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11:15 PM, Wednesday August 3rd 2022

Starting with your arrows, these are coming along quite well. You're drawing them with a good deal of confidence, which helps to push the sense of fluidity with which they move through the world. This carries over into your leaves in a meaningful fashion, helping you to not only capture how they move through space, but also how they move through the space they occupy.

Generally your addition of edge detail is coming along well, though I do urge you to take a bit more time in the addition of these marks. Often we can mistakenly feel like a smaller mark is a less important mark, and therefore can be given less time than we would a larger one. This of course is incorrect - every mark is important, and each mark demands as much time as it requires for us to execute it to the best of our current ability. For the edge detail marks, it's especially important that they rise seamlessly off the existing structure and return to it. While we of course won't do this perfectly each time, I am noticing a bit of sloppiness (in examples like this) where there are marks crossing the original edge, little overshoots, gaps, etc. that break the illusion that what we're looking at is a singular cohesive silhouette of a form. The more gaps and inconsistencies we end up with, the more the viewer is reminded that we're looking at a collection of lines on a page.

Continuing onto your branches, it seems here you've been rather inconsistent in how closely you've followed the instructions. As shown here, this exercise demands a very specific manner in which we arrange the edge segments. The first goes from one ellipse, past the second, and stops halfway to the third. The second then starts at the second ellipse and repeats this pattern. The result is a healthy overlap of about half the distance between the ellipses, which helps us to achieve a smoother, more seamless transition from one to the next. While you do this on occasion, more often you end up minimizing that overlap by either starting the next segment where the previous one ended, or not extending a segment fully halfway to the next ellipse. This tells me that you're aware of what's being asked, but that you may not be giving yourself the time to consider or review the instructions frequently enough.

Moving onto the plant constructions, the first thing that jumped out at me is how you're using the space available on the pages themselves. There are two things that we must give each of our drawings throughout this course in order to get the most out of them. Those two things are space and time. Right now it appears that you are thinking ahead to how many drawings you'd like to fit on a given page. It certainly is admirable, as you clearly want to get more practice in, but in artificially limiting how much space you give a given drawing, you're limiting your brain's capacity for spatial reasoning, while also making it harder to engage your whole arm while drawing. The best approach to use here is to ensure that the first drawing on a given page is given as much room as it requires. Only when that drawing is done should we assess whether there is enough room for another. If there is, we should certainly add it, and reassess once again. If there isn't, it's perfectly okay to have just one drawing on a given page as long as it is making full use of the space available to it.

There are definitely a lot of cases where we can see the limited space some of your constructions have received really limiting what you're getting out of them. An especially rough example of this is the english ivy on this page. There's simply no room for you to really put as much time, care, and thought into each individual stroke, so as a result the leaves come out relying more on the whims of chance, than based on your specific intent.

While that definitely had an impact on a number of your constructions, I can however see through many others that you are indeed applying the principles of the lesson reasonably well - it's just that you're doing so with one hand tied behind your back much of the time, making it harder on yourself than you strictly need. That said, I do have a number of other points to call out:

  • When constructing your cylindrical flower pots, be sure to do so around a central minor axis line, so as to help you in the alignment of your various ellipses. Additionally, be sure to include at the very least an additional ellipse inset within the opening to establish the thickness of the rim (which you did here but often neglected to elsewhere), and another to establish the level of the soil so the plant's stem has something to intersect with.

  • You frequently forget to draw through your ellipses - especially with ones that may seem less important. Draw through each and every one two full times before lifting your pen.

  • When using an ellipse to establish the boundary to which your petals will reach (like in the hibiscus demo), be sure to have every petal's flow line extend right to the perimeter of that ellipse, enforcing a tight, specific relationship between these phases of construction. Similarly, each petal would then also end where the flow line does, rather than leaving a gap between them, though you tend to hold to this more frequently.

  • When using the branches technique, be sure to apply it in its entirety - including the central minor axis line.

  • I noticed in this one where towards the bottom left you filled in some areas with solid black. It's unclear what you're trying to achieve there, but if it is an attempt to hide a mistake, don't in the future. Mistakes are not a problem - we're not here to create pretty or complete drawings. As every drawing is an exercise, it's all about the process we employ. If we alter the process to cover up little blunders, then we're prioritizing the end result over what we learn from the act.

Now, I am going to assign some limited revisions below, so you can demonstrate your understanding of the points I've raised, and move forward from a more solid position.

Next Steps:

Please submit the following:

  • 1 page, half of leaves, half of branches

  • 2 pages of plant constructions

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
2:39 PM, Monday August 15th 2022

Hi this is my revision submission. Thanks for your time and critique.


4:48 PM, Monday August 15th 2022

This is definitely looking considerably better. In the case of the rose, here's a rough demo of how I'd tackle it. Note that I'm starting with a cylinder, as this gives me a structure I can then allow my flow lines to follow.

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

Next Steps:

Move onto Lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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