25 Wheel Challenge

6:44 PM, Saturday May 8th 2021

25 wheels-o-pain - Album on Imgur

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Hey Uncomfortable,

Do you mind if I do the 100 treasure chest challenge next? I need to improve more with 3D forms before vehicles. Also, how did you do meaningful practice when reading the book "Sketching" by Koos and Roselien?



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8:40 PM, Monday May 10th 2021

Sure, you're welcome to do the treasure chest next - it's more of an extension of Lesson 6 anyway.

So, looking at your wheels, this generally splits into two components: construction and texture. I mean, everything does, but... this does too.

I'm very pleased to see that you picked up an ellipse guide for this, and it definitely made a big difference. Your freehanded wheels are honestly pretty weak, but that is to a certain degree entirely normal. Ellipses are very tricky, and when it comes to wheels especially, which can require a number of accurate ellipses in close proximity to one another, it can be nightmarishly difficult. I by no means expect students at the end of this course to have the appropriate mileage to be able to pull these wheels off comfortably, especially in ink, so don't worry too much about that. I'll primarily be focusing on the ellipses for which you used an ellipse template.

In terms of those, you were very thorough throughout your construction, not only using a ton of different ellipses wherever they were needed, but also when it comes to the spokes/rims of your wheels. I especially liked number 10, where the rims were built out to feel very solid and three dimensional. If you look super closely the linework isn't perfect or anything, but it certainly withstands mild scrutiny very well.

It's also worth mentioning that the weaving wheel was a surprisingly unique, but interesting option. You're right that the spacing is off, but the construction itself still feels very solid, with each spoke reading as real and tangible.

So, you handled construction extremely well, and put the ellipse guide to great effect.

Texture, however, is another story - although this is what kind of makes this challenge a bit of a trap for students. It's very normal for students to get this far, and to basically have forgotten about the principles of texture as explored back in Lesson 2. Tire treads, after all, are texture. It's an arrangement of 3D information (forms, whether sticking out or inset) that run along the surface of another larger form. So if you've got grooves, or big protruding chunks, it's all texture.

As discussed in Lesson 2, texture should be captured using implicit techniques - relying on cast shadows to help define the relationship between a given textural form and its surrounding surfaces.

There were many cases in which you just used line, employing entirely explicit drawing techniques, which basically shows that you, like many others, forgot about these principles. To put it simply - I encourage you to reflect upon the texture section of lesson 2.

There were however a few places where you did try to work in filled areas of solid black - but didn't employ them correctly. For example, number 11. Here you've got clear grooves in your tire, but what you did was to fill the grooves in entirely with solid black, creating more of a pattern than a texture - kind of like a flat wallpaper running along the surface of the wheel, rather than actual 3D information. Remember that a cast shadow does not simply fill a space. It is cast from one form onto another surface, and the shape of the shadow itself defines the relationship between those forms in 3D space.

While this isn't a tire texture, this bush viper scale texture is an example I use to sometimes help students understand what this means. The shadows themselves are being cast by one scale, onto another, and how much of the shadow is drawn is flexible. We can shine a light directly on it, blasting those shadows away, or we can pull the light source back, and allow the cast shadows to swell and merge into larger areas of solid black. Neither of these choices changes the nature of the texture itself - simply how it's drawn.

Anyway, it seems you do have some reading to do on the texture section. All the same, I am going to mark this challenge as complete. This is just a bit of a wake-up call for those who allow themselves to forget to think about these concepts.

Next Steps:

You're cleared to move onto lesson 7, but certainly can move onto the treasure chest challenge as well if you like.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
9:06 PM, Monday May 10th 2021

Thanks for the feedback Uncomfortable!

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