Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

10:19 PM, Friday January 8th 2021

Lesson 3 - Album on Imgur

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I am submitting pages for lesson 3, it was qui challenging, I still have some progress to do with the texture. Maybe it's not that bad ? The branches exercise was difficult for me, my lines are really fluid I think.

For the plant constructions, the first 2 pages include the demos :)

Thanks for you review.


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12:59 AM, Tuesday January 12th 2021

Starting with your arrows, you've done an excellent job of capturing how they move fluidly and believably through 3D space. The only thing I want you to keep an eye on here is the fact that with a number of these, you aren't quite selling the foreshortening applied to the negative space - that is, the gaps between the zigzagging sections. I talk about this in this section of the instructions.

Moving onto your leaves, you've done a great job of carrying over that confidence and fluidity to capture not only how the leaves sit in space, but also how they move through the space they occupy. You've also built up the complexity along those edges nicely, doing so in a structured manner that builds upon the previous phase of construction.

Continuing onto the branches, your work here is similarly well done. You're allowing those segments to overlap and flow from one to the next quite well, creating a smoother, more seamless transition from one to the next. One thing that can help you continue to improve here is to purposely use the last chunk of the previous segment as a runway for your next stroke, overlapping it directly even when they go off their intended path, instead of drawing the next stroke where the previous one ought to have been. This will make things a little more difficult but it will also help you learn from those mistakes more efficiently.

Now, for your plant constructions, the first thing that jumps out at me is that you're drawing these quite small, and that immediately puts you at a disadvantage. When students draw smaller and artificially restrict the amount of room they have to think through spatial problems, they make it much more difficult for themselves. This also makes it harder to engage one's whole arm when drawing. Both of these can make our linework appear somewhat more clumsy, and can also give us less space to deal with certain parts of our constructions than we really need.

Always start out by giving as much room to a given drawing as it requires, rather than going in with the expectation that you're going to fit a certain number of drawings in the page. Once you've got your first drawing down, you can assess whether there's enough room for another. If there is, go ahead and add it, and then repeat the process when you're done. If there isn't, it is completely okay to have some pages that include only a single drawing. Taking full advantage of the space available to you is critical. Comparing the results of your plant constructions to what you were able to achieve in the leaf and branch exercises, the difference is pretty substantial.

Another issue I noticed a couple times was that when faced with more complex leaves, like those on the courgette at the bottom of this page and the plant at the bottom of this page, you opted to jump into a higher level of complexity without the appropriate structure to support it. Instead, each individual "arm" should have been constructed as a separate leaf, then merged together as shown in this maple leaf demonstration. The principle of the leaf construction method is to build things up from simple to complex, not to work complete everything, regardless of complexity, in the same 4 steps.

Similarly, while you definitely handled the edge detail on your leaves correctly in the initial exercise, when it comes to the top two drawings on this page, you ended up zigzagging your edge details instead of building them up one by one. Remember that you are not to replace the whole outline of the leaf with every phase of construction - you're merely building it up, adding the parts that change from one phase to the next, as shown here on another student's work.

Now, before I mark this lesson as complete, I definitely want to see plant constructions that aren't needlessly hampered by being drawn far too small. As such, I'm going to assign a few pages of revision, and we'll pick up the critique from there.

Next Steps:

Please submit 4 more pages of plant constructions, making a point to draw much bigger, giving each drawing as much room as it requires.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
5:31 PM, Wednesday January 13th 2021

Hi and thank you for your critiques, I will take them into account for the future. As requested, you will find below a link with 4 pages of plant construction. I still had some difficulty with the texture.


Thank you,


12:24 AM, Friday January 15th 2021

These are definitely much improved, and more in line with what was covered in the lesson. Just one thing - looking at the leaves of the plant on the bottom of this page, you're definitely zigzagging your edges back and forth across the previous phase of construction, as explained here. You should not be attempting to redraw the entire edge from one phase of construction to the next. You should only be drawing the parts that change, as shown here on another student's work.

Anyway, be sure to keep that in mind. I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Feel free to move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
4:01 PM, Saturday January 16th 2021

Thanks for your critique. I looked back at the reference (https://media.gerbeaud.net/2018/08/640/abricots.jpg) and it seems unvoidable to do this zigzaging, because the changes appeared all the way of the edges. I'm not sur to be clear. But maybe I should not follow completely the ref ?

Thanks again

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