12:12 AM, Tuesday November 9th 2021
Starting with your form intersections, these are looking really well done. Your forms are solid and well constructed, and you've done a great job of defining the relationships between them in 3D space using the intersection lines. My only criticism is that you're a little heavy handed with your line weight, and definitely need to reel that back. Remember that line weight is best used specifically to clarify overlaps, and it's best kept subtle, like a whisper to the viewer's subconscious rather than a very obvious shout. Lastly, work on having that line weight blend more smoothly back into the existing linework - executing it with confidence is important for this, and it can definitely be more difficult if you apply line weight while actively pressing harder. The extra pressure really isn't needed - it's just a matter of going back over the same stroke again that'll build up that line weight as desired.
Jumping right into your object constructions, your work here is fantastic. I'm honestly not even sure I have anything bad to say about it. You've approached this work with such a degree of patience and care, such fastidiousness and conscientiousness - no doubt there are other "-ousness" words I could thrown around here. This lesson marks the first one where we really demand our students approach their constructions with a lot more precision. Where previously the organic subject matter allowed for a lot more approximation and eyeballing, here the proportional relationships between things - less so in terms of capturing the likeness of an object, but more in terms of positioning things correctly - is paramount. It's entirely normal for students to meet those expectations to a point, but normally they'll hit a threshold where they've decided they've done "enough" and will eyeball the rest, resulting in more sloppiness or just general relationships between things that fail to really capture the specific character of a given object.
You have reached no such threshold - you clearly took every step necessary to pin down each construction in its totality, and I'm thrilled to see it. The way in which you tackled rounded and beveled corners is especially gratifying.
Since I'm really trying my best here to find something to criticize, I'll pick at something really quite small, that only seems to come up once. In this object, along the left side of the front panel, you've got a little hole, or a jack of some sort, and being a hole, you've opted to fill it in completely with solid black. This is a mistake - albeit a pretty small one, and only a mistake in the context of this course.
Basically, because of the specific limitations of our tools for this course, where our drawings are made of pretty starkly black marks and shapes, jumping from full black to full white, the viewer is pretty much always going to assume that when they see something filled with black, that it's supposed to be a shadow cast by something else. It isn't until they've really tried to figure out what the shadow's meant to be cast from (a span of time we honestly measure in milliseconds, but that's still important) that they realize it's not a shadow, and figure out what else it might be. This of course happens all in the subconscious, but by the time they've figured out what it's meant to be conveying to them, we've already kind of lost them, at least a little bit. Instead, we want to always be leaning into what the viewer is going to expect. If the viewer expects cast shadows, reserve those filled areas for cast shadows as a rule.
Holes can be particularly tricky with this, since they're basically tunnels that go completely dark very quickly - but the side wall of that hole is still going to catch a little light near its opening, and so we need to be willing to capture that. We can either choose to block out all the cast shadows as shown here, or alternatively, we could just opt not to fill the hole in with solid black at all. After all, you weren't blocking in any other cast shadows beforehand. As long as you're consistent with your rules, it all works out.
I suppose the only other thing I wanted to call out had to do with your use of hatching lines - and again, like the cast shadows this is really a stylistic "rule" that I employ for Drawabox, and it is definitely up for debate. As you've no doubt seen in previous drawings, we don't really use hatching very often, because hatching can very easily be mistaken for adding form shading, which as discussed back in Lesson 2, is not something we do in this course. You obviously did notice, however, that in the bluetooth speaker demo, I opted to use some simple vertical hatching lines to convey a little more clearly how those corners were rounded. You use it well in this regard to the same purpose in your own drawings as well. So, needless to say, we don't use hatching in this course - except when we do.
As with most stylistic rules and choices, we just want to make sure that the choices we make serve a specific purpose. In this case, we're going an extra distance to really sell the fact that the surface is rounded. That's often necessary with a rounded corner, where the viewer may otherwise assume that what they're looking at is squared off (especially with the original square corners still present in the construction lines). What if they're looking at something that is already cylindrical, however - like this or this? Ask yourself at that point if the hatching actually adds anything to truly help the viewer's understanding. To me, I think adding those lines to a cylinder may be overkill, but ultimately I'll leave that choice up to you. What matters, however, is that you think about it, and you come to a conscious choice. When we make these choices consciously, it becomes easier to hold ourselves to them in order to keep things consistent.
Anyway! As I mentioned before, your work here is phenomenal. I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. Keep up the great work.
Feel free to move onto the 25 wheel challenge, which is a prerequisite for lesson 7.