This outline will be of most value to the student who is working without the assistance of an instructor but will be found useful to the teacher as well, in laying out the work for his classes.
When the subjects are taken up in class, their order may be changed entirely from the outline or, if the following order is used, the sequence of drawings in each part may be varied to a certain extent.
The student who is working alone is usually at a loss to know just how to attack a problem or how to decide the order in which each part of the study should be made. The beginner is advised against the outright copying of the drawings of this book except in the preliminary work and perhaps the details of windows, doors, etc. It will be much better to use them as a general guide and to make the practice sheets somewhat different.
The work is divided into Parts and under each Part may be taken up as many drawings as desired. Enough should be done in each division to insure a thorough understanding of that particular step and it would be a waste of time to proceed to the next Part until this mental grasp is secured.
Bear this in mind: The drawings themselves will be of no value. It is only what the student learns while making them that will be worth while.
Obtain a complete drawing outfit as described on pages 9 and 10. Saw a 36-inch roll of tracing paper into two lengths of 24 and 12 inches each, these being convenient sizes for the following problems. Buy a few yards of heavy detail paper, cut a piece the size of the board and fasten it down with thumb tacks. This gives a smooth surface over which to draw even after the board has become pitted with thumb tack holes, and is easily renewed whenever necessary.
The practice sheets may of course be any size but a 13 by 18 inch sheet is a good size with which to begin. On a piece of paper slightly larger than the finished sheet is to be, draw the outline or cutting line of the sheet. Keep thumb tack holes, figuring, trial lines, etc., outside this line so that, after completing the drawing, it may be trimmed along the line and a neatly finished sheet will result. Next draw a border line around the sheet 1/2 inch inside the cutting line. One of the title spaces suggested in the article on Lettering may now be added if desired but this is not necessary at present. The first few sheets may be laid out on detail paper and the tracing paper used as suggested later.
To become acquainted with the instruments, Plate 3, and their use, no better exercise can be found than the drawing of a few of the geometric solutions on Plates 4 and 5. Divide the sheet inside the border line into four equal parts by light lines and in each space draw one solution as large as the space will permit. It might be well to draw eight of these geometric solutions or at least until one is familiar with the instruments. Bear in mind during this practice that the object is to know the instruments and to learn to work with greatest accuracy.
The draftsman can acquire the ability to letter well only by long continued and careful practice. Since skill in lettering is so important a part of the architectural draftsman's equipment, he should begin early in his study of the letter forms and composition, that he may acquire this practice as he works along in the other departments of the subject. Every sheet must be made a lettering exercise by carefully considering each letter, word and figure as it is drawn. Thus alone can be gained the desired proficiency in presenting the many dimensions, notes and titles which must be used on architectural work. It will not be necessary at this time to make an exhaustive study of lettering but the single stroke Old Roman letters and figures of Plate 80 and something about composition of letters should be learned before drawing the first plan.
On the first lettering sheet rule very lightly, with a sharp pencil, a number of guide lines as suggested in the article on Lettering, then practice the single stroke letters and figures, studying each carefully. Repeat them until they may be made with reasonable accuracy and speed. Draw also a few dimension lines and arrows as shown on the drawings of Plates 21 to 30 noticing the form and proportions of the arrows.
On Plate 76 are several plans and elevations which have been sketched freehand and are not drawn to any definite scale. The simplest one of these may now be drawn at a scale of 1/4" = 1' - 0" and dimensioned. Lay out a 13 by 18 inch sheet as before and after consulting the article on Scale Drawings and studying Plate 22 draw up and dimension the plan. This sheet should be kept quite simple and, at its completion, the draftsman should have acquired an elementary knowledge of plan symbols, drawing and dimensioning. Frequent reference to the text and plates is absolutely essential to gain the most from this sheet.