Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

7:55 PM, Friday September 15th 2023

Drawabox Lesson 1 - Malcress - Album on Imgur

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/0I7Vtr6.jpg

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I'd like to note that my fineliners were either weirdly empty (irregular line weight) or not "responding" (I'm suspecting it's the oil from my hands as it begins from the middle of the page) for the majority of these (finally got new ones now) - the line weight is all over the place, especially in planes and boxes. Nevertheless, I could still focus on the essential aspects of the exercises.

I also have shaky hands (not visible with human eyes but taking photos is difficult, for context) - does it show in these or not?

Thank you in advance, and thank you so much for creating this website, challenge and community! I'm incredibly grateful for what you've been doing all these years and hope it's been giving you as much joy as it brings to us - the box tacklers!

2 users agree
12:33 AM, Sunday September 17th 2023
  1. Some superimposed lines showed some fraying at the beginning. Make sure to set your pen down on the exact point the original line starts at and then draw to avoid this.

  2. Your ghosted lines look very good. A few have a little wobble to them but I think that as you do ghosted lines and superimposed lines for warmups and such these will go away.

  3. Nice, confident ellipses.

  4. The main issue with your boxes is line quality and placing the vertices, which I'm sure will improve when you do the 250 box challenge.

  5. I too can relate to your shaky hands. I suggest stretching your arms and hands before getting to work

Next Steps:

Do ghosted and superimposed lines as warmups.

Stretch beforehand and take stretch breaks.

Move on to 250 boxes.

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete, and 2 others agree. The student has earned their completion badge for this lesson and should feel confident in moving onto the next lesson.
5:27 PM, Monday September 18th 2023

First of all, thank you so much for your time and effort, it means a lot to me! Your critique is also absolutely ADHD-proof, I love how clear and straight to the point it is!

  1. I can see that now, thanks for pointing that out. I can also see a pattern where some of these starting points are "nicely and regularly assembled" next to each other in a diagonal kind of way, so I'll pay extra attention to that haha.

      1. That's nice to hear, thank you.
  2. Completely agree, I can't say how much of it was my fineliners drying out VS shakiness/not being used to it, but when I compare the 1st page of the Organic Perspective exercise (crappy drying-out fineliners along with having no clue how to visualize the box edges crossing at an outside-the-canvas vanishing point) with the 2nd Page (where I finally got new higher-quality fineliners + I like to think I'm understanding box-generation a little better + I got more comfortable and playful with the composition and increased the amount of boxes), I do sense quite a difference and cannot wait to see how far I can go with the upcoming 250 boxes.

  3. Funnily enough, I actually do a lot of hand/arm exercises and stretches during the day (I have a randomly recurring left wrist tendinitis that I'm trying to keep at bay (just posted some recommendations here:https://drawabox.com/community/submission/RJ0VTVF3), I never actually stretched my hands as a warmup before drawing (or other hobbies, like playing guitar, writing or in general just typing on a pc), so thank you for the tip. Do you have an estimate in how much your hand stability improved when drawing with these stretches? Because I've realized my shakiness could be due to my hyperactivity where my whole body is shaking with intense emotion (like excitement, stress) which is great during intense activities but ghosting and drawing can be a hustle.

Again, thank you for your feedback and I hope you're doing well! And congratulations on completing L1 and the 250 boxes! They've gotten much cleaner and more accurate as a whole! It's also interesting how even the pages have less splotches, another aspect to look forward to for my messy hands haha.

1:26 AM, Tuesday September 19th 2023

When I stretch my hand stability improves not just because my arms are more warmed up but also because I'm able to relax and get in the mood.

3:01 PM, Thursday September 21st 2023

That's a good point, sort of like zen for drawing. I'll be mindful of that.

1 users agree
8:04 PM, Monday September 18th 2023
edited at 8:06 PM, Sep 18th 2023

As Fr00g has said already several of your superimposed lines have fraying at the beginning. A bit more patience and consideration should clear that up in no time.

Your ellipses are clean and confident.

Though some of them in your tables could stand to fill up their space a little bit more. Don't be too timid about possibly overshooting the the boundaries occasionally as you dial in your accuracy when you practice these in the future.

The ellipses in your funnels don't always align with the minor axis. I had the same issue with my official funnel submissions.

You do have a bit of wobble to your lines but that should shake out in time with more mileage through the warmups. It helped me to keep my eye on the destination when I am executing the line. Don't be afraid to go faster as the expense of not stopping in the correct spot. Confident, straight lines going in the right trajectory are the primary goals. As you get more experienced you'll find you can go slower and stop closer to the correct spot while maintaining a confident line. It can help to get a feel for it to focus on your mind-body connection with the muscles in your shoulder as you move your entire arm. I found out incidentally, after I'd worked out and had muscle soreness in my deltoids, that it helped me become more aware of the process of making straight lines.

Finally, there is one thing I'd like to point out about your organic perspective exercises. The boxes all seem to be mostly the same. They are 45 degree centered on that closest corner with roughly the same length in dimension. That would indicate to me that you are not thinking about these boxes as 3d forms in space but instead are falling back on drawing a symbol through the same rote process repeatedly . I don't think it is necessary to assign any revisions for you to address it. The 250 box challenge is going to go a long way toward training that out of you. Just be aware of it and work on it as you go through the challenge.

Other than the things I pointed out above, everything looks really solid. Good job!

Next Steps:

In addition to what Fr00g said, be sure to work a few funnels and ellipse tables into your warmups as you go through the 250 box challenge as well. When you do them try and address what I brought up.

Move on to 250 boxes.

This community member feels the lesson should be marked as complete. In order for the student to receive their completion badge, this critique will need 2 agreements from other members of the community.
edited at 8:06 PM, Sep 18th 2023
3:00 PM, Thursday September 21st 2023

Hello and thanks a lot for your helpful critique!

Yup, balancing out patience and overdoing it (for example when I ghost the same line for the 20th time my hand and mind start shooting errors at me) is quite the challenge, so far I do a couple ghosted lines (like 10 at max but I try not to count it) and either commit to the stroke or give the hand a 1-3 second rest where I relax all the muscles of my arm and repeat the process. I'll also start doing hand/arm warm-ups before each session and see how that goes, and if that won't work out, I'll try drawing after working out.

Regarding speed, I'm experimenting with that a lot, both when ghosting and striking the lines. Just as you say though, higher speed has a better chance of being nice and straight in my current situation. Sometimes I do it too fast and the line looks just as slacked-off as the slow wobbly ones haha. It's gonna be fun to see how flexible one can get regarding confident lines no matter the speed, I didn't actually know this so thank you for the "future insight"!

I do tend to have lines/ellipses shorter/smaller than the destination rather than overshooting it, huh. I'll try countering it with overshooting it then and hope the same logic as with lines that curve in only one direction works here.

Regarding Organic Perspective, I can see that now, thank you. I was very focused on getting the hang of this one type of box instead of adding more variety, so I'll work on that during the 250 boxes challenge along with the warm-up drawing exercises.

1:06 AM, Monday September 25th 2023
edited at 6:26 PM, Sep 25th 2023

You are welcome!

I notice it has been a few days since and you are still stuck waiting on two "agrees" I recommend asking someone on the discord channel to take a look. To see if they'll give it the last go-ahead you need for it to be marked as complete.

I recommend posting the daily boxes you manage to complete in there as well. It will help keep you accountable and people can head off any wrong paths you may not realize you are going down.

edited at 6:26 PM, Sep 25th 2023
10:54 AM, Saturday October 14th 2023

It seems I got the badge and notification, so thank you to whoever gave the second agree!

As for the boxes, I'm on box 78 now and I was going to post them here, so you're recommending it's better to post on Discord and more regularly then?

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Sakura Pigma Microns

Sakura Pigma Microns

A lot of my students use these. The last time I used them was when I was in high school, and at the time I felt that they dried out pretty quickly, though I may have simply been mishandling them. As with all pens, make sure you're capping them when they're not in use, and try not to apply too much pressure. You really only need to be touching the page, not mashing your pen into it.

In terms of line weight, the sizes are pretty weird. 08 corresponds to 0.5mm, which is what I recommend for the drawabox lessons, whereas 05 corresponds to 0.45mm, which is pretty close and can also be used.

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