250 Cylinder Challenge

12:02 AM, Wednesday February 9th 2022

250 Cylinder Challenge - Album on Imgur

Direct Link: https://i.imgur.com/hPP8msq.jpg

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I had more trouble than I thought I would. I think I'm getting better at smooth ellipses but I still lack control over their degree and orientation. My pen was also starting to run low on ink so some of the lines are a little faint.

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10:02 PM, Wednesday February 9th 2022

Starting with your cylinders around arbitrary minor axes, I found the extension of the side edges to be quite interesting - honestly I might actually add that to the assignment when I actually overhaul the material for that challenge, but that'll be a ways off since I'm still reproducing the videos for Lessons 0 and 1. Still, it definitely does add value, so someone somewhere in the future might curse your name.

By and large you're doing a good job of checking those minor axis alignments, maintaining even shapes with your ellipses (though do remember to draw through them two full times as discussed in Lesson 1, that goes for all the ellipses we freehand in this course), and executing your straight lines with confidence.

Admittedly there are a few things I would have liked to see a bit more of:

  • Variation in the foreshortening (as requested in the assignment section of the challenge), you kept it pretty shallow throughout - though I am glad to see that there was at least some foreshortening, and that you didn't often fall into the trap of keeping your side edges completely parallel on the page (as this would only happen in the very specific situation where the cylinder runs perpendicular to the viewer's angle of sight, without slanting towards or away from them, something that is unlikely to ever happen given the fact that we're rotating these cylinders freely in space).

  • Bigger cylinders - drawing really small is a common thing that comes out of a lack of confidence, as it often feels like by drawing smaller we can avoid or hide our weaknesses. What it does instead is exacerbate those weaknesses by making it harder to engage our whole arm while drawing. While it doesn't seem to have hit you too badly, it's definitely a factor.

  • And of course, when your pen's only producing faint marks, grab a new one and save the dying pen for other projects. In this course, we want those rich, dark, confident strokes.

As to your cylinders in boxes, it appears you've followed this one quite well, and have shown a great deal of growth over the set. 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.

I can see you clearly analyzing the results of your line extensions, and making an effort to apply them from one page to the next, and as a whole your estimation of those proportions are fairly solid. Certainly there's plenty of room for continued growth, as expected, but where you're at right now should put you in a position of strength going into Lesson 6.

So! I'll go ahead and mark this challenge as complete. Just be sure not to use that pen for your Drawabox work anymore.

Next Steps:

Feel free to move onto lesson 6.

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
5:50 AM, Thursday February 10th 2022

Oh dear, I may join the same club as that guy who kept bugging you about boxes!

One thing that I forgot to ask in the post, is there a way to draw a square in 3D space more precisely or is it just a matter of intuitively understanding it? I relied a lot on boxes that have a corner pointing directly at the viewer because that was the only orientation where I knew the face would be a square. I branched about a bit more later on but in other orientations I either couldn't tell if it was a square or I made a clear rectangle.

5:09 PM, Thursday February 10th 2022

So there certainly is, if you go back to explicit vanishing points, measuring points, etc. but that kind of heavily plotted and technical perspective is well outside of the scope of this course, and would be the sort of thing you'd find in a linear perspective course. I personally find the more approximated, "good enough" approach that we use here to be more useful in terms of creating engaging designs and laying out scenes in a more organic, explorative way that really gets the creative juices flowing. Having to consciously think about all of the technical perspective tends to bog down the brain and doesn't leave much room for creation - that isn't to say it isn't useful and doesn't have its place, but it's more that once you've figured out what you want to draw and where everything goes, you can (if necessary) go back in with that technical perspective and make everything super accurate. But again - well outside the scope of this course.

As far as being able to tell whether something's square (enough) comes down to those instincts we're developing. More and more as you continue to work at it, you will become more confident in assessing whether something will pass as being proportionally square.

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