Figure 15. Illustrating Methods of Sharpening and Holding Pencil, Practice Strokes, and Steps in Sketching.
Figure 16. Illustrating Methods of Tone Building, and Two Ways of Making Sketches.
Figure 17. Illustrating Quick Sketching; a Means by Which Much Knowledge of Architecture Can be Obtained.
Sometimes these lines are horizontal but more often vertical. Occasionally entire drawings are made by using tones composed of vertical strokes only. The drawing of the doorway "A" at the bottom of Figure 16 is done by this method. There is danger, however, of such lines becoming too rigid or mechanical, or in some cases too conspicuous, so the method shown at "B," in which the lines are allowed to go in any and all directions, is a much more popular one, and one adaptable to all types of subjects. This method is sometimes referred to as the "Free Line Method."
In building tones there are several points concerning which the beginner should be cautioned. First, beware the use of too many small lines. If twenty lines will do, it is ordinarily folly to use forty. There is danger especially in the use of many short, broken lines, as they often produce a spotty effect, - the more so if the white spaces between the ends of the lines are too conspicuous. Long, unbroken lines, on the other hand, sometimes appear too mechanical. It is best as a rule to so vary the length of lines as to produce an interesting variety, avoiding too many lines of equal length and similar direction. Tones are occasionally built up by "cross hatching" but it is usually best to avoid this expedient. Figure 16 shows, however, several examples of cross hatching, and sometimes such tones are highly desirable, especially for shadows and background purposes. Frequently in drawing shadows, especially under cornices, the lines forming the shadow tones are so slanted as to suggest the direction of the light. A sparkling, sunny effect is obtained, too, if the shadow tone is sharpened or darkened along the lower edge, thus forming a strong contrast against the light surfaces below.
Needless to say, it is most important to so vary the lines and tones as to express the textures of the materials represented by the sketch. Observation and practice will teach the student the best way to indicate wood, masonry, glass, metal, cloth, water, and the like.
Do not erase unless absolutely necessary, as results are never entirely satisfactory over an erased surface. If mistakes are made, use a soft eraser with extreme care and be sure to dust the paper thoroughly afterwards with a soft brush or cloth. Always keep an extra piece of paper under the hand as you work to protect the surface of the sheet. Figure 15 and Figure 16 show a number of practice strokes and tones done partly with a broad and partly with a fine point.
When the student has practiced tone building for some time he is ready to try simple drawings. Often more benefit can be gained from making a number of small sketches than from attempting one large rendering. As has been before suggested, the architectural student will be wise if, when selecting subjects for his sketches, he chooses objects of architectural value and interest. The sheet of sketches. Figure 17, is shown for two reasons. First, it illustrates a quick method of sketching, the drawings being very freely and rapidly made; and second, it suggests to the student a means by which much knowledge of architecture can be obtained. One cannot fail, when making such sketches, to learn a great deal of value concerning the objects which he represents. Figure 18 is also published here for two reasons. First, it shows in a comparative manner two types of line, the broad and the fine, used side by side for representing the same building; and second, it is a typical presentation drawing such as is submitted to a client as a means of securing a commission. This sort of drawing often brings new work into the office, and is, for that reason, of the greatest value to the architect. This particular drawing was laid out instrumentally. The original sheet measures about 10 1/2"xl4 1/2" to the margin lines. Figures 15 and 17 were originally drawn about 9"xl2 1/2", so the student should allow for this reduction when studying these sheets.
It may be of service to mention that, once a subject is selected for a sketch or rendering, whether large or small, it may be drawn in outline in either of two ways; the outline may be roughly blocked in with sketchy lines, which are to be erased when the final rendering is started, or it may be more carefully drawn directly with final lines, keeping them as a rule very light by using a hard pencil, and leaving them to become a part of the finished work. When the outline has been completed there are several methods of procedure before the student; he can put in the darkest tones of the whole drawing, later adding enough gray tones to complete the picture, or he can put in the gray tones first, as has been done in making the little sketch at the bottom of Figure 15, later adding the dark tones and sharp accents to finish the drawing.
Many artists complete their work as they proceed, beginning at the center of interest and working out, or beginning at the top and working gradually down towards the bottom. This latter method has one great advantage in that the drawing can be kept clean more easily than by the other methods, but unless the student is able to think very clearly before drawing or unless he makes first a preliminary sketch for the purpose of studying the values of light and dark, it is a difficult one. As a rule it is far safer to start at the center of interest, making sure that the strongest contrasts of light and shade and the sharpest details are there, keeping the rest of the drawing properly subordinated.