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1:29 AM, Tuesday April 20th 2021

Starting with your arrows, you are largely doing a good job of capturing these with a strong sense of movement and fluidity as they move through space. One thing you do need to work on though is to work on compressing the gaps between the zigzagging sections as shown here to better convey the depth in the scene.

Continuing onto your leaves, you're doing a good job of capturing them with the same sort of confidence, pinning down not only how they sit statically in space, but also how they move through the space they occupy. That said, I am seeing some issues with how you build up your more complex edge detail upon the simpler structure. You're just a little too... loose.

Constructional drawing is about building upon the previous phase of construction only as much as that existing structure can support. We build upon it by adding small individual pieces, one at a time, and through successive phases of construction we're able to move from simple to complex. Each stage answers its own questions, and every one thereafter respects the answers given. So for example, the flow line of a leaf determines how that leaf moves through space. Then we build a very simple leaf shape around it, from start to end, taking that movement through space and giving it further dimension.

When we add the edge detail, it's critical that we build it onto the edge of this exsting structure. We can't simply zigzag a single line back and forth as you do here - each new addition needs to rise off the previous structure's edge, and return to it. And if something doesn't need to change, it simply doesn't need to be redrawn.

For the most part, it seems like you're rushing through that a bit, and it's causing you to approach things more loosely and organically, rather than thinking through exactly how each step you take is impacting the construction as a whole. In turn, it makes your constructions feel less believably three dimensional.

Moving onto your branches, I'm seeing some similar issues - your looseness at times (like here) causes you to not quite adhere to the steps of this exercise. As explained in the instructions, you are to draw your first segment from the first ellipse, past the second, and halfway to the third. Then the next segment starts at the second ellipse, past the third, and halfway to the fourth. As a result they have a healthy overlap, which allows us to transition from one to the next more smoothly and seamlessly. You are getting an overlap, but just how much of an overlap you're allowing to occur varies, because you're kind of rushing through the actual markmaking instead of applying the ghosting method as conscientiously as you ought to be.

This more or less continues through the plant constructions too. You are applying elements of the instructions well, but are rushing through it more quickly than you should be in a number of cases. By treating your drawings more like loose sketches rather than solid constructions, you're simply not investing the time needed to really think through each and every step and construct with more directed intent.

You absolutely can do this much better than you are right now, it just takes more time to be invested into each drawing. What you've submitted here isn't actually the best of which you're capable - you've made a choice to tackle them in a particular fashion, and now you have to make the choice of applying the principles of the last couple lessons.

So, I'm going to cut this critique off here, and assign you some additional pages below. These will give you the opportunity to apply these principles more directly.

Next Steps:

Please submit the following:

  • 1 page, half of leaves and half of branches

  • 4 pages of plant constructions

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
2:40 AM, Sunday May 16th 2021


Here you go. Thanks for your help!

2:53 PM, Monday May 17th 2021

As a whole this is looking better, but there are a couple things I want you to keep an eye on:

  • Firstly, keep using the ghosting method to improve your overall control of your markmaking. You're definitely executing your marks with a lot of confidence, which yield nice, flowing leaves and petals, but continued practice with the ghosting method will help you avoid some of the gaps that you end up with where lines should be meeting together. Gaps will undermine the solidity of the forms we construct, so using the planning and preparation phases to improve our results helps further emphasize the illusion that these forms exist in 3D space.

  • When adding edge detail to your leaves, remember that the goal here is not to replace the previous phase of construction with your new linework. You are merely building onto it. In order to maintain this, do not just zigzag a single stroke back and forth. You're doing a good job of sticking to that previous phase of construction, but when adding a wavy edge you should be breaking it into separate bumps that rise off the previous edge and return to it, then stop. Then start another stroke to draw the next 'bump'. Do not attempt to simply draw all of the wavy edge with a single continuous stroke, as you appear to do throughout your half page of leaves.

Anyway, all in all you're headed in the right direction. I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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