Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

3:56 PM, Monday November 13th 2023

Drawabox Lesson 1 Homework - jamzoltan - Album on Imgur

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2:00 PM, Wednesday November 22nd 2023

Hi Jamzoltan!

I'll be working on your critique today! :) I'll be dividing it into 3 parts as follows:


  • Super Imposed Lines - Your superimposed lines are looking good! You've managed to start at the same starting point as well. You've drawn some confident strokes but there is a little bit of wobbling in some of the lines. This shows that you're not exactly confident in your lines and you slow down to make sure that your line is accurate. Note that in this lesson the focus is on confidence and not accuracy. However, you've done well to make sure each line starts at the starting dot as there is no fraying at the beginning which is an important aspect of this exercise. The fraying at the end will clear up as you practise this exercise more.

  • Ghosted Lines - Once again your lines here show a little wobbling. It is very clear you're not confident in your stroke. Do take your time to ghost and once you've ghosted a few times, just let loose! We're not trying to be accurate in this lesson, it's ALL about confidence! I sense you're focusing on trying to reach the end dot too much. When you ghost, let your hand move over the two points a few more times than you have when you did this exercise and then mark the paper. You'll do better the more you ghost. :)

  • Ghosted Planes - Your planes also exhibit the same issues I explained previously, i.e. the wobbling/confidence issue. However, there is also another small thing I'd like to mention which is the S and C curves I see in some of the lines. For the subtle c-curved lines, one thing that you can do is to consciously arch the opposite way to maintain a straight line when ghosting, this can help lessen the arching problem. For the subtle s-curved line, try to ghost a lot of times before actually committing to it, you can also increase the speed of ghosting. Once again, the purpose of this exercise is not accuracy but confidence in your stroke. Again, with practice, this will come to you. Keep these points in mind when doing these exercises during your warm-ups.


  • Tables of Ellipses - Your table looks good! You've done a good job of ghosting your ellipses and I can see you have a little more confidence here as there isn't any obvious wobbling. In addition, you've correctly maintained the 2-stroke ellipse and you've ensured that each ellipse is drawn within and touching its borders. I can see you've reduced your ghosting though in the ellipses on the bottom-left side of the first image. The more you ghost, the tighter these ellipses will be so keep in mind to take as long as you need to ghost before marking the paper.

  • Ellipses in Planes - I think you may have ghosted more while doing this exercise as you've drawn better ellipses here! You've ensured that the edges of the ellipses touch all 4 sides of the plane. I see a little wobble in a few ellipses but this issue has already been mentioned. Don't focus on accuracy, always focus on confidence.

  • Funnels - There is a relative symmetry with the minor axis cutting the ellipses so that looks fine. However, the same issues of wobble/focusing on accuracy and not enough ghosting are seen here. I won't repeat my advice again but keep it in mind when you tackle this exercise for practise. Overall, not too bad.


  • Plotted Perspective - Everything looks good here, no issues at all! I noticed that you've not plotted some of the edge lines to the vanishing point. That's fine though keep in mind having done so would be beneficial to you as you can see exactly where your lines will be going rather than stopping a little bit before the vanishing point. You've followed Uncomfortable's example image perfectly as I see you've done it for the last set of boxes on the page similar to him. :)

  • Rough Perspective - There's a little wobble curvature to your lines but we've already covered this before so I won't go into it again. Good job on keeping the lines either perpendicular or horizontal to the horizon! Also, you've accurately used the line correction method and drawn through your boxes. On the page with the red pencil, you have incorrectly gone over the horizon but you've corrected that mistake in the second page when you did it in purple. All in all, good job here! Just focus on the wobble and curves and you're good!

  • Rotated Boxes - Really good job here! Some students really struggle with this exercise. It is clear that your spatial awareness is good as you've rotated your boxes quite accurately while maintaining quite a close distance with each corner of the boxes. A little bit of curving and wobble can be seen here too in your line work but I'm sure this will improve over time.

  • Organic Perspective - The organic boxes look good! You've kept a good sense of rotation as well as perspective here too so good job! Once again though the wobbling lines can be seen and it's even seen in the main swoopy line you've drawn before you drew the boxes. One thing I did notice which is a big mistake is that in 2-3 boxes and even parts of the swoopy line, you've drawn through your stroke twice. This is a big no-no. Regardless of what mistake you made, you should not draw over an already existing stroke. No matter how off a line is, you should never repeat it, you should keep the line as it if were correct and move on. Once again this shows the lack of confidence. If you have ghosted, you may not have felt like you needed to redraw it as it would have been a little more accurate.

Looking at your work as a whole, this is a good submission and I'm confident you'll improve over time. Keep in mind to ghost more and work on the wobbling and curvature of your lines. Ensure to ghost from the shoulder too as sometimes the curving can prevented when you ghost from the shoulder and not from the wrist. Using your wrist limits how straight your line can be.

With practice, I'm sure you'll do well! :) However, I'd like to see a little more work from you as I'm not 100% confident you've understood the concepts taught in this lesson.

Next Steps:

Please do:

  • 1 page of Ellipses in Planes

  • 1 page of Funnels

  • 1 pages of Rough Perspective

Also please re-read:

As I feel you need to understand these concepts again before working on the above revisions.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
2:54 PM, Thursday November 23rd 2023

Hey! Thank you so much for your very detailed critique! I appreciate you taking the time to look through it so thoroughly. I have to apologize as this is not yet my revisions - I was hoping to get some additional clarification though, and I don't know if I'm supposed to use this reply function this way, but I don't know how else to contact you. Could you maybe elaborate on why specifically you picked the exercises you did for me to redo? I feel like understanding your thought process there would help me a lot while redoing them. I will of course pay more attention to be more confident in my markmaking, and try ghosting more! I was just wondering if you thought there was anything about those exercises in particular that would help me with that.

As an additional note I did want to clear up that on my Organic Perspective exercises what you see as me attempting to redraw a line is, in fact, me failing miserably at trying to apply line weight freehand.

Again, thank you so much for helping me!

4:16 PM, Thursday November 23rd 2023
edited at 4:20 PM, Nov 23rd 2023

Hi! Lol that's completely fine, you can contact me here or even on the discord if you're on there too.

As to why I picked these exercises,

Ellipses in Planes - This would allow me to see your progress in both the lines you do for the planes (where your Ghosted Lines had the wobble and curving issues) and the ellipses will allow me to see how well you've been ghosting as I saw you had done a few ellipses a little haphazardly. Not enough ghosting would be my guess as some of them aren't as tight as you could do like you did for some of the ellipses in your table of ellipses and also some of them look a little egg shaped. I didnt want you to do a whole other table of ellipses as I don't think you need to draw THAT many ellipses. Though mind you, you should cover these exercises during your warm ups! Anyways, the Ellipses in Planes exercise covers both these aspects.

Funnels - Also for the same reason above. Your ellipses here weren't as good as I see in table as there is quite a bit of wobble in some of your lines.

Rough perspective - Because there is quite a bit of wobble/curving here and I'd like to see you ghost a bit more and work on this as I know you can draw better lines (your Ghosted Lines exercise lines were a little better than what you have done here). Practising ghosting and your boxes would look a lot better!

I hope this is enough of an explanation and of course if you have any more questions, do let me know!

And thanks for the clarification about the line. Though I do see corrections on the swoopy line. Just keep in mind that mistakes are ok. :)

edited at 4:20 PM, Nov 23rd 2023
1:11 AM, Friday November 24th 2023

Thank you so much for the explanation! I've added you on discord so I could ask you a followup question if that's okay. My username there is julsemmi.

4:15 PM, Friday November 24th 2023

Hey! With what we talked about, here's my revisions!


4:27 PM, Saturday November 25th 2023
edited at 4:28 PM, Nov 25th 2023

Nicely done! I can see you've put a little more thought into the revisions. I see there is a little overshooting in your lines. To fix this, try to intentionally lift your hand off the paper as you reach the end dot. Initially it might feel a little weird doing it but you will subconciously recognise what needs to be done and that you don't need to lift your hand much at all.

In practising these exercises as warm ups, I have no doubt the issues mentioned will improve over time. Specially when you get to the 250 boxes challenge. :)

With this I'll mark this homework as complete. Good luck for the future lessons and I wish you the best!

I can't edit my parent comment with the required revisions but just to note for anyone reading this in the future, I amended my revisions required to:

  • 1 page of Ellipses in Planes

  • Half a page of Rough Perspective

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 4 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
edited at 4:28 PM, Nov 25th 2023
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