Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

7:18 PM, Tuesday August 2nd 2022

Lesson 3 Take Two - Album on Imgur

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/1xm0rbN.jpg

Post with 6 views. Lesson 3 Take Two


OK this is my second attempt at this lesson. I've left out a lot of the shading and texture just so I could concentrate 100% on the construction.

The only thing which I think I maybe still need to work on are the branches, although I have been more aware of the orientation of the ellipses, they still look very disjointed.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks for your time

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1:10 AM, Thursday August 4th 2022

Alrighty, given that this is your second attempt, I'm going to try to avoid any unnecessary repetitions here. Starting with your arrows, you've got good confidence and fluidity. Do however take more time in adding the line weight - your addition of line weight tends to be quite scratchy, with a lot of separate marks. Use the ghosting method, and execute just one mark. If it doesn't fall where you want it to, that's fine - you'll get better at that with practice. But going back over it repeatedly will just encourage you to put less time into the planning and preparation, instead compensating by putting more marks down. That said, this is vastly better than before, and in terms of the limited use of line weight, you're doing well.

Continuing onto your leaves, just as before, you're drawing the initial shapes fine, with a good bit of confidence/fluidity behind each flow line, carrying over well into the simple silhouette. That said, what I had raised issues about in my critique of your first attempt was with how you were adding edge detail, and it seems like you decided to solve that by skipping that step entirely. Unfortunately that doesn't demonstrate to me that you understood what I laid out previously, or that you would do so correctly when the need arose, so that is unfortunate.

Edit: I've just finished the critique - looking back on your submission comment, it did cross my mind just now that you may have considered edge detail to be 'texture'. The edge detail in our leaves is structural, and thus is part of the constructional process.

Moving onto your branches, while again your work here is definitely improved, you appear not to have addressed the point I raised in my previous critique:

Moving onto your branches, it seems you may not have followed the instructions all that closely here. This exercise focuses heavily on how the segments flow from one to the next, to create a smooth, seamless impression. As explained here in the instructions, each segment must go from one ellipse, past the second, and stop halfway to the third. The next segment then begins at the second ellipse and repeats the pattern.

You generally tend not to extend your edge segment fully halfway to the next ellipse, and also have some instances where you do not start your next segment at the previous ellipse, but rather start closer to where the previous one ends - though this second issue is less common in your work. As an additional recommendation, it helps a great deal to try and use the last chunk of the previous segment as a runway, overlapping it directly when drawing the next stroke (instead of drawing where it ought to have been). This does make things a little more difficult (in that we're forced to deal with any slip-ups in the previous stroke's placement), but also helps us learn more from that mistake directly.

Now, getting onto your plant constructions, there's a lot here you're doing quite well. The general fluidity of your linework holds up nicely, so your leaves and branch structures continue to flow quite well through space. You're also generally building up the complexity of your forms well. That said, there are still a few points I want to call out:

  • As you followed along with the potato plant demo in this drawing, I can see you going back over your lines a fair bit, and in a fairly arbitrary fashion. It's unclear if you're consciously doing so to add line weight, or if it's some manner of unconscious/reflexive action. If it is the former, then try to reserve your line weight for the specific localized areas where overlaps occur, as I mentioned in my last critique. If you're attempting to do so, then limit them farther - by the overlaps, it's specifically where the lines overlap, rather than where the entire form overlaps another. Here's what I mean. This line weight would be added with singular strokes executed using the ghosting method (as opposed to the scratchier separate marks you were adding here).

  • It's also worth mentioning that you don't appear to have followed the potato plant demo in its entirety - it's best that you follow each demo from start to finish, rather than picking an arbitrary point at which to stop, otherwise you risk missing important points and concepts.

  • I noticed here that you started with a more complex leaf silhouette than you should have - that kind of complexity should be added in successive stages.

  • When constructing your cylindrical flower pots, be sure to do so around a central minor axis line to help you in aligning your ellipses to one another. Also, be sure to add enough ellipses to flesh out the entire structure in its entirety - including at minimum, another ellipse inset within the opening to establish the thickness of the rim, and another to establish the level of the soil, so the plant's stems have something to intersect with.

  • On the topic of flower pots, I noticed that this ellipse came out quite rough - be sure to draw through your ellipses two times - no more, no less - execute them using your whole arm, from your shoulder (even when they're small), and use the ghosting method.

Now, I'm going to assign a number of revisions below, to address the points I've raised here.

Next Steps:

Please submit:

  • 1 page of leaves

  • 1 page of branches

  • 3 pages of plant constructions

Additionally, keep in mind that how much time a drawing is to take is not dependent on how much time you have to offer it in a given sitting. You may have 10 minutes, or you may have an hour, but regardless, it's the complexity of the object you're looking to draw that determines how much time it demands. If you don't have enough time, that's fine - start now, and finish up later. Spread it across as many sittings and days as you need to construct each form, draw each shape, and execute each mark to the best of your ability.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
6:59 PM, Monday August 22nd 2022

OK thanks for looking over my work. I have completed your revisions and have posted them to Imgur at this link


9:09 PM, Monday August 22nd 2022

Your work here has certainly improved. I do have a few quick points to call to your attention though:

  • Be mindful of engaging your whole arm from the shoulder and be sure to use the ghosting method for all of your structural marks. This means each line, each ellipse, etc. I see a bit of shakiness and uneveness in your lines and ellipses - not a ton, but enough to suggest that you're probably slipping back to drawing from your elbow, and may be forgetting to go through the planning and preparation stages of the ghosting method before executing each mark with confidence rather than hesitant.

  • I can still see pretty clear signs that you're drawing multiple bits of edge detail in a singular continuous stroke. We can see this here for instance. As explained in these notes I linked you to earlier, it's critically important that each individual mark you make remains as simple as possible - this means each bump being drawn separately.

Remember - what we're doing here is not putting down a rough sketch to use as a guide. We are effectively introducing a structure to the world, as though it were a simple leaf shape cut out of a piece of paper, and as we add edge detail to it or build up its structure, we are actively making physical changes to that existing form. If we want to add spikes to its edge, we're physically adding more pieces of paper to it. If we want to create a wobbly edge, we are physically drooping and lifting sections of its perimeter in 3D space. And if we want to cut into its silhouette, then the lines we're drawing represent the paths a pair of scissors would follow to cut it out, as shown here.

Anyway, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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