Now we have said little about the kind of stroke to be used for this work, for it is better that there be no definite line showing. The tone should be built up by going over and over it with a comparatively sharp point, merging the various lines together until they arc lost. Naturally the textures represented make a difference in the manner of working, but to make such studies of the greatest value each tone should be as nearly perfect as possible, the student striving for transparency and luminosity. The drawing of the apple at 1, Figure 7, was done in this manner. Sometimes tones are rubbed smooth with the finger or with a stump, but this method has little to commend it for this class of work.
There is another type of shaded still life drawing, however, which is more sketchily done, where a few strokes of the pencil are used to express a great deal. This type of work has been illustrated in Figure 7 which shows separate strokes in many places rather than continuous tone. The student should practice this kind of work, too, so drawing the strokes as to best express the surfaces represented, using some fine and some broad lines. In line work the strokes should as a rule follow the direction of the surface.
In types of work sometimes seen the still life becomes a motif for a decorative scheme or combinations of tone and outline are found, or washes of color are added to the pencilling, but there are many elementary text books which show examples of such work, therefore the interested student can find a great deal of material to help him, if he desires to do so. The student's drawings opposite illustrate some of these possibilities for decorative work and on page 23 is an excellent example of a type of drawing frequently made in which a few very dark, crisp accents are added to a clean-cut outline. Notice the direct and economical way in which the various materials are suggested, and the commendable simplicity of the whole.
Objects having distinct character are best as subjects for drawings. Quaint and old-fashioned things are particularly interesting, or things which are worn or broken. Rummage the attic or stable or cellar. Look in the garage or garden. Even the kitchen and laundry will yield many simple and useful implements and utensils excellent for our purpose. The following list may guide the student in his search.
Objects for elementary or comparatively small compositions: Garden trowel and flower pots; hammer, box of nails; screwdriver and screws; basket of clothespins, coil of clothesline; pail with cloth hanging over side, scrub brush and scouring powder; old battered coalhod; tack hammer, box of tacks, etc.; flatirons with stand and holder; whet stone with knife and piece of wood half whittled; sponge, soap and basin of water; dust pan and brush, feather duster; ice-cream freezer, bag of salt, etc.
Accented Outline Drawing by Student at Pratt Institute.
Courtesy of Pratt Institute.
Ethel At. Weir.
Courtesy of Pratt Institute.
Courtesy of Pratt Institute.
Drawings By Students At Pratt Institute.
Among larger objects we have: Snow shovel, rubber boots and mittens; shovel and tongs; wash tubs on bench with basket of clothes; wheelbarrow, rake and basket; broken box with axe; watering pot. trowel, broken flower pots; hat and coat on nail; old trunk partly opened, etc.; old hats and hatboxes; umbrellas in various positions, opened, closed and half closed; brooms and mops with dustpans and pails; chopping block, sticks of wood, axe; basket of kindlings and hatchet; old churn with chair beside it; baseball bat, mitt and ball.
Books can always be arranged effectively, piled up, tumbled down, spread out, open or closed.
Book, candle stick and matches; old novel partly opened, apple between leaves; half open newspaper with books; book with reading glass or with spectacles; ink bottle with copy book and pen; books, paper weight, half-open letter and envelope.
Then there are other objects which can be found around the house, such things as are in every-day use: Glove box and gloves; collar bag; photograph in frame, bowl of flowers; cribbage board and cards; pipe, tobacco jar, matches, etc.; opera glasses, bag and program; slippers, gloves and fan; hats or caps; hat, grip and gloves; shaving mug, brush, razor, etc.; basket or bag with sewing or knitting; brush, comb and mirror; children's toys and dolls.
The following suggestions are for the uses of fruits, vegetables, etc. Such combinations are of course innumerable: Paper bag with fruit, vegetables or candy falling out and at the side; bananas half peeled on plate with knife; lemons, squeezer, glass, sugar and spoon; box of sardines, sliced lemons and plate of crackers; cocoanut, broken open; bunches of beets or carrots or similar vegetables with tops; several apples, one cut in half, another partly pared; tea pot, tea cups, plate of sandwiches; fruit bowl or basket filled with fruit; pineapple with knife and plate; squash or pumpkin cut open, partly sliced; pumpkin made into jack-o-lan-tern; bread on plate, some sliced, with knife; salad plate with lobster and lettuce, mayonnaise bow!, spoon and fork; roast of meat on platter with carving knife; plate of beans, bottle catsup, napkin; sugar bowl, cubes of sugar, sugar tongs; box of candy open or partly open; crackers in box or bag, bowl of milk, spoon; strawberries or grapes in basket; bunches of grapes with bit of vine, leaves, and tendrils; apples, pears or peaches hanging on branches with leaves; heads of lettuce, cauliflower and bunches of celery; sliced meat on platter, garnished with parsley. And bowls and vases of flowers are always good, too, or branches of leaves or berries. For more elaborate studies, views of room corners or portions of a yard or street offer many possibilities.
Object Draw1nc By Ethel M. Weir.