Grand Conqueror

The Indomitable (Spring 2024)

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azuretestament's Sketchbook

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    1 users agree
    6:29 PM, Wednesday July 19th 2023

    Hello ABEANBERRY , I'll do my best to critique your work!


    Starting off with the organic arrows exercise, you've done a very good job.

    The lines are confident and you're not afraid of letting the edges overlap on top of each other,

    the only critique i have here is about the use of line weight: while you did great job in adding it specifically on overlapping edges, i can see you hesitated while going over the line to add it, and as such it ended up looking fairly wobbly.

    Be sure to always ghost the lines before freehanding them , especially line weight,

    it does not matter if it goes all the way off , that will improve with practice.

    But as i said , that aside you handled this exercise very smoothly.


    As far as the leaves go, you're doing good as far as making your leaves flowy and natural , although don't be afraid to make them fold,as you did with 2 of them , you handled those very well.

    You've also did every leaf constructionally step by step which is great to see, and will really serve you well in this course.

    As far as critiques go , the most important thing that catches to eye is that leaf texture , which ties into your question.

    You've mostly seen the leaf as a series of lines , but as lessons 2 shows , it is best to focus on the shadows those "lines" cast instead,

    while i don't have the specific reference you might've used , i tried my best to explain it Here.

    If it helps , the lines can be thought as very small cylinders/branches with their own volume.

    That being said , you've done a good job to prevent zigzaggin your edges here as well , along with your lines being smooth as always, great job!

    Now moving on to


    I honestly don't have much to critique here , you've adhered to the instructions, most of your ellipses are pretty smooth, and i see you you drew the lines halfway to the next ellipse confidently, with the only complaint being some of the segments not overlapping as well as they could (a nitpick, since you're not expected to even in the lesson notes themselves).

    I think you nailed these marvelously, keep it going!.


    Moving onto the main part of the lesson, the plants

    As far as your line confidence goes , it mostly went very well , but i can see you reverted back to a more chicken scratchy type in drawing N°2, Nothing major mind you, but be sure to keep it in mind

    There's also n°4 where you handled the plant itself really well, but decided to crosshatch its' container, now this wouldn't be a problem usually , it even makes your plant pop out more i'd say,

    but keep in mind that in the context of drawabox, it Specifically asks you not to use hatching, this is because these are exercises specifically to train 3d reasoning, and by using crosshatching it flattened it out and it can easily work against you.

    On that same note, in order to do the ellipses it's better to start off by drawing a minor axis first, and then drawing the ellipse.

    Moving on to the other plants , they mostly went smoothly , there's only a point i'll mention in regards to the textures again:

    as with the leaves , you mostly focus on outlines here, imagine the little spheres on this plant as actual complete forms (without actually drawing i), and each of those spheres would cast a shadow on the ones below them, which would also cast shadows on those ever further below and so on.

    I've tried to illustrate what i mean here on your [plant] ( although if this is confusing feel free to ask questions.

    Either way this is mostly a concept seen here in [lesson 2] ( which probably explains it far better.

    There's also some cases where you left your leaf shapes open (plant 5) or drew in a more loose manner (plant 7's bottom "spheres", which you mostly drew as scribbles that aren't attached to the main branch , and so end up looking like they're floating marks that do not belong).

    Now all of that out of the way, these are really nitpicks , as you're not even supposed to worry about textures that much in this lesson,they're optional for a reason.

    You've handled the main part of the lesson , the constructional drawing, really well i think, so i have no qualms about marking this lesson as complete! Good job and Good luck!

    Next Steps:

    Lesson 4

    This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete. In order for the student to receive their completion badge, this critique will need 2 agreements from other members of the community.
    8:14 AM, Saturday April 1st 2023

    Thank you! Unfortunately i can't edit the imgur image anymore , but i uploaded it on the discord :)

    5:48 PM, Wednesday March 1st 2023

    Thank you for the great critique as Always!

    I have a question in regards to the bricks (texture 16).

    I Remember the reference being fairly common bricks, i think i did them so protruded because i accidentally l drew the First brick's Shadow far too long, and i made all the others after It longer for the sake of consistency.

    You said that i wouldn't count as a mistake if It was a conscious decision, but that confuses me a little ;

    Sure i "decided It" , but It was in response to another mistake, since making the bricks that long wasn't the intent in the First Place.

    Does It count as a mistake in this case?

    A decision i made as if to pretend a mistake never happened?

    7:27 PM, Tuesday December 13th 2022

    Hello colord , while your work is looking good , there's some points you might have misunderstood a little bit, so i'll try to point them out and link the timestamps to elodin's video as well, along with a few demonstrations of my own.

    I'll start off by specifying that it's quite common at this point in the course to get revisions, so rest assured that you're doing pretty well,it's enough to go look at official critiques to see that this is by far the lesson that gets the most revisions; the reason is that this is the last of the "organic" part of drawabox , as anything after this focuses mostly on precision and inorganic objects, so it's best to resolve any misunderstandings before moving on.

    The points i'm about to outline here don't necessarily critique your ability to draw or your spatial reasoning skills , as those are developing quite well from what i can see on your fox, the problem here is that there's a few things that could likely undermine your efforts in the future as you practice these, so i'll be focusing on those specifically.

    1.(1:20 of Elodin's video) You did not draw through some of your forms, what i mean is , your forms should not stop abruptly like they do here.

    Be sure to always draw through them as if you had an x-ray vision , i drew that as an example and using a single form , which isn't quite right as the form is far too complicated and has two bumps (in elodin's own words at 2:50).

    Instead, be sure to simplify your forms (3:50 in the video , elodin has a demonstration of this), as drawing the entirety of it at once isn't only difficult, but can stop you from drawing confidently when doing this kind of work on your own in the future.

    I was thinking about it , and noticed that the specific form that i highlighted could also be connecting to the arm , instead of wrapping around the torso, but i can't tell as i don't know what your intent was.

    In that case it would be correct, but you should still make it wrap around the armso that it interacts with it as you'll see on point 4.

    2. (5:15 and 7:00 and 9:40 of elodin's video) Your beginning forms are a bit off , that is to say, you made them a little too complicated.

    For example , for your construction's ribcage , you've started with a "sausage" which is already sagging down , and then connected it to the pelvis.

    What Elodin meant, was to create two simple forms and then make them sag by connecting them as explained here ( and at 7:05 of elodin's video) using a curved line that bends down a little.

    Any additional complexity you need can be made using additional forms.

    Don't use the sausages to make the ribcage, use it to construct the legs.

    Making an example on your own construction, i've highlighted here how i think you've drawn and connected those forms , and here is what i mean by making them sag, keep in mind that i drew the ribcage too small as it's supposed to be roughly half the torso's lenght as seen here.

    These next two point are fairly minor , and you may have done these without realizing , but i thought i'd mention them so you can refer to them if needed.

    3. (0:40 of Elodin's video) The sausage method : This is specifically about your legs ,although it's not a major problem, your forms are far too complex: they tend to have their ends at different sizes,this one being the most prominent, be careful around this in the future.

    As shown here , it's best to make your sausages simple, and add more complexity using additional forms later on.

    4. You've taken some actions in 2d space, there was just a small instance of this so i'll be brief.

    To put it into simpler terms, you drew some lines that didn't actually turn into a form, like [this one] ( on its' front leg; although it's easy to tell that it's meant to be a form, it doesn't interact much with the surrounding ones, which leads to it looking a little flat.

    That "interaction" between the forms is what makes a form look 3d to the viewer, also in [this] ( case the forms seem to stop "just" as they're touching another one; do not be afraid to push them a [little further] ( and make them overlap.

    Pushing your forms can also be useful in instances like [these] ( , where instead of focusing on just changing the sillhouette ,it interacts more with the forms underneath.

    Now ,that being said, as painful as that may seem currently , i'd like to assign one other animal construction but i do recommend to wait for elodin's critique on your constructions as he's far more experienced than me on this. see last paragraph.

    And as i've said before, i'm positive you can handle this very well, just be careful about the instructions (especially in the video) as this is possibly the hardest drawabox lesson, with maybe lesson 7 as the only one holding a candle to this; even if it has completely different objectives.

    Good luck!

    A small edit: you probably already know this , but try to take it slow, as i still think it is all just a matter of absorbing all the info, that is no small feat.

    Another edit: My apologies for the broken links,it was an issue n my side i've gone ahead and fixed them , i also saw your new revision, which makes said links redundant since you've already addressed that issue , great job!

    I'd also like to update the revisions to match elodin's critique, so as to not cause confusion like i did last time (which i can't do at this point, so it's still going to say "1 animal construction").

    Next Steps:

    1 Animal construction

    When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
    8:10 PM, Tuesday November 29th 2022

    Hello Colord44, apologies for the delay , i'll give a look to your revisions until Elodin does..

    Starting with the angus bull, it's great to see that you've used the sausage method on its legs , wrapping forms on it afterwards, just be careful not to cut off any forms as you've done here on its' back leg, but otherwise your sausages are looking good.

    Most of the forms also wrap around pretty well, however there seem to be a few that don't seem to interact with each other quite as much as they should , or end up being cut off, the biggest example of this being the sagging forms on the front , which get cut off by the head.

    Don't be afraid to be bold and draw through your forms, it won't look pretty , but as these are just exercises it is a great way to improve your spatial reasoning.

    There's also a couple of cases where lines were drawn as if on 2d space like this one on the front leg.

    To explain this , we have to make a distinction between actions in 2d and 3d space, i'll try to explain in a similar way as what uncomfortable usually would in official critiques.

    Actions in 2d space , where you put down marks down without considering the relationships between the forms they're meant to represent and the forms that are already present in the scene.

    Actions in 3d space, where we're relating everything we draw to what is already on the page , drawing it as if there's actually a three dimensional object already there in the scene.

    Because we're drawing on a flat piece of paper, we have a lot of freedom to make whatever marks we want, but plenty of those marks can can contradict the illusion of solidity that we're trying to achieve and remind the viewer that they're looking at a series of lines on a piece of paper.

    To avoid this ,we can adhere to specific rules in our constructions, rules which respect the solidity of our constructions.

    One of said rules is , once you've put something down on the page, don't try to alter its sillhouette.

    Its' sillhouette is just a shape on the page which represents the form we're drawing, but it's connection to it is based on that shape. If you change that, you won't change the form it represents , you will just break the illusion of 3D and get a flat shape. We can see this best in this diagram of what happens when we cut back in the sillhouette of a form, although admittedly most of the lines i'm referring to in your case are extending a form instead, but both cases are marks in 2d space.

    This is not much of an issue here, as i can only see it on a couple of places and it's very minor on the bull, but it can be seen a little more prominently in your cow , especially its underside, where you added a few lines instead of building forms on top of each other.

    I do think you're doing pretty good, it's just a matter of building things up slowly , take care to draw through everything and make forms interact more with each other.

    I'd like you to do one more animal construction , take as much time as you need with it.

    Good luck , i'm sure you can do this, as most mistakes you did aren't happening consistently it's probably just a matter of absorbing the information.

    So i just updated the page before sending this and saw elodin's review, it's probably far easier to understand as it's a video, Either way i hope this i helpful to you.

    Next Steps:

    1 Animal Constructions

    When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
    0 users agree
    6:46 PM, Tuesday November 15th 2022

    Hey , i was writing a critique for your submission over the week , but i see Elodin has already done one.

    The points are largely the same, but these were written slightly differently so i thought they might still be of use to you.

    I think Elodin's critique is on point.

    Hello Co-lord44! I'll do my best to critique your work.


    --"Starting with your organic intersections , I can see you've drawn these while paying attention to how they wrap around on top of each other , and made sure they felt like a solid structure that wouldn't fall over if we were to advance forward in time."

    --(Elodin has noted how squishy some of your sausages were ,but i still think the second page went far better in that regard)--

    A note about the shadows , i do quickly want to mention this point; this lesson is quite far from lesson 2, but it's very important in showing how these forms relate with each other.

    Be sure to push the cast shadows just a little further , in simpler words ,also try to make a cast shadow follow the contour lines of any other sausages / ground under .

    As shown here, i've gone over your work with a couple of examples ; your shadow shapes are good here as you can see , it's just a matter of them sticking to the sausages too much.


    Moving onto the main part , overall you're doing very good , although there's some things i feel i should point out before you move on.

    The first and major point i want to mention is the legs , more specifically their shape.

    In drawabox specifically , it's best to use sausages as your base shape, and then add additional masses later on in a constructive manner, in order to end up with your end result as shown here, in another student's work.

    Try to make said sausages curve ever so slightly, as it makes it easier to draw and more flowy

    -- (you can see this best in Elodin's first point in their Notes) --

    I wanted to mention a point about texture, as you seemed to be using it far too much in this fox, but it seems you may have realized that on your own , as your later constructions seem to be improving in that regard.

    --you were going to be asked revisions here , which were also gonna be 2 as Elodin said, i was going to add an organic intersection page too , but since it's a page that you can practice in warmups , and you've already shown improvement on your second page, i think you would be fine without it--

    As said , i suggest following Elodin's critique , I hope this helps either way, and good luck!

    You can definetly do it ,keep it up.

    Next Steps:

    Same as Elodin

    • 2 Pages of animal constructions
    When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
    5:59 PM, Tuesday November 15th 2022

    Hello Uncomfortable, apologies for my late response.

    Thank you for answering my questions , i've been taking drawing a little more healthily and been focusing on taking my time , along with doing the 50% rule a lot more; i was "doing" it before that, but i was trying so hard it just turned into a study either way.

    I also have a doubt regarding lesson 7.

    I remember reading somewhere on the site that we should not use any fantasy vehicles in our constructions, but i can't find it again and now i wonder if i just imagined that or just read that on some critique, could you clarify that?

    I also assume by "spaceships" on lesson 7's page you mean shuttles and the such, not sci-fi ships.

    As always , thank you for your time , and for this damn good course.

    7:29 PM, Friday July 22nd 2022

    Hello kabachuha, its me again! I'll take a look at your revisions.


    As far as the ellipses are concerned I see some improvement, and i can see even more of it on your plant constructions later on; of course, some of them are still wonky , but they're not meant to be perfect , that's to be expected at this stage of the course and will improve with time.

    The lines, in the branch exersice itself are not very confident : sometimes they're just a little wobbly , other times they end up very much so; this is not so much an issue of skill, its more likely due to focusing too much on those lines being accurate and hitting their mark, rather then being confident even if they overshoot.

    This isn't an issue on most of your plant constructions later on, so it shows you had a great deal of improvement in that regard, but do keep it in mind.


    You've handled the leaves pretty well, although there's a couple of things i'd like to call out on a few of these.

    • Cretan maple leaf: the only issue i could see here is in your edge detail ; the way you've drawn it makes the leaf appear as if there's "three separate leaves" instead of one; try to observe your reference after every stroke , as its easy to miss these kinds of details,but aside from that this looks pretty good i'd say.

    • Fatsia: You've handled this one very well, there's only one thing i'd like to say , and that's try to work additively, as cutting into your forms can flatten your drawings (this is not a much of an issue for lesson 3, but it's VERY IMPORTANT for lessons 4 and 5).

    • Nettles: I admit that i emphasized the use of shadow shapes in texturing in my critique, however these were not used for texturing , they were used for defining the relationship between the leaves (which i can see as clearly being in the reference),which was a point in my older critique that you've adressed; The problem here is that the leaf that is casting said shadow isn't actually present in the drawing so it makes said relationship unclear, that being said you've handled the leaf itself fairly well along with its edge detail.

    • Lime: the only real issue here is that you skipped a constructional stage, more specifically , you drew the "spike" at the end of the leaf and the main leaf shape at the same time; Be sure to just draw a simple shape for the leaf first , then add smaller parts of the drawing ,like said spike, and finally move onto edge detail.

    Plant constructions

    Moving onto the plants , this is where the greatest deal of improvements seem to have been made.

    Your lines and ellipses , as said , have shown the biggest improvement over time, as long as you keep this up and warm up you'll go a long way.

    Your leaves on the dragonfruit and lily have a very good sense of flow, you're not afraid of letting the lines overlap with each other and with other leaves , very good job.

    You've spent a great deal of time observing and drawing the Engleria,along with the same improvements as the previous plant, which is great to see.

    As far as the Cloudberry goes , be careful about little instances where you slip and forget to draw the center line of leaves, like the 2 side leaves on the bottoms; while they're part of the same leaf, those lines are a fundamental part of construction , so try not to forget them.

    On the same note , always observe your reference; this is as, if not more important then the ability to draw itself , i notice your edge detail frequently ends up looking very uniform , and completely different from your reference.

    This mostly comes from our tendencies to auto-pilot , which emerges because we are aware that we'll need to draw a LOT of edge detail, which overwhelms us and causes us to make marks that look very similar to each other; every time you notice this happen, try to take back control, and while in most cases you'll continue to auto-pilot(which is normal), eventually this will increase your ability to stop it and be more careful with observation.

    Obviously, there's things you could improve on, but overall i see you've improved over the course of your revisions, so as long as you keep these points in mind and keep practicing , you're good to go.

    If you have any questions , feel free to ask them, whether here or on the discord channels dedicated to them.

    I'll mark the lesson as complete; keep it up , and good luck on your journey!

    Next Steps:

    Move onto lesson 4

    This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 2 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
    3:39 PM, Friday July 15th 2022

    As always , thank you for the very extensive critique!

    Here are my revisions:

    I've tried to spend more time on these , but frankly , I couldn't figure out what i was doing wrong with head and feet constructions until i got started on the very last drawing( and either way, you'll be the judge of that).

    Thank you for your time.

    2 users agree
    1:58 PM, Saturday July 9th 2022

    Hello Kabachuha, congrats on completing lesson 3, I'll critique your homework.


    Starting with your arrows , you've generally handled these pretty well, they're drawn with confidence and you're not afraid to let them ovelap.


    The confidence is still shown here, you let most of the leaves move and wrap around believably , you're also drawing every single piece of edge detail as its own separate stroke and a single trajectory, aside from a couple of cases in the taro leaf where the edge detail end up a little more jagged and wobbly.

    You've skipped a stage when drawing the storax leaf (always start by making the most basic leaf shape you could possibly do), but you've rectified that with the fern leaf and stuck fairly well to the premise of drawing the leaf in separate stages, being careful to define their relationship, good job!

    As far as texture is concerned, be careful not to Copy your reference, specifically when drawing the veins of the leaves; try instead to imply its presence by drawing the shadows they cast on the leaf itself , it helps to outline the shape of those shadows first and then fill them in ,no matter how thin they are.


    Moving onto branches, aside from the first one,I see you're applying the segments as highlighted in the lesson notes, good work.

    I noticed that your lines sway a little at at times, but what i'm most worried about is your ellipses, which often end up wobbly.

    Be careful about the principles of markmaking of lesson 1, and remember to keep up with warmups, it will improve with time

    Plant constructions

    Starting off with the first plant ,the mushroom:I can't be sure unless I could see the reference, but I'll remind you of this lesson 1 paragraph.

    In this case the relationship of the ellipses seems inversed, I say seems because if (in the reference)the cap were pointed away from the viewer or simply bent in a specific way, your approach would be entirely correct , but if it were facing towards the viewer it would look off; you can look at the mushroom demo from drawabox if you wish to expand on this topic , as its shown quite well there , notice as the ellipses get wider and wider as they approach the bottom of this mushroom in said demo.

    Moving on,what I noticed is that the leaves had a prominent drop in quality, which is understandable due to the drawings being a good 2-3 weeks away from the exercise itself, but do be careful about this.

    The hibiscus,lavander, potato plant and lilac are fine as far as the main leaf shape is concerned, they have a sense of flow and movement to them, the other plants' usually feel far more static, sometimes even flat.

    What I see in all of them however, is that you're not adding any edge detail, at all.

    While textures are optional, edge detail is not, as it's a key component in showing how the leaf sits in 3D space.

    This isn't much of a problem , you've shown that you are capable of drawing the leaves well, and I'm sure you just need to give the drawings and the instructions a little more time in order to make full use of your abilities.

    Keep in mind that you don't need to finish a page the same day you started it and you're encouraged to give as many sittings/days to a drawing as it needs; I'm aware it's difficult at first , and frankly I'm struggling with giving drawings more time myself, but it's good to keep in mind and take back control of our focus when it inevitably slips away from us.

    I've also noticed you are not drawing the branches as instructed in some plants, the Spruce being the most obvious case where you draw the entire length of the branch in just a couple of strokes, I'd also reccomend using this method in order to draw forking branches, instead of just making an ellipse and extending another branch from the original one; if you struggle with this, try to draw a few more ellipses to delimitate your branch, if you use too few of them and too far apart from each other , it makes drawing the segments a lot more difficult.

    However , you do a good job of observing your plants, you've drawn the rose using a pentagram as a guide , which shows a good deal of experimentation, and you're still adhering to drawing in steps , you've also drawn ellipses for all leaves to use as guides and drawing them in their entirety, which is great.

    The last thing i want to mention is in regards to cast shadows, specifically the potato plant and lilac; it's easy to get the wrong idea when watching the demos , but you're not meant to fill the darkest and deepest areas of the plant in black , you should aim to use said shadows to define the relationship between the leaves and/or branches, which I can see a hint of you doing in your hibiscus demo.

    Now, this is my second critique ever, my apologies if it sounded harsh at times, but I truly believe that you can knock this lesson out of the park with a few revisions, as most of the mistakes in your work are either because of a lack of time ,a misinterpretation of the instructions, or simple forgetfulness.

    As such , I'll be assigning some revisions below.

    Feel free to take as much time as you need on these, and if you have any questions feel free to ask them.

    Next Steps:

    • 1 Page of branches

    • 1 Page of leaves

    • 4 Pages of plant constructions, be sure to add edge detail to all of them, while drawing in steps.

    Texture, including cast shadows, is optional, I'd recommended to just focus on construction.

    Try not to work on more then one construction in one day, you're encouraged to spread a construction over multiple sittings/days as needed.

    When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
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