Lesson 2: Contour Lines, Texture and Construction

2:06 PM, Thursday February 2nd 2023

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this lesson was a bit difficult for me, especially dissection.

but, i tried!

thank you for critiques in advance!

1 users agree
1:45 AM, Thursday August 24th 2023

Organic Arrows

  • As arrows get farther away, the space between their segments should also get compressed/smaller

  • Using hatching “folds” an arrow either towards or away from us - some arrows have hatching which folds the back, smaller part towards us, making them look less 3D

  • Hatching should go fully across an arrow’s width - I’d also recommend fewer hatching lines, as they convey the same idea with less work

  • Some arrows are missing line weight, or aren’t capped off at the end

  • Some arrow’s curves don’t match - this will improve with practice, but rearranging the steps of this lesson (like here https://drawabox.com/lesson/2/4/example) might also help

  • You’re not afraid to overlap your arrows, which makes them look more 3D, nice work

  • Most of your arrows’ widths get smaller as they move further away, good job

Organic Forms / Contour Ellipses

  • Some forms pinch at the middle - it’s something to keep in mind, but as long as you’re aiming for simple organic forms, it shouldn’t be much of an issue

  • Some contour ellipses don’t align to their organic form’s minor axis/where the minor axis should be

  • Some ellipses’ degrees don’t change with their form

  • Most ellipses are drawn through 2-3 times, and are executed confidently, well done

Organic Forms / Contour Lines

  • Two forms have contour ellipses instead of lines

  • Some contour lines’ degrees do not vary/turn with their organic form

  • Your contour lines hook around and reflect the shape of their forms, good work

Texture / General

  • Each mark should be deliberate and build a specific shadow shape - avoid scribbling/hatching

  • If a detail is small enough to warrant a single mark, that mark should still be shaped in an intentional way and convey a cast shadow

Texture Analysis

  • The black and white bars for the texture gradients should be blended into the texture to the point where they’re not clearly visible - try making the transition from dark to light more smooth

  • For the bottom texture, incorporate the varying rotations found in the texture study into the texture gradient as well

  • The top and bottom textures have some outlined forms


  • Some textures have fully outlined forms (pangolin scales, snake scales, stones)

  • Some dissections capture the surface color or form shading of an object (watermelon, chrome/metal) - for these exercises, we want to capture changes in a form's surface, which are things we’d feel running our fingers across an object. Things like watermelon or smooth metal have a lot of color changes, but not so much change on their surface

  • Some dissections don’t transition smoothly from dense to sparse levels of detail, and some have cast shadows going in inconsistent directions - It may help to picture the light source for each dissection, and then base cast shadows off of it (like in the texture gradient section)

Form Intersections

  • Your forms are solid and roughly equilateral, good work

  • Some pages/forms are missing hatching - I’d recommend applying hatching to every form you can in this exercise, as it really helps to keep track of all the stuff on the page

  • Some forms have hatching on more than one face, which can confuse the viewer’s eye and make things look less 3D

  • Some line weight is overly heavy, and some linework has wobbles - it’s harder with so much to keep track of, but make sure each line you make is confident and follows the ghosting method

  • The fourth page has a standalone pyramid

  • Some cylinders’ ellipses have the same degrees - the back ellipse should have a greater degree than the one in front (see here for more detail on constructing an ellipse https://drawabox.com/lesson/250cylinders/1/degree)

  • Some intersections on the forms are incorrect, but these aren't the core focus of the exercise, and will improve with practice

Organic Intersections

  • Some contour lines hook into the poles of the organic forms, which makes them look “torus” or donut shaped instead of simple

  • Some of the linework wobbles - keep trying to apply the ghosting method

  • Some cast shadows at the bottom of page 2 act more as outlines, going around the entire form, instead of casting a shadow based on a light source

  • I’d recommend line weight for clarifying overlaps, as it helps a lot with keeping track of which forms are in front

You've gained a very solid understanding of the concepts Lesson 2 teaches, well done!

Next Steps:

Keep moving forward! Your next steps are:

  1. Add the exercises from Lesson 2 into your pool of warmup exercises

  2. Move on to Lesson 3!

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete. In order for the student to receive their completion badge, this critique will need 2 agreements from other members of the community.
7:24 AM, Thursday August 31st 2023

Thank you so much for your critique.

You explained very clearly, thanx soo much.

10:10 PM, Monday September 4th 2023

glad I could help :D

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