Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants
1:22 PM, Monday June 1st 2020
Loved Lesson 3! Really enjoy drawing flowers and plants during spring time! Thanks again for all the feedback and help!
To start, nice work on your arrows! They're flowing very well, and conveying a good grasp of how perspective applies to both the positive space and the negative space of your scene. You're carrying this over into the leaf exercise, where each one captures both how the form sits in 3D space, and how it moves through the space it occupies. This is important as many students have a tendency to stiffen up and focus too much on making the form feel solid and three dimensional, that they'll make it appear stiff and static.
I'm also very pleased in seeing how you're taking to the constructional approach of drawing - each leaf is very clearly structured, building upon previous phases of construction and adhering to the specific assertions made by each individual mark. You don't have any contradictions in your drawings at this point, and this helps to further sell the illusion that your leaves are real and tangible things.
For your branches, I'm catching one main issue - you're not extending your line segments fully halfway towards the next ellipse, and only appear to extend it ever so slightly past the previous ellipse. As shown here, we need to give ourselves plenty of room for the next segment to overlap directly, to treat as a runway, before shooting off towards its next target. This is what allows us to achieve a smooth, seamless transition from stroke to stroke.
Moving onto your plant constrictions, these are, for the most part, very well done. There are a couple minor things I want to address, but by and large you've done a very good job at capturing each form in a way that sells the illusion that we're dealing in 3D space, rather than just with lines and shapes on a flat page.
First issue - make sure you draw each and every form in its entirety. Taking a look at the flower in the middle of this page, you'll notice that the petals are not drawn in their entirety. When another petal overlaps, the previous one stops entirely. Drawing each form in full allows us to fully grasp how they exist in space, and how they relate to their neighbours. This seems to be one of the few cases where you've had this issue though - in other cases like the potato plant, you did a much better job drawing everything in its entirety.
Keep in mind that this also means that you should avoid gaps in your shapes. Much later on, on this page, you tend to be more prone to shapes that are not entirely enclosed, and this reminds the viewer that they're looking at lines on a page.
Speaking of the potato plant, you'll notice that in my demonstration, the camera angle was considerably higher. While it is entirely fine for you to end up using a different angle (and in fact, it's actually quite good that you were able to apply construction well enough such that changing the camera angle did not impede the image as a whole), it does create one issue that went unchecked. Your drawing, due to the camera angle, ends up with leaves that are much higher in the air. The negative space between them has been filled in with black, but there's no actual surface back there (considering they're so high up) on which for the shadows I was capturing in my demonstration to actually be cast. This suggests that you were thinking a little bit in auto-pilot - copying what you saw, rather than thinking somewhat more critically about why certain things were being drawn the way they were. In my demonstration, it's simply a collection of shadows being cast upon the dirt. In yours, it ends up being abstract flat shapes in the air.
On this page, it's worth noting that your linework starts to get kind of sloppy. Maybe you're getting tired, maybe you've done more than you should have that day, or maybe you're just eager for the lesson to end. Of course, none of these are good reasons - you've got to make sure that every single line you draw is drawn to the best of your ability, and if that means taking a break, taking an extra day, or whatever else, then that's what you should do. Remember that you should not be zigzagging your lines back and forth around the previous phase of construction when adding edge detail. As you did with your leaves exercise, that complexity should be added in segments, coming off the previous structure and returning to it.
Aside from the sloppiness on these last few pages, you've done a good job. I'm going to go ahead and mark this lesson as complete, just make sure you don't let your impatience get the better of you, and ruin an otherwise good submission.
Feel free to move onto lesson 4.