Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

12:28 AM, Thursday August 5th 2021

Imgur: The magic of the Internet

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/zOVU74Q.jpg

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I don't really post pictures on my computer, so let me know if I did something wrong. Also, I kind of butchered the last 2 exercises (rotating boxes and organic perspective) I really kept reading and looking at the pictures, but it was hard for me to understand.

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4:13 AM, Friday August 6th 2021

Welcome to drawabox! I’ll be looking at your lesson 1 submission today.

Starting with your superimposed lines, these are looking a little wobbly. Likely, you’re a bit too preoccupied with them sticking to the guideline, but that’s not necessary – them being smooth, is (this tip is another instance of that philosophy in action). The ghosted lines, of which there’s 1 more page than necessary, are the same. As instructed, what you’re meant to be doing here is ghosting a line until you feel comfortable with it, then committing. And, if you do make the choice to commit, you also make the choice to stop stressing about the accuracy of the line, as you’ve taken care of that in the previous step – all you’re allowed to be concerned with, at this point, is its confidence. The ghosted planes show a little bit of improvement, though their non-diagonal center lines are more of the same, likely because they don’t have any start/end points, thus making ghosting difficult. You may consider drawing some lines with your eyes closed (still ghost, etc.), so that your brain doesn’t insist on guiding the motion of your arm, as in here.

The table of ellipses exercise suffers from similar issues, though it’s not quite as bad. Let’s start with the obvious: the ellipses are a little wobbly, particularly in their first rotation. What’s likely happening is that the act of committing is a little scary for you, but once you do commit, you’re good – kind of like jumping off of a trampoline. Of course, this is not what we want. It’s important to understand that you’re in control of things – you decide when to commit. So, commit when you’re ready! Another thing is that your ellipses don’t seem to have any particular goal; what I mean by this is that quite a few of them aren’t of the same degree/angle in a frame, as instructed. This is important too, as it removes an aspect of them you’ll need to be thinking about, otherwise. The ellipses in planes continue the trend of improvement, though they’re also not quite there. Remind yourself that fitting snuggly inside of the frame – this is to say, accuracy – is not our goal; the resulting ellipses being smooth, and rounded (so: confidence) is. The funnels regress a little, unfortunately, but this is expected, as this is the most complicated of the ellipse exercises. My recommendations for you are 2: draw bigger, and, similar to the lines section, close your eyes when you commit.

The plotted perspective exercise looks good, though you should’ve used a ruler for the hatching lines, too.

The rough perspective exercise is a little sloppy. It seems like you didn’t plot any points for the front faces of your boxes, resulting in their lines not being parallel/perpendicular to the horizon – that’s probably a large reason for this. I’ll say this now: every mark you make needs to be drawn using the ghosting method; this is to say: plan, plot start/end points, ghost, execute. Your convergences look solid, though you seem to be sticking to your original guess, almost every time. Remember that you’re allowed, and even encouraged, to alter it. In other words, after you plot a point, check it, and if you find it to be unsatisfactory, adjust accordingly. Linework is looking a little better here, by the way.

The rotated boxes exercise has been a struggle, certainly, but this is expected. What we look for is that the student saw it through to the end, to the best of their ability; if they did, they’re good to move on. Looking at yours, you’re missing 4 boxes (the diagonal ones), though a lot of students forget about these, so I won’t hold that against you. All of your lines have points, so the planning is there, also. In terms of advice, I’ll recommend drawing a little bigger, and perhaps taking some more time on each box, to check it against neighboring ones, but also comparing it to the opposite side, to see if it’s symmetrical.

The organic perspective exercise suffers from a lack of planning (start/end points), but we’ve covered this. Outside of that, the boxes looks solid, and their increase in size, and consistent, shallow foreshortening do a good job of conveying the illusion we’re after. Linework is better (save for those scratchy, repeat lines – ditch those!), though as there’s no start/end points, it’s hard for me to say that your linework is fixed yet. As such, I’ll offer some redos.

Next Steps:

1 page of superimposed lines

1 page of ghosted lines or ghosted planes (pick one)

1 page of table of ellipses

1 page of ellipses in planes or funnels (pick one)

1 frame of rough perspective or organic perspective (pick one, and notice that I say frame)


When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
10:59 PM, Saturday August 7th 2021
edited at 11:17 PM, Aug 7th 2021


Still having problems with ellipses, but I tried to be more confident.

the organic perspective has some plotted points, just not in the first large ones.

edited at 11:17 PM, Aug 7th 2021
10:54 AM, Sunday August 8th 2021

The superimposed lines look good. There's a little wobble to your arcing lines, so be mindful of that. The ghosted lines look confident, save for some course-correction at the end. Don't stress about your end point; focus on your line being straight.

The table of ellipses exercise doesn't show too much improvement, sadly. There's spacing issues, the first rotation is a little stiff, and the second one incomplete (draw through them a full 2 times please). The funnels are a little bit more confident, but pointy. Be careful that you're not letting a lesser pivot handle those sharp turns.

The organic perspective exercise looks good.

Next Steps:

I'll move you on to the box challenge, but please center your next few warmups around your ellipses.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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