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9:36 PM, Thursday September 16th 2021

Hi there, I'll be handling your box challenge critique.

Not only does the challenge help deepen your understanding of important concepts but it shows your desire to learn as well. Be proud of what you've accomplished and that desire you've shown. That being said I'll try to keep this critique fairly brief so you can get working on the next steps as soon as possible.

Things you did well:

  • You're experimenting with proportions and orientations. Experimenting is an important part of the learning process because it helps us form a more well rounded understanding. I hope you continue to form this habit and push yourself in the future as well.

Things you can work on:

I get the impression you may have tackled this challenge a bit too quickly for a few reasons.

  • You didn't follow the recommendation of sticking to 5-6 large boxes per page which can be found here. Drawing large helps us become more comfortable working from our shoulder and allows us to see our mistakes more clearly.

  • You're not hatching or applying line weight, which while optional are good things to practice. Most people find that they need a fair bit of mileage before they feel comfortable applying line weight so getting an early start is often helpful and allows you to see results sooner.

  • From the writing you included in your submission and from submission dates it looks like this only took you about 2 weeks to complete, which while definitely possible is actually pretty quick for this challenge. The 2 week per submission rule is in no way a time frame at which you need to complete the next section of material, it's there to encourage you to take your time (some people try to complete sections in a day) and to help prevent Uncomfortable and us assistants from being overwhelmed with submissions. While I can't say for certain how long you spent each day tackling these boxes, just know that it's better to take your time and get the most out of the material than it is to rush. You'll learn more working on something 30 minutes a day than you would 3.5 hours one day a week.

  • Your lines look like they are drawn confidently but I can't be certain from how far from the page your photos are taken, in the future try to stick to one (preferably) or two pages per photo so we can see your work more clearly.

  • You're not experimenting with rates of foreshortening and instead keep your vanishing points as far from your boxes as possible which makes your convergences lines nearly parallel. Remember that experimentation is important so you definitely should mix it up so you don't end up only improving at one certain task.

  • There are times when your lines converge in pairs or you attempt to keep your lines a bit too parallel which results in them diverging. This is an example of lines converging in pairs, and this shows the relation between each line in a set and their respective vanishing point. The inner pair of lines will be quite similar unless the box gets quite long and the outer pair can vary a lot depending on the location of the vanishing point. Move it further away and the lines become closer to parallel while moving it closer increases the rate of foreshortening.

The key things we want to remember from this exercise are that our lines should always converge as a set not in pairs, never diverge from the vanishing point and due to perspective they won't be completely parallel.

I won't be moving you on to the next lesson just yet, each lesson builds off concepts in the previous course material so if you move forward with un-addressed issues you end up just creating further issues on top of them. I'm going to ask you to draw 25 more boxes.

  • Experiment with your rates of vanishing points and aim to have consistent points in mind rather than just extending your lines into infinite.

  • Draw larger, limit the amount of boxes to 5 or 6 per page.

  • Try implementing line weight and hatching on at least some of the boxes.

  • Take photos of each page so I can double check that you're drawing confidently and there aren't issues that we need to work on here as well.

  • Continue experimenting with proportions and orientations on top of rates of foreshortening.

  • Remember to take your time, it's quite common for each box to take 10 minutes to draw, with 25 boxes that will be a bit over 4 hours. With time to let some of the concepts brought up in your critique to set in I wouldn't expect to see these later today, or even tomorrow necessarily. If It takes a few days then it does, and that's fine.

Once you've completed your boxes reply to this critique with a link to them, I'll address anything that needs to be worked on and once you've shown you're ready I'll move you on to the next lesson.

I know you can do this and look forward to seeing your work.

Next Steps:

25 more boxes please.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
11:00 PM, Tuesday September 21st 2021

Tofu, here is a link to 25 more boxes:

Thank you for the critique. I didn't feel like I rushed the challenge, but perhaps I was wrong- I am (obviously) new to drawing and might need to calibrate my perception of what is fast or slow. I actually decided moving forward to tackle 1 lesson or challenge per month instead of 2 weeks so that I can be sure that I'm taking my time, so thank you for that.

I read your critque a couple times and rewatched the video/read the lesson again. I am following the directions as well as I know how, but I feel like these boxes are worse than the ones I submitted before. Again, I am pretty inexperienced so perhaps I am mistaken and you can correct me on that. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, but something seems to be throwing off one or more of my interior (draw through) lines in nearly every box. I am taking into account the implied vanishing points and approximating line direction with dots for many of the boxes, but I still seem to miss most of the time. If it is a matter of mileage, then I'll accept that and just keep going, but if you see any red flags in my shapes or lines I'd really like to know.

Thanks again and let me know if you need me to draw more boxes or what the best plan is moving forward.

Take care,


5:58 PM, Wednesday September 22nd 2021
edited at 6:04 PM, Sep 22nd 2021

These revisions are definitely considerably better than those you'd submitted before, and Tofu will be along in a bit to mark this challenge as complete.

Since you were having trouble understanding why and how they're better, I did want to take a moment to explain that myself. As I've shown here, the boxes from your initial set have some key issues - two to be specific, though they're related to one another.

The issue comes down primarily to the fact that you were trying to keep the edges of your boxes parallel when drawn on the page, effectively placing the vanishing points for those lines at infinity (as discussed in Lesson 1). The second, related issue is that in attempting to keep them parallel like this, you would fairly often end up with lines that diverge slightly as they move away from the viewer.

The divergence is less of a concern - rather, it's the intent to keep those lines parallel to one another which is incorrect. A vanishing point is not placed anywhere - rather, its position is determined by the orientation of the 3D form it's meant to help represent. We do not arbitrarily choose to put our vanishing points at infinity, but there is a specific circumstance in which a vanishing point will go to infinity - that is when the set of edges it governs run perpendicular to the viewer's angle of sight. Basically, when those edges run right across their field of view, not slanting towards or away from the viewer through the depth of the scene.

As soon as the lines angle themselves even slightly such that they start coming closer or moving farther away from the viewer through the depth of that scene, that vanishing point must become concrete, and as the given edges rotate more to come towards the viewer (rather than moving across their field of view), the vanishing point's proximity will increase and the rate of convergence of its lines will also become more dramatic.

All that said, the box challenge is all about rotating boxes freely and randomly in 3D space, making it quite unlikely that we'd ever run into a situation where a box would align so perfectly along any of its axes, that one of its vanishing points would go to infinity. If we did end up in such a perfect situation, however, we could only ever have a box align two of its sets of edges perpendicularly to the viewer's angle of sight. That third set of edges will always end up coming straight at the viewer.

Now, the reason your newer boxes are vastly better is that they don't make this mistake. You've got more conscious, purposeful convergences to all your sets of lines. You may feel that they're worse, simply because this forces you to contend with many, many cases where those lines in fact do not converge consistently - but that's what this exercise is all about. Having students try to achieve more consistent convergences, and then analyze their results to see where those convergences were off.

You can - and should - play with convergences that are both dramatic and shallow when practicing this exercise in the future, of course. Just make sure that even in the cases where the convergences are very gradual, that they are intentionally present.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, Tofu will be around later to mark this challenge as complete. You will of course be incorporating this exercise into part of your regular warmup routine, as with all the exercises you've encountered thus far - so yes, it is very much a matter of mileage, but now that I can confirm you're headed in the right direction you will be in a better position to improve on your own.

Edit: Oh, in regards to the rushing thing - don't set deadlines or expectations for yourself as you move through the course. Students will sometimes feel it necessary to assign themselves an expected point at which an exercise or lesson should be completed, but this can only encourage us to rush, be it in the execution of our marks, or in how thoroughly we go through the instructions.

It will always come back to simply giving each task as much time as it requires to be done to the best of your current ability. Each lesson is not the same - some are more demanding and more complex than others, and therefore they will ask more of you. All you can do is commit to sitting down to work on the material regularly, and to be willing to break up individual drawings across multiple sittings as needed (this will be more of a concern as you move forwards).

The 2 week cooldown is not a deadline. It is quite the opposite - there to force students to slow down, and not to try and complete the work as quickly as they can. So, in that sense, pushing more towards a month is a good call, but still a little misguided since you're still laying down some sort of expectation to meet, rather than allowing the work to take as long as it needs.

edited at 6:04 PM, Sep 22nd 2021
8:41 PM, Wednesday September 22nd 2021

Uncomfortable- thank you very much for the explanation, I understand this better now and will keep working on visualizing the objects in 3D space while drawing them. I'll also take what you said about deadlines, schedules, etc. into account and take each lesson as it comes.

Thanks again and take care!


6:01 PM, Wednesday September 22nd 2021

Marking your submission complete.

Keep practicing previous exercises as warm ups and good luck in lesson 2.

Next Steps:

Move on to lesson 2.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
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