View Full Submission View Parent Comment
10:28 PM, Tuesday May 23rd 2023

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!


11:33 PM, Tuesday May 23rd 2023

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.

1:01 AM, Wednesday May 24th 2023

Thanks for your reply! I will take your thoughts into consideration and see what creative solutions I can come up with.

All the best,


The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something I've used myself. If you're interested, here is a full list.
Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens

Like the Staedtlers, these also come in a set of multiple weights - the ones we use are F. One useful thing in these sets however (if you can't find the pens individually) is that some of the sets come with a brush pen (the B size). These can be helpful in filling out big black areas.

Still, I'd recommend buying these in person if you can, at a proper art supply store. They'll generally let you buy them individually, and also test them out beforehand to weed out any duds.

This website uses cookies. You can read more about what we do with them, read our privacy policy.