Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction
4:12 AM, Sunday May 2nd 2021
Let me know what's best.
Starting with your arrows, your initial linework isn't the best, but it is definitely executed with confidence, maintaining relatively smooth trajectories. Of course, you are struggling with keeping those two edges running consistently with one another, and as a result you end up with sections that pinch or widen through the length of the arrow. This is something you'll have to keep working on, specifically making those arrows go from narrow to wide as they move closer to the viewer. It is however a decent start.
Continuing onto your organic forms with contour ellipses, you do appear to be aiming for the characteristics of simple sausages, and you're doing a pretty decent job of that. The contour ellipses themselves are a little loose, but they're drawn confidently and are kept evenly shaped. Continuing to practice the use of the ghosting method will help you further improve your accuracy here. The contour curves part of this exercise are a little more rough, and you're definitely ending up with some contour curves that end up uneven. Again, really focusing on the use of the ghosting method will help here.
Moving onto your texture analyses, there are a few major issues here.
Firstly, the solid black bar we place on the left side of the gradient section serves a specific purpose. The student's job is to create a gradient that goes from full black to full white - so when done correctly, we would not be able to see the edge of that black bar, it should just smoothly transition into the rest of your texture.
It appears that you're having difficulty with the observation part of this exercise. What you've drawn appears extremely simplified, which suggests that you may have spent the majority of your time trying to draw the texture, rather than observing your reference. This process requires you to spend most of your time just looking at your reference - you only look away from the reference for long enough to make a specific mark, then you look at your reference again. Human memory, as explained here in the lesson, is simply not evolved to retain so much visual information.
The main thing about this exercise is that it asks you to think about each individual textural form, and to hold that information in your head without actually outlining it on the page. What is being asked of you is hard, and I am glad to see that you are working with clear, solid, black shapes. Without observing your reference image enough however, there's no way you can actually put down the correct shadow shapes - because there would be no way for you to actually analyze each textural form individually.
Fortunately for you, I don't expect students to be able to knock this exercise out of the park right now, so I'm not going to dwell on it further. I know this is your second time submitting this lesson, but this is something you are going to have to work on, on your own, using the resources that are available to you (like the demonstration video for this exercise).
As far as observation goes, I do think your dissections are better - you're clearly willing to spend more time looking at your references here. The main problem here is that you're not working with shadow shapes - you're just drawing a bunch of lines, often scratching your textures on. When drawing texture in the future, try employing this two step process for all of your textural marks. That means outlining your intended shadow shape first, then filling it in. Do not just draw arbitrary lines - you should not be trying to "paint" your texture on with individual strokes.
Overall your form intersections are coming along decently. You're clearly employing the ghosting method here, and it's helping you to keep your marks smooth and relatively straight. The box constructions could do with a bit more time investment, thinking about how each line needs to be oriented to converge consistently towards its vanishing point, along with all the others. For example, if we apply the line extensions from the box challenge, as shown here, you'll notice that the middle two lines of the set are actually diverging from one another. Thinking about how these 4 lines all are meant to converge consistently together, as we draw the individual marks, helps to avoid these kinds of issues.
Lastly, your organic intersections are a decent start. You're clearly trying to think about how the sausage forms wrap around one another, and you are trying to think through how those cast shadows ought to behave. There is however plenty of room for improvement here:
The drawing of the individual sausage forms with their contour lines is pretty sloppy. You're drawing a lot of linework without necessarily thinking it through, going back over the same contour line multiple times, etc. and it just makes a big mess of a lot of it.
Your cast shadows in certain areas - like here aren't really taking into consideration the fact that shadows are cast upon actual surfaces. That means when you're casting a shadow on the ground, you need to think about where that ground is, and not just draw a shadow floating in space. You also need to think about where your light source is to make sure that you're casting shadows in consistent directions - you can't have one form cast a shadow to the left and the other cast a shadow to the right in the same scene.
All in all, your submission has a lot of rough spots, and you have a lot of things to work on. That said, you are for the most part still moving in the right direction, so I will mark this lesson as complete. Remember that every single exercise you've encountered so far needs to be incorporated into your regular warmup routine (picking two or three at the beginning of each sitting to do for 10-15 minutes, with a new 2 or 3 chosen for each sitting) so you can continue practicing this stuff actively. Furthermore, just putting more time into everything you do - like outlining cast shadow shapes before filling them in - will really pay off.
Move onto lesson 3, but invest a lot of time into practicing the exercises you've encountered so far in your warmups.