Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants
6:35 PM, Sunday August 15th 2021
It's been a long time since I've posted before.
Please check them.
Starting with your arrows, I'm quite pleased with how these have been executed. Aside from how you've changed the manner in which you're drawing the arrow heads (you should be sticking to how the exercise is demonstrated, rather than altering it yourself), you're doing a great job here of capturing how the arrows move fluidly and confidently through space. One thing to keep an eye on however is that the gaps between your zigzagging sections should get narrower and narrower as we look farther back in space, as shown here. This will help you capture a better sense of depth in the scene.
This carries over fairly well into your leaves, though I do feel that your linework here does get a little more stiff. This is a common thing that happens, since these leaves are effecively the first real thing we're drawing in this course, and so it's normal to end up trying to focus more on capturing the leaves accurately, copying that reference exactly - but it does reduce the general fluidity of the strokes. Remember that those two early steps of construction here - the flow line and the simple silhouette - are focused primarily on capturing how the leaves move through the space they occupy. The flow line itself is more representative of the wind and air currents that push the given leaf around. Don't worry about being hyper accurate to the reference - the reference itself is more of a source of information that we use to help us construct something believable. When drawing that flow line, focus instead on conveying how you perceive that leaf to move, and don't be afraid to exaggerate it. I find adding a little arrowhead t its tip helps to create the connection in my brain between this exercise and the arrows that precede it.
You are doing a good job in terms of building up more complex edge detail here. One other thing I did notice however was that there was definitely a lot of empty space on that page where you could have added more leaves - make sure you're making good use of the space available to you.
Continuing onto your branches, you're doing a pretty good job here. In most cases you're extending your segments fully halfway to the next ellipse, and ensuring a healthy overlap to achieve a smoother, more seamless transition from one segment to then ext. One thing to keep in mind here though is that your ellipses appear to all be drawn with the same degree. As explained in the Lesson 1 ellipses video, the degree of the cross-secctional ellipse will get wider as we slide away from the viewer along the length of a cylindrical structure.
Moving onto your plant constructions, you are mostly doing a pretty good job here, but there are a few things I want to call out:
Be sure to draw through all of your ellipses two full times before lifting your pen, as discussed in Lesson 1. You do this sometimes, but not in others, so you're kind of inconsistent.
As you push into later pages, your drawings get smaller and smaller - while it's certainly laudable to want to do more drawings, it is important that you give each individual drawing as much room as it demands, and that you avoid artificially limiting how much space they have. This can limit your brain's capacity for solving spatial problems, and can also make it harder to engage your whole arm while drawing, resulting in clumsier linework.
In general, try and save your filled areas of solid black for cast shadows only. Avoid filling things in arbitrarily, or to capture local colour. Focus instead on capturing and implying information that conveys the forms that are present in a structure, be they larger constructed forms or smaller implied, textural forms.
Be sure to construct your cylindrical structures - like your flower pots - around a central minor axis line, and draw full ellipses for everything. I noticed that you were only drawing a partial curve to try and capture the thickness of the rim - go ahead and draw a full ellipse for this as well, and use that minor axis line to keep all the ellipses aligned to one another.
I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.
Move onto lesson 4.