250 Cylinder Challenge
12:13 PM, Saturday June 27th 2020
Thanks for the critique!
Looking over this set of homework, I can't help but get the impression that you're rushing. That is to say that you're not investing the time required to complete each and every aspect of the task to the best of your current ability, and are instead focusing on getting it done within a specific amount of time. While there are aspects to the homework you've submitted that suggests this on its own, there are other factors to consider:
First of all, you've submitted this set precisely 14 days after you first submitted your lesson 5 work. It's actually crossed my mind that I should change the system so the 14 day counter starts based on the submission of any revision work that was requested, and that's a change I will be implementing soon, but that is neither here nor there. If we actually look at how much time you had since your Lesson 5 work was marked as complete, we're looking at a ballpark of about 11.5 days, 12 if we're being generous. 12 days to draw 250 cylinders and 100 boxes, which averages out to about 20 cylinders and 8 boxes per day. Then there's also the warmups you're expected to do at the beginning of each sitting, consisting 2-3 of the exercises we've come across in earlier lessons.
That's a lot, but if we set aside the fact that Lesson 0's 50% rule requires students to spend at least half their time drawing for the sake of drawing and not doing exercises/following courses/etc. that does start to move towards the unrealistic.
I fully understand that you're eager to get through the the entirety of the course, and that you're motivated to put a lot of time towards these tasks, but I am concerned that you are not giving yourself adequate time to complete the tasks, and that you are actively hindering yourself by focusing instead on submitting things as quickly as you possibly can. From the beginning, it has been made that this isn't how this course is intended to be pursued.
Now, I am going to critique your work, but I want you to take what I've said above to heart. I don't know what specific reasons you have to get through the material as quickly as possible, but I am not averse to forcing students to take their time if need be. If I remember correctly, I pushed you to spread your lesson 5 revisions out across several days.
So, the first issue that immediately caught my eye is the fact that you don't appear to apply foreshortening correctly to the first section of cylinders (the 150 cylinders around arbitrary minor axes). You pretty consistently draw the farther end to be larger in scale than the closer end, which contradicts the rules of perspective. Foreshortening itself has two components - there's the scale shift we're talking about here, and there's also the shift in degree (proportional width). They correspond to one another - as the foreshortening gets more dramatic, the overall scale of the far end will get smaller, but it will at the same time get proportionally wider as well. It's possible that this is what confused you - having something get smaller and wider simultaneously is not mutually exclusive. The key is in the fact that width is a matter of proportions, whereas scale applies to the shape overall.
So, in this regard, all of this first section of cylinders has been drawn incorrectly - you're applying the degree shift properly, but you're actually making that far end larger than the near end, and in doing so breaking the rules of perspective.
The quality of your straight lines varies a fair bit as well. There are plenty that are fine, but there are also many lines where your accuracy is off, or where your lines arc or bend slightly. I'm noticing a tendency to undershoot or overshoot in a few places as well - one thing to help with that is to get used to lifting your pen when it hits that intended end point, instead of trying to slow to a stop. Lifting your pen is a more reliable motion that can be performed more responsively, generally yielding better results.
Moving onto your cylinders in boxes, the boxes themselves are a mixed bag - some are fine with well ghosted lines, others have the same kinds of issues I addressed above. Same goes for the actual alignment of those edge lines, sometimes they converge quite well towards their shared vanishing points, other times they're far less consistent. I did notice a tendency to have more issues when drawing longer boxes though - this is actually quite normal, because students will tend to focus more on the lines in pairs, having those that share a plane converge together more rapidly than they should. This generally happens when a student gets too relaxed and doesn't think as much about how those lines need to be oriented towards the same vanishing point. Not an uncommon mistake, but something to keep an eye on.
The cylinders you place within those boxes are very rough, however. The ellipses themselves are loose (which suggests that you may not be applying the ghosting method to them, or that you may not be drawing them from your shoulder).
Keep in mind that I'm not actually concerned about the alignments of your contact points and your minor axes - those are things that you should pay attention to, but it's entirely normal to have students find that they're often not aligned correctly. This is because this exercise is actually a lot more about the boxes than the cylinders. When students invest the proper amount of time into each and every mark they're drawing, what this aspect of the exercise actually helps them improve upon is learning to draw boxes that feature two opposite faces which are square in proportion.
You can think of it similarly to how the line extensions we applied in the box challenge allow us to check whether our lines converge consistently or not. Identifying patterns where they don't allows us to consciously try and shift things to improve that consistency for the next page, gradually bringing them more and more in line. When you add the cylinder and its particular line extensions, the same thing happens - as we try to bring those contact points and minor axes in line with the vanishing points of the boxes, we get better at intuitively drawing the faces.
It comes back to the challenge really requiring you to focus on each individual mark you draw, and really focusing on every action you perform. Rushing through with a focus on simply completing the task doesn't really serve any purpose.
I am going to ask that you complete the challenge over again. My critique has necessarily ended up being significantly longer than is usually necessary for these critiques - which is precisely why it is critical that students put the time in submit work that is representative of their current best.
When you do complete the challenge, I'd like you to post it as a fresh submission, rather than as a revision - you will be charged an additional credit for that. I'll still point out any issues I see, though I expect my critique will be more succinct.
Do the challenge over, making a point to spend as much time as is required to draw each and every mark to the best of your ability. Once completed, submit it in a fresh submission, not as a revision.
Thanks for the critique, I've done some cylinders so far and was wondering if these are good so far and if theres anything that needs improving https://imgur.com/a/okAAUTa, i've also included a boot I did in my free time. I've been following the 50% rule as well as doing the cylinder challenge, although I do admit I started once I submitted my lesson 5 as I thought there wasn't much that could have been said about lesson 5 that could've helped with the challenge (I know you're not supposed to do that but I didn't really have anything else to do with my time) (I did 50 cylinders each day for 3 days for the non-boxed cylinders, I thought this was ok as each cylinder takes around 1 minute and an hour a day isn't so bad for cylinders, for boxes I then did 14 a day, which i didn't think was too much) As for the cylinders the reason I did most of them with equal sized ellipses on both sides is because in some of the images on the cylinder challenge logo and on the demo have equal sized ellipses as well (at least I think it looks like it https://imgur.com/a/ADXQ0R9), I understand It probably said somewhere to do it as you said, and I have read all the challenges materials but I probably forgot about it and when I got confused I probably looked back at the images to see what to do. For the boxes ellipes I don't know what happened, I was doing it like how I normally did ellipses outside of boxes but for some reason I think I got nervous and let them slip and become less tight I still was ghosting them and drawing them with my shoulder.
Drawabox is at its core about teaching a number of concepts (all of which are listed back in this section of Lesson 0). One of them is patience, and through it, discipline.
Patience isn't something we're born with. Just like any other skill, it's something we develop over time. It's true that there has to be a conscious effort towards developing it, but it's fair to say that Drawabox tries pretty hard to force it upon its students.
I get that you're really eager to get to lesson 7, but it is that eagerness and enthusiasm that can cause us to feel like the task we're doing at this very moment isn't important, that it has no direct connection to what we're interested in learning, and therefore doesn't deserve the kind of focus and respect we'd apply if we were truly being serious.
Cylinders are boring, but they're not easy. Drawing one in a single minute, as the others in the patreon channel mentioned to you, is pretty quick. It suggests that you're not necessarily thinking about where you're struggling, nor focusing on actually making each one better than the last. Because of this, we don't really see much improvement between the cylinders at the beginning of the challenge, from those at the end of the first section. Your ellipses are still pretty loose and not particularly well defined, your foreshortening is still reversed (far ends frequently larger than the near ends - not intentionally, and I understand why you may have misunderstood but we have indeed been over the basic principles of perspective a fair bit up until this stage), and your lines still tend to have gaps between them. I don't see any of the tell-tale signs of the ghosting method up until you start drawing your boxes, either.
The cylinders you included in your response are showing a little more mindfulness, though there is still a lot of room for growth in both tightening up your ellipses, and in generally taking your time. I can see that you're applying the ghosting method to the minor axis line, but for some reason not to the side edges of the cylinders. Your everyday object drawings are also looking nice, but again - that isn't the lesson we're on right now, so I'm not concerned with them at this stage.
While there is plenty of room for you to see improvement with your cylinders which I've mentioned above and in my critique, I am primarily reassigning the entire challenge so you buckle down and complete it. So you can prove to yourself that you can complete the task ahead of you regardless of whether or not you feel it to be important. You have after all had faith in my judgment up until this point - I can see that you're uncertain as to whether you should continue, or whether you should move onto something else. That is ultimately a choice for you to make, but this is what I believe to be based on the experience I've had thus far, the necessary course of action.
As a side note on the topic of foreshortening - make sure you explore cylinders of different kinds throughout the challenge. Cylinders with shallower foreshortening (like those in the screenshots you showed) are still important and challenging because of how we can very easily mess up and make the far end appear larger than the closer end. Similarly, cylinders with more dramatic foreshortening are important too. Like in the box challenge, try and keep an even mix throughout your work.
I'd also recommend focusing some of your warmups as you do this on the ellipse exercises. As I mentioned previously, you do need to work on tightening up your ellipses whilst maintaining confident, even shapes, otherwise the cylinders you build with them will appear vague and loose rather than solid and believable.
Thanks for the help, for the side edges of the cylinders I have been applying the ghosting method but you said there were no signs of it, should I do start and end points on the sides and then do the line?