Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

11:38 AM, Saturday May 16th 2020

Lesson 3 - DAB - Album on Imgur

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Post with 12 views. Lesson 3 - DAB

When adding lineweight on flowers like the rose I did ghost the lines but then when I didn't get it 100% on the whole line I tried to cover it up by making it thicker so thats why some of them may look weird.

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6:27 PM, Saturday May 16th 2020

To address the point that you mention there about your line weight, it's totally fine and normal if you miss your mark when adding line weight - but all the same, you should not be trying to "fix" the mistake, as this is a bad habit. Being in control of the amount of weight present in various parts of your drawing is important when it comes to composition, and other such things that you'll be worrying about in the future. If you make the places where you screw up the darkest, then they will be the parts that draw the most attention. You'd end up making mistakes your focal points, and losing all control over how you want the viewer's eye to move through a piece.

If you make a mistake, just leave it be.

So, starting with your arrows, these are looking quite good. You're doing a good job of drawing them such that they move fluidly through space, just don't forget to make sure that as the arrow's ribbon gets narrower, the spacing between the zigzagging sections should also compress at the same rate.

Moving onto your leaves, I think you've largely captured the same sense of fluidity with how you've drawn the basic flow line and simple edges of each leaf. When it comes to detail however, I feel that you've relied a great deal more on memory than actually transferring information directly from a reference image. This results in the details being oversimplified, and not actually reflecting what is present in your reference. Remember that it's important for you to be continually looking back at your reference, looking away only long enough to put down one or two specific marks. Furthermore, don't forget what we explored in regards to texture back in Lesson 2. The marks we use to capture texture are the shadows cast by textural forms along the surface of the object. You're not to be drawing lines, which is in large part what you've been doing here.

All that said, when it comes to adding edge detail to your leaves, I am pleased with how you ensured that the more complex pieces you added would adhere directly to the edges of the previous phase of construction. You used that previous phase as a scaffolding to help support what you were adding, and that is definitely in line with how I want you to employ constructional drawing. The only issue I want you to pay attention to as far as this is concerned, is making sure that the marks for your more complex edge detail actually start right on the previous line. As you can see here, you do tend to have a habit of missing slightly, which results in these little bits that stick out. It's really just a matter of taking a little more time in positioning your pen.

Moving onto your branches, this is actually mostly well done, save for one issue. Your line segments don't extend fully halfway towards the next ellipse, as instructed. What you should be doing is drawing a segment from the first ellipse, past the second and halfway towards the third. Then your next segment goes from the second ellipse, past the third, and stops halfway towards the fourth. This means that we get a half-segment of overlap between them, where the second segment uses the first as a runway before shooting off towards its target. This helps us achieve a more fluid, seamless transition, giving the impression that the whole edge of the branch is made up of a single well controlled stroke.

Currently, you only appear to be drawing edges from ellipse to ellipse with no overlap. While your lines are still mostly flowing well, ensuring the overlap will take this even further.

Moving onto your plant constructions, I think for the most part these are pretty well done. You're demonstrating a lot of respect for the constructional process, and you're not afraid to put down additional structure where it's needed in order to properly support whatever more complex information you'd like to introduce in a subsequent step.

I have just a couple things to recommend:

  • There are a few places on this drawing where you added the edge detail to your petals using a continuous line that would zigzag back and forth over the simpler edge. This issue is explained here. Basically you should avoid that kind of zigzagging, and instead draw each little adjustment to the edge separately, coming off and returning to that simpler edge.

  • With this drawing, deciding to use contour lines to convey the thickness of the aloe leaves was a good move, but I think you may have somewhat overdone it. Contour lines have diminishing returns - adding one is going to have a good impact, your second less so, your third even less, and so on. It's better to ensure that the ones you do decide to draw are executed as well as you can manage, and to avoid adding ones that don't really contribute.

  • In drawings such as this one, it's better to pick a cluster of flowers and really focus on that, blowing it up to the full size of the page. Drawing bigger helps engage more of our brain's capacity for spatial reasoning, while also encouraging us to use our whole arm when drawing. Drawing smaller can cause things to get cramped and clumsy, and can encourage other bad habits. Similarly, with this one leaving more of the stem out and zooming in on the flower itself would have served much better as an exercise.

So, I've pointed out a number of things for you to keep in mind and work on, but I feel this submission is still fairly well done. As such, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
3:38 PM, Monday May 18th 2020

Thanks for the critique! Going through lesson 4 at the minute and was wondering on this demo, https://drawabox.com/lesson/4/7/turningform, are we allowed to use hatching (on point 3 of the demo) because after asking some people on the discord people said never use hatching.

3:55 PM, Monday May 18th 2020

Some of the demos are really old - and while they still have useful things to share (which is why they've been included), they also include elements that other lessons may specifically tell us to avoid. Hatching is definitely one of them - basically anywhere you use hatching is an opportunity where you should be looking closer at the texture present in the object, using that to create a pattern of alternating black and white shapes that would accomplish what the hatching itself does, but while communicating more about the surface itself.

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