Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids
9:18 AM, Monday March 23rd 2020
For some reason I thought that the second set of insects were 8 and not 6. So I accidentally ended up doing 2 extra pages of insects. Sorry.
Alrighty! Overall I think you've done a pretty good job of applying the concepts covered in this lesson, and I think you're generally quite thorough when it comes to breaking down your subject matter and thinking about it in terms of form and construction. I also see a good deal of improvement over the course of the whole lesson, and a number of very successful drawings. There are also some things I'd like to point out that should help you continue moving in the right direction.
Starting with your organic forms with contour curves, what stands out most to me is the fact that your contour curves aren't actually giving the impression that they wrap around the rounded forms. They don't hook around enough at the edges for that, and you're neglecting to overshoot your curves as encouraged in the instructions for this very reason. Additionally, remember that the sausage forms themselves are important - we want to stick to two equally sized spheres connected by a tube of consistent width, as explained here.
Moving onto your insect constructions, the first thing that stands out to me is just how thorough you are with breaking things down. Even at the bottom of this page, where the insect does appear to be quite flat (it's not entirely flat, you've captured a touch of volume and form there, which is quite nice), the way it's broken down and reflects a complex arrangement of forms shows that you're observing and studying the forms very well.
One thing I noticed in a few of your drawings was the tendency to fill things in with solid black. There are right places to do this, and wrong places - basically, if you're filling a cast shadow, then that's totally fine. If however you're filling something in with black because you saw it as being coloured black in your reference image, then that's something you should avoid. Treat the objects you're drawing as though they're a flat white colour, and set aside any local colour you might see. Basically, our focus here is on capturing and communicating the forms themselves. Filling in a form with solid black can reduce how effectively we can accomplish this. Instead, reserving our solid black shapes for the cast shadows themselves can in turn help further communicate the nature of the forms, since we can derive some information from the shadows themselves (both in terms of the form casting the shadow, and the form upon which the shadow is cast).
Now while you're generally making really good use of the sausage technique, I do think that there are definitely areas - especially where they get really thin - where they tend to stray from the "simple" sausage, which can get in the way of the illusion that they're actually 3D forms. For example, the legs at the top of this page tend to feel more like flat shapes on a page due to their unnecessary complexity, wheras many more of those on this page tend to feel more solid. There are plenty that feel flat on that page as well of course, but there are many more that abide by the whole "simple sausage" thing.
Lastly, you don't have to cram multiple drawings into each page. The main focus here is on ensuring that every drawing has as much room as it requires. Remember that our brains benefit from being given more room to think through spatial problems, so if necessary, don't be afraid of just leaving one drawing to a page.
All in all, your work is looking pretty good, so I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. Be sure to continue working on your use of the sausage method ,as it will continue to be relevant throughout the next lesson.
Feel free to move onto lesson 5.