Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles

7:03 AM, Thursday September 1st 2022

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At long last I've reached the promised land spoken of by the sages of old.

Regarding form intersection vehicles, I wasn't sure exactly what you were asking for and I saw varying results from other peoples submissions, so I drew multiple interpretations hoping at least one of them is what you intended for me to make.

I'm also not sure I took the constructions as far as I should've. For most of the vehicles there were more details I could've added but I wasn't sure if that would make the drawing too noisy, and the constructions were already taking a long time to draw as they are.

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10:42 PM, Friday September 2nd 2022

Starting with your form intersections, you're generally demonstrating a pretty good understanding of the relationships between these forms, in terms of flat-on-flat, flat-on-round, and round-on-round intersections. Just don't forget to draw through your freehanded ellipses two full times before lifting your pen, as discussed back in Lesson 1. Your cylinders in boxes are coming along well too - you're checking your line extensions correctly and all, which is the main focus - but there is room to be more careful in placing your ellipses carefully, such that they fit within the plane, touching all 4 edges comfortably. This is necessary to maximize the value of the line extension analysis.

Continuing onto your form intersection vehicles, the exercise was most similar to what you did here, minus the starting bounding box. Basically - as stated in the lesson (I don't really know how else to explain it), it's the form intersections exercise, except the forms we choose and how we arrange them matches a vehicle. So you're still just drawing primitive forms floating in space, and defining the intersections between them - nothing more than that. That said, overall your various attempts didn't stray too far from this, and you were still able to focus on the main reason we assign this here is to remind students that while they're building up objects in those bounding boxes, with subdivisions and all that later on, those tools do not replace the fact that we're building things up using simple forms, and doing so in stages.

Now, jumping over into your more developed vehicle constructions, you're headed in the right direction, and you're clearly demonstrating very well developed spatial reasoning skills as a whole, but the critical issue is that as far as these are exercises, you are missing some important steps. Your results still turn out good (that is, as drawings in terms of the final result) because you've developed strong spatial reasoning skills, and you end up relying on those - but the goal here is not to demonstrate what you can do, but to arm you with the exercises to help you keep pushing forward.

So, what can be done better? Primarily it comes to separating the step of making a given decision away from actually applying that decision to your construction. You were actually doing this far more thoroughly back in Lesson 6 (where it was meant to be more of an introduction to the concept, with Lesson 7 taking it much further), but it seems that here you jumped over to eyeballing a great deal more than you should.

For example, looking at this bike, you started with a bounding box, and you subdivided it a bit to figure out the placement of your wheels, but everything else doesn't appear to have any specific decisions being made in terms of where landmarks are positioned along the different dimensions of the box. You pretty much just drew the rest of the bike in between your two more precisely positioned wheels. The fact that you're able to do that as well as you can is great, but again - you're not applying the exercise as intended.

A more specific case of this is when you're dealing with curves. As discussed back here in Lesson 6's notes, we talk about the importance of breaking our curves up into straight lines or flat planes - effectively taking something with a rounded surface and building it up as a boxy structure first, then rounding it out towards the end. This is because we can position the main corners of those boxy elements or chains of straight edges and position them more specifically in relation to the bounding box and the other structures, instead of going directly into a curve that is by its nature going to be vastly more arbitrary.

I did notice that you didn't include any proportional/orthographic studies for your vehicles. I imagine you may have done them but not included them - but if not, that's a pretty important step where we can make a lot of important decisions ahead of time, so that in constructing the object in three dimensions, we're simply applying them rather than trying to balance a bunch of different considerations simultaneously.

Ultimately you're very much headed in the right direction, but you're not pushing yourself as hard as this lesson demands. Looking at your work I can see that you've probably put a few hours into each of your constructions, which is definitely notable - but for comparison's sake, here's the work another student, veedraws did for this lesson. As a rule I don't share other students' work for the sake of comparing the quality of their results - so rather than that, I want you to focus on the little time card she included, as well the steps she took more explicitly.

I think based on what I'm seeing here, you have every capacity to do just as well as she did, given your existing skills - it just takes more time. So, I am going to assign some revisions, which you'll find assigned below.

Next Steps:

Please submit 2 additional vehicle constructions, pushing yourself to define every decision ahead of time, and stepping through them with more granularity. Try not to do anything in your head - do it all on the page. And of course, be sure to include your orthographic plans as well.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
8:59 PM, Sunday September 4th 2022

Question about the orthographic studies, how much subdividing should I do for them? Because they're a flat rectangle what I did was draw it with the dimensions of the vehicle. For example if I'm drawing a car that's 7 wheels long and 3 wheels high, I'd make a 3x7 inch rectangle and rely more so on the measurements I laid out instead of subdividing, then do subdivisions in the actually drawing. Is that okay or should I do subdivisions on the orthographic study too?

11:49 PM, Sunday September 4th 2022

Measurements in 2D space - so for example, identifying that something is 2cm long - cannot be translated directly into 3D space. Only proportions can, because those proportions can be translated into subdivisions, and those subdivisions can be executed in the same manner regardless of whether we're looking at an orthographic plan or a volume in 3D space.

For that reason - that working with subdivisions in the orthographic plan is the same as working with subdivisions in 3D space - is why you should indeed be doing subdivisions in the orthographic study as well. You apply the same process in both.

9:14 PM, Saturday October 1st 2022

Here are the revisions.

Sorry it took so long, I was burnt out after the last lesson and took a break. I tried to plan things out as much as I could but there were some parts I just couldn't figure out how to define.

The gun turret on the tank in particular broke me. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to get it down preciously but ultimately wound up doing a bit of eye balling. Curves in particular seem to be difficult for me.

4:41 PM, Monday October 3rd 2022

Looks like the break did you good, because your constructions here are looking excellent. You've been far more thorough this time around in building every element out, and while I'm sure it required a ton of time, it's time you invested well. I'm very pleased with your results here, and will go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. Congratulations!

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
3:15 AM, Tuesday October 4th 2022

Thank you for making the course! I've wanted to learn to draw for years but traditional art classes never clicked for me, and this was the first I found that broke down the fundamentals in a way I understood.

This question isn't exactly DaB related so I understand if you can't answer, but do you have any advice for navigating learning art without structure? DaB always told me what to do and critiques told me what I did right and wrong, but without them I'm not quite sure what to do.

My goal with art is to draw comics, which I know requires being able to draw a wide variety of objects, but there's so much to learn that I get overwhelmed and don't know where to start and when to move on.

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