Hello Fonske, I'll be the teaching assistant handling your lesson 5 critique.

Starting with your organic intersections you're doing a good job of keeping your forms simple, and it is great to see you drawing through them all as this helps to reinforce your understanding of the 3D space you're creating.

There are a few forms, such as the one I've highlighted here where it looks like you're just drawing forms in front of one another without really considering how they would wrap around one another in 3D space. We want all the forms to feel stable and supported in this exercise, like we could walk away from the pile and nothing would topple off. This diagram made for another student may help you to understand how to wrap a form around the ones below it.

Think of these forms as feeling like well filled water balloons for this exercise- soft and heavy. Leaving gaps underneath forms makes them feel stiff or weightless. I think it is possible that you intended the form on the right to be resting on the ground plane throughout its length, but the shadow doesn't really reflect this. Having a bit more continuity with the shadow being cast onto the ground plane should help with this.

You're projecting your shadows far enough to clearly cast onto other forms, an I can tell that your light source is on the right of your first page and the left of the second. The exact angle of the light source isn't terribly consistent, and we end up with a couple of places like this where a form is casting shadows both up and down at the same time, which won't happen if we follow a single consistent light source, so keep that in mind when you practice this exercise in future.

Moving on to your animal constructions your work is very good. Your work is carefully observed and all these constructions feel solid, you've achieved quite a bit of complexity, without undermining the 3D illusion. Your mark making is confident and purposeful. There's honestly not that much to criticise, so I'll go over the main areas we check when providing feedback for this lesson, and point out what has gone well while seeing if there are any additional tips I can share with you.

One of the key topics we introduce in lesson 5 is the idea of building onto our basic constructions using additional masses. I'm happy to see that you're using additional masses extensively throughout your pages, and building them wherever you feel they will be useful, as it is quite common for students to restrict their additional masses to the torso only.

You're doing a great job of specifically designing the silhouette of those masses to have them actually wrap around the existing structure. However I will still share a piece of prewritten text that explains the behaviour of additional masses:

One thing that helps with the shape here is to think about how the mass would behave when existing first in the void of empty space, on its own. It all comes down to the silhouette of the mass - here, with nothing else to touch it, our mass would exist like a soft ball of meat or clay, made up only of outward curves. A simple circle for a silhouette.

Then, as it presses against an existing structure, the silhouette starts to get more complex. It forms inward curves wherever it makes contact, responding directly to the forms that are present. The silhouette is never random, of course - always changing in response to clear, defined structure. You can see this demonstrated in this diagram.

So, with that in mind I have one minor nitpick for how some of these masses could be improved. Sometimes I noticed you'd pressed an inward curve into an additional mass, where it was exposed to fresh air and there was nothing present in the construction to cause this kind of complexity. When we want to build an inward curve in the animal's silhouette using additional masses, we can do this by layering multiple masses together, as shown here on your warthog's leg. I can see a few places where you're already doing this, such as above the shoulder of this horse, good work.

Next I check in to see how we're doing with applying the sausage method of leg construction. You're doing a great job here too. I wanted to mention that you're off to a great start in the use of additional masses along your leg structures, but this can be taken further. A lot of these forms focus primarily on masses that actually impact the silhouette of the overall leg, but there's value in exploring the forms that exist "internally" within that silhouette - like the missing puzzle piece that helps to further ground and define the ones that create the bumps along the silhouette's edge. Here is an example of what I mean, from another student's work - as you can see, Uncomfortable has blocked out masses along the leg there, and included the one fitting in between them all, even though it doesn't influence the silhouette. This way of thinking - about the inside of your structures, and fleshing out information that isn't just noticeable from one angle, but really exploring the construction in its entirety, will help you yet further push the value of these constructional exercises and puzzles.

It is good to see that you've constructed your feet with complete 3D forms, it is not uncommon for students to treat them as a bit of an afterthought and revert to working with one off lines and flat partial shapes. As a bonus, I think you may still benefit from taking a look at these notes on foot construction where Uncomfortable shows how to introduce structure to the foot by drawing a boxy form- that is, forms whose corners are defined in such a way that they imply the distinction between the different planes within its silhouette, without necessarily having to define those edges themselves - to lay down a structure that reads as being solid and three dimensional. Then we can use similarly boxy forms to attach toes.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is head construction. Lesson 5 has a lot of different strategies for constructing heads, between the various demos. Given how the course has developed, and how Uncomfortable is finding new, more effective ways for students to tackle certain problems. So not all the approaches shown are equal, but they do have their uses. As it stands, as explained at the top of the tiger demo page (here), the current approach that is the most generally useful, as well as the most meaningful in terms of these drawings all being exercises in spatial reasoning, is what you'll find here in this informal head demo.

There are a few key points to this approach:

1- The specific shape of the eye sockets - the specific pentagonal shape allows for a nice wedge in which the muzzle can fit in between the sockets, as well as a flat edge across which we can lay the forehead area.

2- This approach focuses heavily on everything fitting together - no arbitrary gaps or floating elements. This allows us to ensure all of the different pieces feel grounded against one another, like a three dimensional puzzle.

3- We have to be mindful of how the marks we make are cuts along the curving surface of the cranial ball - working in individual strokes like this (rather than, say, drawing the eye socket with an ellipse) helps a lot in reinforcing this idea of engaging with a 3D structure.

I can see some constructions where you've followed this method pretty closely, and although you've experimented with some slightly different strategies I can see you were quite focused on getting all the parts of your head constructions to fit together snugly like puzzle pieces. Sometimes this method seems like it's not a good fit for certain heads, but as shown in in this banana-headed rhino it can be adapted for a wide array of animals.

All right, you've done a pretty fantastic job, so I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. Feel free to move on to the 250 cylinder challenge, which is a prerequisite for lesson 6.