Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

6:34 PM, Friday April 23rd 2021

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hi! pheeeewww i have spent a whole month and few days to complete the lesson one and can surely say that it was fulfilling as hell!!! hope to have some critique pls :_)

(YAY i did it. not gonna do other lessons but first 250 boxes challenge)

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2:16 AM, Wednesday April 28th 2021

Hi Galinap, my name is youenoh and I will be critiquing your Lesson 1 assignment.

If this is your first time here, welcome aboard! I am fairly new as well so I am excited to contribute. Let's get started:

Superimposed Lines

Your lines are VERY straight, which is especially impressive on the longer lines. I see a tiny bit of wobbling but almost no fraying, which tells me you can speed up your stroke just a tad. I'm sure you've heard it plenty here at DAB already but always go with confidence over accuracy. Your starting points are clean, so it's clear that you're setting up each line beforehand. Nice work!

Also, It looks like you're using pencil for this exercise. I won't bug you about not using pen since this is an unofficial critique, however I think you'll see any mistakes a lot clearer with a fine-tip marker or ballpoint in this case.

Ghosted Lines

Your ghosted lines are also very impressive. These lines are straight, and the start/end points are dead-on for the most part. I would encourage you to fill the page more, or at least use ghosted lines/planes as a warm up to keep your muscle memory tight, seeing as this is the basis for nearly all our future drawings.

Ghosted Planes

These are also very clean. I see all eight dots on every plane for your ghosting, so I can tell you aren't taking any shortcuts.

If I had to say something constructive here, I would say to keep an eye on your horizontal midpoint lines. Try to keep them more or less centered on the edges. I realize true planes will be distorted or foreshortened in 3-D space, but they should land at roughly the same location on opposing edges. This is really nit-picky and wasn't stressed in the assignment guidelines, but these midpoints will help you accurately shape your ellipses in the future, so it's something to keep in mind. Otherwise, superb planes!

Tables of Ellipses

Your ellipses are very smooth, and you are following through the line 2-3 times for each ellipse. Perfect! I would merely suggest - if you use ellipse tables for warm-ups - adding some variety to your tables i.e. deeper angles or shallower ellipses (smaller minor axis) so that you have a wider repertoire of shapes in your muscle memory.

There were also a few spots where the ellipses are not meeting the edges of the bounds. Overall, your ellipses are super snug, but we want to make sure that we're hitting the edges of our tables as well. This predetermined boundary we've set for ourselves is going to help us construct accurate ellipses in the future, so we want to be very diligent on this especially. Overall, excellent work, one of the better ellipse table submissions I've seen.

Ellipses in Planes

These look excellent, very clean, and it appears that you stuck with a consistent two follow-throughs on each ellipse. Consistency will really help you develop good habits, so this is great to see.

If you look at the planes I mentioned earlier with the slanted midpoint lines, you'll see how the ellipses appear a little warped. These midpoints provide anchors/axes for our ellipses, so we want to make sure those are accurate, foreshortened or not. Otherwise, we wind up with egg shapes or distorted ellipses. You may have noticed this already, so apologies in advance if I'm being redundant but this will be important in future exercises so I believe it's worth reiterating.


These are very clean, your ellipses are straight along the long axis of the funnels, and they're divided in half perfectly in almost every case. Again, consistent follow-throughs and very smooth ellipses.

Even though these look really good, you could probably stand to do some more of these funnels in your future warm-ups, just to push the variety of the ellipses a little more. Try to really exaggerate the shallow or "squished" ellipses near the center, or do some of the corner funnel shapes like in this example from the lesson.

Plotted Perspective

These look great, but since we used tools, there are not a lot of comments to make here. If you decide to hatch one of the faces of your boxes, get in the habit of shading one of the front faces. This will help avoid any confusion when you move on to your 250 Box Challenge, as you want your perspective lines to converge away from any shaded face.

Rough Perspective

I don't know why, but I really like the look of these. I see you made a few minor mistakes that you leaned into and continued anyway. A lot of folks have trouble with this, so it's very refreshing to see. These are the wobbliest lines of all your exercises (which has been true for EVERY submission I've seen), but they are still much straighter and more confident then I'm used to seeing at this stage. I also really like the amount of variety you used in the location and size of your boxes. It's clear you have a good grasp on one-point perspective!

(Side note: I used the same short-hand symbols as you did for my 250 Box Challenge i.e. the "X", check-mark, and squiggly. Is this a common thing? I thought I was so cool for "coming up" with that system, haha)

Rotated Boxes

Many DAB students struggle with this exercise, and you did a pretty good job grasping the main idea. However, I see a few boxes rotating the wrong direction or not at all. I also see a triangular prism to the bottom-left of the center box. You're supposed to have a little trouble with this exercise, so I won't ask you to do it again, but I definitely recommend coming back to it after your 250 Box Challenge to see how much you've improved. I see you've spread the boxes out, probably to make this exercise a little easier, but to be honest I think keeping them close together actually makes it easier to follow, despite the clutter. As Uncomfortable mentions in the exercise and the accompanying video, you can use the edges of the existing boxes to help you find the edge of the adjacent boxes when they're close together. This really helped me when I did the exercise and I think it's worth a try. Also, plotting out your horizontal and vertical axes will help you estimate vanishing points on your boxes, which you can then shift to achieve rotation.

I wouldn't try this exercise again now, but after you finish the 250 Box Challenge. I believe the improvement you'll see will really motivate you as you progress through this program.

Organic Perspective

Again, you have a rather good understanding of 3-D space. Also, your linework has not faltered at all, even in the final exercise, which you should be really proud of. Some of the boxes are a little warped or twisted, but I can almost guarantee the 250 Box Challenge will fix that for you if you stick with it. An important note: Many of your boxes are very similarly oriented. If you continue drawing them in the same orientation, you won't develop much versatility, so I recommend you work on rotating, stretching, and flattening your boxes to get more variety, especially during the 250 Box Challenge. I recommend starting each box with a "Y" shape as Uncomfortable demonstrates here. However, rotate the "Y" so it's upside-down, sideways, or diagonally oriented. Also vary the length of each leg of the "Y" shape. Start with one short leg for a flatter box, or one very long leg for a long box. Three equal legs will make a cube, etc. Have fun with this! It really helps prevent burnout when you're working on your 250.


Overall, excellent work! I see very few issues and your linework is some of the cleanest I've seen so far. You could improve a little bit on your perspective boxes, but I think the 250 Box Challenge will solve most if not all those issues. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding the review above, additional advice/tips, or heck, just to chat.

Cheers :)

  • youenoh

Next Steps:

  • Proceed to 250 Box Challenge

  • Re-attempt the "Rotated Boxes" exercise after the 250 Box Challenge (optional)

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.
10:23 AM, Saturday June 12th 2021

OMG! youenoh, thank you very much for your critique, it is so crucial to me :"")

i will certainly get your points into consideration!

also, almost done with 250 boxes challenge (165 out of 250)

ps: to be honest, your critique gave me a lot of motivation to draw more boxes and continue the course with enthusiasm.

thanks a lot again

8:52 PM, Monday July 19th 2021

Sorry for such a late response, my current curriculum led me away from DAB for a month or so.

I'm so glad I could help! Excited to see you future work :)

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