Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles

11:59 PM, Thursday April 22nd 2021

Drawabox lesson 7 - Album on Imgur

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I posted a couple of fails because it had the study I did for the final on those pages (and also to force me to not continuously give up and retry the same image).

I have a long way to go with really understanding the planes and simplifying to primitive forms. I also need to be more conscious of not sacrificing line confidence and quality.

Anyway, thank you so much for your time and critique.

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7:56 PM, Tuesday April 27th 2021

To start, I wanted to apologize for the delay in my critique. I was going to critique this yesterday (it's been on the top of my queue for a while now), but unfortunately a neighbouring apartment had a pipe burst, and it partially got into ours, forcing us out for the night. I did what I could from the hotel, but after I got peoples' revisions out of the way, I had to punt the full critiques to the next day.

Anyway, onto the critique! Your preliminary exercises are mostly coming along well, though I did notice that for your cylinders in boxes, especially those in the bottom left and bottom right, you definitely need more convergence between the lines on one end and the other. Currently they're converging a little more in pairs, rather than 4 lines together as a set. Also, the one in the bottom left is kind of confusing - I'm not really sure which end is pointing towards the viewer. It may have just been a bit of a hiccup though.

The form intersections themselves are good, but remember that you shouldn't be tracing back over the whole silhouette of a given form to reinforce that line. Line weight is always going to be focused on clarifying specific overlaps between forms in specific localized areas. Trying to go back over the whole silhouette, especially when that silhouette is rounded, tends to make us trace over it and focus too much on how that line moves across the flat page, rather than how it represents an edge moving through 3D space.

Moving onto your vehicle constructions, as a whole I am very pleased with your results, but there are a couple points I'd like to share with you.

  • Firstly, with Mr Bean's Mini, I was really happy with the depth of subdivision you were willing to explore - you really broke down that scaffolding quite a bit, and it doesn't look like anything was the result of any kind of approximation or guesswork. Your forms as a result, for the most part, felt solid and sturdy - I especially like that curve where the door meets the window - it creates this really nice, solid rounded piece of 3D information that feels tangible. The big mistake I do feel you made on this drawing, however, was the fact that it looks like you got a little uncertain when it came to drawing the chassis (both in the windshield area and towards the rear), and it looks like you may have tried to correct a mistake in order to make it more accurate to your reference image. Remember - in construction, once you've put a mark down, it can't be ignored. It's best just to leave mistakes as they are, and to build upon them, focusing more on creating a 3D object using the information from the reference, rather than going too far in trying to capture the reference perfectly.

  • The toyota hiace was similar - really great subdivision and overall construction, but that front section definitely looks overworked. I love the bumper/headlights situation, but the windshield's slope was definitely a struggle. That's pretty normal - it's a tricky spatial problem - but even when things get difficult, always allow yourself to commit to the marks that are put down on the page. Avoid going back over marks without clear purpose, otherwise things just get messy and harder for the viewer to interpret.

  • I've got nothing bad to say about your "Going Merry" boat. It's lovely, the sculpting of the hull is specific and well planned, and the structure is all very solid. Great work.

  • I think your Toyota Landcruiser is probably my favourite of the bunch. At this point, I think I've realized that you probably misunderstood what I meant by the "form intersection vehicles" - what I really meant was that it was just supposed to be the form intersections exercise, but with those basic primitives laid out in the loose configuration of vehicles. Others have made this mistake as well, drawing relatively detail-free constructions for this section. To be completely honest, I'd have been happy receiving this drawing as part of the last section of the exercise. The construction is spot on, the structure feels solid, and as always you've gone to considerable lengths to build out and use that scaffolding.

Now for all intents and purposes, your other drawings are essentially the same. You're extremely conscientious with your construction, and your forms are each solidly built. There's just one issue - when you got into detail, you kind of slipped into thinking more in terms of decoration of the image itself, rather than the goal of each exercise in this course.

What we're doing in this course - and obviously your being in Lesson 7, you know this already - can be broken into two distinct sections. Construction and texture. They both focus on the same concept. With construction we're communicating to the viewer what they need to know to understand how they might manipulate this object with their hands, were it in front of them. With texture, we're communicating to the viewer what they need to know to understand what it'd feel like to run their fingers over the object's various surfaces. Both of these focus on communicating three dimensional information. Both sections have specific jobs to accomplish.

When we start forgetting those target goals however, we start drifting back into things like capturing elements of form shading (which back in Lesson 2 we discussed would not be included in these drawings). For example, in your motorbike you ended up falling into the trap of differentiating your forms' planes/faces by filling one in with black. When doing these kinds of exercises, always reserve your filled black shapes for cast shadows only. This will keep their purpose targeted and clear, so the viewer can more easily interpret what they signify.

Anyway, your work is still very well done - just be careful with those cast shadows. Always think in terms of what you're trying to convey to the viewer, and how a given mark, or a given use of a tool (like filled black shapes) will influence what it is you're getting across.

And with that, I will happily and proudly mark this lesson as complete! Congratulations on completing the course, and best of luck as you continue to move towards your goals!

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
8:37 PM, Tuesday April 27th 2021

Hi Uncomfortable,

Thank you so much for your critique. As always, you provide me with fresh insight and renewed motivation to grow in my skills.

I'm not sure whether or not I'll do the texture challenge (I probably should) but either way, just wanted to say that I have gained so much from your course and from your critiques over the years and I want to thank you for all the hard work you put into making such an amazing and accessible resource to learning-from-home students like myself. You're awesome!

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