Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids

12:18 AM, Friday August 7th 2020

Lesson 4 - Album on Imgur

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/Bd9fG3O.jpg

Post with 78 views. Lesson 4

Any feedback greatly appreciated! Thank you!

2 users agree
4:17 PM, Wednesday August 12th 2020

Hi Frog,

I think it's safe to say you've really knocked it out of the park here. There's some really great work on display so I'm not going to go into too much detail on any particular thing but I will break down some points of improvement.

Your organic forms with contour curves show a fantastic range of flow, you've created some really nice, dynamic forms. That said, there are moments when they lose the 3D illusion a little bit on the right side but nobody's perfect and it all comes with practice.

Moving on to your insects, you've grasped this exceedingly well. The building up of simple forms to create the complex shapes of your chosen critters is done very well indeed. You've done a particularly great job of selling the illusion of depth when constructing the thoraxes and abdomens and your clean linework is not only a sign of confident strokes but, to be honest, makes things a lot easier to understand and critique which is excellent.

However, there are two little points on improvement that I think would help push it to an even higher level:

  • The way you've created differences in shape on the legs is very nice but not quite in keeping with the lesson. When I did this lesson, Uncomfortable reminded me that the goal is to use sausages of consistent width then build on them, rather than just creating the shape from the start. He sent me this to demonstrate. As you can see it really helps reinforce the illusion of three-dimensionality that is the goal of creating these forms.

  • The other little thing is demonstrated on the stag beetle on this page. If you have a look at it's tarsal spurs (the little spikes that come out of it's legs), they stand out because they're not quite as dynamic as most of your work due to how geometric they are. In cases like this it can help to deviate from the reference a bit by exaggerating a curve to make things feel a little more natural.

I'd also recommend that you consider using more cast shadows moving forward. They really help to define the form and add that extra touch to sell the illusion, without going too crazy of course.

All that said, these are only minor nitpicks on what is overall a fantastic lesson submission. I'd recommend you keep in mind moving forward but it's safe to say that you've crushed it so I'm going to mark this lesson complete.

Next Steps:

  • Experiment with using cast shadows to help define the forms.

  • Don't be afraid to deviate from reference material in pursuit of the 3D illusion.

  • Try out the recommended method of building up limbs.

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 2 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
2:34 AM, Friday August 14th 2020

Thank you so much for the kind words and helpful suggestions! I really appreciate all of it!

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Like the Staedtlers, these also come in a set of multiple weights - the ones we use are F. One useful thing in these sets however (if you can't find the pens individually) is that some of the sets come with a brush pen (the B size). These can be helpful in filling out big black areas.

Still, I'd recommend buying these in person if you can, at a proper art supply store. They'll generally let you buy them individually, and also test them out beforehand to weed out any duds.

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