Hello bporath, I'm ThatOneMushroomGuy and I'll be the TA handling your critique today.


Starting with your arrows you're drawing your marks with a great deal of confidence which helps solidify the feeling of fluidity that arrows posses as they move through all the three dimensions of the world they exist in.

You're making good usage of the depth of the page by adding foreshortening to your arrows, but sometimes they look a bit unnatural as it seems to me you become a bit unsure of how their edges should overlap. So don't be afraid of letting your edges overlap and to ensure that you're constructing a solid structure, try to construct your arrow in segments with the ghosting method, in this manner you can gauge whether your lines would look right and overlap the way they should before committing to a mark.

Your addition of hatching helps you establish how your arrows twist and turn in space and further your own understanding of the tridimensional space these objects occupy, but speaking of hatching, for the most part you're placing it incorrectly, making it seem like your arrow is getting bigger the further away it is, and getting smaller as it gets closer, which goes against the rules of perspective.

  • Perspective works in the following manner: things that are further away from the viewer will look smaller, and as they get closer to the viewer they'll look bigger. The way this affects an object of consistent size and width that stretches across space is that certain segments of this object will look bigger and others smaller, either gradually or dramatically depending on the perspective of the scene, as such the bigger part of the arrow will always be the one that's closest to the viewer so the segment that's behind it should be the one receiving the hatching.

It's good that you're making use of added line weight on top of the overlaps in order to reinforce their depth.


The linework for your leaves is looking smooth which helps communicate their fluidity and sense of energy, but something to note is that the majority of your leaf structures don't fold or bend in any way, this is something that looks much better in your actual plant constructions but I still feel it's worth mentioning.

Leaves are organic structures that are affected by all sorts of forces, from the wind to gravity to their own weight pulling them down, as such you'll find that in plant structures leaves will actually be oriented in a variety of different ways, and you'll improve much more by thinking about the way these objects look when they move through the world from moment to moment, instead of just trying to capture how they sit statically within it.

You also have some unnatural bends present in your leaves. Keep in mind that even though leaves are very flexible structures, that mostly applies to their length and not their width. They're like a piece of paper, not a piece of rubber, they can fold and bend in a lot of ways, but they can't stretch or compress, and if you try to force them to they'll simply rip apart.

It's good to see that you're also experimenting with some more complex types of leaf structures, and doing so by following the instructions, which allows you to create a much tighter and more solid looking structure that still feels flexible and energetic.


Moving on to your branches they are coming along really decently made as you're following the instructions for the exercise, you're drawing your edges in segments which allows you to maintain higher control over your marks which allows you to create some solid but still organic looking structures.

There are a lot of visible tails present in these branch structures, while this is a very common mistake that we'll naturally improve as we keep practicing this exercise, we can attempt to mitigate it by limiting the amount of ellipses in our branches, by spacing them further apart we'll allow for a bigger length of runway between ellipses, and ensure a smoother, more seamless transition between marks.

For ellipses it's good to see that you're making an attempt to always draw through them twice, as that allows for a smoother mark overall.

It's good to see that you're aware of the ellipse degree shift and making use of it in your constructions, which helps these structures feel more solid and believably tridimensional, but it can still be improved, sometimes your degrees are too consistent and hardly change, or the change is too sudden which is a mistake that flattens your structures. Remember that as a form shifts in relation to the viewer, so will the degree of the ellipses within that structure also shift.

Plant Construction Section

And lastly let's take a look at your plant constructions, which are coming along nicely. You're generally making use of the construction methods and techniques introduced in this Lesson which helps you create the illusion of tridimensionality in your work.

You're not only trying to capture what these structures look like, but you also focus on how they work, how they exist fully in their tridimensional space by drawing through each of your forms and thinking about the way each piece of your construction exists in 3d space and how the different parts of your structure exist in relation to one another.

This is all very good and you're demonstrating a strong sense of spatial reasoning in these pages, there are only a couple of things that should be kept in mind going forward, so you can get even more out of these exercises.

When working on structures inside plant pots make sure to add a ground plane, the red mark communicates where the soil starts, otherwise your structures will look like they're floating inside the plant pot.

When making use of boundaries always keep in mind their purpose, as mentiones here the boundary in green communicates the ends of the petals, but the red one doesn't seem to communicate anything, if the boundaries communicate the ends of the petals it would look more like the green boundary as the forms shift and create an ellipse in perspective.

Ease up on your lineweight, it's thick, with several passes going over the same marks and jump from one form's silhouette to another, which smooths everything out too much. Almost as if you pulled a sock over a vase, it softens the distinctions between the forms and flattens the structures out somewhat.

Instead lineweight must be subtle, used only to clarify the overlaps between the forms that are being built up, as explained here.

Because we're drawing on a flat piece of paper, we have a lot of freedom to make whatever marks we choose - it just so happens that the majority of those marks will contradict the illusion you're trying to create and remind the viewer that they're just looking at a series of lines on a flat piece of paper. In order to avoid this and stick only to the marks that reinforce the illusion we're creating, we can force ourselves to adhere to certain rules as we build up our constructions.

  • For example - once you've put a form down on the page, do not attempt to alter its silhouette. Its silhouette is just a shape on the page which represents the form we're drawing, but its connection to that form is entirely based on its current shape. If you change that shape, you won't alter the form it represents - you'll just break the connection, leaving yourself with a flat shape. We can see this most easily in this example of what happens when we cut back into the silhouette of a form.

While this is something that you generally respect we can see spots in these mushrooms where you extended off preexisting forms.

While this works for flat structures such as leaves when it comes to structures that have volume to them we must ensure that each new form we add to our structures must also be entirely tridimensional, as shown here.

Final Thoughts

You're applying the concepts taught in this lesson to great effect. Your constructions are looking solid and tridimensional. I'm going to be marking this lesson as complete as I believe you're ready to tackle the challenges present in the next lesson. Good luck in Lesson 4.