Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

6:29 PM, Wednesday February 28th 2024

Lesson 3 | Flickr

Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjBcQhn

Explore this photo album by Lemonade D on Flickr!

0 users agree
11:42 PM, Sunday March 3rd 2024

Hello 28_lemonade, I'm ThatOneMushroomGuy and I'll be the TA handling your critique today.


Starting with your arrows you're drawing your marks with a great deal of confidence which helps solidify the feeling of fluidity that arrows posses as they move through all the three dimensions of the world they exist in. You're keeping foreshorting in mind while constructing your arrows which allows you to make really good use of perspective and the depth of your page, this gives a nice extra layer of tridimensionality to your arrows.

Your usage of hatching helps you establish how your arrows twist and turn in space and further your own understanding of the tridimensional space these objects occupy, it's also good that you're making use of added line weight on top of the overlaps in order to reinforce their depth.

Generally you're doing a good job with this exercise, I'd like to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone more often the next time you tackle this exercise in order to keep pushing yourself. Try arrows with different kinds of twists and turns and different rates of foreshortening, keep in mind that arrows are very flexible objects and can move freely across the world in all sorts of manners, so you should push yourself and explore the different possibilities.


The linework for your leaves is looking smooth which helps communicate their fluidity and sense of energy, it's good that you're not only trying to capture how these structures sit statically within space, but also how they move across it from moment to moment.

Your addition of edge detail is generally looking good, as you don't usually attempt to capture more than one piece of edge detail at a time, you're also keeping the line thickness between your phases of construction roughly consistent, but what you should keep in mind is that you're often approaching edge detail subtractively, that is, cutting back into the forms you've already drawn. It's best to approach edge detail additively whenever possible, as cutting back into the forms we've already drawn can cause us to focus too much on manipulating 2d shapes, rather than the tridimensional edges they represent.

There are several lines and dots throughout your leaf structures which seem to be your attempts at leaf texture, but it can definitely be pushed further. There's much more going on than just a few stray marks implying veins and we can do much more to accurately communicate this type of texture, take a look at this informal demo on how to approach leaf texture, and make sure to give these reminders on how texture works in Drawabox a read.


Moving on to your branches it's good that you're drawing your edges in segments, but you're not extending your marks completely up to the halfway point between ellipses, which partially removes the healthy overlaps we seek to achieve in these structures.

So remember how branches should be approached, by having your segment start at the first ellipse point, extending it past the second ellipse and fully up to the halfway point to the third ellipse, afterwards you'll start a new segment, making sure to place your pen at the second ellipse and repeat this pattern until your entire branch is complete.

Onto your ellipses it's good to see that you're making an attempt to always draw through them twice, as that allows for a smoother mark overall. And it's also good to see that you seem aware of the ellipse degree shift although it can be improved, as it stands your degrees are sometimes too consistent and hardly change or their change is too drastic flattens your forms. Remember that as a form shifts in relation to the viewer, so will the degree of the ellipses within that structure also shift.

Plant Construction Section

And lastly let's take a look at your plant constructions, which are coming along quite well made. You're generally making use of the construction methods and techniques introduced in this Lesson which helps you create the illusion of tridimensionality in your work, you're not only trying to capture what these structures look like, but you're also focusing on how they work, how they exist fully in space.

This is all very good and it's helping you develop a strong sense of spatial reasoning, there are only a couple of things that you should keep in mind as they will help you develop your abilities even further.

I've noticed that for these pages you had a tendency to choose more complex plant structures with lots of elements to them, even going so far as to have two very complex constructions in the same page. While this is not necessarily a mistake it can end up limiting your ability to hone your skills and fully become acquaintanced with the construction techniques and methods, by limiting the amount of structures on your page as well as focusing on some simpler structures you would have allowed yourself more room to work through the spatial reasoning challenges that arise when tackling these exercises, and also give you enough space to fully engage your shoulder when drawing.

Always keep in mind that the construction methods and techniques introduced in this course must always be applied to your work, as they're tools which will help you construct much tighter and solid looking structures, you can see in this construction and this construction examples of you deviating from the construction methods by not starting your branches with a minor axis, in this construction you have also not constructed the leaf structures with the leaf construction method, and they look stiffer and flatter as a result. Remember that these techniques are not guidelines or suggestions - they are rules.

Your usage or dge detail in your plant construction pages is incredibly sparse, for the most part you're not making use of edge detail, by not adding it your leaf structures are left very simple and you miss out on a great tool to help you further communicate the way your structures exist and move through space.

Keep in mind that edge detail is another step of the construction process and as such it must be considered whenever possible. Only the last step of construction - texture - is optional.

Final Thoughts

In general you are doing an incredible job, you are making use of the construction methods and techniques introduced in this lesson to great effect and your structures are coming along really tridimensional as a result. You are clearly demonstrating a strong sense of spatial reasoning in these pages.

I believe you have understood the purpose of these exercises and as such I'm going to be marking this submission as complete.

Next Steps:

Don't forget to add these exercises to your list of warm ups.

Move on to Lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
12:26 AM, Wednesday March 6th 2024

Thank you so much MushroomGuy!

I'll practise some more with the plants and will do the arrow excersise as an warmup.

Looking forward to be starting lesson 4!

The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something I've used myself. If you're interested, here is a full list.
Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens

Like the Staedtlers, these also come in a set of multiple weights - the ones we use are F. One useful thing in these sets however (if you can't find the pens individually) is that some of the sets come with a brush pen (the B size). These can be helpful in filling out big black areas.

Still, I'd recommend buying these in person if you can, at a proper art supply store. They'll generally let you buy them individually, and also test them out beforehand to weed out any duds.

This website uses cookies. You can read more about what we do with them, read our privacy policy.