Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes
9:09 AM, Thursday April 2nd 2020
Hi, re-uploading Lesson 1 as now patreon.
Bit blotchy as used sharpie ultrafine which go soft and blotch quite quickly. Have some decent fineliners now.
Hey scooby, welcome to the patreon life. I'll be your TA today so let's get started.
Starting with your super imposed lines you're doing a good job keeping your lines confident and smooth and also having them grouped fairly tightly together. With your ghosted lines, these are fairly confident and drawn with your shoulder, but they are all fairly short so it really isn't testing your ability to draw longer lines with your shoulder to reveal if you are understanding the mechanics correctly. On some of the longer lines there is some arcing indicating more elbow usage so watch out for that.
Moving on to your ellipses, the overall shape of them all is pretty good - no points, no flat zones, consistent curvature. In drawing through them your concentric passes get a little wild so keep practicing to tighten that up. In your ellipses in planes exercise you're doing a good job hitting the correct points on the edges of the planes to cause the ellipse to sit snugly instead of floating through space. With your tables exercise you continue to do a fairly good job keeping everything tightly packed to avoid any ambiguity, but there are some ellipses here and there that don't make contact with either a neighboring ellipse or a table boundary. This facet of keeping things packed tightly is important because when we make a constructed drawing, each piece must be built upon the previous layer and if the pieces aren't making good contact it breaks the illusion of form. Your funnels exercise is pretty good - you're doing a good job keeping your minor axes aligned to the funnel axes.
Moving on to your rough perspective, I'm seeing the common problem of lines getting shaky and less confident as the student moves on to drawing actual "things" instead of abstract exercises. Remember to always use the ghosting method and your shoulder. Your horizontal lines are parallel to the horizon and your verticals are perpendicular resulting in properly oriented boxes, and your converging lines are on the right track as indicated by your extension lines.
Now let's take a look at your rotated boxes. This is actually a pretty solid attempt! Your lines are still a bit shaky, but you are showing that you understand the core principles here. You packed your boxes tightly to better leverage adjacent lines as perspective guides, and your boxes are rotating. The rotation could definitely be pushed more, so if you're having trouble with that, give this gif some attention and internalize how the rotation is driven by the motion of the vanishing points. Overall though, our only goal for students here is to complete this exercise to the best of their abilities and you've done that. This is so you can be exposed to new types of spatial problems and solution methods. One more thing I would like to point out is that you drew this entire thing pretty small. It's generally a good idea to draw as large as you can, because when you draw larger you're giving your brain more room to work through these spatial puzzles.
Finally, let's look at your organic perspective. You're doing a good job pushing the illusion of 3d space on your sheet of paper. You scale your boxes from big to small making it appear to have a foreground, mid ground, and background, and your forms overlapping indicates they all exist within the same space. Your perspective is not quite there yet, but that's ok because we'll work on that in the next step. Your lines are getting better and you followed the instructions regarding framing your compositions and doing 3 per page which I've seen neglected more than I'd like this last week. So good job there!
Overall, you've done good work here and you're off to a nice start. I will be marking this lesson as complete.
Your next stop is the 250 box challenge. I want you to keep working on your line confidence (ghosting and using the shoulder) during this challenge. Don't forget to spend half your time drawing your own stuff as outlined in lesson 0 to help avoid burning out. We'll see you on the other side of 250.
Thanks very much for your feedback. I am aware of my tendency to draw too small. All these were done before I had committed to Patreon though. Hopefully now I have committed my focus will be bigger and better.
I am up to almost 100 in the 250 box challenge but I think I am drawing too many boxes on one A4 page. I think this falls into the trap above and think that perhaps 6 should be the maximum to allow for longer lines. Would you agree?
Obviously means vanishing points are more likely to be off the page which makes the challenge more challenging.
Just jumping in here to answer this question myself - a lot of people tend to stick to 6 boxes a page, so that's a pretty good number. You are going to end up with plenty of boxes where the vanishing points are way off the page if you're adhering to the recommendation of sticking to a wide variety of rates of foreshortening (some shallow, some dramatic), and while that does make things more challenging in some aspects, it also gives a little more leeway to make minor mistakes without them being noticeable. Conversely, vanishing points closeby are easier to envision but also easier to get more noticeably wrong.
Thanks for your reply. I was looking at some examples and thought I am cramming too much in here ( up to 11 or 12 boxes ). Will reduce to 6 or so from here on.
Here we're getting into the subjective - Gerald Brom is one of my favourite artists (and a pretty fantastic novelist!). That said, if I recommended art books just for the beautiful images contained therein, my list of recommendations would be miles long.
The reason this book is close to my heart is because of its introduction, where Brom goes explains in detail just how he went from being an army brat to one of the most highly respected dark fantasy artists in the world today. I believe that one's work is flavoured by their life's experiences, and discovering the roots from which other artists hail can help give one perspective on their own beginnings, and perhaps their eventual destination as well.