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9:23 PM, Tuesday August 15th 2023

Hello Giovany, I'm ThatOneMushroomGuy and I'll be the TA handling your critique today.


Starting with your arrows you've done a really good job here, your linework is looking smooth and confident which helps sell the feeling of fluidity that arrows have as they move through the world, and you're also making good use of the depth of the page with your use of perspective and foreshortening.

Your hatching is well applied, and it's also placed at the correct side of the arrow's bends, this along with your use of additional lineweight on top of the overlaps helps you reinforce the feeling of depth in your arrows.

The way you can continue to improve next time you attempt this exercise is to start getting out of your comfort zone more, while your arrows clearly look tridimensional, they have similar rates of foreshortening and look a bit similar, push the size difference between your arrow segments further, make it more drastic and noticeable, and consider that since arrows are very flexible objects they can move freely across the world in all sorts of manners, so push yourself and explore the different possibilities of bends, twists and overlaps in order to challenge yourself and develop your sense of spatial reasoning further.


Moving on to your leaves they're generally looking quite fluid due to your confident linework, but something I've noticed is that not many of your leaf structures bend or fold in any way whatsover, and the ones who do are looking a bit unnatural. While this is not necessarily a mistake in actual plant structures you'll find that it's very rare for leaf structures to be assorted in this manner, instead they'll be found in all sorts of rotations and can be influenced by all sorts of external forces such as the wind or their own weight pulling them down, focusing on drawing leaf structures that don't only sit statically in space, but move through the world from moment to moment will help you develop your sense of spatial reasoning much further.

This leaf structure is looking very well constructured and it would look even better if you follow the steps of the complex leaf construction method more closely, making sure to first capture the overall shape of the leaf before establishing the individual arms of the leaf structure, even though complex leaf structure have many arms, they're still connected and exist as a single entity, so it's important to capture these relationships in your construction.

Your application of edge detail is coming along decently, from what I can see you generally avoid having a single mark capture more than one piece of edge detail, which allows you to maintain greater control over your lines. You're also generally putting it down with the same line thickness as the rest of your construction, however I did notice that in here your earlier linework was more faint. If that was intentional, just be sure to keep the line thickness for each phase of construction roughly consistent, so as not to encourage yourself to redraw more than you strictly need to.


For your branches it seems that you have not followed the instructions for this exercise as thoroughly as you should have, as you're not following the correct methodology for how the branch's edges are to be laid out.

While you're drawing your edges in segments sometimes, there are many times where you attempt to draw an edge in a single stroke which is a mistake. And in the times where you do draw your edges in segments, you're stopping each segment at the next ellipse point, instead of extending that mark up to the halfway point between ellipses, not following this step means that you effectively remove the transition between marks that we want to achieve in this lesson.

So remember how branches should be approached: by starting your segment at the first ellipse mark, then extending it past the second ellipse fully up to the halfway point between the second and third ellipse. After these steps have been taken you'll start a new segment at the next ellipse point and continue until your entire branch is complete.

Onto your ellipses they're also looking pretty loose because you're not following the very important step of always drawing through your ellipses twice.

When it comes to the ellipse degree shift in your work the degrees of the ellipses barely change across the length of your branches when they should as shown here. Remember that as a cylindrical form shifts towards or away from the viewer, the degree of the ellipses within that structure will also shift, if they don't, the structure will feel flat.

Plant Construction Section

And lastly let's take a look at your plant constructions, there are some good things about your work, such as the fact you're generally attempting to abide by the instructions for the exercise and the fact that you're drawing through all of your forms, but there are also some things which greatly harm the quality of your work, as well as how much you're getting out of these exercises, they need to be addressed so that you can start to properly understand the concepts this lesson seeks to teach.

Perhaps the biggest issue present throughout your work is that you're often starting your constructions with an underdrawing - a lighter drawing that possesses several passes which you then go over with a darker, thicker lineweight. This is essentially treating Drawabox exercises as sketching, but Drawabox is not sketching.

Drawabox is a course designed to help you develop your sense of spatial reasoning, and one of the ways this is achieved is by making use of a couple of different tools and by abiding by a certain set of rules.

The tools we employ are our medium, ink, which forces us to think about our marks carefully and plan everything we do before we even do it, and the construction introduced throughout the lessons, which force you to think about everything you're doing every step of the way, when you make use of an underdrawing you're undermining the reasons we use ink in the first place, as well as not making use of the construction techniques as thoroughly and in the way they were intended.

The rules we abide when approaching these construction help us make the best use out of our study time, when we make use of an underdrawing we're jumping between actions that we perform in 2D space (where we're taking advantage of just drawing lines on a page, and the freedom that gives us), and actually ensuring that everything we draw itself exists as a fully enclosed form, being added to the existing structure, and being designed itself in such a way that it respects and even reinforces the illusion that what it's attaching to is also 3D.

You don't make a lot of use of edge detail throughout your homework pages, but keep in mind that only the last step of construction, texture, is optional, edge detail should be added as it helps you polish your structure and further communicate how your leaves exist in 3D space.

  • When approaching cylindrical structures such as plant pots, make sure to always draw them around a minor axis, as this will help you keep your several ellipses aligned to each other more easily. Going further make sure to add an inner ellipse in order to indicate the thickness of the border of the plant pot, and indicate a plane change at the opening of the pot. You should also attempt to construct the rim found in most types of plant pots whenever possible.

Many of your pages have empty spaces that could have been better used by drawing your constructions bigger, which would allow you not only more room to work through the spatial reasoning challenges that arise when tackling these exercises, but also give you enough space to fully engage your whole arm.

Final Thoughts

Your work is moving in the right direction, but it can certainly be improved, especially when it comes to the basics as you're not always making use of the construction techniques introduced in the lesson to their full extent. As such you're not getting the most out of these exercises.

I'll be asking you for a couple of revisions before giving you the go ahead for the next lesson, so that you can attempt these construction techniques and further your understanding of them before moving on to more complex subjects, please reply with:

1 page, half of leaves, half of branches.

2 plant construction pages.

Next Steps:

1 page, half of leaves, half of branches.

2 plant construction pages.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
2:24 PM, Friday August 18th 2023

Thanks for your critique. I will do the exercises you gave me and make sure to correct my mistake. But there is one thing i did not understand. Whats means underdrawing (english is not my native language). Do you mean use different ink, because i use the same ink during the exercises and reproduced the same process that I saw in the videos with that ink.

6:25 PM, Friday August 18th 2023
edited at 6:25 PM, Aug 18th 2023

An underdrawing means a lighter drawing that you then go over with your pen, but use a darker, bolder and much thicker lineweight on top of. All lines in Drawabox must be drawn in the same thickness.

edited at 6:25 PM, Aug 18th 2023
12:02 PM, Saturday August 19th 2023
10:45 PM, Sunday August 20th 2023

Hello Giovany, thank you for getting back to me with your revisions.

For your leaves they're looking very energetic and fluid. I'm happy to see that you're making use of edge detail more prominently in your homework.

Your branches are looking better, but you're still not following the instructions for drawing your branch's edges to the letter. For example in here, it's good that you're extending your edges up to the halfway point between ellipses, but when starting a new segment you're not placing your pen back at the ellipse point, you're placing it just slightly behind your previous mark, which partially removes the overlaps between lines we want to achieve in here, so keep working on this.

I don't really have anything to talk about when it comes to your constructions, other than the fact that you should make sure to also add an inner ellipse when constructing your plant pots, such as this in order to better communicate the thickness of this form. In general you're applying the feedback you received to great effect and your work is coming along much more solidly as a result. As such, I'm going to be marking this submission as complete, good luck in Lesson 4.

Next Steps:

Don't forget to add these exercises to your list of warm ups.

Move on to Lesson 4.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
8:56 AM, Tuesday August 22nd 2023

I will continue to correct my errors and thank you for your criticism

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