Lesson 5: Applying Construction to Animals

9:12 PM, Monday January 31st 2022

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Done with lesson 5! Had a lot of fun with this one. Although I think I need a lot more practice with animals. Also I don't like the way my hybrid turned out.

Thanks in advance for the feedback!

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5:04 AM, Saturday March 19th 2022

Starting with the organic intersections, you're doing a solid job with laying out the sausages in such a way that they wrap around one another with a believable sense of gravity. I do have some suggestions to keep you in the right track here:

  • First of all, avoid "big mothership with little babies". This could lead to some awkward problems that aren't particularly beneficial later on. Try to keep them all roughly the same size to one another.

  • Your cast shadows are generally decent, although I am noticing a tendency to put your light source straight above the pile, minimizing the risk of casting those shadows in the wrong direction. I would recommend playing with that light source, pushing it to one side or the other to give you more practice in how those shadows should be cast instead of always falling into the simplest option.

  • I noticed here that the sausage sags a little too much. It looks like a water balloon that was only filled halfway. Try to keep these bendable but not soft or liquidy. It's a bit of a nitpick but, just something to keep in mind.

Moving onto your animal constructions, there's a tendency to start with faint lines, then doing a follow up pass with darker marks. This might not seem like a big problem at first glance, but it actually changes how we perceive the elements of our drawing. This leads us to believe these earlier masses to be less like they're solid and 3 dimensional, and more like they're just marks on a page. This is resulting in a habit of bridging flat open shapes which is what we see along the hump of this camel. Thus, it reminds us that we're drawing something flat and two dimensional and reinforces that idea to you as you construct it.

Continuing onto additional masses, I am definitely pleased that you're using them a great deal. You're layering them together, and building upon them bit by bit, rather than creating single masses that take on too much and become too complex, all without having the need to slap in too many superfluous contour lines. While the masses themselves are on the right track, there are still ways you can push these further as shown here. Look for opportunities to push these masses into other forms to make the construction feel more grounded and give clear places to use inward curves and sharp edges.

This takes us to the next topic - leg construction. This is where I'm noticing you employing a number of different strategies when capturing the legs of your animals. While not uncommon for students to be conscious about the characteristics of the sausage method, but instead they decide not to adhere to them because the legs they're looking at don't actually look like a chain of sausages. In your case though, It seemed like you were aware but simply strayed a bit. For example, here I've noticed you using stretched out ellipses instead of sausage forms of consistent width. The sausage method as a base structure allows us to capture the solidity with the gestural nature of legs. Once in place, we can lay in additional masses as seen in this this dog's leg demo and this ant's leg.

When it comes down to head construction, Lesson 5 as a ton of different strategies in the informal demos section. Given how the course is developing new more effective ways to construct heads so not all approaches are created equal. As it stands, this tiger demo and this demo from the informal demos is what's generally most useful. This approach relies on a few key elements:

  • the the specific pentagonal shape found in the eye sockets, which allows for a nice wedge in which to place the muzzle into as well as the flat area found in the forehead

  • this focuses heavily on everything fitting together- no arbitrary gaps or floating elements. This allows all the different pieces to feel grounded against one another like a three dimensional puzzle

  • we also have to be mindful as to how all the marks carve along the surface of this cranial ball, working on the individual strokes instead of using an ellipse for the eye socket.

As a whole I'm not too concerned with how you're constructing your heads. It seems like you're following the head construction demos closely. Much of your heads are coming along quite nicely as a result. You have held to a lot of the underlying elements of this approach, focusing on fairly simple forms, and building upon them. I don't really have anything to add. Good job.

Overall, while I do feel like there's a few things to keep in mind here, I also feel like these are things you can work on your own. Feel free to move onto the 250 cylinder challenge.

Next Steps:

250 Cylinder challenge

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7:29 PM, Saturday March 19th 2022

Thank you so much for the extensive critique. I'll be more careful with the legs, and I'll be more mindful of how I'm adding forms on top of each other.

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