Lesson 5: Applying Construction to Animals
3:34 PM, Friday March 17th 2023
Hello JustCuteGirlzArt, I'll be the TA handling your lesson 5 critique.
Starting with your organic intersections you're doing a good job of keeping your forms simple here, and I'm happy to see you drawing though them as this helps to reinforce your understanding of 3D space.
There are a couple of places where it looks like you either changed your mind and attempted to redraw a form to make corrections, or got mixed up with what you were trying to draw. Here for example I've traced over one of your forms and its contour curves in blue. In red, I traced over what seems to be part of another smaller form occupying the same space. Please don't attempt to redraw things to make corrections. Adding more ink to a mistake won't fix it, it will just make your work messy and confusing. If you're getting confused about what you've drawn then you may benefit from keeping things simpler, and only drawing, lets say, four or five forms for each pile. That way you'll be more able to keep track of each individual form that you've drawn.
I can see that you're trying to get your forms to wrap around each other in 3D space. I have two diagrams I can share with you that may help you with this. This one shows how to pile forms on top of each other instead of drawing them in front or next to one another. This one shows how to wrap the top form around the lower one.
You're pushing your shadows far enough to cast onto the form below, which is a good start. To be frank, some of your shadows don't make sense to me. So, if I ask why are the areas I've marked in red on this page in shadow, and why the blue areas are not in shadow, can you give an answer? It is okay if the answer is incorrect, but remember every mark you make in this course should be the result of clear purpose, a decision being made. Having an answer, even one derived from misunderstanding, gives us a starting point. We can correct wrong understanding, but we cannot correct an absence of understanding altogether. It is however very common for students to react to difficult problems with panic, putting down any mark even if it's not one they've really thought through. So, when you find yourself getting overwhelmed by a problem, if that has occurred in the past or it does going forward, take a step back and assess the situation. Try and think through it logically, and come up with an answer - even if it's wrong.
Continuing on to your animal constructions I can see that you have poured a considerable amount of time and effort into your work here. I can see evidence of you planning where you want your forms to go, and using the ghosting method to execute some of your lines, which is a good sign. There are some issues I'm seeing here that have been called out to you previously.
1- Once you've put a form down on the page, do not attempt to alter its silhouette. This rule was introduced in your lesson 4 critique and you're not really following it. Please reread your critique for an explanation on how this breaks the 3D illusion of your construction. Here is an example where you'd established a boxy form for the foot, then drew a smaller structure over it, leaving the section I highlighted in red outside the silhouette of your construction to remind the viewer that they are looking at lines on a flat piece of paper.
Something that happens frequently throughout your work is extending your construction with single lines. We can see some of them highlighted in red on your elephant. Remember whenever you want to build on your construction or alter something you need to be adding complete 3D forms with their own fully enclosed silhouettes. I shared many diagrams and examples of how to do this in your lesson 4 critique.
2- As discussed previously, we'd like you to use the sausage method to construct your legs. You're not applying it as consistently as I would hope, considering the number of times we've gone over it.
On this bird you didn't use the sausage method at all.
On this construction you attempted the sausage method on the hind legs but not the front ones.
On some constructions you're using the sausage method, but forget the contour curves for the intersections at the joints, such as the hind legs of this elephant.
There are cases where it looks like you're attempting to include a contour curve for the intersection at the joints, but don't quite put it in the right place, as noted here where it looks like you made at least 3 attempts on one joint, with varying success. The blue one is almost correct, (I think it might curve this way) but the red one is simply a contour curve on the lower form, rather than an intersection where the two forms connect. The pink lines seem arbitrary to me, and the feedback is the same as for the shadows on your organic intersections, did you have a reason for drawing them?
So, one more time, here are the steps for applying the sausage method. In blue, I redrew your shoulder mass, much larger, and on the side of the body, not underneath it, which I talked about in your previous lesson 5 attempt. In red, a chain of simple sausage forms. In purple, the contour curves at the joints where these sausage forms intersect. In green, additional forms. Also notice the approach I've used to construct the foot, using a complete boxy form and adding smaller boxy forms for the toes. You can see another example of this in these notes on foot construction.
3- It's good that you're experimenting with using additional masses on your constructions, though there are ways that their design could be improved. There a re a lot of places where it looks like you're trying to build additional masses but you're not completing their silhouette.Take care to think through each mass one at a time and design a complete silhouette for each one.
You're still adding extra contour lines onto your additional masses to try to make them feel 3D. Reread my explanation on your previous lesson 5 submission for an explanation on how this is actually working against you.
You're still drawing some of your masses very rounded all the way around their silhouette as seen with the mass on the rump of this construction. This diagram shows how to introduce sharp corners and inward curves to wrap an additional mass around a sausage form.
Sometimes you're using sharp corners but they seem quite random, for example with the mass I've traced in blue on this elephant Once again, make sure each line you draw is the result of a deliberate decision, not done at random. So, I've redrawn the mass on your elephant using the logic of the behaviour of additional masses that I discussed in your previous lesson 5 critique.
4- In your first lesson 5 critique I asked you to follow this informal head demo for constructing your heads, as closely as you can. I can see you applying elements of the demo to some of your your head constructions, but this horse and both of your fish aren't using the method from that demo at all. Here is a simple breakdown of how to apply the method. For fish, there is now this example on the informal demos page that you may have missed. One last note, don't forget to construct a simple solid neck to establish how the cranial ball connects to the body in 3D space.
Okay. I've given you 4 key areas for you to work on, and I will be assigning some revisions for you to address these points. Please continue to only work one construction in a given day, and to mark on your pages what date(s) you worked on them and approximately how long for.
Please complete 1 page of organic intersections and 4 pages of animal constructions.
As always, if anything said to you here or previously is unclear or confusing you are allowed to ask questions.
Please complete 1 page of organic intersections and 4 pages of animal constructions.
For the organic intersection shadows in you were wondering about, the shadows in red are from the sausage form on the top. The gaps in the shadows in blue are there because those forms are not resting on the ground but on other sausage forms and since i only have two values to work with (brush pen or no brush pen) it looks like a gap in the shadow. Hopefully that clears that up.
Hello JustCuteGirlzArt, thanks for explaining the rationale behind that arrangement of cast shadows in your organic intersections.
Having a reason for drawing the shadows in this manner is a good start, as it shows you were thinking about what you were doing, and means I'm able to give more specific advice on how to correct them.
To make it easier to understand which forms we're talking about, I've numbered them here.
So, if we consider the areas of shadow on forms 3, 4, and 5 that I'd previously highlighted in red. You've stated that they "are from the sausage form on the top." There are 3 forms that are above these shadows on the 2D space of the paper. 7 is too small and too far over to the left, so I'll discount that immediately. Forms 3 and 4 are casting shadows onto form 2, so by that logic 2 must be underneath forms 3 and 4 in 3D space. That leaves form 6, but we can see a shadow being cast from form 6 onto forms 3, 4 and 5 directly beneath form 6, as highlighted here. So I stand by my earlier statement that the areas highlighted in red here are illogical. I hope that better explains why these shadows cannot be present.
Your explanation for the gaps in the shadows I'd highlighted in blue seems to hinge on the shadows being lighter because the form is further from the ground plane. As you stated, we only have two values to work with, so, you need to fill the whole cast shadow with black. If you leave areas of your shadow white then it's not shadow anymore. We're ignoring things like reflected light and ambient light for this exercise.
You are correct in thinking that the distance between the form and the ground plane will affect the cast shadow. It just doesn't happen in this manner. I've put together some diagrams to help explain this visually for you. I'd also recommend grabbing a lamp or a torch and and examining the behaviour of cast shadows from household objects to gain a better understanding of this. The distance between the form casting the shadow and the form it is being cast upon (in this case, the ground) is going to affect the distance that the shadow gets projected, but the shape of the shadow will still be a projection of the shape of the form's silhouette.
So, if we treat the shadow you'd drawn being cast from form 5 onto form 1 as correct, then here is how the rest of the shadow being cast from form 5 might look. I've used a dashed line to indicate where the hidden parts of the shadow fall. I don't draw this when actually doing the exercise, but I thought it would be helpful to show the thought process here. By considering the shadow cast by the entire form we can see that even though form 5 is not resting on the ground we won't see a gap between the form and the shadow it casts on the ground. I hope that clears it up for you.