Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids

12:39 AM, Wednesday October 28th 2020

Drawabox Lesson 4 : Insects and Arachnids - Album on Imgur

Imgur: https://imgur.com/gallery/yLrfmDy

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I hope these show up. Imgur gives me no end of problems and confusion and I had to cancel first attempt.

Anyway, sausage and insects submitted for official critique.


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9:33 PM, Thursday October 29th 2020

Alrighty, starting with your organic forms with contour lines, the main issue I want to draw your attention to is that while your contour lines are generally pretty well done (although you should stand to push how the degree of your ellipses gets narrower/wider as we slide along the length of the form), you don't appear to be adhering to the characteristics of simple sausage forms as explained in the instructions. This aspect of the exercise is important, especially as we get into using these kinds of forms as part of the base construction of our drawings.

That said, moving onto your insect constructions your work here is largely quite well done. You're doing a good job of thinking about how your constructions and forms exist in 3D space, and as such when you add segmentation (like in this nymph's abdomen you're mindful of the curvature of that surface as you wrap it around.

There are however some suggests that I have for you as you move forwards.

Firstly, a simple point - draw through your ellipses, and draw them confidently. This will help smooth them out, as the tiny bits of stiffness, unevenness and wobbles when we try too hard to draw them in one go will add complexity and undermine the solidity of the form. We want those ball forms to feel solid and 3D above all else, so again - keeping them simple is key.

Another fairly minor point is just to remember that our filled black shapes are reserved for cast shadows only. If you see an area of your reference that has a black surface/local colour, ignore it. Just as we wouldn't attempt to capture something being red or green or pink, we also don't worry about them being black, instead treating the entire object as though it is made up of the same flat white or grey or whatever. By keeping the use of these filled shapes to one singular purpose, we can avoid confusion and make our communication that much stronger.

The last point I wanted to call out is that I noticed that you seem to have employed a lot of different strategies for capturing the legs of your insects. It's not uncommon for students to be aware of the sausage method as introduced here, but to decide that the legs they're looking at don't actually seem to look like a chain of sausages, so they use some other strategy. The key to keep in mind here is that the sausage method is not about capturing the legs precisely as they are - it is about laying in a base structure or armature that captures both the solidity and the gestural flow of a limb in equal measure, where the majority of other techniques lean too far to one side, either looking solid and stiff or gestural but flat. Once in place, we can then build on top of this base structure with more additional forms as shown here, here, this ant leg, and even here in the context of a dog's leg (because this technique is still to be used throughout the next lesson as well). Just make sure you start out with the sausages, precisely as the steps are laid out in that diagram - don't throw the technique out just because it doesn't immediately look like what you're trying to construct.

Now, with that all in mind, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. You'll have ample opportunity to work on these matters in the next lesson, so be sure to keep them front-and-center as you work through the next set of spatial problems.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 5.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
2:24 AM, Friday October 30th 2020
edited at 2:25 AM, Oct 30th 2020

Thanks. I had forgotten the original premise of the sausages. I will add that back to my daily practice.

The only reason for the black was because I thought I heard in one video that it could be use sparingly where it helped with clarity of the structure, which was what I was attempting to do.

Anyway. This took a long time. No idea how long the even bigger next lesson will take.

edited at 2:25 AM, Oct 30th 2020
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