Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles

4:43 PM, Sunday June 20th 2021

Lesson 7 - Album on Imgur

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I put two question marks on the page with cylinder in boxes because I wasn't really sure with the error checking.

Thank you for your critique.


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10:08 PM, Monday June 21st 2021

Starting with your form intersections, these are looking good. Your linework is confident, your forms are solid, and the relationships you've established between them with the intersection lines all make a good deal of sense and feel quite reasonable based on the way those surfaces are interacting in space.

Looking at your cylinders in boxes, while these are mostly fine, I did notice that in one of your cylinders, you very definitely identified the minor axis (specifically of the ellipse on the farther end of the form) incorrectly. Remember that the minor axis cuts across the ellipse's narrowest dimension - which would be across from left to right, rather than top to bottom.

Continuing onto the form-intersection-vehicles, it took me a second to realize how you'd approached this. Ultimately your work here is mostly fine, but what I'd really meant was for students to create one vehicle on the page, by arranging forms in how they would have done so for the form intersections. So the car at the top of this page would be just about correct, but if it was the only thing on the page, and if you'd actually drawn each of the cylinders in their entirety (spanning across the width of the car to cover two wheels each). Anyway, overall your work here was still fine.

Now, moving onto the meat of this lesson - the vehicle constructions - the results here are a little bit mixed. The main question is a matter of where you did use enough subdivision to help position the various aspects of your constructions with precision, and where you opted to cut some corners by eyeballing things.

There were definitely a lot of situations where you did subdivide a fair bit - for example, this boat towards the beginning, there appears to be enough structure there to help support all of the elements you built out, and I'm pleased to see that for the element along the boat's front, you subdivided further in that specific area.

This ship however, is an entirely different story. You built out the basic bounding box and subdivided it a little, but then ultimately drew from observation, relying on your understanding of 3D space to help keep your edges converging consistently. In this regard, this went from being an exercise designed to walk you through a lot of time-consuming, specific steps to further develop your instincts and overall grasp of how to tackle these drawings, and turned it into a performance - that is, something to demonstrate your ability where it is right now. Every drawing you do within this course is intended to be an exercise - so you're meant to be using the tools you've been given, rather than eyeballing or approximating things.

That does however mean that the drawings one does for this lesson in particular are very time consuming. While I don't generally share other students' work because my intent is not to compare the results, I find that showing this work by veedraws to be useful specifically because she kept a very careful timetable of how long each drawing took. You'll note there that her shortest was still upwards of 4 hours, with her longest taking almost 9.

I don't necessarily expect students to be spending quite so much time, but the point is this - every drawing should be executed, using all of the tools at your disposal, to the best of your current ability. Any corners cut will inhibit your ability to hold to that one responsibility.

We can see areas where this hindered you particularly in cases like the back of this car, where the rear lights are positioned rather inconsistently to one another. You've also approximated the cab itself quite a bit - there's nothing there establishing the construction in simpler forms, or creating a scaffolding to break the complex problems down into simpler steps. That is what Drawabox, and constructional drawing is all about - breaking complicated problems into individual steps, rather than jumping ahead to levels of complexity that cannot be supported by the existing structure.

That isn't to say there aren't areas you've done well. Pretty much everything you did take the time to build out came out very nicely - those wheels for instance on that same care are quite nice, and the lower half of the rear feels very solid, specifically because it was built based on a scaffolding of lines that run across to the left vanishing point.

To put it simply, you've just tried to get away with too little actual construction. Taking it further, your use of solid black areas was pretty inconsistent. Remember that in general, your filled black shapes should be reserved for cast shadows only - that means that you're not filling in pre-defined areas of a drawing, but rather that you need to be thinking about the specific nature of the form casting the shadow, and its relationship with the surface receiving it. The only case where it's okay to just fill something in, is something you're okay with flattening out - so for example, the interior of a car as seen through the windshield can be filled in with total black. The area around the headlights of this train however should not be filled in with black, because you want that structure to feel three dimensional and solid - not graphic and flat.

Lastly, on that point, I would avoid trying to employ form shading here. We discuss back in Lesson 2 that it's best to leave form shading out, and that's something we've held to throughout the rest of the course. I'm assuming that the Camaro demonstration may have contradicted that point, since it's much older - I'm eager to replace all the demonstrations that include old contradictions like this, once I'm able to get back on overhauling the course material.

Anyway, as a whole I can clearly see that you're moving in the right direction, but you're definitely not putting as much time into each drawing, to work through all of its various constructional steps. I'm going to assign some additional revisions where you can remedy that. Remember - no one said you have to complete a drawing in a single sitting, or even a single day. You take as long as you need, as many sittings, as many days, to complete it. Your only responsibility here is to complete the work to the best of your ability, no matter how long it takes.

Next Steps:

Please submit 4 additional vehicle constructions.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
3:55 PM, Sunday July 4th 2021

Hi and thanks for your critique, I tried to apply what you said in these 4 additional drawing :


Thanks again,


4:14 PM, Sunday July 4th 2021

These are looking much better! The first three are very solid and well built, and I'm especially fond of how well the car came out. The plane in the last one is coming along well, but I think something you may want to play with there is constructing the body of the airplane as a boxier form first, then rounding it out at the end, similarly to the curves notes from lesson 6. That is, more in reference to the tail area of the plane - the front section's quite solidly built as well.

So! I think that about does it. I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. Congratulations on getting through the course!

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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