9:18 PM, Thursday October 29th 2020
Starting with your organic forms with contour lines, there are two main concerns that I'd like to share:
First and foremost, while this was largely well done in your first page, your second page's contour lines were drawn way too shallow, and did not wrap around the surface of the sausage forms as explained here.
You're generally quite close, but there are definitely some places where you didn't quite adhere to the characteristics of simple sausages as explained in the instructions. It is important that you keep the ends of your sausages equal in size and circular in shape (avoiding having them get stretched out), and also to keep the width of your sausages consistent throughout its length.
Moving onto your insect constructions, you are off to a decent start, and are definitely moving in the right direction, but there are a number of issues I want to draw your attention to.
Firstly, I noticed a number of places where you weren't drawing through your forms - that is, drawing each form in its entirety, even where it gets overlapped by another. We can see an example of this in this beetle, specifically where the large form of the abdomen suddenly stops where it hits the thorax. Drawing each form in its entirety is important for helping us understand how each one sits in 3D space, which in turn is important to understanding how they relate to one another within that space, rather than as flat shapes and lines on a page.
Keep in mind that every single drawing throughout this course is an exercise, specifically for improving our spatial reasoning skills. We are not here to produce a bunch of pretty, impressive drawings, and so whenever you find yourself avoiding drawing a mark because you'd like to keep things "clean", don't.
Now there are plenty of cases where you have drawn through your forms, so I believe you do understand this - it's just important to point out examples where you skipped this important step.
Secondly, it's important that you interact with your drawing primarily by introducing new forms to the construction, and establishing how they relate, wrap around or connect to the structure that is already present. As shown here, when drawing that insect's head, simply taking the head/cranium's silhouette and extending it doesn't introduce a new form to the construction. It merely changes the flat, 2D footprint of the head, reminding the viewer that they're looking at a flat drawing. Instead, adding a new form and then defining how it wraps around the head on one end, yields a more believable result.
Construction is very heavily based on this idea that everything we do adds another solid, 3D form - and above all else, we need to ensure that we strongly believe that the form we've drawn is three dimensional. That's why working with simple forms is so important - complexity is what undermines the illusion of solidity, and sticking to simple forms allows us to make them feel 3D with less overall effort.
The last point I wanted to raise for now comes down to how you've constructed your insects' legs. I noticed that you seem to have employed a lot of different strategies for this. It's not uncommon for students to be aware of the sausage method as introduced here, but to decide that the legs they're looking at don't actually seem to look like a chain of sausages, so they use some other strategy. The key to keep in mind here is that the sausage method is not about capturing the legs precisely as they are - it is about laying in a base structure or armature that captures both the solidity and the gestural flow of a limb in equal measure, where the majority of other techniques lean too far to one side, either looking solid and stiff or gestural but flat. Once in place, we can then build on top of this base structure with more additional forms as shown here, here, this ant leg, and even here in the context of a dog's leg (because this technique is still to be used throughout the next lesson as well). Just make sure you start out with the sausages, precisely as the steps are laid out in that diagram - don't throw the technique out just because it doesn't immediately look like what you're trying to construct.
So! With that in mind, I'm going to assign a few more pages below, so you can demonstrate your understanding of these concepts.
Please submit 3 more pages of insect constructions.