Illustrating Some of the Uses of Marginal Notes and Trial Sketches.

Figure 5. Illustrating Some of the Uses of Marginal Notes and Trial Sketches.

The other sketches on Figures 4 and 5 explain themselves, and as experience will soon teach the student how to get a satisfactory arrangement of the objects, it seems needless to say more here. Once they are in position the outline drawing should be carried forward by gradual steps just as we have explained for single objects, using care that in each drawing there is good relative proportion between all the different objects. When it comes to the final stage greater variety of outline may be needed to represent the larger number of surfaces and textures.

When the student has learned to draw well in outline it is time for him to start his work in light and shade and this will be discussed in the next chapter. Before turning to this, however, attention should be called to a means of learning freehand work which is growing in favor.

Drawing On Glass

If one stands facing a china closet or dish cupboard which has glass doors, and closes one eye, and then takes a lithographic pencil or china marking pencil he can trace on the glass the form of some dish inside, and this tracing will be a correct drawing of the dish as it appears from that particular point. Of course, it is rather difficult to draw in this way well for it is no easy matter to maintain just the same position throughout the work, and neither is it easy unless one's hand is well trained, to follow the outline with sufficient accuracy to produce a perfect drawing. Nor would there be any particular advantage in being able to do so. But students who have difficulty in perceiving or understanding certain facts in perspective can sometimes find help by using glass, making sure that it is at right angles to the line of sight from the eye to the object. One can sketch on a window, drawing, or more correctly, tracing, buildings or trees or any objects in repose which may be visible through the glass.

Occasional use of this method may help the beginner, but there is another far more valuable use to which glass may be put as a drawing surface, and with this use every beginner should be familiar.

A sheet of glass is placed on the easel or drawing table as a substitute for the usual paper, with a sheet of paper or white cloth beneath so the lines will be plainly visible when they are drawn. Then the objects are sketched on the glass with the china marking or lithographic pencil just as they would be blocked in with pencil on paper. When the main proportions are drawn as accurately as the student is able to get them the glass is raised to such a position that the drawing comes between the eye and the objects drawn, using one eye only. When the glass has been shifted to just the proper position the lines of the drawing should coincide with those of the object, this method therefore being an excellent test for accuracy. If errors are noted, return the glass to the table and erase the incorrect lines with a damp cloth. Make the necessary corrections and test again in the same way as before. Repeat the process as often as is necessary; then when the proportions are right wash off the drawing and try a new one of a different subject.

There is perhaps no way in which the beginner can learn to see his own mistakes and acquire a knowledge of perspective foreshortening more easily than this, and the use of glass is especially recommended to those who are unable to secure the services of a teacher. The glass invented by Anson K. Cross is a patented one having a spirit level in the frame, and it is used in somewhat the manner described above. Many well-known artists and educators advise the use of this glass, which has been introduced into some of the leading schools of the country. A crayon is especially prepared for use with it.