Starting with your organic forms with contour lines, while your first page was kind of sparse, the second page was nicely packed. For the most part you're pretty close to adhering ot the characteristics of simple sausages, except in a few, one of which you were definitely purposely squeezing the middle down, and a couple others that had the midsection get much wider. Make sure that you are consciously trying to draw them all according to the specific properties outlined here.

To answer your questions before we move forward:

  • What matters most is that we make good use of the space on the page. It's best to focus first on giving each drawing as much room as it requires to be drawn comfortably, and once that's done, we can assess whether another will fit. If it will, we should add it, and if it won't, then that's okay too. The goal is always to put the space on the page to its best use possible. In cases like this fly, my concern would definitely be that it's way smaller than it should be, and risks impeding your brain's spatial reasoning skills and making it harder to engage your whole arm while drawing. So instead of putting more drawings on that page, you should be drawing it bigger. On this page however, you've made excellent use of that space, and another drawing would not have fit.

  • The 250 cylinder is best left for between lessons 5 and 6 for a couple reasons. Firstly, it leads into Lesson 6 quite nicely, and it's good to have it fresh in your mind, and secondly, it benefits from having students get as much mileage with their freehanded ellipses as possible. There's no real reason to do it earlier than that.

So, looking at your insect constructions, I definitely noticed that you started drawing smaller when tackling your own drawings. It's a common sign of a lack of confidence - closing in on ourselves, and cramping up our drawings is a common reflex that some part of our brain feels will make things easier, but as I explained previously, it actually limits our abilities and makes it harder, leaning more into clumsier linework. Fortunately, as you pushed through, you started to loosen up, with the damselfly and finally that last page coming along far better.

Continuing on, while I feel that overall you're demonstrating a lot of elements in your drawings that reinforce the illusion that what we're dealing with are solid, three dimensional entities, pieced together largely with 3D forms, there are some areas where you jump back into working in the 2D space of the drawing itself, and this is somewhat detrimental to the illusion we're trying to achieve. Because we're drawing on a flat piece of paper, we have a lot of freedom to make whatever 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've put a form down on the page, do not attempt to alter its silhouette. Its silhouette is just a shape on the page which 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 won't alter the form it represents - you'll just break the connection, leaving yourself with a flat shape. We can see this most easily in this example of what happens when we cut back into the silhouette of a form.

We can see a few examples of this here on your last drawing - I highlighted in red where you'd cut into the abdomen, and in blue where you'd added a flat shape to bridge between the thorax and abdomen, though there were other cases present throughout the legs as well.

Instead, whenever we want to build upon our construction or change something, we can do so by introducing new 3D forms to the structure, and by establishing how those forms either connect or relate to what's already present in our 3D scene. We can do this either by defining the intersection between them with contour lines (like in lesson 2's form intersections exercise), or by wrapping the silhouette of the new form around the existing structure as shown here.

You can see this in practice in this beetle horn demo, as well as in this ant head demo. This is all part of accepting that everything we draw is 3D, and therefore needs to be treated as such in order for the viewer to believe in that lie.

The sausage method introduced in this lesson - meant for the construction of the legs - also allows us to hold to this idea of building up strictly in 3D space. First off, in order to lay down a simple underlying structure, it's important that we adhere specifically to the properties outlined in the sausage method diagram (that is, sticking to the characteristics of simple sausages - I noticed you using a lot of stretched ellipses and other such deviations - and defining their intersections/joints with a single contour line each).

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, in 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).

Note here how everything we add to the structure exists as its own fully enclosed, 3D form - if we were to separate it from the sausage it's being attached to, it would still exist in 3D space, and the design of its silhouette would actually imply the presence of the sausage structure (even if it would not be visible).

The last thing I wanted to call out is simply a reminder - when you get to the detail phase, we're not meant to be using that as an opportunity to "decorate" our drawings. That is, decoration being working towards a vague, ill-defined goal of making our drawings more visually pleasing (after all, when do we know when we've added enough decoration?). Instead, what we're doing in this course can be broken into two distinct sections - construction and texture - and they both focus on the same concept. With construction we're communicating to the viewer what they need to know to understand how they might manipulate this object with their hands, were it in front of them. With texture, we're communicating to the viewer what they need to know to understand what it'd feel like to run their fingers over the object's various surfaces. Both of these focus on communicating three dimensional information. Both sections have specific jobs to accomplish, and none of it has to do with making the drawing look nice.

To that end, remember that as discussed here in Lesson 2, we aren't meant to use form shading for our drawings in this course. So stay away from things like arbitrary hatching/scribbling for sure, but also from any kind of darkening of surfaces based on their orientation in space (like where the surface gets darker as it turns away from the light source).

So! I've called out a number of things I want you to keep in mind and work on, but these are all things you can continue to address as you move onto the next lesson. So, you may consider this lesson complete, and continue to work on them there.