Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles

5:38 PM, Sunday May 21st 2023

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here is my submission for lesson 7.


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11:52 PM, Tuesday May 23rd 2023

Starting with your form intersections, your work here is generally looking good. I would generally advise not drawing the "invisible" intersections (just to avoid the additional complexity in an exercise that is already very challenging), but you seem to have handled it well. Your cylinders in boxes are similarly looking good - I'm pleased to see that you're applying the line extensions correctly. This is mainly what I keep an eye out for, as it's the most critical part of the exercise that will ultimately ensure that students get the most out of the exercise when tackling it on their own in the future.

Continuing onto your form intersection vehicles, there are a couple of issues I want to call out:

  • Firstly, it seems that in your linework you're not really adhering to the principles of markmaking from Lesson 1, or leveraging the ghosting method as you should be. You've approached these more loosely, going back over lines repeatedly, and so on. This is rather important, as the purpose of this course is to ensure that students have had plenty of mileage being hyper-intentional with every choice and action they take, so that when they draw more freely and loosely in their own work, it will reflect the underlying thought processes that get shifted down to our more automatic behaviours. If you train your instincts by using your instincts, things end up messy - so throughout this course, it is important that you employ the techniques as carefully and intentionally as you can, and you have not done that here.

  • Secondly, remember that every form should be drawn in its entirety, even when they overlap. A notable example where this was neglected was where you cut off the cylinders for the wheels on this truck. I'd also advise you to use a minor axis line to help with the alignment of those cylinders.

Moving onto your vehicle constructions, the linework issues are present here as well. I won't beat the dead horse, but I will point out that the instructions allow and encourage the use of tools like a ruler are not merely allowed, but encouraged. You appear to have used rulers for the subdivision/scaffolding of the construction, but appear to have purposely decided to freehand the constructions themselves. Either you weren't aware of this permission (and should have ensured that you were giving yourself ample time to read through and be aware of them, rereading those instructions as needed), or you made the choice not to follow them.

Another important point I want to call out is that you're not using the orthographic studies correctly. In my critique of your Lesson 6 work, I noted the following:

To that point, I do want to point you to these notes which were added only last week, so I expect you may not have had a chance to see them yet. The short of it is that as I've been critiquing homework for this lesson, I've been putting more and more emphasis on how those orthographic plans can be used. This information will eventually be incorporated into the demo material (although it'll be a while, as we're basically doing that for the whole course), so in the meantime those notes explain how to leverage those techniques best.

The notes I linked there are also referenced again in Lesson 7, here. They emphasize the importance of focusing subdivision where it counts - rather than subdividing the whole thing evenly, as you appear to have done fairly consistently throughout all your orthographic plans, the focus is towards identifying the specific position of all the major landmarks at play in the construction. Furthermore, it's not about identifying them with hyper accuracy (which might require many levels of subdivision), but rather that we are making decisions, choosing whether a subdivision down to 50ths is necessary, or if 5ths will do well enough for our purposes.

The goal is to have the orthographic plans be where we make those decisions, two dimensions at a time, so that when we move to actually putting the construction down we merely need to apply those same decisions in 3D space, using the same subdivision techniques which apply equally in 2D space as they do in 3D space. That way we can reduce how much we're thinking about at any given time - similarly to why we employ tools like rulers whenever they can serve to reduce the mental load.

Looking at the vehicle constructions themselves, you're clearly demonstrating a fantastic level of skill, especially when it comes to your 3D spatial reasoning. I'm pleased to see it, but the homework assigned is not there to demonstrate what you can do now, but rather to demonstrate that you understand how to apply those same exercises going forward to continue building upon them. This is not where your skills should plateau, but in being careless in their execution and not taking the time you require to read the instructions, to read feedback you've received from me in the past, and to apply the techniques you've learned previously throughout the course, you are not getting all you can from what we offer, and you are not holding yourself to the standards laid out for our students in Lesson 0.

You can do better. A lot better. In fact, from what I can see here, in investing that time and care, you can knock it out of the park. I'm going to be assigning revisions below so you can prove me right.

Next Steps:

Please submit:

  • 3 pages of form intersection instructions

  • 3 pages of vehicle constructions, of which 2 must be cars/trucks/etc - in other words, street legal consumer vehicles.

For the latter 3, I want you to note down on the page the dates on which you worked on the given construction, as well as a rough estimate of how much time you spent on them. And of course, the work for this lesson demands a lot. Be ready to give it what it asks.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
9:05 PM, Wednesday July 5th 2023

Took me a long time to get around to it but here are my revisions.


7:40 PM, Thursday July 6th 2023

I'm going to be marking this lesson as complete, but I do want to make one thing very clear: while you have certainly demonstrated strong spatial reasoning skills, you have not really accomplished what was asked in my previous round of feedback.

Drawabox as a whole has evolved over the years, and so what you've submitted here was at one point absolutely a solid and satisfactory completion of Lesson 7. It lines up with what's shown in the demonstrations for the most part, so as I mark this lesson as complete, it is something you have earned. That said, over the years I've found ways to push the usefulness and effectiveness of these concepts, and so I try to give students the opportunity to take these concepts and push them to the extreme.

The primary way in which we do that is to push ourselves to identify all landmarks necessary to specifically plan out each individual structure and form, rather than just the major ones. To make clear decisions, rather than leaving the smaller elements to be approximated or eyeballed. This takes hours - many hours - and results in orthographic plans like this, and ultimately constructions like this.

I'm not sharing these examples to suggest that you should achieve a particular level of quality - although I can tell you now that you are entirely capable of results like this. The difference is the time investment required. We can commit 2 and a half hours on a given day, and see where it gets us - or we can allow the work to dictate exactly how much time it requires. We can spend that first day on it, and find that our 2.5 hours only got us so far, and then go on to spend the next available day, and the one after that if it's necessary.

So for example, as we can see here I've marked out just a few of the many elements whose specific locations along the lengthwise direction of your bounding box were not given specific positions. Generally we'd use subdivision to identify/decide what fraction/proportion of that dimension each one sits at, so we can translate them to our 3D construction, rather than relying on approximating it by sight.

Now, like I said - I'm marking this lesson as complete. Right now, it's entirely possible that the 2.5 hours is the current limit of your patience. But like everything else, patience is something we can develop. Keep working at pushing yourself to the limit of what you're willing to commit to a drawing, and always allow yourself the option to pick up a drawing on the next day you're able, rather than striving to get it done in the time you know you have that sitting.

Also, come back and reread the feedback I've given you here and previously after some time away from Drawabox. You may find that it will provide you with additional insight that you perhaps could not leverage now, but may be in a better position to later.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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Sketching: The Basics

Sketching: The Basics

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