This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
The practical application of the preceding broad definition is neither difficult nor abstruse. The beginner in drawing usually finds his work swamped in a mass of detail, because his desire is to be absolutely truthful and accurate, and the more he has read Ruskin* and writers of his school the more does he feel that art and nature are one. and that the best drawing is that which most successfully reproduces nature with photographic fidelity. it may be taken for granted that a drawing must be true; true to nature. But truth is at best a relative term, and while it may be said that every normal eye Bees prac tically the same, yet, after all, the eye sees only what it is trained to see. It is the purpose of all teaching of drawing to train the eye to see and the hand to put down the biggest and most important truths and to sacrifice Small and un important details for the sake of giving greater emphasis or accent to the statement of the larger ones. "Art lives by sacrifices" is the expression of the French, the most artistic nation of modern times. The experience of the beginner is very practical testimony to the truth of the expression, for he very soon realizes that he has not the ability, even if it were best, to draw all he sees, and he has to face the question of what to leave out, what to sacrifice. Sense will tell him that he must at all costs retain those elements which have the most meaning or significance, or else his drawing will not be in-tellio-ihle. So he is gradually taught to select the vital facts and make sure of them at least. It is true that the more accomplished the draughtsman becomes the greater will be his ability to suc cessfully represent the lesser truths, the smaller details he sees because having trained his perception to the importance of grasping the big truths he has also attained the knowledge and ability to express the smaller facts without obscuring the greater ones.
*Notb.-Ample corroboration for all that Is stated above may be found In Ruskin, but it is embedded In a mass of confusing and contradictory assertions. Buskin is a very dangerous author for the beginner.
Nevertheless the question of what to sacrifice remains one of the most important in all forms of representation. One of the commonest criticisms pronounced by artists on the work of their colleagues is that "he has not known when to stop"; the picture is overloaded and obscured with distracting detail.