Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles

4:23 PM, Sunday February 14th 2021

Lesson 7: Applying Construction to Vehicles - Album on Imgur

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Hey Comfy,

crazy that it's already been 8 months since I started lesson 1, feels like yesterday. I believe that this one, and probably lesson 5, were the ones in which I made the biggest progress. I struggled in the beginning a bit, especially in the demos, because I think I was focusing too much on copying your marks, instead of thinking it through myself leading to some wonky parts. I really wasn't focused whilst doing the ship demo, which is quite noticeable. It's shitty. In some of my form intersection vehicles the "invisible" wheels aren't placed correctly, because... well, because I was stupid, but I learned from it xD.

Well, with that being said I really want to thank you for all the work you've put in!

I think it was really important for me to have a structured course at the beginning of ""my journey" with lots of homework to even slightly grasp the amount of needed mileage and to get a more realistic view on things. I'm thinking of taking Dynamic Sketching at CDA this summer term if I don't have too much school stuff going on then and it's still being held online. But we'll see.

Thanks again!

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2:27 AM, Tuesday February 16th 2021

Congratulations for getting this far! Starting with your form intersections, you're definitely approaching these with a lot more overall confidence than you did back in Lesson 2, and it certainly shows a grasp of space and form that has developed quite a bit since then. I have only one critique to offer here - remember that line weight isn't meant to go back over all the lines you wish to "commit". When drawing your ellipses, you have a tendency to trace back over them more carefully, resulting in a more hesitant line that stiffens the otherwise smooth and confident shape. Focus your line weight only where it's needed to clarify specific overlaps, and when you do add it, do so with the same kind of confidence and fluidity that you would apply when drawing any mark. Avoid the urge to hesitate and trace, which tends to focus too much on how a mark exists on the page, rather than how it represents an edge moving through 3D space.

Moving onto your vehicle constructions, your work here is, for the most part, quite well done. You're demonstrating a good grasp of space and form, and are doing a pretty solid job of breaking the things you wish to construct down. Your constructions certainly aren't perfect, but they've come along quite well, and when it comes to tackling the cars in particular, you've done a good job of capturing most of the elements of personality in those individual studies. More practice will certainly yield better results, but it's all moving very much in the right direction.

All that said, there is one key issue that I want to address to help ensure that you approach these kinds of exercises in the future as effectively as possible.

This key issue is that when approaching these constructions, you have a clear separation between your construction lines - the grid, the subdivisions, all that - and the actual object you're drawing. From what I can see, it appears that you're either drawing the object with a separate pen, or going back over it afterwards - something I specifically warn students against in this section, where I mention it's okay to use ballpoint. Basically, if you choose to use ballpoint (which I highly recommend), the whole drawing should be ballpoint except for filling in shadow shapes, if you wish to do that.

The reason is that I don't want students to approach these drawings as though they're meant to end up with a scaffolding that could ostensibly be removed, leaving a clean drawing. Obviously we can't - it's all ink - but I want to avoid the mentality that comes with having the drawing exist in two separate passes. The whole thing is, after all, just an exercise to help you explore and work within 3D space. The fact that it results in a vehicle, or in some specific object at all, isn't all that relevant, and we're certainly not aiming for something pretty to show off in the end.

Now in a lot of these cases it hasn't made too much of a difference. This semi for instance is all solid blocks through and through. The linework is confident, and every aspect of form feels specific and three dimensional. It helps that it's made up of a lot more straight lines. Conversely, this sports car has a lot of curves, and as discussed back in Lesson 6 curves have the risk of becoming kind of vague, which can undermine the solidity of the forms they define. You're still not doing too badly here, but ensuring that as much of your structure as possible hinges on specific, solid forms - keeping things blocky where possible, before smoothing it all out - helps a great deal. We definitely want to avoid situations like this where you clearly went back over the lines with no real purpose other than to either reinforce, or change the silhouette of a form that had already been established. Redrawing and modifying the silhouette of an existing form will only remind the viewer that they're looking at a flat shape, so avoid it. Only work in 3D space - don't modify parts of the drawing that exist in the 2D space of the page.

This part in the back of this drawing is a similar problem, where you're not really working against the blocky construction of a simplified structure. Instead, it reads more as though you hit a point where you felt you'd built up enough 3D structure, and reverted back to working on a 2D drawing.

Your drawings overall are still quite well done - but there are a lot of little places where you flip-flip back and forth between working in 2D and working in 3D. This course firmly demands that you only ever work in 3D space, because its purpose is to train your brain's ability to always function in three dimensions while drawing. It's one of the few things I felt that was somewhat lacking in courses like Dynamic Sketching - which I'm thrilled to hear you're planning on taking. It'll take you much farther in terms of what you can do with your drawings, and the various ways in which you can communicate visually, but I've never been fond of how the demonstrations jump between form and shape fluidly, without first ensuring students understand the difference. My goal is for my students to be equipped for that.

And honestly, you are very close, and I expect this explanation is enough to remind you of that fact. But, that said, I am still going to ask for just one more drawing. I want to see you tackle one more car construction, using only your ballpoint pen (forget about cast shadow shapes and all that this time, show me how far you can go.

Next Steps:

Please submit one more car construction, done entirely in ballpoint pen.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
12:25 PM, Wednesday February 17th 2021

Alright, thanks! I actually did everything with 1 ballpoint pen and a brush pen, but I did go over the lines more than once in order to add line weight and make my car read better. But I went over board with it and making the car read is definitely not the main goal of these exercises, since we're not after pretty pictures, I guess I needed a reminder of that...

So here is my additional car: https://imgur.com/a/h3kH1pd.

I know I messed up the back of the hood pretty badly. I noticed it right away after I put the line down. I honestly don't know what I was thinking, but eventually decided to just roll with it. I did a correction over paint in Photoshop to show how it actually should've looked xD. My pen was also fussing around a bit, leaving some blotches here and there and didn't draw at all sometimes, so I had to go over a few lines again to make them even visible. But apart from that I stayed away from going over lines to create line weight and tried to do everything right away by varying my pressure a bit. I actually scanned my Lamborghini from the previous submission before I added the extra line weight and in hindsight it looked way better before I tried to make it "read". Well what's done is done.

And if I got it right you mean by working in 3D vs 2D that once I've put a line representing an edge in 3D space down, it is final and when I start to modify it in a neither additional nor subtractive (3D) manner I undermine the illusion of 3-dimensionality I tried to build up so hard, right?

Thanks again!

8:30 PM, Thursday February 18th 2021

This is much better! I get that you're upset about the way the hood was drawn, but I don't think it deserves all the attention you're giving it. Sure, it results in things being a little off center, but at the end of the day, it still looks solid and three dimensional - and so it feels that we're looking at an actual structure rather than at a flat drawing.

To achieve this, you've done a great job of drawing in 3D - in hinging every line added in three dimensions of space. I can see the edges running across the front doing so in parallel with the enclosing box, and I can see the specific manner in which the curves flow through the world. While it's not perfect, it is something to be proud of.

So it does appear that you understood my point correctly. Here you didn't draw anything carelessly, and so you emphasized and reinforced the illusion of 3D space throughout the entire drawing.

I'll go ahead and mark this lesson, and along with it, the entire course - complete. Congratulations!

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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