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11:25 PM, Monday July 4th 2022

Jumping right in with your organic intersections, you're doing a good job of drawing the forms such that they feel as though they're under a consistent pressure from gravity to slump and sag over one another. On the second page, I did notice that you made the cast shadow falling upon the ground itself quite small - be sure to consider the relationship between the light source and the form casting a given shadow, as well as the surface receiving it (in this case it should just be a longer shadow, like the one on the first page). I would also recommend that you pick a light source position either to the left or to the right, rather than one straight above. It's easy to forget about the light source when we place it right above the pile.

Continuing onto your animal constructions, I do have a number of areas where I can provide some advice to help you continue to get the most out of these kinds of constructional drawing exercises.

The first of these has to do with line weight. Currently you are applying it very liberally across the entirety of your construction, employing it as more of a means to commit to the lines you want to keep. This approach is something I often refer to as a "rough underdrawing with a clean-up pass", and while it is an entirely valid approach in general, it is not one you should be employing in this course, as explained here. At its heart, it's because it results in students tracing back over their linework, which itself causes them to focus on how those marks run along the flat page, rather than how they represent the edges of forms in 3D space. In this focusing shifting towards the 2D, we end up breaking principles we'd discussed in my critique of your lesson 4 work - specifically, avoiding modifying the silhouettes of your forms. As you can see here, going back over your lines in this manner causes small sections of silhouettes to be cut out, and small sections to be extended. These extensions are all the more likely to occur when we allow that line weight to "bridge" from the silhouette of one form to another.

Instead, line weight should always follow the silhouette of one form at a time, and should be reserved to the specific localized areas where overlaps occur between forms, in order to help clarify those overlaps as discussed in these notes.

The second point I wanted to talk about are your additional masses, and the specific way in which their silhouettes are designed. In effect, when we're taking one mass and wrapping it around the existing structure, the specific way in which it wraps around that structure is something we can only convey through the design of that mass's silhouette. 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. The critical point here is that there are places where a sharp corner is required over a more gradual, rounded transition (to establish how the mass hooks back around to the other side), and places where a more gradual, rounded transition must be used and a sharp corner cannot do the trick. And of course, there are places where inward curves must be used (where one form presses up against another), and where an outward curve must be used because there is nothing pressing in on the mass in that location.

Here's this concept in action on one of your warthogs. Note that when you actively avoid using sharp corners where they're needed (something we can see on the masses on this elephant's back), the masses end up feeling more "blobby" and read more like flat stickers being pasted on top of your drawing, rather than forms that wrap around the existing structure. I've also got this commentary-free demo of an elephant construction that may provide you something to compare with.

The last thing I wanted to talk about for now 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 I'm 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 on the informal demos page.

There are a few key points to this approach:

  • The specific shape of the eyesockets - 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 eyesocket 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 with a bit of finagling it can still apply pretty well. To demonstrate this for another student, I found the most banana-headed rhinoceros I could, and threw together this demo.

Now, I've shared a number of things with you, and I'm going to assign some revisions so you can demonstrate your understanding of these points. You'll find them listed below.

Next Steps:

Please submit an additional 3 pages of animal constructions. I strongly recommend that you work on only one on a given day, and that you spread them across as many days as you require, rather than trying to get them done in any one sitting. Also, be sure to include the dates on which you worked on each construction, along with an estimate on how long you spent in that given sitting.

Lastly, leave detail/texture out, although I do recommend that you read through these notes from Lesson 2 to help refresh your memory on what texture, in the context of this course, really focuses on.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
6:24 PM, Saturday July 30th 2022


Here the link for the 3 animals, I did the cow twice because i wasn’t happy.

6:49 PM, Monday August 1st 2022

Overall you're definitely making progress and I can see you working to apply the points I raised. Though you did take another swing at the cow (which was certainly improved), I put some notes down on the original cow, here.

Above all else, remember that every single mass we put down is solid and tangible - you need to think about how they wrap around one another, and avoid the temptation to simply have them interact with one another in 2D space (which we can even see on the newer cow's back, here). You are making progress, but you will want to revisit the feedback you've already received periodically as you move forwards, ensuring that you don't allow yourself to forget the points I've raised. That said, based on what I've seen here and what I've shared with you, you should be well equipped with the feedback you've received as you continue to practice.

So, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Move onto the 250 cylinder challenge, which is a prerequisite for lesson 6.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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The Art of Blizzard Entertainment

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