0 users agree
12:06 PM, Thursday April 27th 2023

Hello Amine2, I'll be handling your lesson 4 critique.

Starting with your organic forms you're doing a good job of sticking to the characteristics of simple sausages that are introduced here, and you're doing a good job of varying the degree of your contour curves too.

As a little nitpick, remember to draw around the small ellipses on the ends 2 full times before lifting your pen off the page. This is something we ask you to do for every ellipse you freehand in this course, even if you feel like you can nail them in a single pass. You can read more about this here.

Moving on to your insect constructions your work is coming along really well. It looks like you have a good grasp of how the forms you draw exist in 3D space, and you're doing a pretty good job of figuring out how all these pieces connect together with specific relationships.

I do have some points that should help you get more out of these constructional exercises in the future.

Because we're drawing on a flat piece of paper, we have a lot of freedom to make whatever marks we choose, but many of those marks would contradict the illusion you're trying to create and remind the viewer that they're just looking at a series of lines on a flat piece of paper. In order to avoid this and stick only to the marks that reinforce the illusion we're creating, we can force ourselves to adhere to certain rules as we build up our constructions. Rules that respect the solidity of our construction.

For example - once you've put a form down on the page, do not attempt to alter its silhouette. Its silhouette is just a shape on the page which represents the form we're drawing, but its connection to that form is entirely based on its current shape. If you change that shape, you won't alter the form it represents - you'll just break the connection, leaving yourself with a flat shape. We can see this most easily in this example of what happens when we cut back into the silhouette of a form.

Fortunately, you don't do this very much at all. As an example I've marked on your wasp in red where you cut back inside the silhouette of forms you had already drawn. Sometimes I think you accidentally cut inside forms you have already drawn where there is a gap between passes on your ellipses. There is a way we can work with a loose ellipse and still build a solid construction. What you need to do if there is a gap between passes of your ellipse is to use the outer line as the foundation for your construction. Treat the outermost perimeter as though it is the silhouette's edge - doesn't matter if that particular line tucks back in and another one goes on to define that outermost perimeter - as long as we treat that outer perimeter as the silhouette's edge, all of the loose additional lines remain contained within the silhouette rather than existing as stray lines to undermine the 3D illusion. This diagram shows which lines to use on a loose ellipse.

Instead, when we want to build on our construction or alter something we add new 3D forms to the existing structure. Forms with their own complete silhouettes - and by establishing how those forms either connect or relate to what's already present in our 3D scene. We can do this either by defining the intersection between them with contour lines (like in lesson 2's form intersections exercise), or by wrapping the silhouette of the new form around the existing structure as shown here.

This is all part of understanding that everything we draw is 3D, and therefore needs to be treated as such in order for both you and the viewer to believe in that lie.

You can see this in practice in this beetle horn demo, as well as in this ant head demo You can also see some good examples of this in the lobster and shrimp demos on the informal demos page As Uncomfortable has been pushing this concept more recently, it hasn't been fully integrated into the lesson material yet (it will be when the overhaul reaches Lesson 4).

You're doing a really good job of adding complete 3D forms when you want to build on your constructions. Occasionally I noticed where you'd added a small piece here or there with lines instead of complete forms. here is an example.

On some of your constructions it looks like you're going back over large sections of the silhouette to reinforce it with extra line weight. This can cause your initially smooth and confident lines to get wobblier, which brings in little alterations to the silhouette of your forms, and as discussed above this will negatively impact the solidity of your construction. Tracing back over lines also has a tendency to switch a student's focus from how the forms they draw exist in 3D space, to thinking about drawing lines on a flat piece of paper. Given the bounds and limitations of this course, the most effective use of additional line weight is specifically to clarify how different forms overlap one another, by limiting it to the localised areas where those overlaps occur. You can read more about this here. What this keeps us from doing is putting line weight in more random places, and worse, attempting to correct or hide mistakes behind line weight.

I noticed on a few of your constructions a tendency to start off lighter, and then increase the weight of your marks as you progress. This can encourage us to redraw more of the structure than we strictly need to. I would strongly recommend that you maintain roughly the same thickness of line throughout the entire construction, applying further line weight as discussed above only towards the end.

The next thing I wanted to talk about is leg construction. It is good to see you working on using the sausage method on the majority of your pages. It's not uncommon for students to be aware of the sausage method as introduced here, but to decide that the legs they're looking at don't actually seem to look like a chain of sausages, so they use some other strategy.

The key to keep in mind here is that the sausage method is not about capturing the legs precisely as they are - it is about laying in a base structure or armature that captures both the solidity and the gestural flow of a limb in equal measure, where the majority of other techniques lean too far to one side, either looking solid and stiff or gestural but flat. Once in place, we can then build on top of this base structure with more additional forms as shown in these examples here, here, and in this ant leg demo and also here on this dog leg demo as this method should be used throughout lesson 5 too.

You clearly understand the key concepts for this lesson so I'll go ahead and mark it as complete. Please refer back to this critique and the diagrams and demos shared here as you work on lesson 5, as they should help you tackle your animal constructions. Best of luck.

Next Steps:

Lesson 5

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.
7:47 PM, Thursday April 27th 2023

Thank you so much for critiquing my assignment and pointing out what didn't work. I'll definitely keep rereading this and I'll try to focus more in the next lessons.

The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something I've used myself. If you're interested, here is a full list.
How to Draw by Scott Robertson

How to Draw by Scott Robertson

When it comes to technical drawing, there's no one better than Scott Robertson. I regularly use this book as a reference when eyeballing my perspective just won't cut it anymore. Need to figure out exactly how to rotate an object in 3D space? How to project a shape in perspective? Look no further.

This website uses cookies. You can read more about what we do with them, read our privacy policy.