Lesson 5: Applying Construction to Animals

11:18 AM, Saturday March 26th 2022

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Hi! I'm aware of the massive proportion issues on some of my drawings, it's hard to gauge the cranium size. I also had trouble with keeping the head area clean, the cluster of lines may be too much. Not sure if the problem is that I'm fitting too many animals on one page or I'm drawing it wrong.

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11:03 PM, Thursday April 7th 2022

Hello I’ll be handling the critique for your lesson 5 homework.

Organic Intersections

-I can definitely see that you have a good understanding of how these forms wrap around each other and how they sag and bend where their weight is not supported, but there are some things that you need to improve. Remember to keep your sausages simple and easy to work with, right now you have a lot of sausages that are unequally sized and have pinching and swelling throughout their length, and others are unnecessarily long. This makes it much harder to build believable forms, make sure all of your sausages are roughly the same size. On your second page there is a lot of improvement, but you still need to keep practicing. When it comes to the cast shadows you are doing a much better job wrapping them around the surface they are falling on, but you should definitely take more time to plan their shapes so you can achieve even better results.


-You are doing a lot of good things here, and generally your work has turned out very nicely, but let’s see what things you can keep working on.

-First, try to give each of your drawings as much room as you can. By limiting the space available to you, you are also limiting your ability to solve these spatial problems. Additionally, it makes it harder to engage your whole arm when drawing. The best approach is to give each drawing as much space as you can, only when that drawing is done we should assess if there is room for another, if there is not then it is perfectly fine to have only one drawing on the page. Even then, most of your mark making shows a good deal of confidence and planning, which is good and I hope you keep nurturing this habit in the future.

-You are handling the additional masses quite well, and the silhouette of each one of them is carefully planned, which makes it unnecessary to add contour lines, keep in mind that contour lines are a useful tool to describe how an object sits in space, but they can work against us by flattening or drawings, that is why you want to use them very sparingly.

Sometimes your masses try to take on too much, like on this cat at the bottom of the page where you have a mass extending from the rib cage all the way to the pelvis, whenever you are tempted to draw one of these big masses try to break them into even simpler shapes, this way your constructions will look more believable.

-Now let’s talk about leg constructions, I see a lot of mixed results here, but generally you have used the correct approach for building these limbs. It is important to keep in mind that the sausage method is not about capturing the shape of the legs as they are. Instead it is about laying down a very basic structure that captures both the solidity and flow of the legs. Once that structure is in place we can start to build the further bits of complexity that will help us to capture the actual shapes we see on our reference images. This process is exemplified on this dog’s leg demo and this ant leg demo.

I can see that you are aware of the fact that the feet have planes, which is good, but you can keep pushing them even further as shown in this demo of another student's work.

-Lastly let’s talk about head construction, here you have also done a great job, but drawing smaller has led to some of the facial features to feel smudged down. I can see that you have given the eye sockets plenty of room but the eyeballs feel much smaller in comparison. It is important to draw big eyeballs so that you can apply the approach shown in this demo. You are using the eye sockets to fit in the muzzles, which is correct, you should always look for opportunities to push these exercises further, here is one example of building the head of a rhinoceros and another example of a camels head. To conclude, always try to err on the side of drawing heads too big, instead of drawing them too small.

Okay, you still have some things to work on, but I have no doubt you will continue to improve with more mileage and practice, I’ll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

250 Cylinder Challenge!!

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.
7:32 PM, Sunday April 24th 2022

Thank you very much for the detailed explanations and examples! You raised very good points, I'm always impressed how community members catch subtle mistakes I would have missed otherwise. I'll write them in my notes so I don't forget. If I may ask, where did you get those examples? I can't find them in the official lesson.

9:13 PM, Sunday April 24th 2022

They're demos that uncomfy has drawn while writing critiques for the official students, some of them are included in the informal demos page and others are used for the official critiques, that is where I got them from.

8:31 AM, Monday April 25th 2022

Ah okay, they do seem to tackle a bit more complex constructions.

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