Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

7:44 PM, Thursday October 14th 2021

Lesson 3 - Google Drive

Lesson 3 - Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/10K3k0BS7HH_LWY-nOKogvyElW1-UwR0T?usp=sharing

This lesson was quite challenging, and I'm sure that I let my discipline on properly ghosting lines slip in more than a few places in the constructional drawings.

I'm really happy with some of the constructional drawings (like the spider plant, the bamboo, and the sunflower), while for others I'm really not sure the visual/structural hierarchy is communicated clearly (the rafflesia and the cherry blossoms leap out out me here). But, I suppose this is why we submit our work for critique. I'd appreciate any kind of feedback the community would care to share regarding these or any other points.

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7:03 PM, Thursday October 28th 2021
edited at 7:05 PM, Oct 28th 2021

Hi Mechacatfish! I'll be reviewing your homework. Let's see:

Organic Arrows: They're coming along great, your line is confident and really fluid. Nothing to point out here really, except maybe trying more compression on your zigzaging sections as they go back, that way you can really push the sense of depth of the arrows.

Leaves: Here we have a bit of a problem. While they look great, they don't really bend or flow that much. Compare your leaves to something like this. While yours aren't nearly as stiff as the one on the right, they still don't bend or show their flexibility.

Regarding your edges, on some of them either you zigzaged them, or you drew a whole lot of edge detail in one sitting, like in the upper right leave, or the up center one. Look at this demo I grabbed from one of Uncomfortable reviews, it tackles that issue.

On the same note, some of your leaves overstep their boundaries a bit at the construction stage, or leave gaps similar to the ones on the demo, your left-down corner leave being an example of leaving gaps, and the one at the center-right edge being an example of ignoring your initial construction. Remember that the basic footprint we make is the one that will guide all of our construction, even if it doesn't look exactly like our reference.

Branches: You are turning the degree of the ellipses, and you are making the edges according to the method, that's great. The tails are still visible at times, but yeah, it is hard to get them right, so no problem. Sometimes your ellipses are not drawn through, remember that we're still drawing them through two to three times.

A couple of advices more than corrections: when you make longer branches, drawing less ellipses can be better, it will feel more solid. Also, you struggled on some of your little branches, and that's totally natural, given the size that you're working on. Try to work on bigger sizes when you need more space to do the exercises.

Plant Drawings:

I mostly sticked to the 8 required drawings, not the demos. You did a good job with them. They look beautiful, although some issues prevail from the previous section. On you spider plant, for example, some of your leaves are too stiff still. I don't know how the reference plant was, but in parts like these you can definitely see that aspect. On some of your bamboo and cherry blosom's leaves and petals that shows as well. Your birch has a nicely twisted leave on the lower part, that's what you lacked on the first exercises. Your branches got a lot better once you started working on a bigger size, that's great.

On the cherry blossoms, if you would've drawn an ellipse on the middle of the flowers (where that star shape you draw is), it would've helped the form to feel more solid, because it looks not-constructed and it makes it a bit confusing. Like, I know what you mean with those forms, but in the context of construction, what are those star shapes? Here's how I would tackle that form, in a similar fashion to a pitcher plant (I totally forgot about extending the minor axis, sorry about that). You can see too that in the line in red is how the petal would bend and actually come out of the cone form.

On the birch leaves, something strange happened. It looks like you got confused here, because I'm looking at birch leaves, and they don't seem to have any leaf subdivision. If you can clear that up for me, it'd be great ^^

Regarding your rafflesia: the visual hierarchy looks fine to me, but there are other aspects that catched my eye. Here's what I saw (sorry for the inaccurate lines, I'm making them on Paint). Basically, when I first saw your plant, I thought that it was a succulent. And while Rafflesia has somewhat thicker leaves, they are still really flexible, and in any case, don't have as much of a thick edge as your contour lines would suggest.

Besides that, the thing that made me catch the mistake was your cast shadow. There you can see an example of a detail contradicting the whole construction. If that shadow wasn't there, I probably wouldn't have noticed. Again, it comes to an issue of flexibility of the leave form, and also to careful observation. Take care of what the marks you make say about the thing you're drawing, and take care that those marks you make don't contradict each other.

A similar thing occurs on your sunflower, like on the back leave of the branch. While sometimes you do get some really flexible petals, most of the time they feel stiffer than they should. Your rubber plant and african violet do better in that aspect; beautiful shading as well, really capturing the cast shadows. You could've tried a bit more of detail, but that's opcional and really tiring as well :P

Overall you did really great, with the exception of the flow of the leaves that still needs some work. So I'll ask you to submit just one more page of leaves, and make sure they really twist and show how flexible they can be. You can look at real life examples to make an idea for yourself. Good luck, and if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

Next Steps:

  • One page of leaves, putting emphasis on their flow and flexibility.
When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
edited at 7:05 PM, Oct 28th 2021
11:11 AM, Sunday October 31st 2021

Hi. Thanks for the helpful critique.

To answer your question about the birch leaves, I don't think I got confused so much as lazy. The leaves were curving over so the subdivisions were hidden, but it's pretty obvious in retrospect that it still would have been better to construct them.

I've added the extra leaves exercise to the original folder linked above under the title 'Scan 14' and I'd be grateful to know what you think.


6:01 PM, Sunday October 31st 2021

Hi again. I think it's better, there's more folding and flexible lines, but you still have some unnatural stiffness, like on the leaf on the bottom right corner. I think you can move on to Lesson 4, but be careful with that aspect, as you'll keep encountering forms like that.

Work on it when you warm up.

With that said, congratulations on finishing Lesson 3!

Next Steps:

  • Feel free to move on to Lesson 4.

  • Keep working on your leaves during your warm-ups.

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete. In order for the student to receive their completion badge, this critique will need 2 agreements from other members of the community.
5:36 PM, Monday November 1st 2021

Will do. Thanks for the helpful critique.

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