Lesson 5: Applying Construction to Animals
7:46 PM, Saturday October 23rd 2021
Nothing much to say. Thanks in advance.
Starting with your organic intersections, these are coming along pretty well. You're doing a good job of establishing how they wrap around one another under the force of gravity, slumping and sagging in a manner that conveys a believable interaction in 3D space. Just a couple things to keep in mind, which I've marked out here on your work:
Always keep in mind how your cast shadows wrap around the surface they're cast upon. You're definitely making progress with your shadows, there are just some small ways in which they can be pushed forward. Also, when a shadow jumps from the surface of one object to another, there is likely to be a "jump" - don't hesitate to allow for it.
When you draw your sausage forms, consider the placement of their silhouettes relative to the forms they're sitting on top of, especially when you've got a sausage that is wrapping around the one beneath it, placing some of it behind that other form, and some of it in front.
Continuing onto your animal constructions, one thing that really stands out is that you are very clearly trying hard to apply the points I raised in the previous lesson's critique - specifically when it comes to building with additional masses. This is something you're continuing to progress with, and you are showing some notable strides in the right direction. There are, as is perfectly normal, still some areas with room for improvement of course - for example, some spots where the design of silhouettes could be better. On this otter, I noted how the mass along the back was kind of stamped on top of the existing construction, as a flat shape - there wasn't anything in its silhouette that really established how it wrapped around what was already there.
Similarly, on this cat you're definitely doing better, though more can be done to really integrate that mass with the existing structure and its other masses. The hip and shoulder masses on animals are great opportunities to fit things together like puzzle pieces. I also left a few other comments:
While the otter's head construction was fantastic, I feel this one's was missing some pieces. Refer back to this demo.
You're definitely putting a good bit of effort into striving to use the sausage method correctly, and you're most of the way there. Do however keep an eye on the sausage segments themselves - you tend to make them ever so slightly wider through their midsection, where they should maintain a consistent width.
Moving forward, I felt this doberman showed a tendency to focus heavily on things occurring right at the edge/silhouette of your construction. While you may see a bump most prominently along its silhouette (that's why the silhouette's so important, it's what we pay the most attention to), think about what's going on internally. Wrap those masses around further, and consider how everything fits together along the inside of that overall shape.
Aside from those areas where there's certainly room for further improvement and growth, I think the rest of it falls to being sure to leave lots of time for observation. It's very clear that you've focused a lot on the core principles of construction, but this can sometimes cause students to overcompensate and spend less time observing their references, working instead more from memory than they should. I think this comes up on occasion in your work, though not consistently, and as you progress through the set I think you do get better in this regard. So rather than seeing this as a heavy criticism, think of it more as a reminder - we have to commit lots of time to observing our work, not just towards the beginning of a drawing, but throughout the process. We continually look back at that reference image, identifying new elements and picking out specific forms to transfer to our construction. It's something we get better at with practice, and being sure to work from high resolution images helps a lot as well.
There is actually one last recommendation I have to offer - when drawing your animals' heads, instead of drawing a simple, iconic "eye" shape on top of the eyeball, try drawing each lid as its own separate mass. This will help you better grasp the way in which they wrap around the sphere, as shown here.
As a whole, I definitely think you're moving in the right direction - you'll continue to grow as you practice these things on an ongoing basis. As far as we're concerned however, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. Keep up the good work.
Feel free to move onto the 250 cylinder challenge, which is a prerequisite for lesson 6.