Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes
4:29 PM, Saturday March 27th 2021
Hello everyone, this is my first post ever on this site, so I'm a little nervous. I hope I did it correctly.
Hi, welcome to DAB!
I just want to put a small little foreword before I get into the critique;
It's quite common, I think, for students to be nervous about making sure that they're doing everything well, and that they're making good consistent progress and not slipping up or having setbacks and improving... etc.
If this resonates with you, it's quite a normal thing. I just would like to emphasis that you won't necessarily get everything right the first time around, and that's not really the point here (nor is it applicable to learning any skill, and even just life generally). The idea of DAB critique is not to hold your hand at every step, re-assuring you that you're "doing everything right", it's designed to give you information through feedback that you wouldn't get anywhere else. It gives you pointers to work on, often things that you wouldn't be able to identify alone. The most important part is following the instructions exactly as they are written in the text, as that will give you the best possible chance of completing the exercise to the best of your current ability, which optimises the benefits of critique.
With all that said, let's get to critique;
This is a fine attempt. No glaring issues, confidence is just something you build up with careful consideration + time, so I think this is something that you'll just improve on over time with practise.
Confidence looks good. In terms of accuracy you seem to struggle a little more with the longer lines, as I've noticed they have a tendency to warp into curves rather than staying as straight lines. This is likely due to two things:
A lack of muscle memory: Almost a non-issue, since you'll improve naturally over time.
I'm curious whether this motion is being driven by your shoulder pivot or your elbow pivot. Primarily using the elbow pivot will cause longer lines to curve as you reach the end of the arc of joint rotation. I'd advise checking which pivots you're using. If you're unsure, lock your shoulder and elbow joints and then rotate/move your wrist. Proceed to lock your wrist and move your elbow joint. Then Lock your wrist and elbow and move your shoulder joint. This is a good exercise to get familiar with the feeling of using each joint, which will let you better assess which joints you're using.
Fine overall. No added comments for this exercise (re: ghosted lines above).
Ellipses in planes, tables of ellipses, funnels:
Ellipses are looking very confident, well done on that. I don't have much to critique to be honest, it's all looking good. My main pointer would be to work on improving the tightness of your drawthrough's; there's some variance in how tight the ellipses are, especially in comparison of ellipses in planes vs tables of ellipses. The ellipses in planes exercises shows notably more looseness than the majority of the ellipses in the tables exercise. Some ellipses seem to have been drawn through more than three times. Keep the amount of drawthrough's at 2-3. Other than that, perhaps try focusing on the tightness of your ellipses in your warmups (without jeapordising or de-prioritising confidence, of course.)
Funnels are a tricky exercise, so it's not expected you'll do perfectly (though, it's never expected that a student will do 'perfectly'.). Primary error to note is that the ellipses are struggling to keep the same vertical rotation, and are somewhat swaying as they go along. I'd recommend incorperating this excersise into your warmups, as it will help train your control over some of the more difficult aspects of ellipses like rotation.
Note: I see you haven't bothered to put cross-hatching on most of your plotted perspective boxes. Whilst this is a small nitpick in terms of the exercise itself, I don't like to see short-cuts like this. It's bad practise to say "oh well I dont need to do this, I'll just skip over it". I don't want you ever doing this on another exercise, because the lessons are written with strict purpose. No word is wasted, or there without a reason. Even if you think something is tedious, or pointless, you should be trusting the instructor and the course and following through with it anyway, because there may be a purpose to it that you aren't able to conceptualise yet.
Rough perspective, rotated boxes, organic perspective:
Overall your perspective is looking quite solid so far for this stage. Some mixed performance in the organic perspective, but considering the difficulty of the exercise it's a promising startpoint. Rotated boxes is looking good too.
Only criticism I have is that your line-weight is often chicken scratchy and I feel it betrays a lack of confidence. It's often far more wobbly than what I've seen you're capable of in previous exercises. Treat your line-weight exactly the same as any other line you'd draw. All the same concepts. If you're like me at all, you might be worried about 'ruining' the good line you drew, or the good box you drew, or.. etc. Again, don't worry about that. Push ahead anyway, and eventually you'll have some incredibly clean line-weight. If you don't push ahead past that struggle, you'll be unable to use line-weight as a tool; any time you add line-weight you'll be going over your clean line and ruining it with chicken scratch, which would be quite a shame.
Normally I'd instruct you to go onto the 250 box challenge, but you've already submitted that, and your lesson 2.
I'd recommend going to the draw-a-box discord server and having a look at the #critique-exchange text channel.
For every 5 critiques you do, you can receive a guaranteed critique on one of your submissions. If you've found this critique helpful to your art practise, I'd highly recommend that as a course of action.
Thank you very much, sir. This is helpful, and it opened my eyes.
Admittedly I tend to get bored and skip over some steps (knowing this, I wish I could redo the 250 box challenge)
I will keep everything you said in mind, and follow the instructions exactly.
This is helpful, and it opened my eyes.
Glad to hear it
Admittedly I tend to get bored and skip over some steps
I recommend re-reading over Lesson 0; It's been quite heavily revised, and there's some quite good information on there that I think you'd benefit from. Ultimately I think that the key is balancing the boring, sluggish, part of practising, improving etc, with the creative, fulfilling aspect of art. It's a difficult thing to balance the two, but you need that second part in order to give you the energy to get through the tedium of a course like DAB.
I can't claim to say I've worked it out, or that it's a simple/easy thing to do, but that's the approach one must take I think.
Good luck on your art journey