your drawabox drawings, you should make clear how each form intersect, for example in the part I marked, you didn't draw the intersection between the leg and the paw, so that relationship wasn't clear. You did that as well on the tail, there should have been an intersection between the tail and the body.

5.Drawing through your forms Always too, draw through your forms. In the example I noted you didn't draw through the back leg for example.

The camel feels really solid, good job! The issues I can find on it are only that you didn't draw through your forms, like in the back legs for example, and the use of addittional forms. I noted them all here

And lastly, the elephant, marked here the notes, felt pretty solid in general! again, lots of improvement!

Heads constructions look good in general except that you used an ellipse for the eye socket in some of them.

Next Steps:

I'm seeing a lot of improvement like I said, but I want to see 2 last drawings so I can confirm that you understood what I pointed out. Read closely the notes I wrote and check you are taking in mind each one of the 5 points in each drawing.

You're already doing a good job on additional masses on the elephant, but you can check the donkey demo if you still have doubts.

For the 2 last drawings I want to see a hooved and a non hovel animal, 2 pages.

Keep up the good work and good luck in those last 2 pages!

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
3:05 AM, Friday March 20th 2020


Second round of revisions can be found here.


These felt really good this time around. I think the donkey legs can be improved on but I correct it in a warmup moving forward. I never thought I would be able to draw an animal at the start of this lesson. I am feeling alot of positive energy and momentum at the moment.

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7:51 PM, Monday March 9th 2020

It's a good submission.

The neck of the camel should be an added mass, something that wraps around the neck form. The way you have it now comes off as flat since you treat the extra neck skin as a 2d line. The way you did the neck on your wolf was a lot better.

Some of your sausage limbs admittedly are more like cylinders. It's not bad to use cylinders except they come across as stiff. The sausage method should have a slight curve or direction to give the limb a sense of life.

Your paws and hooves are not bad, i think you are starting to think of them in 3d. What might help is using boxes to place paws/hooves so that you think of them more in angles.

Your faces/muzzles are okay though your demos show your skill a lot better.  I think if you took the time to observe your reference your muzzles would get better. Your observation is clearly already really good i just think you need to take more time.

When you drew the head of your 2nd deer you kinda ignored the initial circle head you made. It's a good idea to start with a smaller circle for the cranium so long as you adhere to it.

Besides that i like your texture, it's really good that you separated the construction and texture.

2:54 PM, Tuesday March 10th 2020

Hana did you have any next steps? You may have missed the last portion on whether this is complete or do you think I should do some additional drawings. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.


8:20 PM, Wednesday March 11th 2020

i admit I'm not the best at giving advice i just remember your comment on discord and have seen your submission up for a couple of days. Since Elodin has reviewed your work I think you have enough on your plate. Good luck and keep practicing,

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