Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

10:09 PM, Sunday December 27th 2020

Lesson 3 Plants - Album on Imgur

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/ZNLkfad.jpg

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Not that I thought it was going to be easy, but drawing plants was definitely a challenge! Especially when it came to drawing branches and leaves, I was doing my best to draw what I saw. Much appreciate the feedback!

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8:57 PM, Monday December 28th 2020

Starting with your arrows, these are for the most part flowing quite well and drawn confidently, but there are two key (albeit minor) issues:

  • Once you put a line down, don't try to trace back over it with a replacement. Line weight is about reinforcing existing lines in order to clarify specific overlaps between forms, and occurs in small, localized areas. It is not used to completely replace a line with another, as you've done in a few of these arrows. What we absolutely want to avoid is any kind of hesitant, wobbly stroke, which often occurs when one tries to trace back over an existing line. Tracing itself focuses too much on how the line sits on the flat page, rather than how it represents an edge that moves through three dimensions.

  • Remember that the gaps between your zigzagging sections should be getting smaller as we look farther back, as shown here, to more appropriately demonstrate the effects of perspective.

The overall confident flow of your arrows carries over nicely into your leaves, where you've done a great job of capturing not only how the leaves sit in 3D space, but also how they move through the space they occupy. You're also doing a good job of building up edge detail for the most part adhering to the previous phase of construction, though I did notice that in this leaf in particular that you didn't completely adhere to the previous phase of construction's edge, and instead zigzagged back and forth across it in some areas. As explained here, instead of drawing that whole new, more complex edge as a single continuous stroke, build it up as a series of separate marks, one for each "bump" coming off that previous edge and returning to it.

Just keep in mind that we don't use each phase of construction to replace the one that precedes it. As explained here to another student, each phase of construction simply introduces the parts that have changed.

Your work on the branches is mostly looking pretty good, except for the fact that you don't appear to consistently extend a given segment fully halfway to the next ellipse. This results in far less of an overlap, which as shown in these instructions is an important tool we use to ensure our segments flow smoothly and seamlessly from one to the next. Aside from that, you're doing a good job of maintaining a consistent width throughout the branches, and generally keeping them quite solid.

Before I move onto the plant constructions, I do want to mention that you should not be cropping out your drawings as you've done here. In the homework section, I asked for 8 filled pages. Now, you absolutely can have one drawing to a page, if it ends up requiring that much space, but I still want to be able to see the page in its entirety, rather than a bunch of questionable clippings. It would allow me to better judge the scale at which you're drawing (drawing too small can be a problem that limits our brains' capacity to think through spatial problems), and frankly there is no good reason to be hiding stuff from your submission.

Now, that said, overall your work on these constructions is largely quite well done. There is just one key issue - and that comes back to your tendency in a few places - mainly big rounded forms like fruits and such - to first draw them more loosely, then come back to trace on top to add a cleaner stroke. This sort of underdrawing/cleanup-pass process is one I want you to stay away from throughout this course, as we already discussed earlier in this critique. Every mark you draw establishes a form, or some other three dimensional information. Once a ball form has been drawn, for instance, you can't re-establish its silhouette, changing or modifying it. There's more leeway to do this with leaves and petals, because they're already flat - but when doing it to forms with actual volume to them, it will remind the viewer that they're looking at a flat shape on the page. Here's an example of what I mean.

This kind of issue will come more into play in the next two lessons, as we focus more on building up solid structures. The whole idea of working from simple to complex is very important here - every stage of construction introduces new 3D entities into the world. Starting with a ball form, we may then wrap around new 3D masses around that structure to add further bumps and irregularities without losing the illusion that it is all three dimensional.

Aside from that, your plants are coming along well. You're doing a good job of capturing the fluidity of your petals, and I'm pleased to see that you're drawing through all of your forms in their entirety to first understand how they sit in 3D space, and then how they relate to one another.

So, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Feel free to move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
10:00 PM, Wednesday December 30th 2020

Thank you for your feedback! I'll put in some practice on the notes you gave before the next lesson Apologies for cropping the uploads. They were done on regular copy sized paper, however I cropped out the surroundings outside of the paper when I took a picture and uploaded it. But I'll leave it as it is next time.

Have a Happy New Year!

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