Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction
6:54 PM, Wednesday July 1st 2020
Had a lot of fun in Lesson 2's homework. Thanks in advance for the critiques!
Starting with your arrows, these are flowing very fluidly through space and convey a strong sense of movement to them. One thing you can do to continue improving them is to try and exaggerate the rate at which the gaps between the zigzagging sections compress as they move farther away from the viewer, as this will help create a stronger sense of depth in the scene.
Your organic forms with contour lines show a clear effort being made to stick to simple sausage forms as mentioned here in the instructions, although you do still have sausages that have ends of somewhat different sizes, and ends that are at times more stretched rather than remaining circular/spherical.
Many of your contour ellipses are drawn with a strong sense of confidence which helps them appear more evenly shaped, although there are a few that feel a little more stiff. Moving over the contour curves, the stiffness does become more prevalent, though there are still many that feel more smooth and confident. Just remember that you should be applying the ghosting method with every mark you draw - that means planning, preparing, and finally executing with confidence and without any hesitation. Also, don't forget that you are free to rotate the page as needed to find a comfortable angle of approach.
Lastly, the degree of your contour lines tends to be very consistent, which isn't actually correct. The degree of a contour line basically represents the orientation of that cross-section in space, relative to the viewer, and as we slide along the sausage form, the cross section is either going to open up (allowing us to see more of it) or turn away from the viewer (allowing us to see less), as shown here.
Your work on the texture analyses is off to an excellent start. You're clearly focusing very much on clearly designed shadow shapes and you're not at all outlining your textural forms. This results in you being able to achieve smooth gradients from dense to sparse and dark to light. You're also demonstrating excellent observational skills and attention to detail. The only thing I want to draw your attention to has to do with the tree stump texture - here you've basically left the top face of the wood as white, and filled the gaps in between them with black. While this is a good first step, what you're actually missing is the fact that light would also be able to play off the side faces of those chunks of wood (along the side of the cracks/gaps), and so filling the gaps in completely like this eliminates the sense that we're looking at a three dimensional texture. For this reason, it's always important to try and connect the marks you make with shadows being cast by actual forms. If you just fill spaces in, then the texture will become very graphic and two dimensional - but if you try and associate every mark you make with an actual form casting that shadow, your textures have the potential to be much more believable and complex.
Moving onto your dissections, you continue doing a great job of focusing on cast shadows rather than outlining your forms, and you experiment with a great many different textures. Throughout the first page of this exercise, you continue to demonstrate an excellent eye for detail, as well as considerable patience and care with each one. The second page is admittedly a little weaker, and I think that might just be because you'd burnt yourself out somewhat on that first page, so it is understandable.
Moving onto your form intersections, you've done a great job of drawing these forms such that they feel cohesive and consistent within the same space. You've also got an excellent start on grasping how these forms intersect with one another, and defining those clear relationships between them in 3D space. This is something we're just exposing students to for the first time, and so we fully expect that there will be plenty of difficulty. The goal is just to get them to familiarize themselves with the kinds of struggles involved, so there's context and some understanding at that level for when we continue to explore these spatial relationships throughout the rest of the course. I am already seeing some telltale signs that your spatial reasoning skills are developing nicely however.
Lastly, your organic intersections are looking good. You're doing a good job of establishing how the interact with one another in 3D space, rather than just as a series of flat shapes stacked on a page. You're also creating an impression of gravity in how they slump and sag over one another.
All in all, your work throughout this lesson is quite well done. I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.
Feel free to move onto lesson 3.