12:06 AM, Friday October 2nd 2020
Before we jump into the animal constructions, I do want to mention that your organic intersections are for the most part looking good. My only complaint is that on the first page, that topmost form doesn't really feel like it's really being pushed down on top of the forms beneath it - it looks a little more weightless. The others however convey a strong sense of gravity.
Moving onto the animal constructions, the key things I'm glad to see is that you're showing that you understand how these forms that you're using as parts of your constructions relate to one another in 3D space. You're wrapping them around one another where appropriate, especially in cases like this antelope and this big cat (tiger? maybe?). That said, there are as many cases (like here and here) where you haven't applied as much care and thought to how those additional forms would wrap around the underlying structure. In these cases, those additional forms read more as flat shapes upon which you've piled contour lines to try and fix that fact. While those contour lines do make the forms read as being more 3D (especially when they're drawn carefully - on the donkey they were rather sloppy), it does not fix that the silhouette of the form itself, which drives how we understand the relationships between these forms, was not drawn correctly. Since you have demonstrated yourself to be capable of this, just be sure to do so more carefully in the future.
My biggest issue with how you've moved through this lesson however comes down to the specific techniques you've chosen to use, and the fact that for the most part, you've just kinda winged it in most cases, rather than pushing yourself to follow the approaches covered in the demonstrations.
First and foremost is the legs. I actually talked about this back in my Lesson 4 critique, where I explained the fact that you weren't employing the sausage method. Rather than typing out the explanation again, I'll just paste it here.
The last point I wanted to make is that I noticed that you seem to have employed a lot of different strategies for capturing the legs of your insects. It's not uncommon for students to be aware of the sausage method as introduced here, but to decide that the legs they're looking at don't actually seem to look like a chain of sausages, so they use some other strategy. The key to keep in mind here is that the sausage method is not about capturing the legs precisely as they are - it is about laying in a base structure or armature that captures both the solidity and the gestural flow of a limb in equal measure, where the majority of other techniques lean too far to one side, either looking solid and stiff or gestural but flat. Once in place, we can then build on top of this base structure with more additional forms as shown here, here, and even here in the context of a dog's leg (because this technique is still to be used throughout the next lesson as well). Just make sure you start out with the sausages, precisely as the steps are laid out in that diagram - don't throw the technique out just because it doesn't immediately look like what you're trying to construct.
Generally speaking, when I point out that you should be using this technique, and that you'll be using it in the next lesson, that's something I dearly hope you'll remember, rather than making the same mistake over again. Because you did forget that fact, your legs here ended up coming out relatively flat and oversimplified in ways that the technique certainly would have helped with. Especially looking at the dog leg example I provided, there is a lot more complexity you can build up in these animals' legs to better reflect the subtle elements of their musculature and build, that was for the most part neglected here.
Another issue I noticed was that you tend to draw with a notably light touch, especially when it comes to your initial masses (ribcage, pelvis, cranium, etc.) like you're actively trying to hide them from the drawing. We can see a good example of this in this horse for example, where you seem to be skipping a lot of lines, and attempting to hide others. I cannot stress this enough: our goal here is not to draw pretty pictures and to keep them clean. Each and every drawing here is an exercise geared towards developing your understanding of how the forms you're combining relate to one another in 3D space. By trying to draw certain parts more faintly, or to skip steps, you are actively diminishing our ability to work towards that target, in favour of a secondary goal you've set out for yourself. Focus only on the exercise.
Moving on, looking at how you approach constructing your heads, I'd like to point you to two of the 'informal' demos available:
Pay special attention to how in these head constructions, the focus is on the idea that we are building a three dimensional puzzle. Nothing floats - every component - the eye socket, the muzzle, the brow ridge, the cheekbone, etc. are all fitted against one another, and they are all grounded in one another.
The last thing I want to touch on for now is the importance of drawing big. While overall you could ostensibly take greater advantage of the space available to you to avoid areas of your drawings getting cramped and clumsy (as often happens with your animal's heads), there are some cases where certain drawings were vastly smaller than the overall page.
Keeping all of this in mind, I'm going to assign some additional pages of animal drawings below for you to better demonstrate adherence to the techniques used in this lesson, with a focus on each drawing as an exercise. I know you are capable of this, as you have shown it in bits and pieces, but I definitely feel that you have not made enough of an effort to actually adhere to the techniques taught as part of these exercises, and have instead focused just on drawing animals in whatever way you can.
This lesson is, at the end of the day, called "Applying Construction to Animals," not "Drawing Animals," so it always comes back to that one central goal.
Please submit an additional 4 pages of animal drawings, adhering more closely to the techniques and processes shown in the lesson, and focusing on each drawing as an exercise, not as a final product.