25 Texture Challenge
6:50 PM, Friday July 24th 2020
here are my results for the texture challenge looking forward to your feedback
So generally how I approach critiques for the texture challenge is to look over the submission as a whole, and to focus in on one particular texture where I feel the biggest impact can be made, ideally with some kind of a demonstration. You've got a wide variety of textures throughout this exercise, and I think a lot of them have been handled quite effectively. I'm especially pleased with how you tackled the viper scales, where you demonstrated a clear focus on concrete cast shadow shapes, leveraged to control the density of the gradient very effectively.
I'd say in the cabbage you got a little more caught up in how the created a sort of swirling pattern, and where in the study on the left side I'd say you implied a stronger sense of form, the actual density gradient became a lot more uniform, making it seem more like a flat pattern rather than a series of physical forms.
The rusty metal was another one of those really well executed ones - really bold, strong, confident shadow shapes, and an excellent transition from dense and dark to sparse and light. The textures do go somewhat back and forth like this with some showing a really clear grasp of how what you're doing is implying the presence of textural forms, and others focusing perhaps a little too much on the graphic patterns you're producing (as though they were painted onto the surface of a form, rather than actually protruding from it.
One texture I felt stood out quite a bit however was number 22 - the tire tracks in sand - and that's what I decided to use as the core of the critique. I did my own demonstration of how I'd tackle this exercise which you can see here. My goal was specifically to draw a distinction between an aspect of how you perceived and tackled this texture, and how I did so.
The difference is that you treated the depression - the lower part of the tire tread - as being the primary focus. It's kind of like focusing heavily on the idea that a shadow was being cast into this space, but not actually thinking about the fact that it was the raised portion that was casting the shadow. Therefore your shadows ended up existing more to imply the lower portions, rather than actually implying the physical forms that cast them.
How you think about your textural forms can have a big impact on precisely how you approach drawing it. Ultimately we always have to ask ourselves, what are the shadows? These cast shadows are the result of the light being blocked by the raised chunks of sand from reaching the depressed chunks of sand. And therefore when drawing those shadow shapes, we need to think about how they are being cast by the raised chunks, onto the depressed chunks. The way you approached it somewhat ignores the presence of the raised portions at all, instead focusing entirely on the existence of these lowered chunks.
I fully expect this description to be somewhat complicated to process, so be sure to look at the demonstration I linked. If we were to outline the forms in this texture (which of course we're not, but for the explanation's sake), we would be outlining the raised portions. In your notes section, you outlined each individual depression instead.
All in all, I think you've done a pretty great job of exploring texture and what it means to think in terms of implying forms by capturing the shadows they cast. We do so many of these studies specifically because not all of them are expected to turn out well - each is an opportunity to learn about these principles, and I think you've shown a good deal of growth and and experimentation throughout.
I'll go ahead and mark this challenge as complete.