250 Box Challenge
10:45 PM, Saturday May 20th 2023
Thank you for your time!
Hi there, I'll be handling your box challenge critique.
Congratulations on completing the box challenge, it's definitely a lot more work than most people expect. Not only does it help deepen your understanding of important concepts but it shows your desire to learn as well. Be proud of what you've accomplished and that desire you've shown. That being said I'll try to keep this critique fairly brief so you can get working on the next steps as soon as possible.
Things you did well:
It's nice to see that you're taking the time to plan each of your hatching lines and space them evenly. This helps keep your boxes looking tidy rather than looking like they were rushed on to the page.
Line weight isn't a requirement of the challenge so it's nice to see you're applying it anyways. Most people need to build up some mileage before they feel comfortable applying it so I always recommend starting early. The sooner you feel comfortable the sooner you see better results.
You're doing a great job of experimenting with orientations, proportions and rates of foreshortening. Experimenting is an important habit to build when learning any new skill, it helps form a more well rounded understanding. I hope you'll continue to display and nurture this habit in the future.
Things you can work on:
You tend to draw fairly small, I'd like you to draw larger in the future. Drawing large will help you become more comfortable working from the shoulder and allow you to see any mistakes you've made more clearly.
You have some noticeable wobbling and arching occuring in your lines. Remember that line confidence is our top priority and that accuracy will improve as we continue to build up more mileage. As for the arching it's a sign that you may not be utiliing your shoulder as much as you could be and instead rely on your wrist and elbow.
There are times when your lines converge in pairs or you attempt to keep your lines a bit too parallel which results in them diverging. This is an example of lines converging in pairs, and this shows the relation between each line in a set and their respective vanishing point. The inner pair of lines will be quite similar unless the box gets quite long and the outer pair can vary a lot depending on the location of the vanishing point. Move it further away and the lines become closer to parallel while moving it closer increases the rate of foreshortening.
The key things we want to remember from this exercise are that our lines should always converge as a set not in pairs, never diverge from the vanishing point and due to perspective they won't be completely parallel.
Overall while you did make a few mistakes your boxes are improving so far and with more mileage you'll continue to become more consistent. Your line quality is a bit concerning but I'm hopeful that you can address it in your own time, know that if it continues to be an issue in lesson 2 I'll likely ask you for revisions. That being said I'll be marking your submission as complete and move you on to lesson 2.
Keep practicing previous exercises and boxes as warm ups, and good luck.
Move on to lesson 2.
Thank you so much for the time you took for this critique! I do have a question before I start on lesson two.
You mentioned the line quality was a concern and I was worried about this myself. I am disabled—I have an energy disorder that leaves me with muscle weakness that can cause shakiness. And I have a neck injury that prohibits me from looking down for too long. The accommodation I use is a drafting board in the near upright position with my paper clipped to a drawing board. Because of this set up I did this entire challenge without being able to rotate my paper. I felt like I did get better drawing straight lines from the weird angles required, but some angles really made it near impossible to draw from the shoulder. And added to this some days the muscle weakness makes it very hard to keep a smooth line.
Do you have any suggestions or insights into this? I’d like to get this line quality sorted because my medium of choice is pen and ink, so I’m highly motivated to learn how to get a good line, but I’m struggling to implement the advice on the website given my unique challenges.
I appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you again for your time!
Unfortunately that's not something we're really equipped to help with. As much as we'd love to be able to help in that area, our limited resources keeps our expertise focused on conveying the principles and ideas, and leaving students to ultimately do what they can to apply them in their own situations. There are cases where the student is able to strike a balance themselves, and still benefit from what we can offer, and there are other situations where those hurdles are harder to clear, and run into harder limits in terms of where we can help.
This doesn't at all mean that the student is incapable of crossing that hurdle - just that it may require assistance from people with far greater expertise when it comes to both drawing and dealing with physical disabilities, which we simply aren't able to offer at our price point.
I'm sorry we're not able to help more with this, but with an understanding of the kind of motions we talk about in Lesson 1, you may be able to approach your physician to identify how those might be achieved, or comfortable compromises that may get you some of the way there.
I will say this however - if your disability makes the shoulder motions much less feasible to the point that it won't be something you can reasonably use in your own drawing, then you can make your own call on whether or not you should go through this course with your elbow instead. Most marks can be executed from your elbow decently, we simply focus on the shoulder because those who are able to use it comfortably certainly should. This is one of those "compromises" where it makes more sense to ensure you can comfortably and reliably create the kinds of lines you're going to be using the vast majority of the time, rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water to pursue marks you may only require occasionally.
That said, if the concern really comes down to the rotation of the page being inconvenient (but not impossible - so if you can unclip, rotate, reclip, etc.), then I would still advise that you do so - but I'll leave it up to your judgment.
Lastly, in future submissions make a quick note about the line quality being rough as a result of a disability, so TAs don't call it out needlessly. I imagine that would be rather unpleasant for you on the receiving end.
Thanks for your reply! I will take your thoughts into consideration and see what creative solutions I can come up with.
All the best,