250 Cylinder Challenge
2:45 AM, Thursday August 11th 2022
Any feedback much appreciated.
Starting with your cylinders around arbitrary minor axes, there are indeed a few important points I want to remind you of, so going forward you can continue to get the most out of this exercise. Most of these pertain to basic principles of the course that you may have forgotten to apply, but there are some additional points relating to the exercise specifically that I will touch upon. First, the things you're forgetting:
You don't appear to be drawing through your ellipses two full times before lifting your pen. Sometimes you'll draw through more partially (stopping at maybe 1.5 turns of the ellipse, often less), which suggests to me that you're aware of the requirement, but that you're not thinking enough about that particular action as you take it.
You're not employing the ghosting method in the execution of your marks. Remember that it should be applied to every freehand structural mark we make throughout this course - straight lines especially, but ellipses as well. The ghosting method, as outlined here is a process that splits a complex problem into a series of separate steps, allowing us to commit our resources entirely to each step as required. First we plan out our stroke, identifying what its job is and how we can execute it so as to accomplish that task as effectively as possible. Then we ghost through the motion, getting familiar with the motion required of us. And finally we execute the stroke without hesitation. When students slip away from this process, they end up trying to do everything in the execution phase, which results in poorer planning, less muscle memory to support the action, and more hesitation resulting in a wobblier line. In your work, your straight edges are hesitant, though to varying degrees, ranging from pretty smooth to visibly shaky. Your ellipses also tend to come out less evenly than they should, due to the absence of a confident execution using the whole arm from the shoulder.
Another point I wanted to draw to your attention is that there are a lot of cases here where rather than simply making the foreshortening very shallow (which we can see on plenty of other cases, like 121 and 107 for example where the convergence of the side edges is gradual and minimal, but still visible), you are instead actively eliminating that convergence/foreshortening - like in 137 (though there are plenty of other such cases throughout the work).
This is incorrect - it involves forcing the vanishing point to 'infinity' in the manner discussed in Lesson 1. We do not have direct control over where the vanishing point goes. We decide how the form is to be oriented in space, and it is that which determines where the vanishing point will fall, and how the side edges will converge. The only circumstance in which a vanishing point goes to infinity is if the edges it governs in 3D space actually run perpendicularly to the viewer's angle of sight - basically running straight across their field of view, not slanting towards or away from them through the depth of the scene. Given that we're rotating our cylinders freely and randomly throughout this exercise, we can pretty much assume that we won't end up with such a circumstance here, and should at least include the kind of slight convergence you used in those other examples I listed.
Now, I should mention that in the assignment section of the challenge, I did ask that you vary the rate of foreshortening for your cylinders, working with both shallow and dramatic foreshortening - you still tended to stick to the shallower end of the scale, so be sure to follow the instructions more closely in the future.
As to the cylinders in boxes, your submission appears to be incomplete. I'm only seeing 4 pages, and the page from 13-18 is posted twice. I'm going to need you to submit the missing boxes before I can complete my critique.
Please submit the missing 82 cylinders in boxes.
For the most part, your cylinders in boxes are done well - aside from a couple little instances and issues that I will address momentarily. Despite those, you do largely hold to the core principles of the exercise nicely. This exercise is really all about helping develop students' understanding of how to construct boxes which feature two opposite faces which are proportionally square, regardless of how the form is oriented in space. We do this not by memorizing every possible configuration, but rather by continuing to develop your subconscious understanding of space through repetition, and through analysis (by way of the line extensions).
Where the box challenge's line extensions helped to develop a stronger sense of how to achieve more consistent convergences in our lines, here we add three more lines for each ellipse: the minor axis, and the two contact point lines. In checking how far off these are from converging towards the box's own vanishing points, we can see how far off we were from having the ellipse represent a circle in 3D space, and in turn how far off we were from having the plane that encloses it from representing a square.
Here are the main things to keep an eye on:
As before, there are a lot of cases here where you've forced vanishing points to infinity, resulting in too much parallelity in your side edges. Given that we're focusing with the line extensions on identifying how those lines behave as they converge, it does diminish that to a point. Fortunately this was not the case for all of your boxes, and you do have many that do have clearer convergences to them.
Be sure to extend your minor axis lines back as far as the others, so we can more fully understand how they behave, and compare them to the others of their same set. Right now you appear to be applying the correction approach used in the first section of the challenge, so there may be some confusion there.
Anyway, I'll go ahead and mark this challenge as complete.
Move onto Lesson 6.