Plate 74

Since the acanthus leaf is so often employed as architectural ornament, it is well to give here a few aids to the draftsman in laying it out.

With the basic facts in mind, one who is at all handy with his pencil should be able to achieve good results in drawing the leaf.

It will be impossible to take up each of the many architectural uses to which this leaf is commonly put, but if the fundamentals are mastered, the drawing of the leaf for any condition will be simply a matter of application.

The student should begin by laying the leaf out perfectly flat so that he may become acquainted with its forms and proportions, Plate 74.

PLATE 74.

Article VIII Acanthus Leaf 78

Draw the vertical center line A-B, Fig. 78, of the desired height. This for a practice drawing might be about 8 inches. Then draw the base line C-D, Fig. 79, about half as long as the height. Divide C-D into six equal parts and mark off one part either side of the line A-B at E and F. Draw lines from E to B and from F to B. Measure down from B a distance equal to one-fifth of line A-B and draw the light horizontal lines either side of A-B. This is the spring line for the top curve of the leaf. From points C and D draw lines parallel to E-B and F-B until they meet with the above spring line at G and H. Round off the top of the leaf leaving it slightly pointed at B as shown. Next divide the line A-B into 24 equal parts and mark off on it spaces as follows, beginning at the bottom: One space 6 parts high, one 5 parts, one 4, one 3 1/2, one 3, and the upper one, 2 1/2 parts. Horizontal lines through these points locate the pistules and the starting points of each leaf.

This gives the skeleton layout of the leaf and should be memorized and followed approximately whenever the leaf is drawn. Now build up each of the leaf parts according to Fig. 84 which shows four stages of the development, and sketch in the leaf stalks or midribs between the pistules.

If a still more finished leaf is desired each leaf lobe may now be divided again into three, this for finer work which is to be viewed close up. For the average condition the fourth stage of Fig. 84 is satisfactory.

With this flat leaf in mind it will not be necessary to lay out all of the construction lines when drawing the leaf curved into the various forms with which the architect must deal. The rules will be remembered and applied unconsciously. Proportions of the leaf must of course be changed to suit the occasion.

At the bottom of Plate 71 are typical examples of Greek and Roman leaves with a suggestion as to their distinguishing characteristics.