Hello Tjudy, I'll be the teaching assistant handling your lesson 5 critique.

Starting with your organic intersections your forms have a good sense of weight, and you have them slumping and sagging around each other with a sense of gravity, well done.

In future, you will get more out of this exercise if you draw each form in its entirety instead of allowing some of them to get cut off where they are overlapped by another form. These forms don't stop existing in 3D space where they pass behind something else, and it will help you develop your spatial reasoning skills if you push yourself to draw the parts that you can't see.

You're projecting most of your shadows far enough to cast onto the form below, good work.

Some of your contour curves look just a touch hesitant, make sure that you're using the ghosting method, and executing them with confidence, from your shoulder. And as always, you should not be redrawing lines to correct them.

Moving on to your animal constructions right off the bat there are a few points I noticed that stood out, as they were addressed in my critique of your Lesson 4 work. It is often necessary for students to take their own steps in ensuring that they do what they need to in order to ensure they're addressing the issues that have been called out. It's very easy to simply come back from a break and continue forwards with the next lesson without consideration for what issues may have been called out (or perhaps having them more loosely in mind, but without specifics), and each student needs to decide what it is they need to apply the information they're given as effectively as they can. For some that means reviewing the past feedback periodically, for others it means taking notes, and for yet more it's a combination of the two or something else entirely. I'd recommend you re-watch this video which explains how to get the most out of Drawabox, and what your responsibilities as a student are.

The issues that have previously been called out are as follows:

1 - Altering the silhouettes of forms that you have already drawn. Examples of cutting inside the silhouettes of forms you have already drawn in red here. Extending the silhouettes of forms you have already drawn with one-off lines and partial shapes is very frequent throughout your work, I've marked them in blue on this page as an example. I went over this twice in your lesson 4 feedback. Instead you should be building on your constructions with complete 3D forms. I did share some diagrams and examples with you to help you to do this.

2 - Your use of the sausage method of leg construction is a bit inconsistent. It does look like you're trying to apply this method, though you sometimes deviate from simple sausage forms, for example the upper sections of the legs on this dog are much wider at one end than the other. You're fairly intermittent about including a contour curve for the intersection where these sausage forms join together. You've remembered them on this cow but they are missing from many of your pages. I'm also not seeing any evidence of attempting to add additional forms to these sausage armatures as seen in the ant leg demo and dog leg demo that I shared with you. I've redrawn one of your legs for you here as another example. In blue is the elliptical thigh mass. In red are the simple sausage forms. In orange are the contour curves for the intersections at the joints. In green are additional forms to build any complexity that cannot be captured with simple sausages.

3- You're still redrawing some of your lines. Sometimes to make corrections, as seen in the hind legs of this dog where the far side lower leg looks like it has been drawn twice. Sometimes I think you may be redrawing lines to add unnecessary extra line weight. The most effective use of line weight - at least given the bounds and limitations of this course - is to use line weight specifically to clarify how different forms overlap one another, by limiting it to the localised areas where those overlaps occur. You can read more about this here. What this keeps us from doing is putting line weight in more random places, or attempting to correct or hide mistakes behind line weight. I've said this before, but remember that every mark you add in this course should be the result of a conscious decision. Use the planning stage of the ghosting method to clearly identify what purpose you have for the line you are about to draw. There are places on some constructions, such as your octahorse that indicate you may be making marks without actually thinking about what they add to your construction.

4- Remember to draw around your ellipses 2 full times before lifting your pen off the page. This is something we ask you to do for every ellipse you freehand in this course, and you have been reminded of this on a number of occasions now.

5- Your application of texture isn't really following the guidance from the texture section of lesson 2. You're describing form shadows, and in some cases applying it sloppily by scribbling. As ThatOneMushroomGuy explained in your lesson 3 critique, filling in large areas with black is unhelpful because it obscures the underlying construction, making it hard to evaluate your homework assignment. You've had specific, in-depth advice on this topic before, so rather than repeat information that is already at your disposal I will continue to the specifics of what we aim to tackle in lesson 5.

You've generally got the right idea with your core construction (though as noted earlier, you should be drawing around your ellipses 2 full times before lifting your pen) though I noticed on your dogs that you pinched the underside of your torso sausage inwards. When we do that it is no longer sticking to the characteristics of a simple sausage form and this gives us something of a weaker foundation on which to build the rest of our construction. If you refer back to the lesson introduction page you'll also see that the rib cage should occupy roughly half the length of the torso sausage. Here are these corrections applied to one of your dogs. Also, don't forget to explain how the head connects to the body in 3D space by constructing a simple solid neck, this is missing from your Octahorse, tapir, and longhorn #2 constructions.

Where in lesson 4 we introduced the idea of building onto our constructions with complete 3D forms, here in lesson 5 we get a bit more specific about how we design the silhouette of these additional forms. One thing that helps with the shape here is to think about how the mass would behave when existing first in the void of empty space, on its own. It all comes down to the silhouette of the mass - here, with nothing else to touch it, our mass would exist like a soft ball of meat or clay, made up only of outward curves. A simple circle for a silhouette.

Then, as it presses against an existing structure, the silhouette starts to get more complex. It forms inward curves wherever it makes contact, responding directly to the forms that are present. The silhouette is never random, of course - always changing in response to clear, defined structure. You can see this demonstrated in this diagram.

Unfortunately there are a number of pages where there are no additional masses, and instead you've extended the construction with one-off lines and partial shapes. Uncomfortable discusses additional masses on the lesson intro page as well as many of the various demos for this lesson. This does suggest that you didn't quite pay as much attention to the lesson material as you really needed to.

Nevertheless, I've gone ahead and redrawn some of the additional masses on this dog which is one of the constructions where you made a decent attempt at using additional masses.

For the mass above the shoulder I've pressed the additional mass up against the shoulder mass to help secure it to the underlying structures, see the inward curve where the additional mass wraps around the shoulder mass. I'd also redrawn the other masses on top of the back to wrap around each other in 3D space. The more interlocked they are, the more spatial relationships we define between the masses, the more solid and grounded everything appears.

I went ahead and drew additional masses in a few of the places where you'd extended the silhouette of your construction with partial shapes, hopefully to show you what we're asking you to do.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is head construction. Lesson 5 has a lot of different strategies for constructing heads, between the various demos. Given how the course has developed, and how Uncomfortable is finding new, more effective ways for students to tackle certain problems. So not all the approaches shown are equal, but they do have their uses. As it stands, as explained at the top of the tiger demo page (here), the current approach that is the most generally useful, as well as the most meaningful in terms of these drawings all being exercises in spatial reasoning, is what you'll find here in this informal head demo.

There are a few key points to this approach:

1- The specific shape of the eye sockets - the specific pentagonal shape allows for a nice wedge in which the muzzle can fit in between the sockets, as well as a flat edge across which we can lay the forehead area.

2- This approach focuses heavily on everything fitting together - no arbitrary gaps or floating elements. This allows us to ensure all of the different pieces feel grounded against one another, like a three dimensional puzzle.

3- We have to be mindful of how the marks we make are cuts along the curving surface of the cranial ball - working in individual strokes like this (rather than, say, drawing the eye socket with an ellipse) helps a lot in reinforcing this idea of engaging with a 3D structure.

Try your best to employ this method when doing constructional drawing exercises using animals in the future, as closely as you can. Sometimes it seems like it's not a good fit for certain heads, but as shown in in this banana-headed rhino it can be adapted for a wide array of animals.

Now as you may have guessed, I will be assigning some revisions for you to demonstrate that you can understand and apply the feedback that has been provided. I don't doubt that you have every ability to do a great job with this lesson, but you do need to pay more attention to the exercise instructions and your previous critiques if you want to get the most out of what this lesson has to teach you. Please study your previous critiques and all relevant sections of lesson material, then complete 5 pages of animal constructions.

For these, I'd like you to adhere to the following restrictions:

  • Do not work on more than one construction in a given day. So if you happen to put the finishing touches on one, do not move onto the next until the following day. You are however welcome and encouraged to spread your constructions across multiple days or sittings if that's what you need to do the work to the best of your current ability. That's not a matter of skill, it's a matter of giving yourself the time to execute each mark with care (which as I noted earlier is something you sometimes don't do as well as you could).

  • Write down beside each construction the dates of the sessions you spent on it, as well as a rough estimate of how much time was spent on it.

Of course, if anything said to you here, or previously, is unclear or confusing you are allowed to ask questions.