250 Cylinder Challenge

4:22 AM, Friday July 21st 2023

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Omg i hate boxes with a passion now. If i get revisions you know what I'll do?! Well... the revisions but I will NOT be happy about it.

https://imgur.com/a/3TSUyqh

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11:21 PM, Monday July 24th 2023

Starting with your cylinders around arbitrary minor axes, your work here's acceptable - but I will note that overall there is a trend that suggests you could have done better, had you given each mark, each ellipse, every individual part of the process a little more time. To be clear: that doesn't mean this isn't the best of your current ability. Patience is as much of a skill we learn and develop as anything else, and it is what allows us to give just a little bit more to a task. Always strive to push yourself to your limit with this - even if it means drawing just one cylinder each day (if that's all you can comfortably do while ensuring that each and every mark is given all the time it requires). Sure, that would require you to spend 250 days on a single challenge, which sounds pretty crazy. When you think about it though, that's 250 days out of your entire life. Hopefully a very long and fruitful one. But it's a drop in the bucket.

Patience means the ability to set aside all our expectations and our desires, and to focus on a task. A simple task, a complex task, it matters not. It's the difference between being able to work on a single drawing for half an hour before getting bored, and being able to spread dozens of hours on a single piece, across many days or weeks. But to get there, we have to butt up against our limits, to remind ourselves that our expectations do not dictate our choices, and to keep pushing against the walls that confine us.

To be more specific in terms of why I think your work shows impatience, it's primarily in your linework, and the little signs they reflect. I can see that you appear to be applying the planning phase of the ghosting method to the initial minor axis line around which we build our cylinders, but not to the side edges of the cylinders. Hard to say if you're applying it to your ellipses as well (they're okay, not always super evenly shaped, but not terribly), but in case you're not, do be sure to. As to the minor axis line where we can see the start/end points from the planning phase, I am seeing a tendency for these lines to curve and waver. Not a huge problem, but it does suggest that you need a lot more practice with the use of the ghosting method as a whole - something you should have had a good bit of practice with being this far into the course, as part of your warmups.

While overall you've demonstrated decent foreshortening across the set, there are a few cases where you eliminated foreshortening entirely. 122 on this page is a particularly good example of this, where those side edges appear to be parallel on the page. If this is the result because you intended to draw it in this manner, then I will refer you to these notes which explain why this is incorrect. If your intent was to include a bit of foreshortening, and you accidentally ended up making the lines too parallel, no big deal. If however you actually didn't have any particular intent and didn't consider what kind of cylinder you wished to draw prior to starting it, then that is something you will definitely want to correct going forward - never draw anything in this course without first considering how you need it to be drawn.

Continuing onto your cylinders in boxes, much as you hated the exercise (most people do), by and large you've actually done a pretty solid job of it. You struggled a little at first, but continuing onwards I can see that you applied the instructions effectively, and did ultimately show a fair bit of progress.

This exercise is really all about helping develop students' understanding of how to construct boxes which feature two opposite faces which are proportionally square. We do this not by memorizing every possible configuration, but rather by continuing to develop your subconscious understanding of space through repetition, and through analysis (by way of the line extensions).

Where the box challenge's line extensions helped to develop a stronger sense of how to achieve more consistent convergences in our lines, here we add three more lines for each ellipse: the minor axis, and the two contact point lines. In checking how far off these are from converging towards the box's own vanishing points, we can see how far off we were from having the ellipse represent a circle in 3D space, and in turn how far off we were from having the plane that encloses it from representing a square.

In applying these line extensions consistently and correctly, and in not allowing your impatience to rush you along, you've armed yourself with all the information you need to consider how to adjust your approach for the next page, gradually honing your instincts and rewiring the way in which your brain judges those proportions - regardless of the boxes' orientations.

So! I'll go ahead and mark this challenge as complete, but do be sure to commit some more time in your warmups to really focus on those straight lines. While the course is of course against grinding, the intent is for those exercises to be practiced continually throughout the course, giving us ample time to sharpen those skills. Admittedly your straight lines are actually better in the cylinders in boxes, so it's possible that you were just being careless in the previous section - but if what you demonstrated in the cylinders around arbitrary minor axes is what you're generally capable of, then give yourself a week to focus just on the ellipses-in-ghosted-planes exercise. This will allow you to catch up on those core mechanics (straight lines and ellipses) before continuing forwards.

Next Steps:

Focus on your ellipses-in-planes for a week, then move onto Lesson 6.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
12:26 AM, Tuesday July 25th 2023

I actually think a bit of why my lines were more wobbly is because I took that 6 month break where I was drawing almost entirely digitally and uses the app I was drawing in to do any straight lines. Never the less I actually don't hate ellipses or cylinders so I don't really mind spending some time on the planes exercise.

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