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11:09 PM, Sunday February 25th 2024

Hello jkinney235, I'm ThatOneMushroomGuy and I'll be the TA handling your critique today.


Starting with your arrows you're drawing your marks with a great deal of confidence which helps solidify the feeling of fluidity that arrows posses as they move through all the three dimensions of the world they exist in. You're keeping foreshorting in mind while constructing your arrows which allows you to make really good use of perspective and the depth of your page, this gives a great extra layer of tridimensionality to your arrows.

Your usage of hatching helps you establish how your arrows twist and turn in space and further your own understanding of the tridimensional space these objects occupy. As a finishing touch to your arrows don't forget to make use of added line weight on top of the overlaps to reinforce their depth.

In general you're doing well, so keep tackling this exercise during your warm ups in order take your understanding of arrows and 3D space further, experiment with the different ways arrows can twist and bend and move across space, try different rates of foreshortening and experiment with the negative space between overlaps, all of these will help you challenge yourself and develop your skills further.


The linework for your leaves is looking smooth which helps communicate their fluidity and sense of energy, it's good that you're not only trying to capture how these structures sit statically within space, but also how they move across it from moment to moment.

However your structures need some work in how you're approaching them, you're drawing all of them with these segmentation lines and approaching your edge detail subtractively, that is, always cutting into your forms. This type of segmentation and contours can flatten and stiffen your regular leaf constructions, so it's best to save them for drawing complex leaf structures only.

Your addition of edge detail is really sparse even in your plant construction pages, which is an issue, when you add it in you're often doing so subtractively, cutting back into the forms you've already drawn, which should be avoided as cutting back into the marks we've already drawn can cause us to focus too much on the 2d shapes on the page, rather than the tridimensional edges they represent in space.

By not adding edge detail to the majority of your work it's left very simple and you miss out on a great tool to help you further communicate the way your structures exist and move through space. Make use of edge detail whenever possible, and remember that only the last step of leaf construction - texture - is optional.


For your branches you're not sticking to the instructions for this exercise as closely as you should. While it's good to see that you're drawing your edges in segments you're not starting your new segment back at the previous ellipse point and superimposing it on top of the preexisting mark, you're starting your new segments close to where your previous mark ended, which partially removes the healthy overlaps we seek to achieve in these structures.

So remember how branches should be approached, by having your segment start at the first ellipse point, extending it past the second ellipse and fully up to the halfway point to the third ellipse, afterwards you'll start a new segment, making sure to place your pen at the second ellipse and repeat this pattern until your entire branch is complete.

For ellipses it's good to see that you're making an attempt to always draw through them twice, as that allows for a smoother mark overall.

When it comes to your application of the ellipse degree shift to your branches it can be improved, as it stands your degrees are too consistent and hardly change which is a mistake that flattens your structures. Remember that as a form shifts in relation to the viewer, so will the degree of the ellipses within that structure also shift.

Plant Construction Section

And lastly let's take a look at your plant constructions, which are coming along quite nicely. You're generally making use of the construction methods and techniques introduced in this Lesson which helps you create the illusion of tridimensionality in your work.

You're demonstrating in these pages that you're developing a strong sense of spatial reasoning, there are only a couple of things that should be kept in mind going forward, so you can get even more out of these exercises.

Something else you should consider is limiting the amount of ellipses present in your branches, as it stands, at points you have too many ellipses in close proximity to one another, if you follow the instructions for extending your segments correctly this won't allow you enough of a length of runway to extend your marks and is likely to cause visible tails in your work, it also makes it harder for you to fully engage your arm when drawing. As a general rule of thumb, treat ellipses as indicators for when the form shifts noticeably, that way you don't end up with too many ellipses that communicate the same information to the viewer.

Make sure to keep the entirety of your constructions contained to the inside of your page.

Final Thoughts

You're applying the concepts taught in this lesson to great effect. Your constructions are looking solid and tridimensional. I'm going to be marking this lesson as complete as I believe you're ready to tackle the challenges present in the next lesson. Good luck in Lesson 4.

Next Steps:

Don't forget to add these exercises to your list of warm ups.

Move on to Lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
6:38 PM, Monday February 26th 2024

Thank you!

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Staedtler Pigment Liners

Staedtler Pigment Liners

These are what I use when doing these exercises. They usually run somewhere in the middle of the price/quality range, and are often sold in sets of different line weights - remember that for the Drawabox lessons, we only really use the 0.5s, so try and find sets that sell only one size.

Alternatively, if at all possible, going to an art supply store and buying the pens in person is often better because they'll generally sell them individually and allow you to test them out before you buy (to weed out any duds).

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