25 Texture Challenge

7:09 PM, Wednesday September 16th 2020

DaB 25 texture challenge - Album on Imgur

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Hello hello!

I want to make clear that this challenge was done over the course of atleast 1 year

One part was done before becomeming patreon but i wanted to finish it so i can look back on the progress. I learned a lot on what and what not to do and looking back, some textures are done very...questionable and not the draw a box way. Textures 19 to 25 were done after lesson 3 patreon where you said i should look for cast shadows and not all the small nitty gritty that you see when not squinting.

Lastly, i personally think that page 16 to 18 is the worst when it comes to shadows and textures. Believe it or not but texture 18 is supposed to be meat. Just should've done everythink black except the fat like in one of the dissections examples.

Thanks in advance

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8:30 PM, Thursday September 17th 2020

Over the course of this challenge, you have absolutely shown a great deal of growth and development, and while you took some detours (I agree, 16-18 were an experiment that didn't entirely pan out), the last 3 pages (19-25) ended up demonstrating a really strong grasp of how these textures should be approached. I'm glad to hear that the feedback I gave in Lesson 3 were able to steer you in the correct direction in such an obvious and clear fashion.

The thing about textures always comes down to two things: assuming the student is exhibiting clear effort towards observing their reference carefully and frequently (which you were throughout), it comes down to their choices between using outlines/lines and shadow shapes. The first three pages definitely showed that you were trying to leverage more shadow shapes, but it was always on top of an existing framework and layout that consisted of lines. So whenever you wanted to get into a more sparse territory, specifically when you wanted to blend to pure white along the right side of the gradient, you wouldn't be able to because the lines had already been put in place to define each and every textural form.

This was something you struggled with a great deal, and while there were cases (like 11-18) where you started falling more into a sort of rendering/sketching pattern that relied very heavily on actually shading your textural marks, since this allowed you to use more hatching, in order to do so you broke away from the core principles of the exercise - that we were to use solid, flat, filled shapes that were purposely designed. This approach means respecting the nature of the fineliners we're working with, rather than treating them more like pencil or ballpoint pens. Every tool has its strengths and its weaknesses, and we specifically choose fineliners and brush pens because their weaknesses force us to find new strategies. It is ultimately those strategies that allow us to learn about light, about form, and about the relationships between forms that are defined by the shadows themselves.

Admittedly I actually really liked texture 14, and despite being in the middle of that experiment with shading/rendering, it actually captured a lot of the core principles of the exercise as they were intended. The only weakness there was that as you hit the far right, the choice of which marks would remain and which would be blasted away by the light seemed more random and haphazard, rather than defined by the forms themselves. After all, the shadows that last the longest are always going to be those that are trapped where multiple textural forms meet, rather than where they're out in the open. I like to think of it like using a hose/spray to blast away dirt from some uneven surface. Where the cracks are deepest, you're going to have the hardest time cleaning out the dirt.

When you started to get back entirely on the right track, with the use of those solid black shapes in texture 19, you did still have that reliance on outlines. If we look at texture 21 (the bottom of that page), you still tended to define the edges of those forms (meaning you were explicitly drawing some of the internal lines of the forms, rather than implying the presence of those lines through shadow shapes). It's a habit that is very hard to break away from, but this marked the beginning of that major shift.

It really wasn't until your 22nd texture and onwards that you finally let go of drawing the forms themselves. You dug deep into just "painting" with shadow, and the difference was substantial. You created a pattern of shapes, just white and black, and you showed considerable capacity to control the density and balance with which those shapes were arranged.

It is honestly somewhat remarkable - the fact that you went through this huge journey, and at one point there there was a sudden jump where the principles all seemed to click. I'm curious as to what changed, and how much time passed between texture 21 and 22. What I can say with confidence however is that with these last 4 textures you knocked it out of the park and clearly demonstrated an exceptionally strong grasp of how to capture texture using these limited tools. With that in place, I'm confident that given any other tool, you will have no trouble pinning down the core elements of a given texture.

I'll go ahead and mark this challenge as complete. Congratulations on getting through it! Not many do, so you've definitely accomplished something special.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
2:48 PM, Friday September 18th 2020

Honestly, i'm not really sure what changed between textures 21 and 22. I do know that the time in between was a a month or 2. Just to let it simmer a bit and thinking how i could improve on it or what can be changed.

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