5:42 AM, Thursday April 8th 2021
I'll be the TA handling your Lesson 2 critique.
You're making progress towards understanding the concepts introduced in this lesson and hopefully this critique will help you in your future attempts.
Starting off in the arrows section your lines are looking smoothly and confidently drawn. There are spots where your arrows bulge/narrow suddenly, this is an issue because it gives the impression that your arrows are stretching which hurts their solidity. Remember that as our arrows move closer to the viewer we want them to widen consistently. This is a good exercise to experiment with line weight in but when applying it we want to make sure we do subtly to key areas like overlaps to give clarity to our forms. Here are some things to look out for when applying line weight, and here are some reminders on how to apply it subtly. I'd like you to experiment more with foreshortening in your future attempts, by utilizing it in both the arrows themselves as well as the negative space between their curves we can create a stronger illusion of an object moving through 3D space as demonstrated here.
Moving into the organic forms with contours exercise you're doing a good job keeping your forms simple, plenty of people tend to over-complicate them. You're keeping your line work confident here which is great, if you feel uncomfortable working with contours still don't stress with more mileage it'll become more natural. Speaking of contours I'd like you to try and shift the degree of your contours more. The degree of a contour line basically represents the orientation of that cross-section in space, relative to the viewer, and as we slide along the sausage form, the cross section is either going to open up (allowing us to see more of it) or turn away from the viewer (allowing us to see less), as shown here.
In the texture exercises you're focusing largely on outlines and negative space rather than cast shadows created by forms along the texture itself. This makes it difficult to create gradients with implied information which we could then use to create focal points in more complex pieces, by doing so we can prevent our viewers from being visually overwhelmed with too much detail. For more on the importance of focusing on cast shadows read here. I'd also like to quickly direct you to this image which shows that when we're working with thin line like textures if we outline and fill the shadow we will create a much more dynamic texture than simply drawing lines.
If you feel like you don't fully grasp form intersections just yet don't worry, you're on the right track but right now this exercise is just meant to get students to start thinking about how their forms relate to one another in 3D space, and how to define those relationships on the page. We'll be going over them more in the upcoming lessons. Your forms are looking quite solid here and they believably appear to belong in the same cohesive 3D space, good work.
While wrapping up your submission with the organic intersections exercise you do a great job demonstrating that your sense of 3D space is developing as your forms begin to wrap around each other believably. You're keeping your forms simple and easy to work with which is a good strategy to help produce good results. When drawing your shadows you don't push them far enough to cast, instead they mostly hug the form creating them, try pushing them further. Your shadows appear to be following a consistent light source, be sure to experiment with different angles and intensities when trying this exercise again in the future. I recommend pushing your light source to the top left or right corner of the page to start with, it's easier than working with a light directly above your form pile.
Overall this was a solid submission, while you may have some things to work on I have no doubt you will improve with more mileage. I'll be marking your submission as complete and moving you on to the next lesson.
Keep practicing previous exercises as warm ups and good luck in lesson 3!
Keep practicing previous exercise as warm ups.
Move on to lesson 3.
12:55 PM, Thursday April 8th 2021
Thanks for the critique. I have some questions regarding some of the exercises and my understanding of the work.
For the arrows section, I am a little confused. The instructions say that we should draw an identical curve.
"Next, draw the same curve a little below it. This can get tricky, since it's quite difficult to replicate an identical curve."
However, if I were to draw an identical curve, wouldn't the width of the ribbon remain the same throughout the page. It would be the same width at the back of the arrow as the front of the arrow and the arrow would look flat. Is this statement correct? Some clarification here would be helpful.
For the textures, I don't think I understand this section at all. I drew this section believing I was drawing the cast shadows of the form the entire time. The crumpled paper, admittedly, I had no idea what I was doing. However for the Lizard Scales and Tree trunk, they have crevices that would form a shadow, which is what I thought I was drawing. Do you have any tips to how I should have drawn these textures instead?
I look forward to your reply.
8:01 PM, Thursday April 8th 2021
Basically the answer to your arrow question is that you want to be thinking in terms of 3D space and not 2D. The easiest comparison I can bring up is our boxes, if we constructed an actual box we would want it's pairs of edges to be parallel to one another and of equal length or else we'd have a misshapen box, but once we view that box from an angle or draw it it will converge to a natural vanishing point due to perspective or the vanishing point we create on a page.
So when drawing an arrow we want to be drawing the same curve in terms of it's position in 3D space, however because it's moving towards the viewer it foreshortens and widens consistently as it gets closer and the edges diverge. Remember that while this occurs the space between curves of the arrow will widen as well.
Textures are difficult and we don't expect you to do them well here, it's mostly just an introduction to the concept and ever texture is it's own challenge so don't stress about them too much, they just require a ton of mileage. One thing to remember is that if we point out a flaw it doesn't necessarily mean every single one of your attempts has that flaw, your scale analysis and corn dissection as quick examples are definitely steps in the right direction. While if we look at dissections like your turtle skin, or grass there is more of a focus on outlines, and if we look at your pavement or meat attempts there's more focus on negative space and colour changes (and even form shading in your strawberry attempt).
Overall your submission was solid and it's great that you asked questions and want clarification on things, I just hope you're not over-thinking or stressing yourself out too much.
4:53 AM, Friday April 9th 2021
Thank you for the clarification. That was very helpful.