Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction

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9:32 PM, Wednesday November 10th 2021

Hello Allipses, congrats on finishing Lesson 2! It is quite a daunting lesson especially if you've never been introduced to textures before, but you managed to finish it! I'll be critiquing some of your work today, I hope you find my advice helpful.

Starting off with

Thinking in 3d Section

Arrows

You're doing a good job of keeping your linework confident. Your shading can definitely use some more work and planning put into it, as of now it's very confusing in it's placement, especially when it's on both sides of the arrow, which breaks the illusion that one part is in front of the other.

https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/4/step4

Onto your arrow's construction, your edges don't overlap when they should, which makes your arrow look distorted as they bend unnaturally.

Here's a demonstration, it's not the best because it's just a quick one but I hope it explains what I mean more clearly.

https://imgur.com/a/qBlcArf

https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/4/overlap

Another struggle you face is keeping your arrow's size, both in width and length consistent, they bulge and narrow suddenly when they shouldn't, they get smaller at the front or bigger at the back, they are inconsistent at the folds, all of this is detrimental to the illusion we're trying to paint of these arrows: objects of a consistent size moving freely through 3d space.

Keep in mind that with perspective, when something is further away it'll become smaller and if it's closer to the viewer it'll get bigger. To improve on this, instead of doing the second curve in one motion, you can try building it in segments with the ghosting method, this way you can check if the size is consistent before committing to a line.

I suggest that when you tackle this exercise again during your warm ups, that you make arrows that overlap more, diminishing the negative space between each overlap. As of now many of your arrows feel very safe and similar. It's important for us, as artists, to always push ourselves if we want to improve.

Organic Forms/Sausages

Moving on to your organic forms, I'd like to start off by pointing out something that isn't a mistake but can be hurtful to your improvement: Grinding a single sausage rotation. There's three most important ones and you should practice all of them.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/368871234269741066/790354487055351818/QTEqgJa.png

Many of your sausages don't keep the desired sausage shape of two balls connected by a cylinder of consistent width, your sausage ends are also elongated or pointy, when they should be round.

https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/5/simplesausage

You can try to address this by ghosting your sausages by adding some dots that follow the general sausage shape and using them as guidelines during your ghosting, as well as practicing more during warm ups.

Your ellipses and contours have hardly any variation, and you forget to draw through some of your ellipses twice.

https://imgur.com/rXLBxSg

Photos by user 'Slate' on the drawabox discord server, showing the degree of change in ellipses' degrees on a cylindrical form.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/368871256067670027/426350263884972032/IMG_5773.JPG

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/368871256067670027/426351743190695937/IMG_5775.JPG

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/368871256067670027/426351973990662144/IMG_5774.JPG

And to finish this section, good job on keeping the ellipses and contours within bounds.

Texture and Detail Section

Texture Analysis

The biggest mistake you make on this exercises that follows you into the next is not actually drawing cast shadows, instead you rely on thin outlines to convey your texture. Let's remember what are cast shadows for a second:

https://imgur.com/L21Mqxh

"Cast shadows occur when a form blocks the light. The key thing here is that where form shading occurs on the form in question itself, cast shadows are projected onto another surface.

Texture is made up of the little forms that sit along the surface of a given object, and each of these textural forms can cast shadows. In fact, all of the lines we perceive as being part of a texture are generally just that: shadows.

All of the bumps, the changes in topography (where the surface rises or falls), little holes or scratches, etc. can all be thought of as independent bits of form that are added to or taken away from the surface of our object, and each one interacts with the light that is being shined upon it."

So when thinking of a shadow you need to think of things like how big is the form that is casting the shadow? What is it's shape? How close or far away is the lightsource? A lightsource directly to the left will cast a very big and elongated shadow to the right, for example, and the part that is close to the lightsource won't be in shadow and so, shouldn't be enclosed.

And to make shadows more dynamic, you should approach them like this instead:

https://m.imgur.com/M9JJfr4

On the final column you do a good job of hiding the black bar, but it's very visible and easy to spot on the last row. Your transition is also harsh or non-existent on the other parts of the gradient when it should be seamless. Density detail is a very valuable tool we can utilize to show how much shadow an object is receiving without drawing it explicitly, it also allows us to create points of focus for our viewers and make it easier on their eyes.

https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/2/density

Some of your shadows, like the ones on the second row, also extend downwards, which breaks the illusion as the lightsource is coming from the right and therefore all shadows will extend to the left.

Texture Dissections

For this exercise you rely too much on drawing outlines and using negative space to create your textures rather than cast shadows, which is why it gets difficult to create a good gradient and focal points of detail. You're also struggling with keeping the underlying form in mind and using that information to wrap your textures around your sausages, although you do improve upon both of these things on your second page, so good job!

Here, if you scroll a bit through this page you will find some renders of tree bark on spheres and a cylinder, you can also search on your own and find more resources of textures rendered on spheres and analyze them to understand better how textures on non flat forms work.

https://www.vertexlibrary.com/hypertrees-bark-pinewood

I believe that this part of your submission was rushed as there are some parts of the sausages that could have been used for another texture or two, but you left it blank. This part of your homework would have benefited more from you taking more time with each individual texture, as of now these pages look unfinished.

Construction Section

Form intersections

The biggest problem you face with this exercise is the different foreshortening in your forms, you've especially got stretched and distorted pyramids and cylinders, but it happens to your boxes as well, especially on the back end. Your forms must have the same rate of foreshortening if you want them to feel like they belong together in the same scene.

You also forget some important drawabox principles by redoing many lines and by adding lineweight to the entire form instead of just the intersection where your forms meet.

I would like you to focus more on making all your forms look like they exist within the same scene before worrying too much about your intersections, and don't forget about shading one side so it's clearer how the form is turned towards the viewer.

Organic form intersections

I commend you for understanding the purpose of this exercise and making your sausages wrap around each other in a believable way. Your sausage forms also seem to have improved a lot on consistency, good job!

Final Thoughts

I believe that while you understood the purpose of many of these exercises you didn't always know to apply these concepts to your work. Although you should be proud of your improvements, I believe that if you take more time with each individual exercise you'll improve even further.

I won't be moving you to Lesson 3 yet, each lesson builds on top of one another and I'd like you to understand a few concepts more before having to apply them to increasingly complex subjects.

• 1 page of organic arrows

• 1 page of organic intersections

Next Steps:

1 page of organic arrows

1 page of organic forms intersections

2:33 AM, Thursday December 2nd 2021

In my opinion your pages of revisions feel incredibly rushed when compared to your other pages, it doesn't seem like you put all the effort you could have into it. Since these are messier and have less arrows and sausages, to me it comes across as if you just did the bare minimum to fill the page.

I'm not sure why but in case you need to hear this: sometimes putting too much effort into a piece or homework is draining and exhausting, and that's okay, it's okay to take a break if you know you're going to rush a piece. This is why we encourage others do it at their own pace and do these exercises to the best of their current ability, if you rush to just "get it done" you won't get as much quality study from your session. Trust me, you'll get much more out of it if you slow down a bit.

The hatching of your arrows is much more chaotic and overall less clean and tidy than in your first pages, and with the arrows overlapping over other arrows with no superimposed lines on some of them makes it hard to read what line belongs to what arrow. Remember the hatching should be neat and go from one end to the next, and not past it. You still face major size consistency problems and problems with naturally bending your arrows.

There is a lot of blank space in your organic intersections page that could have been used for extra sausages and so extra practice, and your shadows don't follow the form of the sausage underneath them.

I don't like beating a dead horse so I'll mark your homework page as complete, but I'd really like you to slow down a bit.

Next Steps:

Move on to Lesson 3, but be mindful of bad habits such as rushing, reread the L2 material especially on arrows before doing any warm ups and homework pages for L3.

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 2 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
3:06 AM, Thursday December 2nd 2021

Thank you so much for the advice, I'll try not to rush so much later on. My current fineliners aren't the best in which they fade out during long lines but not short ones, so that's where the arrows hard to see come from. I did notice I wasn't doing my best during these but I also didn't want to retry what I failed at and end up grinding so it felt like resignation and compromise on my own end. But once again I thank you for letting me continue and complete this lesson, I'll trust the fact you see I'm ready to move forward despite the fumbling.

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