Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

1:37 PM, Saturday August 14th 2021

Draw A Box - Lesson 1 - Album on Imgur

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/H0XEFmk.jpg

Post with 12 views. Draw A Box - Lesson 1

Any feedback and help is much appreciated. Thanks a lot for doing this. I am not a native speaker but i hope i have done all of these drawings according to the rules on this website. Have a nice day!

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2:16 PM, Sunday August 15th 2021

Welcome to drawabox! Let’s see here.

Your superimposed lines are a little lacking. They’re properly lined up at the start, but not particularly smooth, nor of a consistent trajectory. This indicates a misunderstanding of our priorities. It’s not particularly important for our lines to be accurate, especially if this accuracy comes at the cost of confidence. To put it in the perspective of this exercise, it’s more important for our lines to be smooth, and straight, than it is for them to stick to the guideline. The ghosted lines/planes have a similar issue. They’re mostly smooth, save for at the end. What’s likely happening is that you’re fixating a little too much on the end point, slowing down as you approach it, in an effort to not overshoot. Here, too, the priority is in the resulting mark being smooth, and straight, not it heading in the right direction, or stopping at the right place.

The table of ellipses exercise demonstrates this misunderstanding, too. You seem more concerned with the accuracy of your ellipses (this is to say, whether they fit snuggly within their respective frames), rather than their smoothness, and roundness, but that’s backwards. On the note of snugness, ellipses need to attempt to touch all available sides of the frame, so page 2, row 2, column 1, is in fact incorrect. This is, of course, secondary to their confidence, but having a clear goal is important in being able to draw confidently. The ellipses in planes are more of the same. I’ll especially highlight the pointy nature of some of these, as that’s an indication of a lesser pivot – this is to say, elbow or wrist – that a student is (likely subconsciously) reverting to, to handle a sharp angle. The funnels exercise is similar, with the added issue of sometimes misaligned ellipses. I wonder if these issues are due to a lack of ghosting, then, in addition to the aforementioned misunderstanding. As instructed, please carefully ghost each mark, and only commit to it when you’re ready. And, when you do commit, be sure to do so confidently.

The plotted perspective exercise looks clean.

The rough perspective exercise has some issues regarding line quality – so I’ll quickly redirect you to this section of the ghosted planes page – though, in actuality, line quality here is looking quite good, in comparison to previous sections. Skipping ahead, I notice that line quality improves quite a bit, throughout this submission, so that’s good. As for the convergences, they look solid; I’m glad to see you testing out a number of points, before committing to one.

The rotated boxes exercise looks nice. It’s big, the boxes are snug, and they rotate nicely. Their far planes are a little flat, in comparison, but this is more than expected. As you progress through the box challenge, you’ll learn enough to be able to make some informed decisions of your own, here; until then, you’re fine like this.

Finally, the organic perspective exercise is well done. The boxes themselves look good, and their increase in size, and consistent, shallow foreshortening, do a great job of conveying the illusion of flow that we’re after.

Next Steps:

I’ll consider the confidence issue of the lines section resolved, but I would like to see another page of ellipses, if you please. It can be any one you choose.

When finished, reply to this critique with your revisions.
2:20 PM, Tuesday August 17th 2021

Hello Benj, thank you so much for your thorough and helpful feedback!! I'm pretty inexperienced with drawing in general (this was the first structured lesson I ever took) so I struggled a lot, especially with the exercises that included drawing ellipses. I decided to do another page of the tables of ellipses exercise and focused much more on drawing confident, somewhat not deformed ellipses rather than being overly accurate. Can't really say that everything worked out better (especially the very circular shapes are still bumpy) but I think this page over all turned out a bit better than the previous ones. Either way I will continue to practice these ellipses in the future, until I am finally able to nail down actual smooth and stable looking shapes.

So here is my second attempt:


7:43 PM, Tuesday August 17th 2021

Much better! One last thing, before I have you move on: be mindful of your pivot. I notice some pointy ellipses, there, a tell-tale indication of a lesser pivot (that students tend to subconsciously switch to, when faced with a sharp turn). To avoid it, simply check back, every once in a while, that your lines are originating from your shoulder.

Next Steps:

Onto the box challenge!

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
10:27 AM, Wednesday August 18th 2021

Alright, I will keep an eye on that from now on. Especially for smaller ellipses this problem probably has occurred sometimes. Thanks again for the feedback!

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