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12:44 PM, Sunday February 25th 2024

Hello cag_29, I'm ThatOneMushroomGuy and I'll be the TA handling your critique today.


Starting with your arrows you're drawing your marks with a great deal of confidence which helps solidify the feeling of fluidity that arrows posses as they move through all the three dimensions of the world they exist in.You're keeping foreshorting in mind while constructing your arrows which allows you to make really good use of perspective and the depth of your page, this gives a nice extra layer of tridimensionality to your arrows.

Your usage of hatching helps you establish how your arrows twist and turn in space and further your own understanding of the tridimensional space these objects occupy, but do remember that your hatching lines must still follow the principles of ghosting and mark-making, they must have clear end and start points, be carefully planned and execute and not end at arbitrary points. As a finishing touch to your arrows don't forget to make use of added line weight on top of the overlaps to reinforce their depth.

In general you're doing well, so keep tackling this exercise during your warm ups in order to take your understanding of arrows and 3D space further, experiment with the different ways arrows can twist and bend and move across space, try different rates of foreshortening and experiment with the negative space between overlaps, all of these will help you challenge yourself and develop your skills further.


The original linework for your leaves is looking smooth which helps communicate their fluidity and sense of energy, but something to note is that the vast majority of your leaf structures don't fold or bend in any way, this is something to keep an eye on whenever you tackle this exercise again, as leaves are organic structures that are affected by all sorts of forces, from the wind to gravity to their own weight pulling them down, as such you'll find that in plant structures leaves will actually be oriented in a variety of different ways, and you'll improve much more by thinking about the way these objects look when they move through the world from moment to moment, instead of just trying to capture how they sit statically within it.

It's good to see that you've experimented with complex leaf structures but remember not to skip construction steps when approaching them.

Both of these structures are looser than they could be, because you did not put down a boundary, you didn't establish the form that all of the later structures should abide to, despite complex structures being made up of several different parts, they still exist as a single entity, by not skipping construction steps you can ensure that your constructions are much more solid and specific.

When it comes to your addition of edge detail it is almost non-existent, I can only pinpoint one structure where edge detail was thoroughly applied, this mistake is something that is also present in your plant constructions.

Edge detail is a great tool that helps us further communicate the form of our structures and how they move through space, when we don't make use of it they're left very simple, so make sure to add edge detail whenever possible, and remember that only the last step of leaf construction - texture - is optional.

In the places where you did make use of edge detail it is generally looking decent as from what I can see you're not attempting to capture more than one piece of edge detail at a time and you're often approaching it additively - that is, constructing it on top of your preexisting structure. But do keep in mind that your edge detail must be added wih the same line thickness as your previous marks, and currently adding it in with much thicker, darker lines, so avoid this, in order to not encourage yourself to redraw more than you strictly need to.

Your addition of texture need work, currently your marks are small and timid, with several big spaces of white present. There's much more going on than just a few stray marks implying veins and we can do much more to accurately communicate this type of texture, take a look at this informal demo on how to approach leaf texture, and make sure to give these reminders on how texture works in Drawabox a read.


For your branches you're not sticking to the instructions for this exercise as closely as you should. While it's good to see that you're drawing your edges in segments you're not extending your segment fully up to the halfway point between ellipses, you're only doing so until the next ellipse point, which essentially removes the healthy overlaps we want to achieve in this lesson. On top of that there are moments where you've drawn the same section more than once, which is a mistake, only execute your marks once.

So remember how branches should be approached, by having your segment start at the first ellipse point, extending it past the second ellipse and fully up to the halfway point to the third ellipse, afterwards you'll start a new segment, making sure to place your pen at the second ellipse and repeat this pattern until your entire branch is complete.

For ellipses it's good to see that you're making an attempt to always draw through them twice, as that allows for a smoother mark overall.

When it comes to your application of the ellipse degree shift to your branches it can be improved, as it stands your degrees are too consistent and hardly change which is a mistake that flattens your structures. Remember that as a form shifts in relation to the viewer, so will the degree of the ellipses within that structure also shift.

Plant Construction Section

And lastly let's take a look at your plant constructions, which are coming along quite nicely. You're generally making use of the construction methods and techniques introduced in this Lesson which helps you create the illusion of tridimensionality in your work.

You're demonstrating in these pages that you're developing a strong sense of spatial reasoning, there are only a couple of things that should be kept in mind going forward, so you can get even more out of these exercises.

The biggest thing you should keep in mind is that your pages have big, empty spaces and your constructions are in general quite small, this is holding you back from your full potential without you even realizing it. The space of your page can be much more effectively used if you draw bigger, make the most out of your page. This will allow you more space to work through the spatial reasoning challenges that arise when tackling these exercises, applying the methods to their full extent and having more room to solve spatial reasoning problems. It will also give you enough space to fully engage your shoulder when drawing.

  • When approaching cylindrical structures such as plant pots make sure to start with a minor axis in order to keep your several ellipses aligned to each other more easily.

In your olive branch construction the olives you drew look pretty flat, this is because you didn't draw them with the correct method for drawing ellipses - swiftly, drawing through your marks at least two full times to ensure that your ellipse will come out looking confident and smooth. Because of this there are visible signs of hesitation in these forms, which makes them look bumpy and flat.

Ease up on your lineweight, it's thick, with several passes going over the same marks and jump from one form's silhouette to another, which smooths everything out too much. Almost as if you pulled a sock over a vase, it softens the distinctions between the forms and flattens the structures out somewhat.

Instead lineweight must be subtle, used only to clarify the overlaps between the forms that are being built up, as explained here.

As mentioned beforehand your addition of edge detail is almost non-existent in these pages. Keep in mind that edge detail is another step of the construction process, it helps you futher communicate how your structures exist and move through a 3 dimensional space and as such it must be considered whenever possible. Only the last step of construction - texture - is optional.

Still speaking of leaves I've noticed that in in these constructions you have these contours on top of your leaf structures. Those kinds of contour lines, the ones that sit on the surface of a single form, only serve to take a form that can already be interpreted as 3 dimensional, and clarify it, but sometimes they can be counterproductive, because leaves are so fluid a single wrong contour or two can end up stiffening them, as such it's best to forego these kinds of contours and instead focus only on the ones that communicate the intersection between forms.

Final Thoughts

In general you are following the instructions and methods laid out in this lesson and to quite great effect, your structures are looking quite tridimensional as a result, you just need to keep the points mentioned in mind in order to keep improving your abilities.

I'm going to be marking this submission as complete as I believe you have understood the purpose of this lesson, good luck in Lesson 4.

Next Steps:

Don't forget to add these exercises to your list of warm ups.

Move on to Lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
4:55 PM, Monday February 26th 2024

Thank you very much for your detailed response. I've been struggling with the things (Like turning leaves in space) you have pointed out and I think you specific call outs and suggestion will be really helpful during my practice.

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