Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants
9:00 PM, Thursday July 23rd 2020
Fingers Crossed I kept to the rules.
Starting with your arrows, they're flowing fairly well through space, though the issue I pointed out about the spacing of the zigzagging sections back in Lesson 2 is still present here - you're not really allowing those gaps to compress in any meaningful way, even though the positive space (the ribbon's width) does get narrower with foreshortening. You can see this demonstrated correctly here.
You're generally doing a good job of taking that fluidity and applying it to your leaves as well, capturing how they not only sit within 3D space, but how they move through the space they occupy. I'm also very pleased to see that you're adhering to the constructional principles when exploring more complexity, both in structure and in edge detail, having those wavier edges all rise off and return to the simpler curve from the previous phase of construction.
You're also largely doing quite well with the branches - I admit that they are a little narrow and small (making them wider can help you engage more of your brain's capacity for spatial reasoning and can help you draw with your whole arm to achieve more fluid strokes), but there is definitely a lot of value in practicing narrower branches as well since they come up often in our drawings. Mixing things up a little is definitely the best call here. Also, I noticed that there are a number of places where you don't quite extend your segments fully halfway towards the next ellipse. This extension is important because it provides with a solid overlap between that segment and the next, where the next one uses it as a sort of runway before shooting off towards the next target, as shown here. This helps keep those segments flowing smoothly and seamlessly from one to the next.
Moving onto your plant constructions, for the most part I am honestly really pleased with your results. You're mindful of constructing things from simple to complex, identifying the simple forms and breaking things down gradually rather than jumping ahead too far without the structure to support the things you're looking to build.
Of course, that's not to say I don't have a few issues to point out.
The first one that caught my eye is that when you draw the wavy edges on your leaves and petals, you tend to stick pretty close to that simpler edge from the previous phase of construction, but you're still falling into this issue where you zigzag back and forth across it. Instead, you should be constructing each little bump with a separate line, rising off the edge and returning to it. This way you can stay in line with this rule of mark making. You especially drift from this when dealing with the leaves on the right/top of this page. Adhering to the structure of that simpler leaf shape is critical because you want to take its solidity and carry it over through the whole of the drawing. Don't treat it as though you're redrawing the whole leaf - treat it as though you built part of the leaf in your first step, then you were making adjustments to it in subsequent ones. Also, when the leaf starts becoming less a simple leaf with a wavy edge, and more like a leaf with many individual little arms, you might consider following through a process like this.
A second point I wanted to make, was that when you construct anything cylindrical - for example, the flower pots - make sure you're doing so around a central minor axis line. This will help you keep those ellipses aligned to one another. Also, it helps a great deal to add an extra ellipse inset into the mouth of the pot to give the impression of a little thickness there.
The last thing I wanted to mention has to do with some of your later drawings, where you get into more detail/rendering. Remember, above all else, that the "detail phase" isn't about making your drawing look impressive. Through the construction, we focus on communicating to the viewer what it'd be like to pick up the object and manipulate it with their hands. When adding detail, we're focusing on communicating texture, what it would feel like to run your fingers over the surfaces of the object. In a number of cases you got somewhat distracted from this and delved more into things like form shading, which as discussed back in Lesson 2, is not something that should be included in the drawings for this course.
Instead, always focus on cast shadows only, where one form blocks the light source and projects a shadow shape onto another surface.
Aside from these points, you've done a great job. I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.
Feel free to move onto lesson 4.
Thankyou. I realised my swiss cheese plant was constructed wrong when I scanned it. Will keep in mind the ribbons. THought I had got them pretty good but forgot about the compression aspect and focussed on ribbon width and flow.
Some of the texture stuff still escapes me. Oh well.....