Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles

4:15 PM, Monday October 11th 2021

Lesson 7 Homework - Album on Imgur

Imgur: https://imgur.com/a/qDkO8cZ

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After one month of failing in construction, I finally completed the homework requirement. First of all, I want to confess my sin: using hatching and form shading, until the community reminded me to stop using them. Also, I was struggling with measuring width with wheels until I decided to do some math and base them on vehicle length instead.

Alright, kindly please review.


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11:35 PM, Wednesday October 13th 2021

Starting with your form intersections, while the page definitely does have a lot of empty space on it (the quantity was fine but you definitely had plenty opportunity to draw the forms bigger, to help engage your brain's spatial reasoning skills more fully), you've done fairly well with these. The forms themselves are pretty solid (though your ellipses being kind of stiff definitely undermined some of that - be sure to engage your whole arm while drawing them, from your shoulder), and the intersections themselves demonstrate a good grasp of how they all relate to one another in 3D space. One minor thing though - when working with those minor axis lines, have them actually penetrate all the way through where you intend to draw your ellipses, rather than stopping them at the midpoint.

Your cylinders in boxes are all looking great, and it is worth mentioning that many of your ellipses here are more confidently drawn, and more evenly shaped (despite the extra pressure of fitting them into the planes).

So! Jumping into your vehicle constructions, you've honestly done a pretty fantastic job here - despite the confessions (which are pretty obvious even without being so up-front about them). There are a couple of things that stand out really clearly, and which ultimately show a very strong grasp of the material from the lesson:

  • Every step of each construction adheres closely and specifically to the ones before it. There's no guesswork here, no leaps of logic - everything is based on clear, specific subdivision, and you're hinging every form off some other piece of structure to help maintain a strong sense of solidity throughout. This is very visible right from the form intersection vehicles (you pushed these a little farther than you really needed to, but still did a good job of focusing entirely on primitive structures), and it carries through as your constructions get more complex.

  • While choosing (it was a conscious choice, of course) to lean into both form shading (in the sense of filling in the side planes rather than designing separate shapes for cast shadows which define the relationships between forms and their neighbouring surfaces) as well as in some cases capturing local surface colour (like that big dark strip along the bulk carrier ship), it is the strength of your constructions that helped push each drawing through what should have had fairly significant impacts on how the structure was interpreted by the viewer. Obviously it could have been better, but it's that foundation of each construction that carried it through.

Now, I of course do have a small handful of things to point out, just to keep you on the right track:

  • The obvious - reserve your areas of solid black for cast shadows only (that's what a viewer will interpret a black shape as first, and it's only when they realize it doesn't actually make sense that their brain will try to figure out what else it could be, but by that point you've kind of already lost them a bit). This is really specific to our situation in this course though, particularly because of the limitations of working strictly in black and white.

  • Similarly, hatching should be avoided in these drawings as well - while we use it earlier in the course in areas like the box challenge and such, it's not to capture shading. Rather, it's a tool to clarify which side is which. When we use it in our drawings, where the use of solid black and the rich darks of our inks really lend themselves to being much bolder and more confident with our filled areas, the hatching just ends up feeling kind of... weak. It's not really relevant to the lesson or course at all (beyond the whole no form shading), but from a stylistic standpoint, when working with strict blacks and whites like this, it's best to always push to be more bold, and avoid hedging your bets.

  • On James Bond worthy this luxury speed boat, you've got a center line going down its length - but if you look closely, while the top plane's got all the subdivision lines determining exactly where that center line should go, you ended up guessing/approximating it along the side and bottom planes. Sure, I said that you avoided guesswork before... but maybe not completely. In this case adding subdivision along the bottom plane would just result in more clutter, so I'd probably subdivide the side planes once to find a center point. That way, we'd be able to confidently figure out the center line by drawing down from the top edge's midpoint (which we know is right due to being part of the top plane), and through a given side plane's center.

  • For the glider, you ended up with the plane floating a little more loosely within that larger bounding box, resulting in just a little more arbitrariness. This is probably the biggest bit of guesswork in the set (and aside from that and the center line in the speed boat, I don't think there was any other notable bits of guessing). As shown here, the step you missed was to create a tighter, more specific boxy structure before building up your curves/ellipses and cylinders).

So! As a whole, your work is very well done. Your main weaknesses come from a couple of minor skipped steps, and stylistic adherence to the requirements laid out in the course, but we can overlook that. I'm confident that you've developed your spatial reasoning skills quite well, and that overall you've done a great job of internalizing the core principles of the course.

I'll go ahead and mark this lesson, and the course along with it, as complete. Congratulations!

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
4:53 AM, Thursday October 14th 2021

Thank you very much! I had a blast with doing the last lesson, despite occasional frustrations from solving perspective problems. I'm really satisfied with how this course provided a solid fundamental skill that I can rely on. Although early on I felt this course is like a chore, in latter lessons I had fun with constructing complex objects with skills I have gained from previous lessons. Meanwhile I'll finish texture and box challenges while I'm still at it before moving on other discipline (figure drawing, rendering, and more perspective via Scott Robertson's How to Draw).

I'm glad I can see through the course to the end and gained a fun lifestyle while doing it. Thank you for your guidance, I really mean it.

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