Partial Lesson 2 Submission (3 / 7 exercises)

6:00 AM, Friday July 23rd 2021

First Take on Lesson Two - Album on Imgur


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Here is my first take on lesson. Could someone tell me if I'm heading in the right direction (or not?)

Thanks in advance for your remarks and criticism.

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4:39 PM, Saturday July 24th 2021

Disclaimer: What follows may seem a very negative critique. I believe that sometimes being blunt and direct with issues is the best way to convey critique. Please accept this critique in the spirit that it is intended: of pointing out problems to help you improve.

I want to point out two issues that I see overall:

  • You do not seem to have read the exercise descriptions very thoroughly, or you did not refresh your knowledge of the exercise before starting it. There are a few indications that I see of this in your exercises:

    • Your exercises do not come close to the sample exercises provided at the bottom of the exercise description. Now, I don't expect it to match, but the sample exercises are a good goal to work towards, and you don't seem to be doing that.

    • I do not see attempts to avoid the common mistakes in the common mistakes section of the exercise sheets. These are common mistakes, meaning, you will likely make them if you are not careful. But them being explicitly pointed out also means you should know to try to avoid them.

  • It seems like you are rushing through the exercises. This is best seen by the fact that you are leaving large amounts of blank space, you can definitely fit more arrows or organic forms on those sheets.

Ultimately, the way you've done these exercises results in not achieving the purposes of these exercises. The arrows are supposed to help you understand how to depict something flowing through space, but the arrows you draw are flat or only flowing at the front of the page because of lack of folding or perspective.

Similarly, your organic forms are drawn with too much complexity, it causes them to lose their sense of solidity. With the contour curves, you do not curve the curves enough around the sides (something that can be helped by overshooting them), meaning that it looks like they're cut in half, flat on the surface of the page instead of a rounded sausage shape. You've incorporated the contour ellipse into the silhouette of the form, which suggests you do not understand what the contour ellipse is for.

I could point out specific issues, but the reality is that I can just direct you to the common mistakes sections of both of these exercises, and you will see that you are making most of those common mistakes in these exercises. You should read over the exercise descriptions, carefully, once before each period of time you want to spend on these exercises, and aim to make something like the sample exercises at the end.

I'm not an official critic, but I've done a few critiques myself, and if I saw this work as part of a full lesson submission I would probably request that the student redo both sections. So that's my recommendation to you regarding this partial submission.

There's nothing here that suggests that you can't do these exercises correctly, just that you aren't taking the time to understand the exercise and the time to properly do them.

Good luck on the rest of the lesson!

8:26 AM, Sunday July 25th 2021

Thanks for the critics. Don't worry you weren't super harsh and above all you gave arguments so I didn't take the whole thing personally.

Thos page were among my first attempts on Lesson 2. I view the video and had "here is what it should look like page" but I didn't had the instructions in mind. Thanks to you I know I'm heading in the wrong direction..... After reading again the instruction on the wesite I think I understood some my mistakes. On the first exercices I still can't put the organic arrow in 3D space and in the second I have trouble with drawing the ellipse correctly in the organic shape. On top of that some of the forms I drew doesn't have a very "organic shape"

I"ll try to improve that before moving on the other execices...

Have a nice week-end!

4:09 PM, Sunday July 25th 2021
edited at 8:36 PM, Jul 25th 2021

I completely understand. I remember quite vividly how much I struggled on the arrows and organic forms exercise myself when I was going through lesson 2.

I think the problem that I had, and the problem that you may be having, is relying on intuition to capture the idea of things like "flowing through 3D space" or "organic shape". The reality is that we cannot rely on our intuitive understanding of these things, the whole reason we need to learn how to draw instead of just knowing how is because our intuition of these concepts is wrong. Drawabox, among other things, gradually changes our intuition about these things in a more correct direction. But to use intuition when doing these exercises will be using your intuition to fix your intuition, in other words, an exercise in futility.

Having completed lessons 3 and 4, I can draw an arrow just thinking about it flowing through space. But that's because my intuition was built up from thinking about what makes something flow through space. I've detailed the approach I used below:

What worked for me, and what may work for you, is to break down those big ideas into actual, measurable, and more importantly doable, things. A checklist of sorts, that every line in these exercises should fulfill. For example, the top line of an arrow should be:

  • Flowing through space with gentle S curves

  • Compressing on one side of the line (the "back" side)

Then, when ghosting the line, go through this checklist one by one. For example, first time I ghost, I noticed I was making sharp turns. Ok, next time, make those turns more gentle. Now I'm noticing that it's not compressing. Compress it more. But that compression is causing sharp turns again. And so on.

I will leave it up to you to figure out similar checklists for the other lines in both exercises (if this approach works for you).

Keep doing this until you feel like all the elements of the checklist is fulfilled. This will result in ghosting a lot, which is completely normal. Some of my arrows on this exercise, I must have ghosted like 20 times before I was satisfied. Then, make your mark, don't think about any of the above stuff anymore, just going through the motions you've already ghosted through.

This sometimes won't turn out correct, especially at the beginning. The first organic forms I drew were still pointed at the ends despite me focusing on making them round. In which case, make a mental note about correcting this. I would keep making my ends rounder and rounder until they got to what I wanted them to be. Eventually, you will reach a point where the forms and arrows you draw are correctly done.

Also, draw bigger. This will help with spatial understanding, and bigger means small mistakes have a smaller impact. I think my pages of organic forms had like 6 - 8 forms on there.

Hope this helps!

edited at 8:36 PM, Jul 25th 2021
8:45 AM, Wednesday July 28th 2021

Thanks for the advice. After a few days of work, here are the new version for the organic arrows and organic forms exercice.

May I ask for your opinion again so that I keep on working the mistakes which are still here?

Have a nice day!

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10:17 AM, Monday September 6th 2021


I don't if you remember me. You critiqued my work on lesson 2

Sorry to disturb you again but I would like you opinion about my work this on the cylinder challenge.

I've noticed that you complete the challenge so I think you may be able to help me.

Thanks in advance for your help and have a nive day.

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