Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

1:11 PM, Monday November 2nd 2020

Drawabox Lesson 3 - Album on Imgur

Direct Link:

Discover the magic of the internet at Imgur, a community powered enterta...

So here are my plants, I think it is my 1st time doing plants since I started to draw, but thats not an excuse here. I feel like potato plant is a place where I made a lot of mistakes, for example I started to add contour lines before making all the leaves. And I wasnt sure if I should add lineweight in some of my plants, because I wasnt sure if they would be readable after that. But yeah, I learned a lot and cant wait for your feedback.

0 users agree
8:30 PM, Thursday November 5th 2020

Starting with the arrows, you've drawn them such that they flow fairly well and capture a strong sense of fluidity, but there are two key points I want to draw to your attention:

  • Remember that the spacing between the zigzagging sections should be getting narrower and tighter as we look farther back in space, as shown here.

  • You're definitely pressing too hard when adding line weight, and it's got some negative repercussions. Most notably, because you're pressing so hard, it makes the their thickness very uniformly heavy, which results in a sudden jump from being very thick to much thinner when the additional strokes end. Line weight should be drawn with confident strokes no heavier than your initial marks - they'll appear thicker simply because there's two lines overlapping one another. That confidence results in tapering on either end as shown here, which will also help the strokes blend together more seamlessly, while also keeping the line weight itself more subtle. Line weight itself should always be subtle - don't try and go too heavy with it, imagine that you're not trying to make the viewer themselves overtly aware of it. Line weight is like a whisper to the subconscious.

Moving onto your leaves, these are coming along alright, although I do have some suggestions. Firstly, remember that the way in which the leaf moves through 3D space is entirely established by the flow line itself. Draw it from the shoulder and force yourself to think about how that line is driving through three dimensions, similarly to the arrows. Try not to just limit yourself to drawing the leaves as though they're sitting on the surface of the page - actually explore the full three dimensions with it.

Secondly, again - pressing hard with your lines results in some definite stiffness when adding additional complexity, as does the fact that your leaves are generally being drawn quite small. Because they're small, the thickness of your pen is more notable. Relative to the overall size of the drawing, it ends up being much thicker, which makes the drawings feel a little more clumsy.

Thirdly, when adding wavy edge detail, don't zigzag a single line back and forth. Add each bump as a separate mark coming off the previous phase of construction and returning to it.

Lastly, when dealing with textures, remember that capturing texture is not a matter of just decorating the surfaces of your objects. Every single textural mark we draw is some kind of cast shadow, produced by a textural form that exists there. It requires us to think about those forms, and how they might cast shadows on their surroundings. It's very easy to ignore this and just to draw the marks as we see them, but that tends to yield cartoony results. Lesson 2's texture section goes through this in detail, so I won't repeat it here, but you may want to go back over it to refresh your memory. Additionally, get in the habit of drawing all your textural marks using this two step process, which will force you to work in shadow shapes, rather than just making individual marks.

Your work on the branches exercise is coming along well, just one minor point - make sure you're extending your edge segments fully halfway to the next ellipse. This allows for more overlap between the segments, which as shown here helps us transition more smoothly and seamlessly from one segment to the next.

Moving onto the plant constructions themselves, the first thing I'm noticing is something I called out in regards to your leaves - you're drawing pretty small. Drawing smaller just makes things harder. It makes us draw more clumsily, it limits our ability to think through spatial problems, and makes it harder to engage our whole arm when drawing, especially when we don't have as much experience drawing from our shoulder. Always take full advantage of the space that's available to you on the page, first and foremost. Once you've done your first drawing, you can assess whether there's enough room for another, and if there is, go for it. Don't force things into a tiny corner. And of course, if you have the space (as you have in plenty of these pages), don't leave it blank either.

This is your biggest issue. Everything else is actually not too bad, once you take it into account. Your linework's stiff in many places, but that all comes down to the size of your drawings. You are applying construction reasonably well however, building up the complexity in your structures one phase at a time. So, I'm fairly confident that giving yourself more room to draw with your whole arm will help a great deal.

So! Before I mark this lesson as complete, I'm going to have you do a few additional pages. You'll find them assigned below.

Next Steps:

Please complete 4 additional pages of plant constructions. Draw big, and when you do have blank space left over, use it. If there isn't enough room to fit another drawing though, there's nothing wrong with having pages that hold only one drawing.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
8:13 PM, Tuesday December 1st 2020

I finally did it, due to a 50% couldnt fit that much time for a dab recently. I know you said to do 4 plant but since it was a 3 week break from dab so I did a pitcher plant demo for a refresher of lesson 3.

4:19 PM, Wednesday December 2nd 2020

Alrighty, this is definitely better, I just have one thing to draw your attention to.

When you apply the branch technique - that is, building one long edge out of a series of shorter segments, it's really important that you let them overlap a good bit, in order to let them flow smoothly and seamlessly together. When the overlap is too short, you'll end up with more sudden changes in trajectory and flow. Look at the instructions for the branches exercise again.

Anyway, I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete.

Next Steps:

Feel free to move onto lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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.
How to Draw by Scott Robertson

How to Draw by Scott Robertson

When it comes to technical drawing, there's no one better than Scott Robertson. I regularly use this book as a reference when eyeballing my perspective just won't cut it anymore. Need to figure out exactly how to rotate an object in 3D space? How to project a shape in perspective? Look no further.

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