Dimensional Dominator

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bowtiebuck's Sketchbook

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  • Dimensional Dominator
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    2:58 AM, Friday August 12th 2022

    o7 BowTieBuck here:

    General feedback:

    1) I notice you write down the times beside each drawing. This is not a bad thing. However, make sure to remember that drawing fast is not a requisite of drawabox or drawing in general (within reason).

    2) It is all right to attempt the same drawing multiple times and to present whichever best follows constructional processes. But please only post the one per insect as I can only give feedback on one. For the rest of this post I will be referring to the final drawing.

    2a) Keep that final drawing on it's own page and make it large enough to see the interactions of the shapes.

    3) Please stick to one colour pen (either blue or black), red pen is somewhat more difficult to make out.

    4) You should clarify your forms by darkening overlapping edges so that it is clear to the viewer what overlies what.

    5) I notice you keep noting that the 'proportions are bad'. Remember that accuracy comes with experience and while accuracy is important, the purpose of these exercises is to develop a sense of three dimensions and to act confidently. Don't worry about proportions, they can be fixed with iterations.

    6) Please refrain from adding crosshatching to the intersections, especially those that are not part of the surface of the insect, it discredits your illusion and I fail to see it's purpose.

    7) You seem to freely use contour ellipses, sometimes without thinking about their purpose. For example, your wings often have curved ellipses when in reality wings are relatively flat. Additionally, you like to use them on the legs, but this just adds contrast to the legs in an unwarranted fashion. Try to look for natural contours (like the joints) to describe the surface details of an object, rather than adding contour curves.


    1) Drawing circles at each cap takes away from their sense of three dimensions, even with cross hatching. The back circle always feels like it is floating in space.

    2) There are instances where the sausage does not bend with the minor axis curve (the C shaped curve at the center of each sausage). For examples: Page 1 - #2, 6. Page 2 - #5, 8, 13, 15. These are the core of each sausage, which has a sphere on each end and is connected by a bending cylinder. In the aforementioned sausages the cylinders do not bend with the minor axis curves. This also discredits your sense of three dimensions.


    1) Contours and hatching can help clarify the three dimensional structure, but if appears you are using it incorrectly. Try looking for natural contours that you can add. For example,

    1a) The contour curves on the legs clutter the legs and are too small to demonstrate volume. Instead of adding contour curves on the legs at the middle, clarify the shape of the joints to demonstrate contour of the legs.

    1b) The wings should not have curved contour lines, they are flat and so their contours are flat.

    1c) The crosshatching at the base of the head is unnecessary because that part of the head is inside and therefore not visible. It makes for a good contour ellipse but discredits the shape with the crosshatching.

    1d) The abdomen's contour curves should bend back more. Remember these are not lines but partial ellipses to demonstrate how the surface of a thing exists in space.

    2) The elements often do not adhere to your previous constructional decisions.

    2a) You are onto the correct idea with drawing flowing curves to show the leg trajectories. Make sure the tips of these lines meet the tips of the limbs, even if it is stretched.

    2b) The bee's left (our right) wing was re-drawn as evidenced by the ellipse tilted just below it.


    1) Crosshatching misuse. It flattens the drawing because the lines imply that the contour is flat.

    2) Your limbs appear to be drawn like the branches from lesson 4. While this is a preference, I strongly reccomend sausage forms because they are flexible compared to cylinders, meaning there is more potential for flow.

    3) I like that you used up the full page for this. It is important to take risks and running out a page is fine (though a shame. I've been there too).

    4) Like with the wasp, the liberal use of contour ellipses on the legs clutter the drawing and draw the viewer's attention


    1) Looking better, excellent use of the paper to stretch the drawing and show the details. Because we are looking at the bottom of the spider, it warrants adding some detail how the legs attach to the spider. At the moment they phase into the body.

    2) The outline of the abdomen is unclear.


    1) Wings are flat, not round. Do not add contour lines freely or without thinking about the surface of the thing you are drawing.

    Next Steps:

    Please draw two more insects:

    • Without crosshatching

    • Focusing on the leg intersections instead of adding contour curves

    • In black or blue ink

    When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
    1 users agree
    1:00 AM, Friday August 12th 2022

    BowTieBuck here o7,

    All of your drawings exhibit a strong sense of three dimensions through effective use of cast shadows and texture around the silhouettes. They also follow the constructional process.

    Some areas of improvement to make this post feedback:

    Shrimp: Though a preference, I would construct the tail as a sausage form, rather than individual spheres connected in a curve. A sausage creates a clear boundary for the silhouette whereas spheres leave a dip of 'empty space' that needs to be imagined when you add details later. Put another way, the sausage gives your mind contours to follow when adding the shell segments; sphere chains do not.

    Bee: Good use of the fur texture around the silhouette of the bee. I would suggest varying the shapes and sizes of the tufts, into large/med/small groups for visual interest.

    Generally: It is somewhat difficult to see the underlying construction with the opacity lowered. While visually it looks better that way, these are exercises and construction is exactly what we are interested in critiquing. Lastly, I suggest trying these exercises using the fine-liner that Drawabox suggests, even if just to appreciate the difference in media.

    That said you demonstrated the necessary skills to pass lesson 4. Keep it up!

    Next Steps:

    Go to lesson 5

    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.
    12:54 PM, Sunday July 24th 2022

    Thank you for your feedback. Especially your use of clear and specific examples. I will keep these points in mind as I move onwards.

    1:00 AM, Thursday July 14th 2022

    Hello Mina! Thank you for taking the time to critique my lesson 4 and for the feedback provided.

    Apologies for missing a page of plants, I made a mistake when uploading them to reddit and have posted the last page (#4: Maple Tree Branch) here:

    1 users agree
    4:44 PM, Saturday June 11th 2022

    Overall: You have a solid understanding of constructional processes and your petals and branches look good individually. When added together, however, you do not seem to imagine how they connect in 3D space, which detracts from the overall sense of depth. I am not asking for revisions as you have demonstrated you know how to make components, but I suggest you practice drawing plants/flowers from angles other than directly above. Drawing top-down pushes us into this trap of drawing orthographically and ignoring the 3D world our window represents.


    The arrows forming loops (on the right) have a good sense of 3D. However, other arrows could be pushed into the background more by having a gradual shift in the distance between arrow segments (tight in the background and loose in the foreground).

    The direction of your crosshatching at intersections is difficult to read. However, the placement is consistent.


    Good flow though at times your outlines do not follow the flow, most prominent with the four right-most leafs. Even if the plane you drew has a fold in the middle of it, try to respect that decision even if it is not the one you inteded.


    Smooth connections between branch segments and a fairly convincing degree shift in your branches.

    I appreciate the long branches and appropriate spacing between ellipses.


    The petals adhere to previous decisions and their flows have a consistency that reinforces the illusion of 3D forms.

    The stem and stamen/pistil are continuous and the construction as a branch is correct. However, because of this the base of the flower is unclear even though it would not be visible to the viewer.

    The border for your petals should be one ellipse drawn using the ghosting method (ghosting the ellipse before looping 2-3 times). It appears as though you drew the border in segments and only once.


    Petals have consistent construction and good flow (same as hibiscus)

    Good job adhering to the flow of the petals and ending your lines at the tips.


    Demonstrates your understanding of constructional processes.


    Once again very good petals.

    The base of the sunflower head and the stem do not meet (or meet awkwardly). While this is not something that the viewer would see, the purpose of this lesson is to develop our sense of 3D by visualizing these types of connections.


    The petals feel flatter compared to some of the previous drawings.

    This may be a different species of Lotus so it may not apply, but Indian Lotuses have square shaped receptacle in the middle of the flower which I cannot see in your drawing.

    The distribution of stamen/pistils suggests spaces between each stem, which feels unrealistic for a flower to have.


    The directions of the branches and the oritentations of the leafs do not contribute to the sense of 3D in the drawing.

    At some branch intersections it is clear that your line did not start at the ellipse like it should. Remember that you decided the placements of the ellipses. Do not go back on that decision.

    Good job creating the shape of the leaf and then added the outline afterwards. Try to keep both the start and the end of each protrusion along your initial leaf shape.

    I appreciate that you pushed branches into leaves and thinned out. It did not fully turn out but it was a good idea.


    Good flow of the leaves individually.

    Their bases are along the foreground of the pot, which suggests there is nothing coming from that back of the pot.

    The degree shift in the pot, while in the right direction, is a bit too stark and stretches the perspective a bit too much.


    I like that you added a bit of curve to the petal flows, even though it is a top-down view.

    Good job following the petal shape when adding the petal outline details.


    Many of your flowers are taken from top-down views. It would benefit you to attempt other angles to develop a stronger sense of three dimensions and how planes sit in 3D space.

    The density of stamen/pistils from the center is well done. It helps clarify the roundness of the center.

    The petals are consistent and follow a boundary.


    The top-down view makes it very difficult to understand how the body of this flower sits in space. Try drawing through the flower when an object is 3D.


    Good placement of ellipses and changing their degrees. There are a couple ellipses that are exceptions but all in all they look solid.

    Next Steps:

    Practice drawing plants/flowers from a variety of angles to develop a sense of 3D form. Revisit the arrow exercise and try to push the backs of the arrows into the page rather than moving them laterally.

    Good job with lesson 3 and keep up the good work in 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.
    3:09 PM, Saturday June 11th 2022

    Looks good! I like the contour lines you made in the indents of the blueberries and the branch on your clover is well constructed.

    Keep up the good work in 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.
    2 users agree
    1:35 PM, Wednesday June 8th 2022

    tl;dr While there are lines that lack confidence or that were extended later on, your drawings suggest a good understanding constructional processes and adhering to previous decisions. Some drawings (or pieces of) lack a sense of 3D (i.e. hibiscus, chamomile, the cap of the king mushroom, and the arrows exercise) which I think may come from a resistance to bending curves more. Try taking more risks, even if they do not turn out how you expected.

    I would like to see you draw two more pages of plants unrelated to those presented by Uncomfortable to demonstrate your ability to apply constructional drawing on your own.

    I would also like you to revisit the arrow exercise and have segments of the arrow overlap in 3D space between the viewer and the background. They twist a lot, but generally follow a linear pattern.

    Below you will find the unedited notes that I made when looking at your work.

    Co-lord44 Feedback Notes


    The arrows have good complete shape

    Lines appear in some areas to be wobbly or drawn as separate lines

    (Try to keep them fluid/confident, even if inaccurate)

    Arrows ofen lack depth, they move laterally but don't

    give the sense that they are pushing out of the page or pulling

    into the page. I think this is because of an inconsistent changing

    between the space between arrow segments and the change in arrow



    Outlines are at times are thick at the wrong places

    I would avoid adding branch stems to the leafs for this exercise.

    the point of the exercise is to make flowing three dimensional


    Except for the eucalyptes leaf, most of your leaves appear flat.

    I suggest twisting them or bending them once or twice, similar

    to what we did with the arrows exercise.

    At times the thick outlines make it difficult to tell how

    much you stuck to the construction process. That said,

    the holly leaf has a clear outline.


    Most ellipses adhere to the minor axis that was set initially

    Ellipses have a solid change in degree

    In a few of the branches, the ellipses might be too close together.

    They may be a little short, I would suggest testing yourself by

    making them longer and try to make harder turns with the flow

    of the branches.

    German Chamomile:

    Good job following the flow of the petals that you initially drew

    /not going beyond your previous decisions.

    Good addition of the contour lines to the center of the flower.

    Some of the petals can feel a little stiff, this may be a personal

    preference but I suggest adding a small curve, even to the flow lines

    which in the pictures are straight.

    King Trump of Mushroom:

    The base mostly follows the construction process, there are

    ellipses that form the base and contours, but I feel like you are

    missing the flow of the body of the mushroom to start, even if

    it is a straight line it can help place the minor axes of your

    contour ellipses.

    The construction seems a little foggy at the cap. Specifically,

    the lowermost part on the drawing has an ellipse that does not

    quite make sense to me as a viewer. I belive that it is part

    of the closest protrusion of the cap, but it feels out of place

    when the lateral sides of the cap are cross sections.

    It suggests the bottom is flat, while the sides suggest a rounded

    underbelly to the edges of the cap.


    The flow of each petal is smooth, however the outlines of the petals

    are in some areas lacking confidence or which appear to be made

    of several strokes. Try to keep petal outlines to a single

    smooth stroke, even if they are not accurate.

    The petals are each about the same size and have roughly the same

    area on either side of the flow, which causes the flower to appear

    flat or as if it were viewed from a top-down view, which I suspect

    was not your intention.


    Good solid form that has a clear construction.

    I don't have any other feedback that wouldn't just be me nitpicking.

    Pitcher Plant:

    Don't be afraid of taking up the whole page, some of the details

    are lost by drawing them this small.

    The leaf on what I'm going to call the 'head' of the pitcher plant

    has a good sense of 3D.

    The 'tail' of the pitcher plant has a slightly inconsistent

    placement of contour ellipses (the tip has a couple too close

    while the further section has them too far away. I think this

    may have contributed to the wobbly lines compared to the main

    body of the plant.

    Potato Plant:

    There is a great shadow at the base of the plant, but it is

    unclear what is causing those shadows. There are a few leaves

    behind the shadow spot but nothing in front that would create

    that gap.

    There are several lines (flows and outlines of leaves) where

    a decision was overruled by adding to the line or extending it later.

    As we learned in lesson 3, it is okay to make mistakes, but do not

    try to correct them. This is a learning experience, not fridge art.

    Calla Lily

    The foreground edge with crosshatching is puzzling/I am not sure

    why there is crosshatching or what it represents.

    Good Flow and the base of the stem as solid construction applied.

    The tip of the petal gets a little cluttered, making it difficult

    to tell what it looks like in 3D.

    Though unrelated to lesson 3, the shading of the furthest part

    of the petal is better represented through shapes, not outlines.


    The shading is incomplete/the sharp edge along the contour line

    is inconsistent with how light reflects off of a rounded surface.

    Additionally, the leaf has two shaded islands, which contradicts

    the straight contour lines of the leaf.

    Next Steps:

    I would like to see you draw two more pages of plants unrelated to those presented by Uncomfortable to demonstrate your ability to apply constructional drawing on your own.

    I would also like you to revisit the arrow exercise and have segments of the arrow overlap in 3D space between the viewer and the background. They twist a lot, but generally follow a linear pattern.

    When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
    2:52 PM, Friday October 29th 2021

    This page only has four arrows (two of which get cut off in the end) but I tried to squish the 'further' sections together and to start with a smaller width in the distance.

    Please let me know if I have misunderstood or you would like me to retry.

    Thank you.

    3:35 PM, Thursday October 28th 2021

    Thank you very much for the detailed feedback and for taking the time to show me corrected versions in addition to explaining them. I agree with your feedback, especially your suggestion about the distance between the parallel sections of ribbons, which I was unaware I was doing but can see now where they need work.

    2 users agree
    6:57 PM, Wednesday October 20th 2021

    Your ellipses are confidently drawn and stay within their boundaries. Your lines are confident although some do curve every now and again.

    Your rotated boxes exercise could use more rotation on the cubes in the first layer surrounding the center cube. Their distant edges do not shorten very much which causes them to appear parallel to the center cube.

    Keep it up and do the 250 box challenge!

    Next Steps:

    Do the 250 box challenge to strengthen your grasp of perspective and to practice rotating boxes in space. Then move onto lesson 2.

    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.
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