Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants

1:51 AM, Sunday July 4th 2021

Drawabox lesson 3 - Album on Imgur

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Plant references are available here: https://imgur.com/a/VrUe6dL.

This was a difficult exercise for me. Hopefully it means I have plenty of room for improvement.

Thank you for the critique!

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4:17 PM, Monday July 5th 2021

Starting with your arrows, you've done a good job of drawing your linework here with a great sense of confidence, which really helped to emphasize how the arrows move through space. This carries over quite nicely to your leaves, where you're capturing not only how they exist statically in space, but also how they move through the space they occupy. I'm also pleased to see how you're approaching building up more complex edge detail by adding individual marks for each feature - be it a bump, a spike, etc. You're also handling the more complex leaf structures with a good deal of respect for the constructional principles.

Moving onto your branches, for the most part these are well done - you're extending your edge segments fully halfway to the next ellipse, and following the instructions pretty conscientiously. There are however a few things I want you to keep in mind:

  • When one of your strokes goes off target (like where you extend halfway to the next ellipse, if it ends up veering off your intended path), it's better to overlap it directly with your next mark even though it's following the wrong trajectory. This will help you learn more efficiently because you'll take that mistake into account, instead of drawing where it ought to have been.

  • Your ellipses are coming out a little loose and uneven at times, which suggests to me that you may be slipping back to drawing them from your wrist. Make sure you're drawing them using your whole arm - even the small ellipses - and employ the ghosting method.

  • Also on the topic of the ellipses, each one's degree actually helps convey the orientation of that circular slice of the branch, as it exists in space, relative to the viewer. Right now it looks like you're picking the degree of your ellipses somewhat randomly, rather than thinking about how it will convey the orientation of that cross-section. Give the lesson 1 ellipses video a watch. It was updated a few months ago to explain this concept more clearly.

Continuing onto your plant constructions, you honestly are doing a very solid job across the board. You're conscientious in how you draw each and every little form in their entirety, to fully understand how they sit in space and how they relate to the other forms around them. You do a great job of building up your complex plants, one step at a time, and I don't see you skipping steps throughout the process. You're careful and fastidious.

I have just a couple things for you to keep in mind:

  • On this drawing, you definitely should have completed drawing the last stem, which you ended up leaving as just a simple line. There's no reason to leave elements of your drawings half-finished.

  • On that same page, when drawing the other stems, you would probably be better off leaving more space in between the ellipses. We basically space them out based on how much of that stroke we feel we can control - when we end up with a line that's just going to be too long to control properly, we break it up and employ the overlaping of lines to create the illusion of a single stroke, made up of several separate marks. Here you're definitely underestimating yourself, and out of a lack of confidence, are breaking that thing up too much. You could have probably done fine with just three or four ellipses/edge segments, or perhaps even fewer.

  • On the lemon seedling drawing, you definitely had some trouble with those larger ellipses. That is a pretty common point of difficulty, as drawing larger ellipses is definitely hard. Just be sure to ensure you're always drawing these from the shoulder, and that you're using the ghosting method. The rest should come with practice.

Anyway, all in all, you're doing quite well. 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.
4:44 PM, Monday July 5th 2021

Yeah I think something about the ellipses during the branch exercise really threw me off when I was working on it. Probably their size. Will definitely continue to practice them and will keep in mind all of the other points in the critique.

Thank you very much!

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