Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

8:09 PM, Saturday June 6th 2020

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The last page of Organic Perspective is split into two pages.

Thank you.

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8:53 PM, Sunday June 7th 2020


The lines section is fairly good. I notice 2 issues, both minor. The first is in regards to the shorter superimposed lines- they’re a little wobbly. Remember that our priority here is confidence, not accuracy. This means that it’s perfectly fine for our lines to miss our guidelines, end points, etc., so long as this is in pursuit of confidence. Similarly, it’s okay for them to run off course, too. It’s more important for our lines to maintain a consistent trajectory, than course correct. The ghosted lines look good, but be a tiny bit more mindful of your starting point, and try to maintain a consistent speed throughout, rather than decrease it as you approach your ending point. Finally, the planes look really good, but be careful not to correct an incorrect line, and plot some start/end points for the non-diagonal center lines, too.

The ellipse section is a little sloppier, in comparison, but improves nicely throughout the set. My #1 recommendation is to rotate around all of your ellipses a consistent number of times. 2-3 times is the suggestion- I recommend 2. Secondly, I’ll recommend spending a little longer on the ghosting stage, as that’s the difference between matching and non-matching rotations. If you do this, and find that they’re still not particularly tight, don’t worry- it’s one of those things that improves over time (this is no excuse to put it off, however.) Finally, I’ll recommend lifting your pen off the page at the end of your rotations, rather than flicking it off, so as to get rid of their tails. Let’s talk specifics! In the table of ellipses exercise, your ellipses are snug, and those that share a frame also share a degree/tilt. I’d have liked to see a little more experimentation in regards to their degrees, however- try some thinner ones, too, next time. The ‘spend a little more time on the ghosting stage’ advice is particularly useful for the ellipses in planes exercise. Consider ghosting at different speeds, too, to find the one that best suits you. As for the funnels, 3 of them seem to be missing their minor axes. This is a bit of a problem, since aligning your ellipses to them is the entire point of the exercise, but, thankfully, it’s present in the others, and it does indeed cut them into two equal, symmetrical halves- just be a little more careful, next time.

Now, let’s talk about your boxes. The plotted perspective exercise looks good, though I’d have liked to see more than 5 boxes. All 5 of them are correct, though! The line quality, and especially the convergences of the rough perspective exercise improve considerably throughout the set- nicely done. To take them even further, remember that because of the rules of perspective, the back face of each box is similar in shape to the front face, only smaller. So, if your points suggest a different shape, like in some of the earlier examples, simply ignore them, in favor of others. Ultimately, the majority of our time here is spent planning- to do even better, spend even longer. Solid attempt at the rotated boxes exercise. It doesn’t quite rotate, likely because you forgot about the 4 reminder boxes on each corner..., but the boxes are, for the most part, snug. Finally, the organic perspective exercise is quite nice, save for one issue: its foreshortening. You’ll remember from these notes that dramatic foreshortening is used to suggest that an object is either really large, or really close to us- neither of which are the case here, particularly when looking at the far off boxes. As such, the recommendation is to stick to shallow foreshortening, for this exercise. Other than that, I’d have liked to see some more exaggerated scale, and perhaps some overlaps, too, but that’s alright. There’ll be plenty of time to play in the box challenge- your next stop.

Next Steps:

250 Box Challenge

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
11:01 PM, Sunday June 7th 2020


Thank you for your swift and complete reply! I have 4 questions :

  1. How do the 4 reminder boxes are supposed to help in the rotated boxes exercice? Honestly, they just bothered me, but I think that's because I don't understand their purpose.

  2. Should the bigger boxes in the organic perspective exercice have more foreshortening? or should I just use a similar (much more less) foreshortening for all of them?

  3. In the 250 boxes challenge, can I play randomly with the foreshortening, no matter their sizes? I understood that the boxes in that challenge are unrelated.

  4. When I draw boxes I use two methods to draw the lines after the three first and I have yet to discover which is the best. 1st : I imagine a vanishing point and draw towards it. 2nd : imagine a parallelogram, and get the last point closer to the center of it so I adds foreshortening. I am still experimenting, but I am asking myself if the parallelogram method is a kind of trick (hacks) I shouldn't rely on for future purposes.

Here is a quick sumary of what I understood :


    Confident lines with consistent trajectory

    Stop correcting lines


    Draw through 2-3 times

    ++ Ghosting

    Lift pen of the page at the end

    Experiment more degree/tilt/thickness (try really thin)

    Don't forget funnels minor axes

Perspective boxes

    Back faces similar to front (choose best points)

Rotated boxes

    Don't forget 4 reminder boxes?

Organic perspective

    Shallow Foreshortening?

    More scale

    More overlaps

Thank you again!

8:11 AM, Monday June 8th 2020
edited at 8:11 AM, Jun 8th 2020

Hi! Okay, let’s take these one at a time~

  1. You can read about this here, or, if you prefer hearing about it, it's at 4:49. Basically, our brains don’t like to rotate things. If all we have is a single box in the center, we’re likely to go for a lesser range of rotation than we intend. However, if we define the range of rotation beforehand, by having the center box, as well as the further off box (that’s fully rotated), our brains will try to fill in the blanks, and we’ll end up with a full range of rotation. That’s the idea, anyway.

  2. Technically, yes, but students aren’t expected to have that fine of a control at this stage, so the recommendation is to keep it consistent, and shallow.

  3. Yes. The boxes are entirely unrelated, and the recommendation is to experiment with different degrees of foreshortening, with an emphasis on shallow foreshortening.

  4. The first method is correct, provided you’re imagining the vanishing point, and not in any way marking it out on the page, or outside of the page. The second method is fine, for the moment, but not ideal. Basically, if the box is anything but a cube, one side of it may need to converge a little faster than the other, and it’s a lot harder to calculate this using that method. It’s fine to start off, however.

(Those points at the end are correct, and, by the way, are to keep in mind for the future. You’re clear to move on to the box challenge!)

edited at 8:11 AM, Jun 8th 2020
8:04 PM, Monday June 8th 2020

Thank you for everything!

12:32 AM, Monday June 15th 2020


Does the 250 boxes challenge count as a lesson (so I can't submit it if I did submit another lesson less than 2 weeks before and I can't submit another lesson two weeks after?)

Thank you.

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