Severe Struggles with Lesson 2 Dissections. Help!
3:14 AM, Tuesday May 31st 2022
Okay, I've been seriously struggling with the Dissections exercise from Lesson 2 for several weeks (as I've read many of you are as well). It is crushing my brain. It is so hard to mentally cover the sausage form with the texural forms, and then draw the cast shadows without even seeing the forms that are supposedly casting them. I can understand the forms and draw them onto the sausage; but just knowing where to put the cast shadows (and settling on the lighting so the shadows even show up) is brutally hard. I'm finding the Dissections exercise to be significantly more difficult than the Texture Analysis exercise.
Up to this point I've been studying and practicing each texture on scrap paper trying to understand it before officially transferring it to the sausage, but after reading a comment by Comfy in response to a question on YouTube, I'm wondering if maybe I'm supposed to just attempt to transfer the texture directly to the sausage without much preparation (such as the hours I'm spending trying to wrap my head around each texture and trying to understand the cast shadow shape-language as it relates to the actual forms).
Here was Comfy's response to @Sékai's question on YouTube on the Drawabox Lesson 2, Exercise 4: Dissections video:
@Sékai I really feel like you're overestimating the purpose of why this exercise is assigned in this lesson. It's not for you to improve at it, and it's not for you to accomplish anything specific. It is only to introduce you to the concept, to plant a seed. . . .
I know Comfy says the Dissections exercise is "not for you to accomplish anything specific," but doing the exercise poorly is really painful for me mentally. My brain is saying, "I really want to learn to texture well and this seems like a great opportunity to learn; so why would I knowingly produce crap when I can put in the time to learn to do it well?" The problem is that I am really struggling to do it well even after many frustrating hours of effort; and I really don't want to continue in this constant state of frustration for another 2 or 3 months. Each texture introduces new challenges, and the restriction to drawing only cast shadows vastly multiplies the difficulty of communicating the texture. I know Comfy probably knows what he's talking about and learning to draw only cast shadows will probably have wonderful advantages and bring creative freedom down the road, but I'm really struggling to accept it and to learn how to do it.
Comfy's reply continued:
Texture is very difficult - it's all about understanding the little textural forms that exist along the surface of an object, and to be able to hold that understanding of how they sit in space without outlining them. It is a similar problem to construction as a whole (which is something we work on throughout this entire course), but actually demands more since you're not able to simply draw those forms using explicit markmaking techniques. [bold added by me]
By introducing this micro-scale spatial problem here, students will continue to develop their spatial reasoning skills both in regards to construction (which is more macr-scale) and texture simultaneously as they move through the lesson.
As discussed back in Lesson 0, your own interpretation of whether or not your work is "good enough" or has "passed" a particular standard is irrelevant, and dangerous because it'll lead you to simply sit there and grind well beyond the intent of the course. Your job is to complete the work to the best of your current ability, as assigned, and then to get feedback on it. If that external feedback deems you ready to move onto the next step, then that's what you do.
I think I may be grinding beyond the intent of this exercise. The past exercises were much easier to complete (even if they were done poorly) and know you were done. In this exercise I feel like just doing it will produce crap and will not represent what I'm currently capable of . . . if I put more time into it. Here's my first page of Dissections and study pages so far after almost 2 months (of working on and off). Should I lighten up on the quality I'm trying to produce? I don't want to purposefully make crap. I'm not necessarily trying to impress anyone; I just want to learn to draw texture well. I'm not even quite sure how I would go about not trying to do well. My brain is wired for improvement. A single texture can take me hours to study and then 30 minutes or more to draw onto the sausage. Also, should I include fewer sausages on each page? I've tried forcing myself to spend less time on each texture, but time-pressure doesn't seem to help me go faster; it only stresses me out and then I feel bad for missing the deadline. I know we're not supposed to scribble or use hatching; so I'm not sure how to finish transferring the texture faster.
So what am I to do? Do I just attempt to transfer each texture without first trying to understand the texture through hours of study on scrap paper first accepting whatever the outcome is and pushing through to the end? Should I just produce the crap I'm so fearful of for the sake of getting past this exercise?
Sorry for such a long post, but Comfy says not to work in a vacuum (like I mostly do) and this has been weighing on me for a while.