Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids

4:32 PM, Thursday July 1st 2021

Drawabox: Lesson 4 - Album on Imgur

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/aXHnZ2F.jpg

Post with 43 views. Drawabox: Lesson 4

2 users agree
11:49 PM, Sunday July 25th 2021

Starting with your organic forms, these are largely looking good. The line work is rich and confident, which is great to see in your contour curves. There are a couple of things though:

  • I'm seeing alot of pinching and swelling here. Make sure you're sticking to the characteristics of a simple sausage as explained in the instructions. Remember, sausages are supposed to be two balls connected by a tube of consistent width. That means no pinching through the midsection, no ends with different sizes, etc.

  • Your contour curves have their degrees all the same. Remember that, as discussed in the lesson 1 ellipses video that these should get wider as it moves away from the viewer along the sausage form. They're not that far off though.

Moving onto your insect constructions, again, you're moving in the right direction in some ways but there are some things still present here that were present in your plants.

As i've mentioned in my previous critique, you're not giving ample room as a drawing requires. Drawing smaller has its downsides, it can limit our brain's ability to solve spatial problems and with engaging our whole arm while drawing. Both of these make the drawing process clumsier and may impede what we get out of it.

What happened here? It appears as if though you tried to capture greater levels of complexity right off the bat, instead of building up towards it.

I can see similar deviations, such as these two. You didn't start out with the simple ball forms for the head, thorax, and abdomen in their entirety and instead drew these however felt natural to you.

Throughout your drawings, I'm seeing that you're being timid about introducing new forms and piling them on top of one another. You've followed the shrimp and lobster demos just fine, but this didn't carry over to your other drawings unfortunately. On this page and here, you've added the leg spikes as flat open shapes, rather than defining how they sit along the surface, where the presence of one form displaces the other. You can see this in practice in this beetle horn demo and this lobster claw demo.

Moving onto the topic of legs, I noticed you seemed to employ different strategies here and some even came out as stretched spheres, rather than sausages. While not uncommon for students to be aware about using the sausage method, but instead they decide not to adhere to them because the legs they're looking at don't actually look like a chain of sausages to them. In your case though, it seemed like you were aware but simply strayed from it.

The sausage method as a base structure allows us to capture the solidity with the gestural nature of legs. Once in place, we can lay in additional masses to convey the complexities as shown here, here, this ant's leg, and even in this dog's leg. This'll become relevant coming into the next lesson where we stack forms on top of one another (as per the organic intersections exercise from Lesson 2).

Again, I'm seeing patterns in your textures which suggests that your relying on memory rather than direct observation. Your demos are fine, but you're not applying these concepts outside of them.

This next point isn't necessarily your fault since the lesson doesn't go in depth about it, but notice the way you went about adding the hairs on this page? I don't like that. These perpendicular tangents create conflict and its not the way you should be adding texture. Uncomfortable talks about this in the latter half of his intro video for drawing insects but you can also see this as a topic covered later on in lesson 5. Also, these hairs shouldn't be applied everywhere along the silhouette but dispersed only in a small number of areas where you want to draw attention to. Less is more.

One last thing that catches my eye, is that in a number of cases, you're applying line weight arbitrarily, with some sections silhouettes being made darker/heavier for no particular reason. This is made most notable on this page. One thing to keep in mind about line weight is that it's best to focus the tool on solving specific problems consistently throughout your drawings. This example of overlapping leaves shows how it's best to allow it to show how forms overlap in localized areas.

I am seeing some improvements, however and I'm happy to see you're not cutting back on forms anymore. That is a step in the right direction.

Overall, i think I've pointed out a number of areas in which you can stand to improve even further. Unfortunately, I'll have to assign some revisions to give you an opportunity to apply these concepts. If you've already started working on some animals from Lesson 5, it would be a good idea to toss those aside and focus on what i pointed out here before moving forward.

Next Steps:

1 page of organic forms

5 pages of insect constructions (no texture)

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
2:02 AM, Tuesday August 9th 2022


Sorry for the late submission! I know that it has already been over a year, but I am ready to resume my Drawabox journey. I tried to apply all of your corrections in my revisions, and I will leave it up to you whether or not I should do further revisions or continue onwards.

I really appreciate the level of depth that you put into this critique, and I apologize to both you and myself that I blasted through lesson 3 and straight into lesson 4. I want to get the most out of this course and to learn good critique skills so that I may assist others in their journey as well.

In the meantime, I will wait until further instructs so that I do not repeat my previous mistake in lesson 3. I will try to stay diligent by finding my place with the 50% rule (Uncomfortable made a newer video on it since I joined that I really wished I had years ago) and by critiquing others in the earlier lessons.

I appreciate all of your help!

11:22 PM, Tuesday August 9th 2022
edited at 11:26 PM, Aug 9th 2022

I'll be honest, not many people come back to reply with their revisions, let alone after a year so I applaud you for your perseverance. It's been a while since I've critiqued lesson 4 submissions so bear with me.

Starting with your organic forms, these are largely well done. Your lines are smooth and confident and the contour curves themselves change as they run along the sausage form. There are a few hiccups here and there but for the most part, heading in the right direction. Good job on it!

Moving onto your insect constructions, there are cases where you've improved a great deal from your previous submission but then there are also times where you're now struggling with a different problem.

As a whole, you're starting off with the basic forms (head, thorax, abdomen) and drawing through your forms in their entirety. As a result, much of your forms, or at least the base structure is coming along nicely. However, it seems like you're still struggling when it comes to the additional masses. For example, in this ant you drew I've highlighted in blue a number of spots where you drew a one-off mark bridging from one 3d structure to another, enclosing the hatched area. But this hatched are exists only in two dimensions- there is no clearly defining elements that help the viewer to understand how it is meant to relate to the other 3d elements at play. Thus, it reminds us that we're drawing something flat and two dimensional and reinforces that idea to you as you construct it. To that previous point, I am seeing other cases where you're cutting into your construction thus undermining the solidity of your forms. These areas are marked in red. There are other examples of this here.

Moving onto your leg construction, you're making a clear effort to stick to the sausage method as much as possible. That's a step in the right direction. However, I am noticing some pinching/swelling on the legs of this bee you drew. Remember to address these as separate masses. Ideally, you want to add these masses the way it's done in this ant leg demo.

That's pretty much all there is to say about your work. As a whole, I think you've improved and I'm noticing that you're starting to think more about how these forms sit in 3 dimensions. There were moments where you've added weight on your lines where it didn't make sense such as the abdomen of this bee but these cases were minimal in number and it feels nitpicky to call it out. Although there are still a number of things to keep in mind, I also feel like you should move onto lesson 5. It covers a lot of the concepts I've highlighted in greater detail and lesson 4 only glances over it. Just make sure to keep in mind everything said above moving forward.

Next Steps:

Lesson 5

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.
edited at 11:26 PM, Aug 9th 2022
The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something I've used myself. If you're interested, here is a full list.
Cottonwood Arts Sketchbooks

Cottonwood Arts Sketchbooks

These are my favourite sketchbooks, hands down. Move aside Moleskine, you overpriced gimmick. These sketchbooks are made by entertainment industry professionals down in Los Angeles, with concept artists in mind. They have a wide variety of sketchbooks, such as toned sketchbooks that let you work both towards light and towards dark values, as well as books where every second sheet is a semitransparent vellum.

This website uses cookies. You can read more about what we do with them, read our privacy policy.