Sketching and painting are good means of individual expression for campers. A new appreciation of the out-of-doors is gained by the camper who looks for beauty and translates that beauty to paper with pencil, crayon, or brush. The making of a picture can be a very satisfying experience, even for the camper who tries it for the first time. The picture is a personal expression, a description of some scene which has impressed him, and a means of describing his impression by line and color rather than by spoken or written words. For many campers, the first stimulation to "draw something" comes from an enthusiastic counselor or from the activity group, and when they learn that the fun of making lines and forms or of blending colors is the important result, not the making of a finished portrait, they relax and begin to sketch with ease and with pleasure. This positive approach, this willingness to try, is the first step in helping campers know the joy of sketching and painting. Enthusiasm is contagious, and once started, the activity will soon be enjoyed by many who may have thought they
"couldn't draw a thing." Since the equipment is relatively simple and inexpensive, it can be provided easily for a group and several campers can enjoy the activity at the same time.
In sketching and painting, the artist makes his own interpretation; he may leave out what he does not like, and emphasize what he wants to emphasize. This point of view helps the beginner realize that he does not need to make his picture like any other picture, or even "just as it is," but rather that, he has great freedom to record what he wishes to record.
Sketching is an art which is recorded with pencil, charcoal, or crayon. Painting is an art which employs brush and transparent water color, poster paint, or oil paint.
Beginners in sketching and painting should be encouraged to try scenes in the out-of-doors first. The challenge of groups and of individuals in action may be met as the artist gains confidence. Sketching is a good beginning activity, and it is an especially good group activity, with each camper making his own sketch but also having the fun of seeing what other campers develop. In a group it is easy to catch the enthusiasm of the counselor who finds good in each expression, and who encourages freedom of execution. In a group, too, one quickly finds that no two sketches are alike, but that each artist has an individual approach which makes each sketch or painting his own.
As campers progress beyond the first steps in groups, they have a new-found pocket craft, and a small sketch book and pencil slipped into a pack or pocket will provide additional enjoyment for hikes, quiet times, or special occasions.
These are some of the terms used in sketching and painting:
Composition-the arrangement of the picture, an organization of line, shape, mass, and color to make a whole (The important part, the center of interest, should be near the center of the picture; some part should lead the viewer's eye into the center of interest.)
Design-organization of line, mass, shape, texture, color, and motion growing out of personal or group explorations of materials; may be in two or three dimensions
Line-a means of indicating form, motion, and emotion in two dimensions Form-mass or shape to make or construct, conceive, arrange, or compose Color-hue
Balance-a distribution of line, shape, mass, or color which results in an equalization of weight, either symmetrical or asymmetrical Symmetrical-balanced; having corresponding parts equal in size, shape, and relative proportions from a longitudinal line Asymmetrical-lacking in symmetry; having unequal balance of parts Emphasis-an effect that is brought out clearly or distinctly by position, color, or size Perspective-the art or science of representing on a flat surface three-dimensional objects as they appear to the eye
Rhythm-a finely spaced or measured sequence of the elements of design Value-a quality of color which distinguishes light from dark colors
Shade-a representation of a surface in shadow by a darker color Block in-to sketch or indicate objects in the picture very roughly, with no detail
Be sure to have a sketching or painting surface and tool for each member of the group.
Large sheets of paper-12" x 18" a good size; newsprint or drawing paper, or any clean surface.
Drawing boards-boards slightly larger than the paper to be used; these may be heavy cardboard, masonite, plywood, or similar material. Corrugated cardboard is not recommended, as the surface is not firm enough, and ridges will show on the sketch.
Improvised easels-see Figure VIII-1.
Sketching materials: soft pencils (#2B are best) with broad edges rather than points, or wax or pastel crayons. Colored chalk may be used instead of pastel crayons; it is less expensive and is a good beginning medium. Charcoal bits may be picked from the campfire, or artist's charcoal sticks may be purchased. Making charcoal will be a good project for older campers; directions may be found in Nature Crafts.
Soft erasers-kneaded rubber, soft rubber, or artgum.
Fixative-a thinned shellac used for preserving pastel, charcoal, and chalk pictures; may be purchased, compressed in cans or in bottles to use with atomizer.
Large sheets of paper-18" x 24" a good size; manila, bogus, or antique paper for poster paint; antique, charcoal, or water-color paper for water color; canvas board, canvas panels, or canvas-like paper for oil.
Drawing boards of flat surface. See Sketching section for materials.
Improvised easels-see Figure VIII-1.
Brushes: flat 1/4", 1/2", or 1" artist's bristle brushes for poster paint or oil; #9 and 1" wash brushes of oxhair, camel hair, or sable for water color.
Painting materials: poster, oil, or water-color paints.
Turpentine and linseed oil for oil paints, water for poster and water-color paints.
Palettes: white plate for water colors, muffin tins for poster paints, masonite or plywood for oil paints.