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Lesson 1: Lines, Ellipses and Boxes

6:18 PM, Sunday October 31st 2021

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Hope this works. Never used these programs before.

Work done on letter size, white paper using a sharpie ultrafine marker.

I did two pages of rotated boxes. I didn't know if we should use a ruler or do it freehand. It's pretty obvious which one is which

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2:00 PM, Monday November 1st 2021

Very quickly, before we start, if you’re meant to use a ruler on an exercise, you’ll be told to (like, 100 times, if the plotted perspective exercise is any indication, ahah.) Otherwise, assume that everything is to be done freehand. Another thing, if you’d be so kind as to either crop each picture, so that just the page is visible, or simply have the camera itself be a little closer, I’d appreciate it – it would save me the trouble of having to zoom in each time. Anyway –

Hello and welcome to drawabox. Let’s take this one exercise at a time.

The superimposed lines look fairly solid – smooth, and properly lined up at the start, though you’ll occasionally alter their trajectory, so be mindful of that. Also, see if you can make your arcing lines a little bigger, next time; their size is the culprit behind their (lack of) confidence. The ghosted lines/planes look mostly good. I do notice some issues with them, however. First, it doesn’t seem like you’re plotting any start/end points for the non-diagonal center lines of the planes. Second, when you do, you’re a little too conscious of them. Your lines have a habit of stopping short of them, and then limping to the finish line (changing their trajectory in the process), or being added to in a separate stroke. Both are incorrect. Each line should be drawn once, and only once, and if it’s wrong, it’s wrong.

The table of ellipses exercise is well done. I do suspect that you’re drawing these a little too quickly (consider taking some time to experiment with different speeds, in an effort to find one that’s best suited to you), but the result is that they’re smooth, and rounded, so that’s not a huge issue. The ellipses in planes look good, too, though they’ll sometimes stiffen up in their first rotation, before stabilizing in the next. As you might expect, this is incorrect (as it indicates a lack of ghosting). Also, recall that ellipses should be drawn through 2-3 times; ideally 2. The funnels are well done. Their ellipses are snug, and properly cut in half. Do be careful that the minor axes extend all the way through them, however – currently, the ones at the ends are aligned to nothing.

The plotted perspective exercise is missing a few of its back lines (and its hatching has been done freehand), but it looks solid.

The rough perspective exercise shows some solid improvement throughout the set. Still, I’d spend a little longer planning each line. Don’t feel obligated to stick to your first few guesses - continue altering and realtering each point until you’re 100% satisfied with it.

The rotated boxes exercise (looking at the hand-drawn one) looks a little rushed, unfortunately. That said, I’m willing to believe that the lines are as they are because you’re, for the first time, drawing really small lines from your shoulder, and are yet unused to it. This is one of the many reasons we encourage our students to draw big. Anyway, though 4 of them are missing (the corner ones), the boxes are snug, and rotate nicely as a result, so this is satisfactory.

The organic perspective exercise looks mostly good (it, too, looks a little rushed), but the main thing I’m wondering here is if you drew start/end points for your lines. If not, know that you should. The increase in size is a little too subtle, and the foreshortening occasionally dramatic, but the boxes flow well, nonetheless.

Next Steps:

I’ll be marking this lesson as complete, but be sure, as you progress through the box challenge, to also work on these various flaws, in your warmups. GL!

This critique marks this lesson as complete.
3:25 PM, Monday November 1st 2021

Hi Benj,

Thanks for your reply.

You are correct in all the things you mentioned. I am a 100% newbie to this and I am still getting used to drawing from the shoulder. This is affecting my speed because too slow gets wobbly and too fast becomes inaccurate. I am VERY self conscious of drawing from the shoulder. I was inconsistent with plotting start and end points and it shows. I have started in on the box challenge and can already feel a little improvement. I think I am starting to get a sense of why massive amounts of repetitions are necessary.

I will work on taking better pictures.

And now my critique on your critique:

That was awesome! Thank you! I did not expect more than a cursory review of the work and you really too the time to look at each page. Spot on with your observations too. The completeness was unexpected and really encourages me to continue with the lessons. Thanks again.

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