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6:25 AM, Friday June 24th 2022

Since you were not able to get an ellipse guide, your ellipses are definitely rather wonky. I won't address this much throughout the critique, as it is what it is - though as mentioned in the exercise I do strongly recommend that you get your hands on a master ellipse template (which unlike a full set of ellipse guides tends to run around $15), as it will come in quite handy for laying down the basic constructional foundations for what you do in Lesson 7. You can learn more about this in the tools video from Lesson 0 (which you may not have seen, as it is from a fairly recent update).

I should mention though that when it comes to differentiating your intent from what went down (like in the context of the degree shift from one end of the wheel to the other) I'm going to have to assume that you were aiming for the right thing, but sometimes your marks didn't come out as planned.

Now, when it comes to the structure of your wheels, I'm glad to see that you've included a nice bump through the midsection, which helps the wheel to appear more "inflated", rather than like a solid piece. This gives us a stronger impression of how that wheel would bounce when hitting the ground, and squish down while being driven upon. That said, when it comes to the spokes of your rims, I noticed that you tackled their forms in a few different ways, each of which have their own little issues to be aware of:

  • For number 4, you only drew individual lines. Throughout this course, everything we draw is going to be an actual form, or part of a form - meaning, it's going to have a complete silhouette, never just a line, even if the resulting shape is rather narrow.

  • For number 5, you filled in the side planes with solid black. Remember that we only use solid black for cast shadows - the side planes should not be filled in as you've done here, because it results in visual confusion as to what the viewer is looking at (given our limited tools, the fact that we're working with solid black and solid white).

  • On number 7, you appear to have skipped over those side planes altogether, which robs that structure of its thickness, and makes it appear less like a solid structure.

There's definitely other cases where you've done better - 10 for instance - although your use of line weight here is pretty arbitrary, so I refer you back to these notes and these from the 250 box challenge where we talk about line weight.

Continuing onto the textural aspect, I should admit that this challenge is something of a trap. Given how far removed we are from Lesson 2, it's pretty common that students entirely forget about the principles of implicit markmaking presented there, and so - as you've done here - they tend to lean back into a ton of explicit markmaking. While this may work for a wheel floating in the void, when we add that wheel to a larger construction - like a car - all of that additional contrast from the density of lines packed into a small space creates a focal point and draws the eye to it, whether you want for it to or not.

Now, I'll point you to these reminders on the topic of texture, as there are often some misunderstandings. Texture is not about drawing the shadows we see from observation, but rather understanding the forms that are present and deciding what kinds of shadows they ought to cast. Also, as you can see here, we control whether those shadows are going to be large and deep or small and shallow, in the way that the shadows cast by a sun dial would be very small when the sun is right above it, and very long when the sun is low on the horizon. You can also see that demonstrated here.

I am going to be asking for revisions - not because of the texture issue (when I lay a trap, I don't blame the student for falling into it), but I do feel that on a structural level, I would like you to demonstrate a clear understanding of the points I raised. That said - I once again strongly recommend that you pick up a master ellipse template as described in the tools video.

Yours is actually one of the last critiques I'm doing before we start on our Summer Promptathon, so ideally you wouldn't start on your revisions until the beginning of July (at which time it'd be best for you to reread this critique so it's fresh in your mind). That should give you a chance to find an ellipse guide online, if that is an option for you.

Next Steps:

Please submit 5 additional wheel constructions.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
10:53 AM, Tuesday June 28th 2022

Hi Uncomfortable,

Thank you very much for the detailed critique. I finally got the templates - it took ages for Amazon to deliver them, but now i can make those nice tidy ellipses!

5:45 PM, Friday July 1st 2022

Your constructions are looking quite a bit better. I did notice however that you're still not employing the implicit markmaking from Lesson 2 when tackling your tire textures, though I did spend a fair bit of time discussing this in my previous critique. Applying it as I explained would definitely have taken more time, but I can also see that you didn't follow what I mentioned about the summer promptathon, and you ideally starting work on your revisions after the promptathon was over (since the promptathon is an event we run specifically to give myself and my TAs a vacation, without having a mountain of critiques to deal with when we return - it is in effect, a distraction so students have something else to do).

Regardless, I'm going to go ahead and mark this challenge as complete, as applying the textural concepts is not mandatory for this exercise. That said, you may want to reflect upon how you go about processing and following the feedback and instructions you're given, so that you can make the most out of the critiques you receive going forward.

Next Steps:

Move onto lesson 7.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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Sakura Pigma Microns

A lot of my students use these. The last time I used them was when I was in high school, and at the time I felt that they dried out pretty quickly, though I may have simply been mishandling them. As with all pens, make sure you're capping them when they're not in use, and try not to apply too much pressure. You really only need to be touching the page, not mashing your pen into it.

On the flipside, they tend to be on the cheaper side of things, so if you're just getting started (beginners tend to have poor pressure control), you're probably going to destroy a few pens - going cheaper in that case is not a bad idea.

In terms of line weight, the sizes are pretty weird. 08 corresponds to 0.5mm, which is what I recommend for the drawabox lessons, whereas 05 corresponds to 0.45mm, which is pretty close and can also be used.

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