Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles
7:58 PM, Tuesday September 21st 2021
Here is my second attempt at lesson 7.
Although I have less confidence in this one :')
Jumping right into the form intersections and cylinders in boxes, I just had a couple things I wanted to call out in regards to these:
For the form intersections, don't forget that all ellipse-based forms should be constructed around a central minor axis line to help keep your ellipses aligned correctly.
For your cylinders in boxes, I'm noticing a tendency to start with boxes where it appears like you're trying to actively place some of the vanishing points at infinity (to end up with sets of lines that run parallel to one another on the page). The only situation where a vanishing point would "go to infinity" (resulting in lines that are parallel on the page) is when that set of edges itself runs perpendicular to the viewer's angle of sight. Given that these boxes are rotated randomly in space, then that is not something we're likely to encounter in this exercise.
Continuing onto your vehicle constructions, I feel that overall, your work is coming along well. That isn't to say there aren't issues to call out, but as a whole I do feel that you are demonstrating far more patience and care with every stage of construction. Where in your previous attempt, you jumped freely from one step to another without regard for whether there was enough structure in place to support what you wanted to build to next, here you are much more meticulous in working through small, granular steps.
In some ways, that improvement is actually what did cause certain issues to come up. For example, when you were skipping steps and jumping to far greater levels of complexity too soon, you weren't being as bound by the structure in place. Now that you are, it's inevitable that if you mess up early on - for example by drawing the original bounding box of a construction with edges that diverge slightly, instead of converging towards a shared vanishing point, then that will inevitably impact the end result of a construction, making it feel more lopsided and awkward. We can see that in this drawing where the lines going off to the right appear to diverge ever so slightly.
As a side note, remember that as the objects we're dealing with get bigger, the rate of foreshortening also increases - so it might make sense for something the size of a toy to be drawn with relatively shallow foreshortening, but when dealing with a life-size car, you'll want to have more notable convergences.
Anyway, my point here wasn't so much to call out a mistake, but rather to say that you made a clear effort to adhere to the structure you'd put down, even though it caused the same mistake to trickle down into your drawing. While this may seem counter-intuitive, the approach you used here is correct - at least in the context of the exercise we're doing here, because you maintained tight, specific relationships between your phases of construction.
Now, there are a couple other issues I wanted to call out, but they're more general issues to keep in mind. As far as your work on this lesson goes, you're making good progress. I do feel this is something you'll want to practice yourself as you move forwards, but I am much happier with how you're progressing now than I was before. Here are the other points I want you to keep an eye on:
Ease up on the use of line weight - I'm noticing you applying it a lot, and to relatively arbitrary ends. Instead, always reserve line weight for clarifying the specific overlaps in particular, localized areas, rather than to arbitrarily reinforce the silhouette of forms willy-nilly. Also, always keep your line weights subtle - avoid making them really thick and obvious, as this can flatten out your resulting forms.
Be sure to draw through all your forms. For example, you've got some pipes leading from your Triumph Rocket's engine to its exhaust, and you've definitely cut some of them off where they get overlapped by their neighbouring forms. Remember that every drawing here is still just an exercise, a three dimensional spatial puzzle. Drawing through our forms helps us better understand the way in which they relate to one another in space.
When it comes to solid black shapes, they should almost exclusively be used as cast shadow shapes - meaning that the shape of those filled black areas needs to be designed to specifically establish the relationship between the form casting it, and the surface receiving it. There are a lot of places where I can see you filling in spaces (like filling in the side plane of a form, or filling in some arbitrary area in your 2D drawing (like the inner spaces of the tractor wheels). This is incorrect, within the scope of how we're using that tool in this course. There are some areas where it gets a little confusing though - for example, filling the interior of a car with solid black can be acceptable - this is largely based on the fact that we're treating the entire interior of the car as though it is in shadow. Still, when doing this, take your time, and be sure to observe your reference to find out how to specifically design those shadow shapes.
I definitely think that you're making progress in terms of the care with which you observe your references - but this is one area where you still stand to see considerably more growth. It's not really something to force or push at right now, but as you continue to practice, keep trying to invest more time into the observation of your reference image, and as often and frequently as you can manage it. Always look out for the tendency to work more from what you remember existing in the reference, and when you catch yourself doing that, force yourself to refresh that memory.
Anyway! As it stands, I think you are progressing nicely, and you've followed the principles of construction quite well here, resulting in a variety of solid, believable structures. I can completely understand why you'd feel less confident in these, but it all comes back to an incongruity of goals. You inevitably want to be drawing a lot of cool, impressive vehicles - but these are still just exercises, and they serve a purpose outside of what we may want to be achieving for ourselves at this very moment.
I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete, and with it, the entire course. Congratulations.