250 Cylinder Challenge

8:40 AM, Friday January 26th 2024

Drawabox 250 Cylinder Challenge (Part 1 - see desc. for other uploads) - Album on Imgur

Imgur: https://imgur.com/a/XErAOA7

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Part 1 - Also linked in header

Part2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Sorry for fragmenting it between multiple Imgur posts, but Imgur was freaking out at any album of 10+ images, so I split it into groups of 5 (Except for part 8). Thank you for all your hard work critiquing!

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9:56 PM, Tuesday January 30th 2024

Jumping right in with the cylinders around arbitrary minor axes, you've done a great job. I'm very pleased to see the wide variety of orientations and rates of foreshortening you've employed across your cylinders (without actually forcing any vanishing points to infinity, which is a common mistake students make, so I'm glad you avoided that pitfall). You've also been very fastidious in checking the alignment of your minor axes, and I can see cases where you caught fairly minor discrepancies - things that can be easily missed (and result in plateauing). The fact that you're paying enough attention to catch them is important, as it will ensure you continue to refine your skills in this area.

While you maintain these principles throughout the set, it's still very clear that you improve over it, as your last cylinders are considerably more confidently drawn. It's not to say the early ones are bad by any stretch - but the later ones very clearly convey that you know what you're doing, and that you know you know what you're doing. It's a subtle, but still important difference that is worth remarking upon.

Continuing onto your cylinders in boxes, you have similarly done a great job. Honestly it can be a little hard to critique submissions where the student simply followed all the instructions as intended - but it's a lot less common than you'd expect!

This exercise is really all about helping develop students' understanding of how to construct boxes which feature two opposite faces which are proportionally square, regardless of how the form is oriented in space. We do this not by memorizing every possible configuration, but rather by continuing to develop your subconscious understanding of space through repetition, and through analysis (by way of the line extensions).

Where the box challenge's line extensions helped to develop a stronger sense of how to achieve more consistent convergences in our lines, here we add three more lines for each ellipse: the minor axis, and the two contact point lines. In checking how far off these are from converging towards the box's own vanishing points, we can see how far off we were from having the ellipse represent a circle in 3D space, and in turn how far off we were from having the plane that encloses it from representing a square.

You've done a great job of leveraging those line extensions, and I can see that the later instances in the set, while not perfect (which would be a pretty amazing feat) have steadily improved in the consistency of their convergences, meaning that your estimation of those proportions has improved notably.

I will go ahead and mark this challenge as complete. Keep up the great work.

Next Steps:

Feel free to move onto Lesson 6.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
8:32 PM, Thursday February 1st 2024

Thank you so much for the critique! Good to know I have the right idea for the most part. Slowing down whenever I felt overwhelmed to ward against making any "mindless mark", and putting a daily "cap" as to how many cylinders I could draw while interleaving it with other 50% practice helped prevent burnout and really focus on drawing them. 20 cylinders a day was a hard limit, and I'd usually only bust out a page in one sitting before switching to a different concept / personal art. I'd usually feel myself getting sloppy at around 10, for the inscribed-in-boxes ones, so I usually only did 10 of those a day.

I loved this challenge, as there are so many places for improvement. I found myself originally drawing boxes without a starting goal - i.e inscribing the cylinder on whatever box I got onto the page, but then I started really focusing on trying to construct the box that fit the cylinder I wanted from the start. This was a huge added challenge, and I'd usually start with ghosting the minor axis, and two cylinder faces, then picturing the inscribing box face. Obviously this never worked out perfect, but it was surreal seeing myself actually improve on getting closer and closer to the cylinder I pictured in my head onto paper.

Great challenge that'll serve as a great addition to fundamentals warmup for myself. Excited to tackle Lesson 6!

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Ellipse Master Template

Ellipse Master Template

This recommendation is really just for those of you who've reached lesson 6 and onwards.

I haven't found the actual brand you buy to matter much, so you may want to shop around. This one is a "master" template, which will give you a broad range of ellipse degrees and sizes (this one ranges between 0.25 inches and 1.5 inches), and is a good place to start. You may end up finding that this range limits the kinds of ellipses you draw, forcing you to work within those bounds, but it may still be worth it as full sets of ellipse guides can run you quite a bit more, simply due to the sizes and degrees that need to be covered.

No matter which brand of ellipse guide you decide to pick up, make sure they have little markings for the minor axes.

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