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8:20 AM, Thursday August 31st 2023

Hi RRose! I'll give feedback on your submission based on my understanding of this lesson and using official critiques as a framework:

Organic Arrows:

You explore a lot of variety in arrow shapes. Your linework also looks overall smooth and the strip of arrows becomes smaller as they travel into a distance as well. Some small areas you can improve are hatching and line weight. Although your hatching is in the correct sides of arrows most of the time (I have a tutorial on how to hatch correct sides of arrows. You can use it to check mistakes in your own submission), you don't spend enough time planning and ghosting to ensure hatching lines come out straight & evenly spaced. The arrows are also missing line-weight that can be used to communicate overlapping between objects.

The bigger area you should improve is the sense of depth for your arrows. There are two factors you must consider in order to create more sense of depth: (1) the size of the strip and (2) the space between each fold (see image). Both of these must decrease in magnitude as an arrow travels into a distance. You have done a good job with (1) for most arrows but (1) alone won't be enough to sell the illusion we want to create. Take the left-most arrow & the spring arrow for example, the entire arrow is moving along the height line while we want it to travel along the depth line. Another example is the most twisted arrow at the bottom, it only travels across the width line (If you are unsure what I mean by height, width, & depth line, check out this video at 1:57-2:53 minute mark).

To create an illusion of depth for arrows, you must apply foreshortening to the space between each fold as well. It is due to what we can observe in nature: everything becomes smaller and smaller when it is further away from us - the viewer. This applies to everything: objects become smaller, the space between objects also gets smaller. You can watch this demonstration at the 2:12 mark by Elodin. The curve he draws looks as if it is zooming towards us and going to hit us in our face. He does so by applying foreshortening: the gap between each swing is extremely tiny at first but it snowballs and gets exponentially bigger at the end.


You are doing a solid job making your leaves flow fluidly through space, applying construction methods properly for smaller arms of a leaf and adding nice details for the silhouette as well. However, sometimes you don't pay enough respect for structure lines in step 2. Take Maple, Willow & even the tip of Soleirolia for example, the leaves of smaller arms are "out of bound" (we are speaking of structures so details that you draw additively don't fall into this mistake). You also draw over and change the original structure lines in Curling Lilac & Rose. Structure lines define the maximum space a leaf takes up therefore you are not allowed to draw out of bound or alter the overall shape once the structure has been laid out.

Minor mistakes:

  • Zelkova shows a sign that you may be zig-zaging details of the leaf as they don't look like they are drawn carefully. Besides that, bottom right leaf of Wild Grape Vine has subtractive details instead of additive.

  • For Birch, it seems like you replace the original flow line with a thicker line but this flow gets lost because it doesn't connect to the same flow from the underside. Just like structure lines, you should not attempt to alter the flow line once you already got it down on the paper.

  • For the tip of Jasmine, you mix up and connect smaller arms to one of the structure lines instead of the flow line.

  • For Beech, some cast shadow areas from the right half of the leaf were drawn over the flow line, giving the impression that the middle vein is being cut into.


You have done a good job showing degree shift of ellipses for most branches (with an exception of the horizontally straight branch) and always closing the cap off to give more solidity to them. Although ellipses are rotating nicely along the center line (they change their rotation as the center line bends), they do not sit right in the center of it and as a result, the center line does not cut them into two equal halves. You don't draw through an ellipse 2-3 round as well (1 round + 1-2 additional round over it) as most lines stop half-way or sooner before they reach another round. Always make sure you are following the technique from lesson 1 when drawing ellipses and spend enough time planning + ghosting so that the center line can cut ellipses in two equal halves.

Another critical thing you don't consistently follow is the instruction when drawing branch's edges. The curved line must extend from the 1st ellipse - the base ellipse, to the half-way point between 2nd and 3rd ellipse, not anywhere longer or shorter. You then use the next ellipse in line as the base ellipse, which is 2nd ellipse from the previous sentence, and repeat the process. Here are some examples where you didn't follow the instruction: the bottom-left corner branch - counting from left to right, the line jumps immediately from 1st ellipse to 4rd. Another example is the Y-shaped branch - counting from bottom to top, the line from 1st ellipse extends past 2nd ellipse but not enough to reach the mid way point.


I'll refer to the page number based on the number you give to the files. For example, when I mention page 4, I'm referring to file "Lesson 3 (4).jpg".

Your plant constructions have one common mistake and it involves branch construction. Just like all exercises from Lesson 1 introduce you mark-making techniques you will be using for the rest of the course, Leaves & Branches exercises introduce you the construction methods that you will be using to draw objects similar in nature: you use methods from leaves exercise for drawing flat, thin objects (a piece of paper can be constructed in the same way); you use methods from branches exercises for drawing long, tube-like objects (a metal tube can be constructed in the same way). Plants happen to have similar features to what described so the construction method from the previous two exercises will be our main approach in plant constructions.

You followed the instruction properly when doing branches exercise for the most part, but when moving on to plant constructions, you did not apply what you had learned previously as a lot of steps are missing. Take 1st plant of page 4 for example, you didn't close the cap off the branch and thus, it didn't sell the solidity we are after. The 2nd plant of the same page has a different mistake that also affects the solidity of the branch as well. Besides that, this plant and the plants afterwards don't have the center line for the branches (namely page 6, 7, 11). Mistakes you made during branches exercise transer to page 8 as lines skip through multiple ellipses. As a result, the main branch that runs vertically becomes warped. You skip the forking step for all offshooting branches in the construction and the center line for the branches look wobbly. It may be wobbly because you are rushing when drawing them or you realized you forgot to add the center lines once you finished the construction and so you drew them at that moment to compensate for missing steps.

Pages 5 & 7 show a mistake that you made during leaves exercise: you didn't pay respect for the bound you set up. For page 5 - 2nd plant, the top part of the construction doesn't follow the bound of the biggest ellipse. It isn't clear what purpose this ellipse serves for the construction. The ellipse inside seems like it is there without purpose as well, unlike the smaller ellipses of the 1st construction because they act as a cross section of the plant. For page 7 - 2nd plant, the small tubes jump outside of the bound you draw. You seem to be rushing when drawing all the lines inside the bound as well. Another mistake that both plants of page 7 have is making flow lines too straight & rigid. Flow lines should have a bit of curviness to show fluidity (you can rewatch Daisy demo). The petals of 1st plant look like they grow out of crystal because of that.

Page 11 does a correct thing that page 9 is missing: you show a connection between separate parts of the plant with intersections, in this case by the use of ellipses. This is similar to how you draw a pole for the construction. For page 9, it is unclear how the leaf to the right and the bulks above it connect to the main stem of the plant so they look like they are floating in space. You should use both the forking method and the similar method for drawing poles to add the connection that is missing. For the same leaf, you appear to draw edge details subtractively and alter the underlying structure as well (the tip of the leaf moves to a different position than what you set up from structure lines).

You could have drawn some constructions bigger as there is a lot of empty space left on the page that you didn't fully make use of. For page 10, there is enough space to fit another plant construction or even better, place the plant in portrait orientation like page 9 and enlarge it to fit the whole page. Drawing big fat plants has two benefits: (1) you practice with big, long, humongous lines and (2) the relationship between every component of the plant is clearly defined. Take page 7 - 1st plant for example, there are too many petals within a small space. Had you drawn a bigger construction, you would have been able to work through the spatial reasoning problem by attempting to show how each petal connects to the dome structure, instead of sinking the construction into the overwhelming overlap.

This wraps up the feedback on your submission. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll try my best to answer them.

Next Steps:

  • 1 page of Organic Arrows & Branches (Half a page is arrows, another half branches)

  • 4 pages of Plant Constructions

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
11:24 AM, Saturday September 23rd 2023


Thank you for such an in-depth critique, the tips you gave have been a big help during the revisions; drawing bigger is really useful to understand what I'm trying to do and how I'm doing it, and I tried to take my time with the branch construction, while it wasn't perfect I do think that it went a lot better than last time I tried these.

Please let me know if any other tips can help me improve further!

2:56 AM, Sunday September 24th 2023

Nyahallo! I have some notes about your arrow in this image. Make sure to give it a look. In branches exercise, the mark comes out a bit shaky and you don't show proper degree shift of ellipses for most branches. Looking at this video, you can see the ellipse closest to the viewer will be narrowest and it becomes wider as it travels to either side. Most branches have ellipses with consistent widthness/degree and for the T-shaped branch, the main branch transitions from narrow -> wide -> narrow for ellipses.

Moving on to your plant constructions, they do come along pretty nicely as they all feel like a solid, 3D object and the petals of each flower construction flow fluidly. I have some notes about each construction however:

For the 1st construction, there are a few things I want to point out and they will be color-coded in this image:

  • For red, the branch's edge doesn't connect to the ellipse which undermines the solidity of the construction. The ellipses serve as a cross section of an object and therefore, they should cut through the entire width of it. If you happen to draw an ellipse too big or too small, you should still stick with that size and try to draw branch's edge that meets it, similar to how you would tackle a mushroom.

  • For orange, the flow line serves as a spine of a leaf and it reaches the entire length of the leaf. In the construction, there is a gap between the flow line and the end of a petal.

  • For blue, the sections I circle look subtly thicker which implies they appear in the front. This results in an upward bend of the petal instead of downwards like the demo's referece.

For the 2nd construction, you make the same mistake as red that I mention earlier. In additional, you don't seem to follow step 2 of branches method for the right side of the mushroom as the second line from top to bottom doesn't start at the ellipse but lower.

For the 3rd construction it's still the same drill, everything will be color-coded in this image:

  • To create the illusion that the disk of the flower has a hole in the middle, you can add green lines that connect top & bottom ellipses and and additional blue line-weight since this area overlaps with other lines.

  • At first it looks like the additional contours at the sides of a petal are there to show the thickness of it but after looking closely at how orange connect to the disk, the sides of the petal looks like they curl inward like the additional drawing in the bottom right corner. It is unclear which is the case in your construction. Can you provide the ref or the name of the plant so I can have a look at it?

For the 4th construction, if you look at the plant from side view, the stem doesn't connect to the center of the disk (see this image). You also attempt to alter the silhouette of the leaf by adding an additional blue mass and then adding edge details using the new edge.

That's everything I want to cover here. Don't forget to add Lesson 3's exercises into the warm-up pool. Good luck on Lesson 4!

Next Steps:

  • Lesson 4

  • Add Lesson 3's exercises into the warm-up pool

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.
9:56 PM, Sunday September 24th 2023

Hello again!

Thanks for the reply and the correction images, they're really helpful. I'm glad you gave me such a thorough review because this lesson was hard to understand.

The first two images were taken from the demos:

And these are the last two:

I didn't draw the other leaves for the sunflower because i wasn't quite sure how to approach that, should I have drawn a heart shape from the get go?

Anyway, thanks again!

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