Starting with your organic forms, these are generally looking quite good. There are a couple of things i want to point out here:

  • Remember that were aiming to stick to the characteristics of simple sausages. This means ends that are equal in size, circular in shape, connected by a tube of consistent width. The midsections are okay, but their ends are differing in size, some even stretch out a little bit.

  • In your contour curves, you tend to stick to the same degree throughout the length of the sausage form. In your contour ellipses, you're shifting them (which is correct), but it does appear somewhat inconsistent, which suggests that you're not entirely sure how to handle these. This is explained in the ellipses video from Lesson 1 so go give it a watch. Basically, the width of the ellipse depends on its placement in space relative to the viewer, assuming that there's no rotation happening.

Moving onto your insect constructions, here your approach became more consistent than before. Some of the problems from the previous lesson carried over as a result. As I've said before, these are of course exercises, so the focus isn't on how the end result comes out. The goal is to clearly define how the forms sit in relation to one another, using tools to manipulate forms in 3d space.

The first thing is that the problem with starting with faint lines, then tracing over it with darker lines became much more prevalent here. Remember what i said before, this approach should be avoided as it treats the previous lines as if though they weren't there. You're essentially replacing it with a purposefully thicker line which diminishes the overall effectiveness of the constructional principles as a whole.

Because we're drawing on a flat piece of paper, we have a lot of freedom to make whichever marks we choose - it just so happens that the majority of those marks will contradict the illusion you're trying to create and remind the viewer that they're just looking at a series of lines on a flat piece of paper. In order to avoid this and stick only to the marks that reinforce the illusion we're creating, we can force ourselves to adhere to certain rules as we build up our constructions. Rules that respect the solidity of our construction.

For example, once you put down a form, do not alter the silhouette. The silhouette is just a shape that represents the form we're drawing, but its connection to that form is entirely based on its current shape. If you change that shape, you wont alter the the form it represents, you'll just break the connection. This example shows us what happens when we cut back into the silhouette of a form.

There are a couple of examples of this happening in your drawings:

  • On this mantis shrimp, you started with a larger form for the abdomen but then redrew it with darker lines and cut back into it.

  • Same thing happened on this ant where you drew the mass for the thorax, but then cut back into the smaller masses.

There's a pretty high risk of running into this trap generally, even by just tracing back over an existing line because of any additional complexity you might add by wobbling/hesitating as you draw that mark. There's also some similar issues which we might run into by extending the silhouette, like when we add flat or partial shapes to an existing form like the little spikes on the green mantis' arms.

There are other times where it appears like you're adding flat shapes because of how you're tracing over your drawings. Most notably, the abdomen of this damselfly.

Instead, if we want to change what's already there, we should introduce other three dimensional forms and establish the relationships between the additional masses either by defining the intersection with contour lines (as mentioned in lesson 2's form intersections) or by having them wrap around one another, where the presence of one form displaces the other. You can see this in practice in this beetle horn demo and this ant head demo.

I also recommend the first two informal demos, the shrimp and the lobster, as they show how you should think about wrapping these plate-like forms around the insect abdomen area.

Notice how in both of those examples, the instructor doesn't hide anything. Every form is drawn purposefully and confidently. They're not aiming to be perfect reproductions of the reference image. The reference itself is just a source of information that helps figure out what forms to construct and how to arrange them in believable ways.

Moving onto the topic of legs, I noticed you seemed to employ different strategies here. While not uncommon for students to be aware about using the sausage method, but instead they decide not to adhere to them because the legs they're looking at don't actually look like a chain of sausages to them.

The sausage method as a base structure allows us to capture the solidity with the gestural nature of legs. Once in place, we can lay in additional masses to convey the complexities as shown here, here, this ant's leg, and even in this dog's leg. This'll become relevant coming into the next lesson where we stack forms on top of one another (as per the organic intersections exercise from Lesson 2).

Overall, it seems like you're perfectly capable but I still want to assign some revisions below to demonstrate your understanding of the points and demonstrations shared above. If you've already started drawing animals from Lesson 5, it would be a good idea to toss those aside and start over. Focus on these points before moving forward. It's your choice to make on whatever you think is best at the end of the day.