250 Cylinder Challenge

12:32 PM, Monday December 28th 2020

Hello Uncomfortable,

Your critique would be appreciated. Also, at what point did you transition to digital drawing? I know I do not need all the bells and whistles digital media affords and I plan to use traditional media for many years to come.

Best,

Lars

1 users agree
9:50 PM, Monday December 28th 2020

To answer your question, if you're interested in digital drawing, I'm of the belief that you should jump into it as soon as you can. The 50% rule from Lesson 0 is a great opportunity to play around and experiment with it. Just like with everything else, don't get yourself caught up in the whole "I'm not ready yet" mentality.

Now, looking at the first section of the challenge, I noticed that you appeared not to notice the point I raised in bold in the homework assignment section - specifically telling you to vary the rate of foreshortening across your cylinders. In general, with any and all of these challenges that have you drawing many of the same thing you should be varying whatever you can. Rate of foreshortening, orientation, etc. Laying everything out straight down and effectively repeating the exact same thing over and over ad nauseam is not going to do you nearly as much good as exploring the full scope of the challenge within the bounds of the exercise.

While you've done a decent job with the alignment of your ellipses, and you certainly checked them thoroughly and conscientiously, you definitely got tunnel vision when it comes to everything else. For example, you appear to have neglected the core principle of perspective - as something moves away from the viewer, it gets smaller. You quite regularly drew the far end of the cylinder either equal in overall scale to the end closer to the viewer, or slightly bigger.

Foreshortening can be seen in two ways. There's the basic one described above - things get smaller in scale as they move away from the viewer. That one's the easiest to understand. But it also has a more subtle impact to the proportional width of that far end, which is what we treat in cylinders as the shift in "degree" from one ellipse to the other. You were aware of this, and did apply it - but what you missed is that both this shift in degree and the shift in scale go hand in hand.

The amount by which the far end is both smaller and wider than the closer end tells the viewer how much farther away it is. From this, we can understand whether the cylinder itself is long, or short. But if, as with all the cylinders you've drawn here, the farther ellipse is the same overall scale as the closer one, that tells us that there's no distance between them, and the cylinder has a length of 0. The width, however, since it gets wider as we look farther back, tells us that there is a concrete length of this cylinder. What results is a contradiction.

We cannot logically end up in a situation where there is a dramatic shift in degree, but a minimal shift in scale, or vice versa. And we definitely cannot end up in a situation where the cylinder has a length of 0.

Now, despite the fact that there is another 100 cylinders in boxes here, you've effectively attempted to do the same thing with them, drawing effectively the same thing over and over, without consideration for variety. This is entirely against the spirit of this challenge, and the course as a whole.

As such, I'm going to ask you to complete this challenge again, and submit it separately for a new, full critique. You may want to take a look at what other students have submitted for this challenge to get a better sense of how it should be approached.

12:14 AM, Tuesday December 29th 2020

I thought I reallly had it. I know I should have looked at others work. I make this same mistake over and over again. I seemed to have gotten into the bad habit of approaching drawing like programming. But I still learned something... Thanks for your advice about digital drawing. I wanted to get into digital, but I cringed thinking I should wait until I finished every drawabox lesson.

I will fix this!!!

Lars

The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something we've used ourselves, or know to be of impeccable quality. If you're interested, here is a full list.

Staedtler Pigment Liners

These are what I use when doing these exercises. They usually run somewhere in the middle of the price/quality range, and are often sold in sets of different line weights - remember that for the Drawabox lessons, we only really use the 0.5s, so try and find sets that sell only one size.

Alternatively, if at all possible, going to an art supply store and buying the pens in person is often better because they'll generally sell them individually and allow you to test them out before you buy (to weed out any duds).