Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

12:17 AM, Friday June 24th 2022

Lesson 3 drawabox - Google Photos

Lesson 3 drawabox - Google Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Mf5vD8VdpvUXcYXs9

Included extra arrows doc

Tried to refrain from texture in the plants images

Thank you

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6:38 AM, Friday June 24th 2022

Starting with your arrows, these are done really well - you're focusing a great deal on a confident execution, which really helps to push the sense that they're moving through the world fluidly. This carries over nicely into your leaves, where you're not only establishing how they exist as static 3D objects, but also how they move through the space they occupy.

When adding edge detail however, it seems you may have missed the point here from the instructions about avoiding zigzagging back and forth across the previous edge detail. This issue falls into two categories - one where you end up redrawing the vast majority of your leaf, resulting in a very weak relationship between the previous phase of construction and this one, and another where you do build up your marks individually, but where you're not taking the care necessary to have them come off seamlessly from the existing edge and return to it, instead having them kind of cross back over the line more sloppily. This makes the construction appear more like a loose collection of lines, rather than a single cohesive piece.

Continuing onto your branches, you are generally handling this okay in terms of how the edges are laid out, although I have three main concerns to call out and one suggestion:

  • The first concern is that you are not drawing through any of your ellipses, as noted in Lesson 1. You should be going around the elliptical shape two full times before lifting your pen, without exception.

  • Secondly, this is a more minor concern, but I am noticing places where the branch structure gets narrower and wider, pinching and swelling, somewhat arbitrarily throughout its length. This will undermine the solidity of the structure very much by adding unnecessary complexity.

  • Be sure to extend each segment fully halfway to the next ellipse as mentioned in the instructions.

  • And as to the suggestion, I'd recommend using the last chunk of the previous segment as a runway, overlapping it directly before shooting off to the next target as demonstrated here. This will force you to take account for any potential mistakes in the previous stroke, having to deal with the issue rather than drawing where the stroke ought to have been.

And finally, moving onto your constructions, you are generally handling this well (although the points I raised above are still present), but I do have a number of things to point out in order to keep you on the right track.

  • Avoid making your later constructional steps darker - maintain the same general thickness in your lines as you progress, only adding line weight towards the end as explained here - focusing on the localized areas where different forms overlap, in order to clarify those overlaps.

  • Do not use filled areas of solid black arbitrarily - reserve them only for your specific cast shadow shapes, in the manner discussed back in the texture section (although these can be used for shadows being cast by larger constructed forms as well). Keep in mind that the 'detail' phase of a drawing is not about decoration - it's about employing texture. You may want to review these reminders about how we approach texture in this course.

  • There are two things that we must give each of our drawings throughout this course in order to get the most out of them. Those two things are space and time. Right now it appears that you are thinking ahead to how many drawings you'd like to fit on a given page. It certainly is admirable, as you clearly want to get more practice in, but in artificially limiting how much space you give a given drawing, you're limiting your brain's capacity for spatial reasoning, while also making it harder to engage your whole arm while drawing. The best approach to use here is to ensure that the first drawing on a given page is given as much room as it requires. Only when that drawing is done should we assess whether there is enough room for another. If there is, we should certainly add it, and reassess once again. If there isn't, it's perfectly okay to have just one drawing on a given page as long as it is making full use of the space available to it.

  • The constructional process, when applied to leaves, is not limited to a specific number of steps. If you've got more complexity you want to capture, you may want to add intermediate steps, for things such as this. As for what I mean by intermediate steps, here's an example on another student's work. The focus is always going to be on only ever adding as much complexity as the existing structure can support.

  • Also, on this page you appear to have skipped the minor axis line for the branch structure, which is important for helping with the alignment of your ellipses. Do not skip steps.

I am going to assign some revisions below. That said, yours is one of the last critiques I'm getting to before the start of our Summer Promptathon. As such, it would be best that you not start on your revisions until the beginning of July (at which point it would be a good idea to reread my feedback so it's fresh in your mind). In the mean time, feel free to participate in the event to burn off some of that 50% rule debt that you've no doubt accumulated, as most students seem to.

Next Steps:

Please submit:

  • 1 page, half of leaves, half of branches

  • 3 pages of plant constructions

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
3:12 AM, Sunday July 10th 2022

One of the pages is practice for rounded leaves.

Will keep drawing the minor axis of cylinders and remember to do as initial step


3:53 PM, Monday July 11th 2022

Unfortunately there is a pretty significant issue that is present in the vast majority of your leaves here - specifically the more complex leaf structures which feature multiple "arms". You are skipping important constructional steps, in that you're not drawing each individual arm as a complete leaf shape as explained here in the lesson notes. You can also see this kind of thing in this demonstration from the informal demos page, which shows how we can build up to a maple-leaf type of leaf, building up complexity in successive stages, only ever adding that which can be supported by what's already present in the structure, and adding intermediary steps where they're needed.

Additionally, while your branches are definitely much improved over your last round, and you are extending each edge segment fully halfway to the next ellipse, I am noticing a tendency not to start your next segment at the previous ellipse, often starting it further along which minimizes the overlap. We can see an example of this here where the overlap is quite limited.

I'm going to ask for some further revisions below. I feel that if you can correct your approach with the more complex leaves, you should be good to go.

Next Steps:

Please submit:

  • 1 page of leaves, focusing completely on the complex leaf structures

  • 2 pages of plant constructions

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
1:07 AM, Monday July 18th 2022


Will continue working on separate leaf structures to build up more complex ones. Starting to get the flow of doing the steps in order.

Some of the pages here show some scratch work but spent time mainly on more complex leaves, no details added. hope i didn't bend the guidelines too much, eg with the squash plant it's like one berry y round leaf that is very wavy and rounded, almost feels like multiple leaf arms but not quite

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