Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids

11:05 AM, Thursday January 13th 2022

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Still really finding it hard to draw solely from my whole arm as opposed to just the wrist or elbow; But I am trying to rectify this as best I can.

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7:27 PM, Wednesday March 30th 2022

Hello I’ll be handling the critique for your lesson 4 homework.

Organic Forms

-Most of your organic forms are turning out well and you are sticking to the characteristics of simple sausages, there is still room for improvement though, remember to avoid any pinching or swelling throughout their length.

I think you are conscious of the degree shifts when drawing the curves themselves which is good, but your mark making is definitely lacking confidence, one thing that can always help is to draw your marks a little faster to avoid any chance of hesitation and they will end up fully confident.


-I can see that you are breaking everything into simpler forms and building your way up from simple to complex, although there are many things that you could have done better, so let’s go through each one of them

-The first thing I want to address is your use of contour curves, these are really helpful to describe how a form sits in 3D space but it is better when we limit its use and use them very sparingly, this is because they also have the potential to undermine our drawing very easily.

Use the ghosting method to ensure what each mark’s purpose and how you are going to achieve it best, only when you have gone through these steps you should draw your marks. Taking a look at some of your insects I definitely see a lot of unnecessary marks that do not contribute much to the drawing.

-On the red legged grasshopper and the earwig you tried to capture the segmentation of the abdomen but you lost the opportunity to break the silhouette, read here for more on the importance of breaking the silhouette

-Now I want to address the leg construction. You have stuck to the characteristics of simple sausages and most of them are coming along nicely, but I can definitely see that some of them are not as confident as they could have been. Some of them have pinching and swelling along their length, and others wiggle which makes it harder to draw them with a consistent width.

The important thing about the sausage method is that it is not about capturing the legs precisely as they are, instead, it is about capturing the solidity and gesture of these forms and laying down a basic structure on top o which we will add the further bits of complexity that we see on our reference image, this process is exemplified on this diagram, which shows the construction of an ant’s leg, you can also see it in the context of a dog’s leg here.

-Moving on, I see that you are laying down your three basic forms but you are not trying to build on top of them, which is a very important step, for example, on the abdomen of your fire and you ignored the initial mass that you had drawn by expanding the silhouette.

Instead, whenever we want to add additional forms to our structure we should do so by establishing how these masses relate to the forms already present, each additional mass should be fully enclosed and have its own volume, we can do this by wrapping the silhouette of the new form around the existing structure as shown here.

You can find more concrete examples of this process on the demos I showed you above and on the informal demos, like the shrimp demo and the lobster demo, so I highly recommend that you check them out.

-Lastly I want to address your use of lineweight, sometimes you end up making them too thick which takes the solidity of your forms away. This is another one of those tools that you want to use very sparingly and limit its use. It's generally most effective to focus the use of line weight on clarifying how different forms overlap one another, (the wasp demo is a good example of this because we have a lot of overlapping legs which creates a lot of visual noise). You can see this exemplified in this image ,

Anyways, you still have some things to keep working on so I’ll leave you some additional homework, take your time so that you can do them to the best of your ability.

Next Steps:

Please do the following

-1 page of organic forms with contour curves

-Draw a along the shrimp demo

-2 more insect constructions of your own choice, no detail for these ones.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
5:43 AM, Tuesday April 19th 2022

I'd be lying if I said that this didn't give me a whole lot of trouble the second time around. I think I might've taken too long of a break from Drawabox. Also big apologies for getting to this so late. Had some trouble focusing on the tasks but I did manage to attempt them. I really appreciate your critiques, by the way.


4:43 PM, Tuesday April 19th 2022
edited at 4:45 PM, Apr 19th 2022

No problem, you can always keep doing your warmups if you don't have much time. Overall your work is looking much better, and I can see that you've broken everything down into simpler shapes but first let's talk about your sausages. They are looking much simpler and easier to work with which is correct, the contour curves are beginning to wrap around them in a believable way, but sometimes they overshoot. I have no doubt that this can be corrected with more mileage and practice, so keep at it .

Your shrimp is particularly well done, the additional masses wrap around the existing structure quite well, the other insects are moving in the right direction, as always try to keep breaking these into its more primitive elements rather than trying to capture a lot of things at once, for example when building the segmentation of the abdomen you could benefit from taking more time to plan how to wrap each additional mass to the abdomen. Try to draw each one of them in their entirety and don't let them cut off each other.

Another thing is that when you built the shell of your ladybug you cut into the silhouette of your initial ellipse, this diagramexplains why we should avoid cutting into the silhouette.

When it comes to the legs you should keep building on them, once you have drawn your cabin of sausages as shown here https://imgur.com/7b9rc9e

Okay, I'm pleased with your work so far, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete, keep working on these things when you get into lesson 5

Next Steps:

Lesson 5

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete. In order for the student to receive their completion badge, this critique will need 2 agreements from other members of the community.
edited at 4:45 PM, Apr 19th 2022
2:37 AM, Wednesday April 20th 2022

Once again I totally appreciate your time and effort to evaluate my stuff. I hope all goes well for you, friend! Best wishes.

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