Hello Avsin, I'll be the teaching assistant handling your lesson 4 critique.

Starting with your organic forms with contour curves there is something to call out, it seems you did one page of contour ellipses, though the assignment was for both to be contour curves. Not a huge problem, but it does suggest that you may want to be more attentive when reading through the instructions.

You're generally keeping your sausage forms simple as explained here. Although there are cases where your forms bulge in the middle like this or get pinched in the middle like this so keep working on having the width even along the length of the form.

For your ellipses, be sure to draw around 2 full times before lifting your pen. This is something we ask you do to for all ellipses you freehand in this course, as explained here. It looks like for many of these, you're either making one and a half circuits of the ellipse, or just one and then reinforcing the visible side with an extra line.

I can see that you're doing a good job of varying the degree of your contour curves, and you're showing an understanding of the idea that these curves should generally get wider as we slide further away from the viewer along the length of a given cylindrical form as is explained in the ellipses video from lesson 1, here. You can also see an example of how to vary the degree of your contour curves in this diagram.

I will note that the middle contour curve on this form is not correctly aligned, they should be cut into symmetrical halves by the central flow line for this exercise.

Moving on to your insect constructions your work is coming along well. You're demonstrating a good understanding of how the forms you draw exist in 3D space and connect together with specific relationships.

Because we're drawing on a flat piece of paper, we have a lot of freedom to make whatever marks we choose, but many of those marks would contradict the illusion you're trying to create and remind the viewer that they're just looking at a series of lines on a flat piece of paper. In order to avoid this and stick only to the marks that reinforce the illusion we're creating, we can force ourselves to adhere to certain rules as we build up our constructions. Rules that respect the solidity of our construction.

For example - once you've put a form down on the page, do not attempt to alter its silhouette. Its silhouette is just a shape on the page which represents the form we're drawing, but its connection to that form is entirely based on its current shape. If you change that shape, you won't alter the form it represents - you'll just break the connection, leaving yourself with a flat shape. We can see this most easily in this example of what happens when we cut back into the silhouette of a form.

Fortunately you don't cut inside your forms very much, but I've marked on your ant in red where you cut back inside the silhouette of the abdomen. Sometimes I think you accidentally cut inside your forms where there is a gap between passes on your ellipses. There is a way we can work with a loose ellipse and still build a solid construction. What you need to do if there is a gap between passes of your ellipse is to use the outer line as the foundation for your construction. Treat the outermost perimeter as though it is the silhouette's edge - doesn't matter if that particular line tucks back in and another one goes on to define that outermost perimeter - as long as we treat that outer perimeter as the silhouette's edge, all of the loose additional lines remain contained within the silhouette rather than existing as stray lines to undermine the 3D illusion. This diagram shows which lines to use on a loose ellipse.

On the same image I marked in blue where you attempted to extend your silhouette without really providing enough information for us to understand how that new addition was meant to exist in 3D space.

On this beetle I've marked in green where you've done an excellent job of adding a complete 3D form to your construction, and in blue where you added a partial shape instead. There's also a small red section where it looks like you draw a form and then redrew part of it smaller, cutting into the silhouette in the process.

Instead, when we want to build on our construction or alter something we add new 3D forms to the existing structure. forms with their own complete silhouettes - and by establishing how those forms either connect or relate to what's already present in our 3D scene. We can do this either by defining the intersection between them with contour lines (like in lesson 2's form intersections exercise), or by wrapping the silhouette of the new form around the existing structure as shown here.

This is all part of understanding that everything we draw is 3D, and therefore needs to be treated as such in order for both you and the viewer to believe in that lie.

You can see this in practice in this beetle horn demo, as well as in this ant head demo You can also see some good examples of this in the lobster and shrimp demos on the informal demos page As Uncomfortable has been pushing this concept more recently, it hasn't been fully integrated into the lesson material yet (it will be when the overhaul reaches Lesson 4). Until then, those submitting for official critiques basically get a preview of what is to come.

I noticed a couple of places, such as the legs on this ant where you'd attempted to add a structure that consists of a single line. A line is infinitely thin, and for the purposes of these exercises does not represent a 3D form. Always draw a complete form, rather than a single line. This may make the proportions of your construction differ slightly from the reference material, but will help maintain the 3D illusion we're trying to create with these exercises.

There are just a few spots where it looks like you redrew a line to automatically reinforce or correct it. I get the sense that you're aware that you should be reserving your extra line weight for clarifying overlaps between forms, but you aren't always sticking to that. So keep that in mind as you move forward. Ghost your lines as much as you need to, but only draw them once.

The next thing I wanted to talk about is leg construction. It looks like you tried out some different strategies for constructing legs. 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 shown in these examples here, here, and in this ant leg demo and also here on this dog leg demo as this strategy is the one we would like you to use for animal constructions too.

So, while it does look like you're working with the sausage method on some of your constructions, be aware that this method is pretty specific. Here is an example of a construction that uses the sausage method in some places but not others. Make sure you draw through, so you have a complete sausage form, not just a partial shape. Then, remember to add a contour curve to define the intersection between sausage forms at the joints. These little contour curves might seem insignificant but they do tell the viewer a lot of information about how the forms are orientated in space as well as reinforcing the structure of your legs by establishing how the forms connect together. So be sure to remember to include them in future.

Okay, I think that covers it. You're doing a good job so I'll go ahead and mark this lesson as complete. Keep these points in mind as you continue with lesson 5, as they will apply to animal constructions too.