Lesson 5: Applying Construction to Animals

11:53 PM, Monday June 12th 2023

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Whew. After a very long break I am back and I feel like I had a much better grasp of the lesson. I really felt the 3d forms I was designing every time I put down a line (even if I messed up a few times.) I did put down some forms that felt wrong but you’ll tell me about that I guess. I put down dates and time like you requested for the revisions I was drawing one a day but got really excited about finishing lesson 5 and gave me motivation to do 2 a day but I forbid myself to do more than that. I didn’t really know how to draw the bird wings I didn’t see anything where comfy actually details how to go about it. As a result, I did them last. My paper also tends to be raised up and deform which can often cause some accidental lines when ghosting or hovering. It’s nothing major but can make a thing or two look messy mostly the hatch lines. It absolutely wont make the important stuff look worse tho. If i got something wrong, it was intentional.

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4:49 PM, Tuesday June 13th 2023

Hello Drego, welcome back! I'll be the teaching assistant handling your lesson 5 critique.

Starting with your organic intersections these are pretty much on the right track, though I have a few notes for you.

Remember to avoid leaving gaps like this underneath your forms at it makes them appear weightless. We want all the forms in the pile to obey gravity, and to feel stable and supported.

I have some advice that should help you to get these forms to wrap around one another more convincingly. When drawing forms over one another try to avoid overlapping them at the peak of the lower form. This helps prevent your forms from looking like they're just drawn over one another as well as helps create the illusion that they're wrapping around each other. It sounds trickier than it actually is, here is a visual example.

You're projecting your cast shadows far enough to cast onto the forms below, and they're obeying a consistent light source, good work. I've made a couple of quick edits to the shadows on this page. I smoothed out some unexpected bumps in the shape of two of your shadows, and also added the shadow being cast onto the ground plane, which helps to ground the whole pile.

Moving on to your animal constructions these are a big improvement on your previous submission. I can see clear intention behind each form, each mark, and while there is room for further growth its very clear that you understand what you're doing with these constructions, and that's a big achievement.

I don't have a great deal of further advice, beyond what I've already explained with your previous submission, but You've paid for a critique so I'd better make sure you get one.

I'll go back over the main points we've covered before, so we can check off why this new work is better, and maybe give you a couple of extra pointers along the way.

Your observation skills have improved. You're getting most of the pieces of your constructions roughly the right size and in about the right position most of the time. This is something you will continue to improve with practise over time. It is clear that most of what you're drawing is informed by your reference, rather than derived from memory. Your accuracy and control will also continue improve further, with deliberate practice. There are a few things that are oddly sized so this is something you'll want to continue to keep in mind as you move forward.

Additional masses have massively improved (haha pun), I can see that you're really developing a sense for how these forms exist in 3D space, and designing them to wrap around the underlying structures in a way that feels convincing.

I've popped a couple of notes on this page to indicate several additional masses that are well done, along with one that was running along the edge of the silhouette of the leg sausage instead of wrapping around it.

Aaand have one more edit on this horse where you had one additional mass running a very long distance. Trying to achieve too much with a single mass runs the risk of accidentally making it too complex and flattening it out (this one wasn't actually too bad) so I find it works better to break such large additions into smaller pieces, with more limited scope, so each one can achieve a more specific purpose.

Leg construction is looking good, you're using the sausage method correctly. If you want to get a bit more out of these constructions when you practise them in future you could fully construct the far-side legs, rather than drawing them as partial shapes as seen on this page as this will give you more 3D puzzle pieces to play with.

You are off to a great start with exploring the use of additional masses to build on your leg structures, but this can be pushed farther. A lot of these focus primarily on forms that actually impact the silhouette of the overall leg, but there's value in exploring the forms that exist "internally" within that silhouette - like the missing puzzle piece that helps to further ground and define the ones that create the bumps along the silhouette's edge. Here is an example of what I mean, I've blocked out masses along the leg there, and included the one fitting in between them all, even though it doesn't influence the silhouette. This way of thinking - about the inside of your structures, and fleshing out information that isn't just noticeable from one angle, but really exploring the construction in its entirety, will help you yet further push the value of these constructional exercises and puzzles.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is head construction. I can see that you've made considerable effort to apply the method shown in the informal head demo, as requested in your previous critique.

I have one more tip that can help push the 3D thinking for your head constructions a little further. Instead of drawing your eyelids as lines, we can get a more solid 3 dimensional result if we treat the eyelids as pieces of clay wrapping them around the eyeball as their own fully enclosed forms.

All right, I think that covers it. You might just be the recipient of both the longest and the shortest lesson 5 critiques I've written to date. I'll go ahead and mark this as complete, congratulations. Feel free to move on to the 250 Cylinder Challenge, which is next. Best of luck.

Next Steps:

250 Cylinder Challenge

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
5:22 PM, Tuesday June 13th 2023

Ty! This does put a smile on my face... but if you don't mind me asking... what's the purpose of 250 cylinders? I can understand drawing a ton of them, but 250 seems like a way too much.

7:35 PM, Tuesday June 13th 2023
edited at 7:39 PM, Jun 13th 2023

Hi Drego,

Similarly to the 250 box challenge, you'll be using line extensions to check your ellipse alignments (in the first section) as well as your perspective estimations (in the second section) and gradually improve them by iteration and using the extensions to self-critique.

It is necessary to go though many reps to develop an intuitive sense for how to draw a cylinder (or a square plane, for the boxed cylinders) in any orientation, proportion, or rate of foreshortening you choose. This will come in very handy for the hard surface constructions in lesson 6 and 7.

edited at 7:39 PM, Jun 13th 2023
7:42 PM, Tuesday June 13th 2023

Thanks!

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