Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

4:41 AM, Monday February 7th 2022

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Someone in the community recommended numbering each element of the exercises to help with critiques in that the person critiquing the exercises can refer to specific elements if they wish; so I tried to number everything (except for the Rotated Boxes exercise); for official critiques please let me know if this is actually helpful or if it is discouraged.

I'm so excited to be wrapping up Lesson 1. Thanks for any and all feedback.

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5:46 PM, Monday February 7th 2022

Hello and congrats on completing lesson one. My name is Rob and I'm a teaching assistant for Drawabox who will be handling your lesson one critique. Numbering each element of these exercises was definitely not needed but it doesn't cause any issues either. Please do remember to number your boxes for the 250 box challenge though as it makes it much easier for the person handling the critique since the entire submission is just boxes and it also makes it much easier to see your progress as you work through the challenge. Starting with your superimposed lines these are off to a fine start. You are keeping a clearly defined starting point with all of your wavering at the opposite end. Your ghosted lines and planes turned out well. You are using the ghosting method to good effect to get confident linework with a pretty decent deal of accuracy that will get better and better with practice.

Your tables of ellipses are coming along pretty good. You are doing a good job drawing through your ellipses and focusing on consistent smooth ellipse shapes. This is carried over nicely into your ellipses in planes. It's great that you aren't overly concerned with accuracy and are instead focused on getting smooth ellipse shapes. Although accuracy is our end goal it can't really be forced and tends to come with mileage and consistent practice more than anything else. Your ellipses in funnels are looking fine. I'm not seeing any real issues here. Your ellipses are off to a great start and I'm really seeing many issues here. Great job.

The plotted perspective looks great, nothing to mention here. Your rough perspective exercises turned out pretty good. It's great that you are keeping up with the confident linework on these. You are also doing a good job extending the lines back on your boxes to check your work. As you can see some of your perspective estimations were quite off but that will become more intuitive with practice. One thing that can help you a bit when doing a one point perspective exercise like this is to realize that all of your horizontal lines should be parallel to the horizon line and all of your verticals should be perpendicular(straight up and down in this case) to the horizon line. This will help you avoid some of the slanting lines you have in your constructions.

Your rotated box exercise turned out well. I like that you drew this nice and big as that really helps when dealing with complex spatial problems. You also did a good job drawing through your boxes and keeping your gaps narrow and consistent. Great job on the rotations for this exercise while they might not be perfect this was very well done for the most part. This is a great exercise to come back to after a few lessons to see how much your spatial thinking ability has improved. Your organic perspective exercises are looking good. You seem to be getting comfortable using the ghosting method and drawing from your shoulder for confident linework which is great. That said I do want to discuss your added line weight. Adding line weight is fine for these exercises but it should be much more subtle as what you are doing here is more like a hammer to the face and is actually completely covering the initial linework you put down. It also at times seems like you are using a thicker marker for these added lines although I can't really be sure of that. My recommendation if you want to add line weight is to just go over your line one more time with the same pen you initially used. Another thing I want to touch on is that you mentioned is that this makes your exercises look better and while that may be true one of the important things that you need to realize about these exercises is that they are simply that. These are exercises you are doing to develop your spatial understanding and build good drawing habits and since they are being submitted for critique any attempts to make them look pretty can sometimes comprimise our ability to see whether or not you understand the concepts assigned in the homework. So always try and remember that these homework assignments are really about developing your drawing skill and at the end of the day not about making a pretty picture. Now if you want to make these exercises look great after you submit them for critique go for it but try and stick to the what the homework assignment says for the initial submission. Your box constructions are quite solid for the most part and you seem well prepared for the 250 box challenge.

Overall this was a really solid submission that showed a nice deal of growth. Your line confidence and ellipses are both coming along nicely. I think you are understanding most of the concepts these lessons are trying to convey quite well. I'm going to mark this as complete and good luck with the 250 box challenge. Keep up the good work!

Next Steps:

The 250 Box Challenge

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
7:17 PM, Monday February 7th 2022

Thank you so much for your critique, Rob.

Regarding the slanting lines in the Rough Perspective exercise, I do understand the basics of 1-point perspective pretty well; I think the errors were more due to either poor execution or trying to connect corners of boxes that had some lines drawn so badly that the corners no longer lined up to be horizontal or vertical. I was trying to find a balance between staying true to keeping my horizontals and verticals horizontal and vertical as well as making the boxes actually connect to look somewhat like boxes. It only takes one mistake to screw up an entire box :)

Yes, I do agree I went overboard with the line weight on the Rotated Boxes exercise; sorry about that. I wanted to show the smaller boxes really getting farther away with the line weight. I didn't use a marker or a ruler at all; I did it all free-hand with the same pen I used for the exercise; it took me way too long to add all that extra line weight. I tried to be much more judicious for the second page, doing only 1-3 passes over the outline where helpful. I do realize that I ended up covering the initial line work and I apologize for that. I'll try to stick to just a single pass to add line weight to the outer lines of forms.

For the 250 Box Challenge, should I be using the exercises from Lesson 1 as a warmup for 10-15 minutes before each drawing session, or do I only start warming-up for Lesson 2?

Thanks again.

10:29 PM, Monday February 7th 2022

Yep warming up is always recommended even for the challenges. Just use the exercises from the lessons you already completed. Good luck!

7:32 PM, Tuesday February 8th 2022


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Staedtler Pigment Liners

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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).

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