As soon as the main proportions have been properly established and the larger subdivisions blocked in and corrected in turn, we have completed the first stage of our work as illustrated in Sketch 2, Figure 3. At this time the larger characteristics or peculiarities of the subject should be clearly expressed.

In the second stage, pictured in Sketch 3, the larger parts are still further subdivided and more of the small details are added. In this stage the drawing should be set back several times, too, for comparison with the subject. Here, as in the first stage, it is not necessary to erase all the construction lines or incorrect strokes unless they prove distracting. This second stage expresses the smaller or minor characteristics, retaining at the same time most of the larger. At this point the drawing is really a construction diagram over which it is intended to work. For shaded problems drawings are often brought only to this second stage before the values are added.

Now, before going on to the third and last stage illustrated in Sketch 4, get away from the work entirely for a few moments. In fact it is advisable to rest the eye every fifteen minutes or half hour by doing something else. One can even save time in the end if he goes to the window and looks out, or walks about a bit, forgetting the drawing completely. After such relaxation mistakes will usually be evident at the first glance and the brief respite will make it easier to resume and hold the correct position. This is important. Every time you take your seat you must be sure you are viewing the object from the right spot for, as we have said, the slightest difference in position will make a marked difference in the appearance. In this last stage remove all wrong or unnecessary lines. Then partly erase with a soft or kneaded rubber or art gum the correct lines until they are barely visible, showing just enough to afford a guide for the final relin-ing. A great deal of thought should be given to this last work for the final line should not be a perfect and mechanical one but should be expressive of the shapes and textures represented. For some parts the pencil will need a rather sharp point, - for others it must be quite blunt. The pressure should be varied, too, as certain lines need to be so light and delicate as to be barely visible while others will be bold and strong. In places gradation will take place from light to dark or from dark to light. No rules can be given for obtaining satisfactory results; it is a matter of taste and feeling. But draw thoughtfully and observe before you draw. This third stage expresses many of the smaller peculiarities of the subject, being a subdivision of the lines of the second stage, carefully refined, preserving, however, the big characteristics of the first stage.

Tabic Line

In order to make an object appear to rest on something solid instead of to merely hang in the air it is usually advisable to draw a horizontal line, often called a table line, which frequently represents the back of the object stand. Such a line gives some evidence of material support. If graded to light as it disappears behind the object or objects, it will add also to the feeling of detachment and space. This line should never be just half way between the margin lines. A second table line representing the front edge is sometimes advisable.

Margin Line

A freehand line drawn an inch or so from the edge of the paper all around, thus acting as a frame, adds to many compositions. Sometimes this line is carried only part way around as at "A." Sketch 7, Figure 4.

As soon as the sketch is completed, sign it with your name, date it. and put on approximately the amount of time required from start to finish. Then spray the drawing with fixatif, if you wish, or clip a piece of paper over it for protection and place it in your folio or some safe place for preservation. Don't make the mistake of destroying these early sketches, thinking they are of no value, for though they may not be beautiful pictures, it is often both interesting and instructive to look them over later, the comparison of a number of them done at different times showing just what progress has been or is being made.

When the sketch of the shoe is signed and laid to one side select another similar subject and draw it in just the same way, striving to truthfully express the individuality as before. Proportion the object as you see it and not as you think it ought to be - there will be time enough to use your originality later on, for remember it is truth we are seeking now, as a knowledge of truth is a foundation for all the rest to follow.

Marginal Notes Or Sketches

When a subject has been selected for a drawing it is often advisable to make very quickly a tiny sketch of it on the margin of the paper before going ahead with the final drawing. A few minutes will do for such a marginal sketch or note, just time enough to allow for a blocking in of the larger proportions, - the main lines of construction. When making this tiny sketch one is observing the subject and acquainting himself with it as preparation for the larger work. Figure 5 shows a number of these trial sketches.

Time Sketches

As a means of acquiring skill to grasp and delineate the leading characteristics of an object quickly, time sketches are valuable. These are nothing more or less than drawings done in a limited time, which is often set in advance. For a simple subject to be left in outline, five minutes is allowed, or fifteen or whatever seems advisable (this depending partly on the subject and partly on the skill of the artist). As good a drawing is made as is possible within the limits set. In such work it is especially important to block out the main-proportions first, adding as many of the smaller details as time permits. Then there is another sort of time sketch (often referred to as a time study) in which a drawing is pushed to completion as quickly as is possible and the required time noted. The speed and dexterity gained through all such training will prove indispensable when it comes to working from the living model or sketching moving objects. Animals, people, vehicles, boats and clouds do not always remain still to suit the convenience of the artist. Although all this "speed work" is essential and a pleasant change from the usual form of drawing where time is not a leading consideration, too much of it leads to carelessness and inaccuracy, being detrimental rather than beneficial. Alternate your problems, then, making some quick sketches and some painstaking studies, and progress should be steady and consistent.