Some Sketches Done with Black and White Pencils on Dark Green Paper, the Highlights Being Sharpened with Chinese White Applied with a Brush.

Figure 49. Some Sketches Done with Black and White Pencils on Dark Green Paper, the Highlights Being Sharpened with Chinese White Applied with a Brush.

Now in order that the student who is accustomed to working in the usual manner on white paper may become acquainted gradually with these materials and methods winch are new to him, it is suggested that as a first step the same pencils and technique be employed as for this familiar type of drawing, but with some tinted paper such as cream or buff or light gray substituted for the customary white. This brings in little that is different yet the effect gained is often very interesting, and if one cares to go a bit further and the subject seems to suggest it, a few touches of high light may be added with a white pencil or crayon or with Chinese white or some similar water color. Do not forget, however, that water color causes thin paper to wrinkle and buckle out of shape unless mounted, and injures or destroys the gloss of glazed paper, though there is a difference in the appearance of various white pigments when dry, some being flat or dull and others shiny.

As the ordinary pencil line has more or less gloss, some artists prefer, especially when using pencils in connection with other mediums, to employ such kinds as give a dull effect. It is advisable, then, for the student to become familiar with these, so as soon as fairly satisfactory results have been obtained with the usual pencils on the tinted paper, it might be well, before attempting any of the more difficult combinations, to try out, first on white and later on tinted paper, the various black pencils and crayons, making, perhaps, on each sheet of paper used several comparative sketches, for by so doing one can most easily learn the adaptability of each particular pencil to the paper and to the subject represented. Then when numerous experiments have been made with the black pencils on various papers try colored pencils. As their use leads to new difficulties it is best for the beginner to confine his attempts to one or two colors, using a red or brown tone, for example, making an entire drawing with the one pencil. Surprisingly pleasing results are frequently obtained in this manner, the effect being somewhat similar to that of the red chalk drawings often made by the old masters. Whereas white paper may be used for this work, lightly tinted sheets will do nicely too, offering again the opportunity for added highlights if they are felt to be desirable. Though charming sketches are found in which pencils or crayons of many colors have been employed, the beginner should bear in mind that unless he has had training in color harmony or has an excellent innate color sense, the difficulties of combining the various hues will be far from negligible, especially if the paper is not white. For this reason it might be better for him to first turn his attention to some of the more simple combinations of mediums, such as pencil and a wash of monotone. Some of his old drawings might be utilized to advantage in this connection, treating them in different ways. Take one of these, for instance, and run a light wash of yellow ochre or Naples yellow or some other simple tint uniformly over the whole thing, bringing the wash to an even edge a quarter of an inch or so outside the margin line all around. The effect will resemble to some extent that obtained by using paper of a similar tint, with the one exception that the pigment will have a tendency to soften the lines of the pencil, removing more or less of the gloss, and so "fixing" the lines that they will smudge less easily than before. Another scheme is to apply a wash of gray of a tone somewhat like that of the pencil lines themselves to such portions of the drawing as need to be toned down or pulled together. A sky may be grayed, for instance, in order to increase the contrast of a building against it, or a lawn may be simplified by passing a wash from one end to the other, and not only are such results often very pleasing but time can frequently be saved by thus combining the wash work with the pencil, as it is much quicker as a rule to cover a surface with the brush than with the smaller point. Pencils can be used very often in drawing fine detail and the brush then taken up for the larger work, or if this larger work has been done with the pencil but the values seem too light or complicated they may be toned to the desired depth or satisfactorily simplified by wash. For such work ivory black, lamp black, neutral tint, sepia, india ink or any such pigments will do or a gray can be mixed by combining two or more neutralizing colors.

Now just as tints of monotone can be used in connection with pencil work so can tints of several hues, in fact the author has found that a great demand exists among the architects for such renderings, as they afford an opportunity for a suggestion of the colors of the building materials and the surroundings, thus adding greater interest and value. As a rule a drawing to be so tinted is completed in the usual manner in pencil and then very transparent washes of the desired hues are flowed over the various parts. When using this method there are several points worth remembering, and one is that the color should be applied in very light tints rather than in more nearly its full intensity, for the result should count primarily as pencil work, with the tints of secondary importance, and much of the charm is lost if the colors do become so conspicuous as to compete with the pencilling for supremacy. If such prominent color is desired it is better to make the usual sort of water color drawing and be done with it, so subordinating the pencilling that it becomes in itself almost negligible, serving simply as a guide for the color work. Another point is that when tints are to be used, whether of monochrome or varied colors, it is well to first flow one or two washes of clear water over the entire paper, for this will remove the shine of the pencil to a large extent, thus insuring greater harmony between the pencil strokes and brush work, and will at the same time act as a cleansing agent removing superfluous pencil dust and preparing the paper surface for the subsequent tints. Again, as some tints are quite transparent and others rather opaque, a careful choice should be made, the transparent ones being generally considered best for this sort of work. As the chief objection made to tinted pencil drawings is that the shiny lines and dull washes have dissimilar characteristics, it is better, when it is known in advance that washes are to be applied, to select one of the special pencils that gives a dull instead of a glossy line, thus avoiding any unpleasantness from this source. As some pencils such as the lithographic ones offer little resistance to water, however, they are hardly suitable for such work, so if a new kind of pencil is used, tests should be made beforehand to make sure the line will stand washing.