Architectural drawings may be rendered or colored in a number of different mediums according to the result desired. Most common among these are pencil, crayon and water-color. The shadows, the relative color of materials, and the environment of the building may thus be indicated either in monotone or in their natural colors. The medium first used for the rendering of school problems is water-color in monotone washes. These washes are of two kinds, the smooth and the settled wash. In the first the color dries leaving a smooth even tint while in the latter, if applied quite wet and allowed to stand undisturbed, a mottled effect is secured. India ink is perhaps the best color for smooth, soft grey washes, while Charcoal Gray, French Blue and other combinations will produce the settled wash.
The material needed is as follows: - India ink, which comes in sticks, a slate ink slab in which the ink is ground by rubbing it around on the slate with water, a set of camel's hair or sable brushes which will come to a good fine point when wet, a nest of china water-color saucers, a soft sponge, some white blotters and a piece of clean, absorbent cloth. Later, if the student desires to do color work, he may secure the necessary water-colors. He will have much to learn in monotone however before attempting the other, and should leave that for future development.
So that the paper will not wrinkle up when water is applied, it must be mounted or pasted down onto the drawing board. For this operation are needed a clean, soft sponge, some white blotting paper and a bottle of Higgin's Drawing Board Paste (not mucilage). There is no paste "just as good." Follow the directions carefully and a satisfactory stretch will be obtained.
Be sure that the board is clean, then lay the paper on it (face up) and, using the sponge, wet the paper thoroughly with clean water, being careful not to rub the surface hard. Squeeze the water from the sponge and take up any that stands in puddles. Turn the paper over, keeping it flat in the process, and wet the back similarly. Take up the surplus water and, with the blotter, take the moisture well out of the paper for a strip about an inch wide all around the edge. It is now ready for pasting. The paste may be taken in a ball beneath the fore fingers of the two hands and run along onto the dried strip around the paper. It is too heavy to be applied with a paste brush and should not be thinned with water. Rub it out until it lies in a very thin coat. If left thick in places it is apt to crack off. Now turn the paper over and press the pasted edges down securely to the board at the same time stretching out all wrinkles and pulling the paper taut. It sometimes helps if a number of thumb tacks are set around the edge until the paste has dried completely. While the paste is drying, keep the center of the paper slightly moist up to within two inches from the edge. This prevents any tension from coining onto the pasted edge before it is dry. When the center is allowed to dry the sheet will be found to have stretched tightly, affording a perfect surface for both drawing and rendering. The stretching of the paper can be overdone and, when such is the case, it may pull so tightly upon drying as to break when moistened again in the rendering of the drawing. It will take the mounting of several sheets to acquaint the student with the ins and outs of the process.
After the paper has been mounted, a practice sheet should be laid out and rendered in monotone. Plate 18 is a suggestion for this sheet. It contains an even wash, one graded from light down to dark, one from dark to light, and the shades and shadows of two simple objects and two mouldings. This sheet should be mastered before any other work in rendering is attempted. A practical size for the sheet is about 14 by 19 inches, divided into six equal parts as indicated. The cylinder in the fourth space is 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches long and its center line is 7/8 inch in front of the wall on which the shadow is cast. The Gutta in the next space is 2 1/2 inches in diameter at the bottom, 1 7/8 at the top and is 2 1/4 inches high. It is suspended from a 3 5/8by 1 5/8 by 1/2-inch block and its center line is 3/8 inch in front of the wall. The mouldings of the last space may be drawn approximately as shown.