Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

3:15 AM, Tuesday May 12th 2020

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0 Experience whatsoever, though I imagine that is obvious.

The pens are actually .4mm, rather than 5, since they're all that's available to me for now, and the red all showed up black after scanning.

2 users agree
9:01 AM, Tuesday May 12th 2020
edited at 9:06 AM, May 12th 2020

I can see a lot of room for improvement. You made the right decision coming to here. With a little bit of mindful practice you'll see great results.

Your ellipses need to touch all the sides of the plane/grid. The ellipses in your funnels are not aligned around the axis.

Also, ghost more.

Maybe you're doing your exercises too fast? Don't do the exercises too slowly, but also don't rush. It's important to build muscle memory.

Are you drawing from a shoulder pivot? If you draw from your shoulder, you'll get lines that are straight. Try to catch yourself whenever you're not using your shoulder.

If you picked one dot on the horizon, stick to it. Especially when you're using a ruler. No excuses here;)

IMHO take it as a sort of meditation. Learn to be here and now, mindful of the process. Even if you draw less, you'll learn way more.

Next Steps:

remember about your SHOULDERS, GHOSTING, and FOCUS on your lines. Strongly suggest you redo the exercise. I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised. Good luck))

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
edited at 9:06 AM, May 12th 2020
4:26 AM, Wednesday May 20th 2020
edited at 4:26 AM, May 20th 2020

Yeah I think I was trying to go faster than intended, I just kind of do it naturally when it gets really monotonous.

Can you give any additional critique to this revision?


Still about as bad as last time.

edited at 4:26 AM, May 20th 2020
0 users agree
11:49 AM, Tuesday May 26th 2020
edited at 11:51 AM, May 26th 2020

Hi Madas!

I noticed that it's been some days since you didn't receive any feedback for your second attempt that was requested by another user.

I hope it's not a problem if I'll take the chance to review it myself.

I can clearly see that you have dealt with the issues of your first attempt very well. Some of your ellipses are still a bit wobbly, meaning that you probably didn't ghost them enough or that even after ghosting you didn't draw them with enough confidence to make them smooth and clean. This is not a huge issue, your pages are pretty good and you'll get better with practice.

Everything else but the rotated boxes looks fine to me. I'm satisfied on how you improved your Lines and Boxes sections (probably in the future I'd practice ghosting longer lines).

Your rotated boxes still have many issues. Definitely 10 times better than your previous attempt, but since many of your future lessons (and drawing in general) will involve constructing well placed boxes in 3D space I'm gonna ask you to draw again one single quadrant of your choice of the rotated box exercise.

This time I suggest you reading again all the instructions very carefully step by step.

Start with 2 guidelines (since you'd do only 1 quadrant, you can make a L-shaped guideline instead of a cross), then add the central box and 2 squares at the end.

Then you start thinking how the adjacent box would fit right next to the central one. Start drawing the lines parallel to that box to get an idea where it should be positioned, then locate the other sides being mindful of the central VP (which as explained slides a bit) and the far VP where the other sides converge to.

I suggest you to draw small dots before committing the lines. Then you check by eye and by ghosting if the lines you would draw from those dots would converge correctly to the VPs. When you're satisfied you connect the dots and draw the whole box.

I can see that you're already drawing dots at the corners, but you didn't check if those dots are placed correctly before drawing the lines. It's perfectly fine to place several dots around if you feel the first ones are not good. In fact this is the best method to check your convergence without using tools, and you will be using it a lot for the 250 box challenge.

2 things: draw big, on the whole page, even if you're doing only a quarter. Then be clean with your lines. You're redrawing them a lot, and this is not good. Ghost a lot, be mindful of your line but when you draw it, stick with that even if it's off.

I would have no problem marking this lesson as complete and sending you to the 250 box challenge, but I feel that you need to understand how every side of a box converges towards a vanishing point before that.

Keep in mind that I consider your second attempt as a GIANT improvement from the first one, meaning that you are doing great in how you're approaching these lessons. I'm asking for a revision just to make sure you're getting the most out of it in order to make it easier for you to tackle future lessons.

If you need more help don't be afraid to reply here or ask into the Discord channel!

After you're done with the extra page, reply here and I'll review it.

Good luck!

Next Steps:

1 page with one single quadrant of your choice of the Rotated Boxes exercise. Draw big, be careful and clean with your lines, place dots before committing and always check the convergence towards VP.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
edited at 11:51 AM, May 26th 2020
9:46 PM, Friday May 29th 2020

Sorry I took a while to respond, I honestly didn't even expect to get a response at this point, so thanks.


Anyway, I guess you could say that I tried to follow the direction...

Completely missized the guidlines/initial box and did a poor job judging the convergences, etcetera etcetera.

I suppose there is no reason for me to be complaining about my own work anyway so I will stop there.

10:17 PM, Saturday May 30th 2020

Hi Madas! Thanks for committing to this revision.

Honestly you did a splendid job here. I thought I've been too harsh in asking more pages from you, since you already did so much in this lesson, but you showed me that you took this seriously and you should feel satisfied with the result.

I'd still like to fill each response with feedback, so I'll point out what I believe are some minor mistakes that you'll have no problem working on in the future:

First of all, I can clearly see that you did greatly on drawing correctly the gaps between boxes, but only for some of them. The three boxes on the upper left corner seems to be inconsistent compared to the others you made, because they seem to get smaller and drift away from the center with larger and larger gaps. You did a good job with the first ones, so I'm assuming the reason you made them that way is that you tried to maintain a "roundness" of the whole layout, deciding to distort them a bit to accentuate the rotation. Even though it was actually a good attempt, it is more important to keep your boxes and gaps between them consistent because if not, then you're relying on guesswork instead of construction (which is something that will be very important in future lessons).

Another thing that I'd like to point out, is that your linework needs a small boost in precision as well as confidence. Many of your lines are a bit wobbly, and they often miss the mark.

You already know the importance of confidence from the Lines instructions: making a committed, smooth line is always more important than being precise but slow and hesitant. But sometimes your lines are way off the far dot you placed (in the bottom lower box you even placed an isolated side, connecting 2 dots separated from everything else. Try to avoid that, every line should be consistent with the other ones), and that could mean that you're not ghosting enough.

Ghosting is very boring at first, because you'd need to go back and forth many times before feeling confident enough to commit a stroke, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

All the exercises on the Lines section (super-imposed lines, ghosted lines and planes) will help you getting better in all that, so be sure to practice them a lot in your 10-15 minutes of warmup of your future drawing sessions. It will pay off!

Having said all that, I'll renew my congratulations for having completed Lesson 1 and all your requested revisions.

I'll be more than happy to mark this lesson as complete and sending you to the 250 box challenge!

Some advices for your boxes: don't rush (it will be a LONG challenge, but take it slowly or you'll make the same mistakes), read carefully the instructions (it would suck to draw 250 boxes only to realize one repeated mistake could be caused by just misinterpretation) and draw big. Drawing no more than 5-6 boxes per page allows you to train your hand on those pesky lines while also showing you better any error.

Good luck and if you have any more questions ask away!

Next Steps:

250 box challenge

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A lot of my students use these. The last time I used them was when I was in high school, and at the time I felt that they dried out pretty quickly, though I may have simply been mishandling them. As with all pens, make sure you're capping them when they're not in use, and try not to apply too much pressure. You really only need to be touching the page, not mashing your pen into it.

In terms of line weight, the sizes are pretty weird. 08 corresponds to 0.5mm, which is what I recommend for the drawabox lessons, whereas 05 corresponds to 0.45mm, which is pretty close and can also be used.

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