Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

2:04 PM, Saturday June 4th 2022

Chayota - Drawabox Lesson 3 - Google Drive

Chayota - Drawabox Lesson 3 - Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1EdpCuV0-dL-sCVz2PYfdcxTHrzXLyELB?usp=sharing


Hello!, I have completed my homework for lesson 3.

While I struggled a bit with the texture in the beginning, I managed to master it a bit later on.

Still, I focused a lot more on the actual construction...

I hope you have a chance to give your critique!

2 users agree
6:44 PM, Monday June 6th 2022

Hello I’ll be handling the critique for your lesson 3 homework.

Organic Arrows

-Starting with the organic arrows these are drawn with a good deal of confidence which has helped you to capture the fluidity with which they move through space, and you are making some good attempts at the perspective of the ribbon, there are a few arrows that went wrong but I assume that this just happened by accident, one thing that you can do is to try to draw your marks much slower but while maintaining good confidence, this is not something easy to do when you are a beginner but it allows you to have a much better control of your marks. Also remember that you can apply lineweight to the parts where overlaps happen, you are already moving in the right direction and you will continue to improve with more practice.


-This fluidity carries over to your leaves and you are employing the construction method correctly, breaking every leaf into simpler and smaller steps rather than trying to capture a lot of things at once. Just keep in mind to take your time to design the shape of each individual bump and cut in order to avoid any repetitiveness, this comes back to some of the things we learned in lesson 1 regarding the principles of mark making, you can read it in these notes. Also make sure that the edges of the leaf connect exactly at the tip of the initial flow line, without leaving any gaps,


-Moving on to the branches I like to see that you are drawing your ellipses with an awareness of how they change degree as they move through space, make sure that you are extending each segment fully halfway to the next ellipse, sometimes you fall short or extend further. Also do your best to use the previous segment as a runway so that they overlap a good deal and you can achieve smoother transitions. This is a very important point as it seems that you had a good deal of trouble controlling your strokes, and your branches ended up very loose. One thing you can do is to draw thicker and bigger ellipses, instead of forcing yourself to draw small.


-Moving on to the plant constructions I am seeing some mixed results, the first thing I want to call out is that you seem to be thinking ahead to how many drawings you want to fit in any given page, instead what you should do is to give each individual drawing as much room on the page as you can, only when that drawing is done we should assess if there is room for another, if not then it is perfectly fine to have only one drawing on the page as long as it is making full use of the page. It is also important to keep in mind that by limiting the space available to you you are also limiting your ability to engage in spatial reasoning which is the main focus of these exercises, and you also make it harder to engage your whole arm when drawing.

-It seems to me that when you approached your plants you did so without really planning out how you were going to build them, for example you the edges of your leaves and petals are not meeting exactly at the tip of the flow line, this leaves a gap that reminds us that what we are seeing is just a set of lines on the page instead of forms that exists in a 3D space. Remember that the construction method is all about breaking your subjects into its more primitive elements, and making a lot of smaller moves and decisions rather than trying to capture a lot of things at once.

Use the ghosting method to think about each mark’s purpose and how you are going to achieve it best, remember that each mark is not less important for being part of a larger group, give each individual one as much time and attention as it requires. I think this is what you are neglecting right now, and what you need to work on the most. As always, every single mark you put down should be the result of forethought and intent. Do not draw anything you have not considered in terms of what it's meant to contribute to the drawing/exercise, and how it can be drawn in order to best fulfill that purpose.

-I don’t know why there are so many dots floating around on the page, maybe you were trying to trace the trajectory of your strokes but this is not necessary. You should focus only on capturing the fluidity of the leaves and petals that you are drawing. Any careful measuring tends to stiffen the drawings a lot.

-When working with plants like cacti do not try to change their silhouette as if they were flat leaves, given that they all forms with volume you should wrap new forms on top of them, this is a process better explained on lessons 4 and 5 but you can get preview of what is coming here.

Before moving on I have to give you some revisions, in order to get the most out of them I will ask you to draw one plant per page, so that you can make full use of the space on the page.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I want you to always keep in mind these two things.

-Make sure that you're using the ghosting method for every single mark you put down. What that really means is going through all three steps: planning (identify the nature of the mark you want to make, ask yourself what its job is, how it can be drawn to best achieve that task, and what angle you need to rotate the page to in order to achieve it). This goes for all your marks, nothing should be drawn by reflex, not even (and especially not) to correct a mistake.

-Break everything into its more simple elements, make a lot of simpler moves and build every plant little by little, step by step. Do not try to capture the more complex elements too early.

Okaay, best of luck!! I’ll leave the revisions below.

Next Steps:

Please do the following

-4 plant constructions, ( 1 Plant per page, making sure that it is making full use of the page)

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
3:13 PM, Tuesday June 14th 2022

Hi Beckerito, thanks for critiquing my homework again!

I understand everything you mention. And I have tried to improve both the size and the fluidity of the branches, etc.

I also agree that I had not put much emphasis on planning each drawn mark; I have tried to correct it by taking more time to think without tracing something.

I'll let you take care of the correction rather.

I hope I understood your review.


  • Oh, by the way the last drawing is a branch of turmeric, it's a bit strange.
5:52 PM, Tuesday June 14th 2022

Okayy, so this is pretty much what I wanted to see, I can see that all of your marks are the result of planning and forethought. I don't really have too much to say, the only thing I want to call out is that on the texture on the third plant you are mixing cast shadows and outlines, remember that you should not draw simple lines to capture texture, instead take your time to design each shadow shape and then fill it. As always, keep in mind a light source and remember the density of detail, which is really the transition from dense to sparse.

This diagram may help with this too. I also like to see that on the last plant (turmeric branch) you have initially drawn a simple sausage and then added all of the additional masses one by one, wrapping them around the silhouette of the initial form, this kind of approach will really help with lessons 4 and 5, so I'll go ahead and mark this as complete.

Next Steps:

Lesson 4

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 2 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
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