250 Box Challenge

7:58 AM, Wednesday June 29th 2022

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Sorry I accidentally messed up my line extensions for the first few pages.

Reason for submitting during a Promptathon:

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10:53 PM, Sunday July 3rd 2022

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. 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:

  • Your construction lines are looking smooth and confidently drawn.

  • You're doing a good job of experimenting with orientations, and proportions. Experimenting is an important habit to build when learning any new skill, it helps form a more well rounded understanding. I hope you'll continue to display and nurture this habit in the future.

Things you can work on:

  • They're not a requirement of the challenge but I recommend practicing applying hatching and line weight in your future work. They're useful tools to learn and the only way to improve is to practice.

  • Early in the challenge there were times that you were placing your vanishing point between the viewer and your boxes. This leads to you extending your lines in the wrong direction and your boxes becoming distorted because your lines are actually diverging from where the vanishing point would actually be. Here's a guide I wrote that will hopefully help you place your vanishing points and line extensions more consistently. If you need some examples of it occurring you can look at boxes 1, 2, 4, and 6 in your submission as well as the examples here.

  • Something you need to work on and was encouraged in the challenge instructions is experimenting with rates of foreshortening. Outside of a few outliers nearly all of your vanishing points are extremely close to your boxes and on the page, this leads to your lines converging quite dramatically. While these boxes are technically correct this doesn't really benefit your understanding as much as experimenting would and it creates a smaller window of error. Push your vanishing points further away so that your lines have to become closer to parallel and so that you think about their placement more.

  • There are times when your lines converge in pairs rather than as a set. 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 believe you may have tackled this challenge a bit too hastily seeing as how it was submitted 18 days after your lesson 1 submission, it's quite common for this challenge to take a month with each box taking between 5-10 minutes each.

I'll be asking you to draw 50 more boxes please. Focus on experimenting with different rates of foreshortening, do your best to extend your lines in the correct direction as well. This is also a good opportunity to try applying hatching and line weight as well.

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.

Also one last thing, I noticed you'd left the reason field blank while submitting during the promptathon, you may have missed it. Can you please provide the reason for submitting during the promptathon so we can get a better sense of how well our messaging is working?

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

Next Steps:

50 more boxes please.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
9:18 AM, Friday July 8th 2022


Is there any difference between submitting homework during a promptathon or not? I didn't have anything to say.

4:44 PM, Friday July 8th 2022

I'll leave Tofu to complete the critique, but I figured I could jump in and answer your question.

The promptathon is an event we run in order to give our staff a chance at a break. Due to the nature of this resource, unlike regular schools, we haven't in the past had clear break periods, so homework submissions come in continuously. If we close submissions for a time, people continue to do the work, and so when they reopen, we get hit with a mountain of work. This was something I'd identified as an issue back in the only time I actually closed down submissions (so I could attend my grandfather's funeral).

The only way we can avoid that is if students themselves take a break alongside us. We extend the expiration of credits that are set to expire during and just after the promptathon, so they don't lose out, and we give them something else to do in the meantime so they're not left twiddling their thumbs (and so they have an opportunity to work off any 50% rule debt they may have from not keeping up with that mandatory rule from Lesson 0). We've also found that, not entirely intentionally, the promptathon is incredibly beneficial to the students who participate, helping them to loosen up and generally get more comfortable with drawing for the hell of it - although that was not the primary intent.

Since closing submissions altogether wouldn't actually solve the problem, we leave them open with the assumption that if someone is continuing to complete their work during the promptathon, it's likely that they were unaware of it, and so we're probably not doing a good enough job in spreading the word about the event. Hence the additional question in the submission form, so we can identify whether that's the case, or if there was some other issue that can perhaps be addressed or improved upon.

We'd love to be able to enforce a means for us to take a vacation without coming back to a mountain of work afterwards, but unfortunately due to the core tenets of Drawabox being all about improving accessibility to material, we cannot reasonably close off the free lesson material - and even that would not really solve the problem, as I can imagine people would try to do the work from what they recall of the instructions, which would itself make things that much worse, demanding more revisions and thus more time investment on our end for those submissions.

So instead, we have to work with our students, most of whom understand that they're receiving the lessons for free, and the official critique at a subsidized rate (our teaching assistants are paid more for the time they spend giving a critique than the student receiving that critique, so that the students can have access to feedback as cheaply as possible while our TAs can still be paid fairly). This inevitably will always suffer from the fact that we have to continue improving our messaging - but we prefer to focus on the idea that students are simply unaware, rather than the less pleasant alternative.

I hope that clarifies things for you, and helps you to better understand where we're coming from, and why filling out that field is indeed important.

11:19 PM, Friday July 8th 2022

Uncomfortable handled your question about submitting during the promptathon so be sure to read through his explanation.

Your boxes here are looking better and I'm glad to see that you experimented a lot more. Your hatching does get a bit messy but overall you've tackled what I asked of you so I have no problems moving you on to the next lesson now.

Keep practicing boxes and 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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Sakura Pigma Microns

A lot of my students use these. The last time I used them was when I was in high school, and at the time I felt that they dried out pretty quickly, though I may have simply been mishandling them. As with all pens, make sure you're capping them when they're not in use, and try not to apply too much pressure. You really only need to be touching the page, not mashing your pen into it.

In terms of line weight, the sizes are pretty weird. 08 corresponds to 0.5mm, which is what I recommend for the drawabox lessons, whereas 05 corresponds to 0.45mm, which is pretty close and can also be used.

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