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3:21 PM, Thursday September 3rd 2020

The additional drawings:

  1. For the first plant, do you think I properly used the negative space to clarify the shapes? Also, for the leaves that have other leaves in the background, should I just texture the front ones to avoid the mess?

  2. For the second plant, how should I have better depicted the texture of the coffee cherries? They seem to have a quite smooth surface, so I left them untextured.

Overall, would it be correct to say that the area I should improve is texturing? I feel pretty confident about the 3D construction compared to the texturing. Maybe my next step after this should be the 25 texture challenge?

Thank your response!

3:47 PM, Thursday September 3rd 2020

I agree that overall your construction is looking pretty good at this point, and that your weakest area has to do with texture. There are a few problems I want to point out in this regard:

  • In the first page, filling in the negative space between the plants was incorrect. Filled areas of solid black should always be reserved only for cast shadows - meaning that they need to fall on an actual surface, not be floating arbitrarily in space. I can see that you did do this correctly in some portions (where you cast shadows upon the plant stems), but you got carried away and just started filling in whole chunks of space in other areas.

  • It's important that you understand precisely what the texture aspect of a drawing is for. I actually mentioned this in my original critique - that texture isn't arbitrary "decoration". It serves a purpose, to give the impression of what it's like to run your fingers over a surface. In the case of the coffee cherries, since they're smooth, there's nothing else to communicate. We default to assuming blank areas are smooth (so you made the right call there). There are a lot of areas on the leaves however where you seem to have just added big areas of black just for the hell of it, as though you're trying to add shading to it. When it comes to texture, less is more - don't overdo it just because you feel you have to. You need to know precisely what you're trying to communicate about the given surface before you start making marks.

  • The texture on the sunflower's center is visibly haphazard - you're clearly just trying to replicate a pattern there, rather than directly carrying over specific cast shadows you see in your reference. Don't try and go on auto-pilot and brute force your way through a drawing. Sometimes a complicated texture is just going to take a very long time to draw. Of course you're not going to have to draw the whole texture necessarily - relying on the idea that we're drawing cast shadow shapes allows us to add texture more densely in some areas and more sparsely in others. Of course, you neglected to employ the two-step process for textural mark making that I introduced in my last critique, so you were still only drawing lines, not cast shadows.

All in all, the fact that your construction is solid is what matters most - but you appear to have been ignoring some of the things I mentioned in my last critique and that is what you'll need to work on most.

I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete, but make a point of reading the lesson and my critiques more carefully in the future. As to whether you should move onto the 25 texture challenge, that is certainly an option. Keep in mind that it should be done in parallel with other lessons, stretched over a longer period of time, rather than all at once.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
5:52 PM, Thursday September 3rd 2020

For the first plant, how then should I have made the drawing clearer without using the negative space? I agree that it was incorrect to use it, but it helped to mask the leaves that have been overlapped by the ones in front. Should I have just not drawn them? Because you mentioned that I should still draw objects that exist in the 3D space, even if they are not visible. I assume I overdone it?

7:01 PM, Thursday September 3rd 2020

It's good that you drew them. In that case, you'd employ line weight to help clarify the overlaps between the forms. Ultimately though, remember that these drawings are just exercises, so I'm not really concerned about how clean and pretty they look at the end. While line weight used properly can be enough to help clarify that kind of visual confusion, it's not really a major focus of what we're doing here.

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