25 Days to Better Drawings: Drawing Ellipses

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Lesson Discussion

  1. Hi Matt. I get 5 minutes into the video and it stops. This is the second time I’ve tried and it stops in exactly the same spot.
    Kind regards

    • Hi Tracey, The video is playing normally. You may be experiencing buffering. You could try scrolling over the video and clicking on the gear icon. Change the resolution to a lower quality and see if the video plays without stopping for you.

  2. new member and loving it!

    i struggle with my perspective with the mugs…can get the circle/ellipses but struggle with the bottom of the mug especially the first one…can’t get it to look as if you’re looking from the top?

  3. Leandri, I’m new and lovin’ it too. But also struggling with the bottoms.. on all the mugs. In true perspective they really aren’t the same ellipse curve as the tops. For Matt’s practical purposes in the lesson they’re the same, but my high school drafting instructor would grade me off for drawing them the same. That fact is most obvious when drawing the mug straight on. The top is mostly level (eye level), but you’re looking down at an ellipse on the bottom. You might have better luck if you also drew an ellipse for the bottoms of your cups. (^o^) (Whisper in class… I find it interesting to see that Matt apparently uses a knife to sharpen his pencils… What’s up with THAT?) LOL

    • Hi Elmer,

      You are very right. The ellipse at the bottom is going to be slightly different from the one at the top, but this can complicate things. As for sharpening with a knife, you can get a sharper and longer point, plus I like to live a little on the dangerous side of life. 🙂

      • First thing they ticked me off for in art school …….. my sharpener. 😉
        Doing your course as revision , loving your work Matt!

    • Hi Matt,
      I haven’t worked out how to download your attachments so i’m Using my own objects based on the daily theme. Also find it easier to draw from real life. Is this okay?
      Loved lessons 3! After slacking off for so long already seeing improvements. Thanks for the course it’s given me the motivation I needed to start again 🙂

  4. Hello again Matt. After my comment on 23rd April, I am still experiencing issues with this video. My son, IT literate, has informed me that this is not buffering because of an internet connection issue. His recommendation is that it could be a video player problem. I hope this issue can be resolved. Is it possible to download your videos? I have a copy of the pdf file but my reason for joining your drawing class was the benefit of being able to not only watch you draw but to draw along with you. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Vivienne,

      The video is playing normally and I cannot recreate the issue that you’re having. The video player is the same player used for every single video on the site. It is not an issue with the video player. If you are outside of the trial period, you can download the video by clicking on the Download Page link in the gray information box above.

  5. Hi Matt,
    Great lesson! Can’t believe the improvement I made between the first and the last mug I drew. Keep up the good works!

  6. Hi Matt, have been enjoying your free content and as your summer sale coincided with my birthday two of my lovely children upgraded me, thank you all. Looking forward to continuing this course. I find that making the initial marks from my shoulder is a big improvement but when I try to reinforce the lines with this method it gets very messy and I revert to wrist. Is this a question of practice? As someone who always thought you had to be talented to draw I am so grateful for your enthusiasm and commitment to changing mindsets.

  7. These lessons are so refreshing. I never took many art classes in high school because I was embarrassed by how much better everyone was–and I was always frustrated by the instruction. I honestly feel so empowered going through these lessons–these are the little details that are hard to get from your everyday draw-like-me instruction manuals. I never would have thought to draw from the elbow instead of the wrist! Thanks for this 🙂

    • Ha, wrote elbow and meant shoulder! Still, I’m simply staggered by the fact that I just assumed everything done with a pencil comes from the wrist!

  8. These lessons are awesome! Everything is organised and fully explained, I’m absolutely stunned for how good they are.
    I have one question though, is it part of the exercises to not use an eraser? Because you haven’t mentioned anything.
    Thank you very much!

    • Hi Bethany,

      I’m not sure how I’m mispronouncing the word. I’m sure you do realize that everyone speaks a little differently around the world. Just like we are unique as artists, we are also different in many other ways as well.

      • I think she might mean that you say the ‘w’, instead of it being silent.
        More usually it is pronounced ‘dror-ring’, in different accents, of course.
        No one way is correct or mispronounced. But I have to admit, I find it distracting too lol

  9. Dear Matt,
    Love the way you explain and reassure that we all have the potential to learn and we all have what it takes.
    Been to classes on and off over the years this is by far the best I already see so much improvement in my work and I just started a few days ago.
    Thank you Matt.

  10. I did okay, I need to loosen up my shoulder. I get stiff thinking about it, and begin drawing with my wrist. I’m going to practice this for a while. Thank you!

    • Hi Brand,

      Yes, when the detail work begins, the palm of my hand finds the paper and rests there. It’s only really early on, during the sketching process, that I draw with the entire arm.

  11. Hi, I just have joined this community two days ago and started from this course. I’m so excited to make a strong art foundation benefitting by this treasure.

  12. Hello Mat
    I am new and a beginner, i keep on redrawing each cup till i think it is acceptable, there is a line in the picture that you are not drawing, i find it easier, first drawing the line then the cups, hope that is ok? Sorry i forgot to mention how much i am enjoying your course.

  13. Something not mentioned but I think important: It can be really important to measure before you draw. I tried drawing a pair of binoculars recently. So there are two ovals, one for each eyepiece. If you want the drawing to look realistic, they need to be very close to being *exactly* as tall and wide as each other. The drawing failed badly at this, so I drew and re-drew many times just those ovals, and using a ruler and pencil to draw faint lines and dots showing height and width made a big difference.

  14. Hi Matt,
    I noticed you don’t turn your paper. I’m finding it very difficult to draw without turning the paper. I also draw with the paper to one side, not straight in front of me. Is this a bad technique that might skew my drawings?

    • Hi Pandora,

      I try not to turn my paper because I making videos for people to learn by. It’s easier for folks to see what I’m doing if my paper stays in place. This makes it harder for me sometimes but you are free to draw in any position that you feel comfortable. By all means, turn your paper if it helps.

  15. Hi Matt,
    I’m really excited about these courses. I oil painted years ago and only had minimal art classes that got interrupted by life. You have so many media to choose from that I want to do them all. But I felt starting with drawing would help me doing original work easier. Thank you so much.

  16. Loving your classes. I am retired and this is so enjoyable. I practice each lesson several times and have found that it helps me get a little better. Recent right shoulder replacement so using my shoulder is good exercise for me but a littler harder than it used to be. Thank you for your great classes.

  17. Thankfully, I read an article about my personality assessment. The article said that I often feel that my artwork is not good enough. I have been thinking this while doing these drawings and paintings. I have the feeling that no matter how good the drawing is, it is not good enough. It was refreshing to know that this is the characteristic of an INFP. That won’t make sense to you, but it clears up everything for me!;

  18. Great lesson! matt, today at 68 is my first lesson in drawing since i was a kid, and loving it.so far its all in the wrist and so excited and as you keeping saying its all about practice.Is it a good idea to start with cheap sketching paper due to cost and right now my drawing is so bad.?

  19. Thanks for the tips. I’ve heard you mention drawing circles from the shoulder on “Getting Sketchy”. I understand the concept a lot better now.

  20. Hi Matt. When I draw the eclipse for the mug and I draw the lines from the eclipse to draw the sides of the cup. It doesn’t look like a coffee mug. How do you connect the eclipse to the sides of the cup.. my cup just looks like a huge circle and weird sides of the cup. It would be easier to explain if I could show you a picture.

  21. hi matt, is it ok to steady your hand with your little finger,i find it very difficult to just have a steady hand when i draw[shaky i beleive is is a better word in my case]

  22. This was a great lesson to do,
    drawing looser gets better circles / ovals.

    I am a bit confident know that i can learn drawing freehand instead of tracing.

    Thank you Matt.

  23. Have only practiced drawing circles so far… LOTS of them. It made kind of a cool pattern to just draw over the existing ones and darken a few of them. BUT wow, I didn’t realize how stiff/rigid or better yet, un-flowy, my arm is. Took quite a while for my circles to not have a flat spot on them. This seems like a wonderful exercise to do before getting started with any drawing. Along with maybe starting a daily stretching routine 😎

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