Chris Padilla/Blog / Art

250 Box Challenge and Repetition

I'm doing the 250 box challenge right now. It's the namesake for the website

The gist: You draw lots of boxes in 3 point perspective. In pen. And you extend your lines at the end to check that the points converge towards a vanishing point.


The exercise looks like this:


The point is to get familiar with perspective. And every now and then I stop and ask "am I doing this wrong? Are there any tips? Am I just not looking at it the wrong way. Maybe if I find another guide..." It's a question I've had for most art. If I find the right strategy, I'll just know how to do the thing.

But, in my experience so far, there is just some intuition that comes from repetition. There's no real strategy aside from "do it again, but try another approach."

On a practical level, what helps me is to plot a dot for where I think a line will go and then ghost it like crazy. I'll intentionally plot one that I know is parallel as a reference if I'm really unsure.

But, for the most part, it's like learning a sport or an instrument: the more you do it, the more your brain will learn the fine-motor control of what you're trying to do.

That's what really struck me! Just like I have to practice scales, I have to warm up on drawing lines.

I kind of wish the challenge was called "Draw 250 boxes (mostly badly!)" since that's the intention behind it!

All this to say: Art, especially at the beginning, is just as much a physical skill as it is a design skill.