This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
Fig. 28. - Reflections by repeated lines, broken by short, wavy lines. (See the preceding page.) a drawing is first made on white bristol board or smooth drawing paper with very black ink and a steel pen; this drawing is photographed upon a plate of prepared gelatine, and the blank spaces between the lines of the drawing are eaten away by acids, leaving the actual pen marks clear and distinct in high relief. This plate is then hardened by another bath of chemicals, and a metal cast or " shell " is taken, from which the illustration is actually printed.
As we have remarked before, there is no better ink than Higgins' India Ink for chawing for reproduction. It is jet black, runs freely, and therefore does not clog the pen, and it dries without gloss. Stevens' ebony stain is a good substitute, and is extremely cheap, but it is not waterproof.
Whatever ink you use, be sure there is no trace of blue in it. Red or brown inks reproduce very well, as a rule.
In all of our studies in pen drawing, the chief object to be striven for at first is simplicity of expression; and it is far better that these studies should be crude and unfinished, expressing only the first vigorous impressions of light and shade made upon the eye, than that they should be elaborately worked up with much crossing of lines, and an attempt to make a fine effect. There is nothing more useful in its place than what is known as cross-hatching; but it may also be said that there is nothing in pen drawing more easily abused; and if we compare the best pen work in our magazines and books of to-day with that which appeared in the periodicals of thirty years ago, we will see how large a share of the wonderful advance which has been made is due to a simplicity and directness of treatment almost unknown to the past. Where multitudes of lines were once employed to produce a desired result, we find in the illustrative work of to-day fewer lines, more strength and decision, and in apparently simpler work the evidence of far more careful study. To one familiar with the pen there will, perhaps, be an occasional need for a few cross-hatched lines; but to the beginner, whose pen work is uncertain and confused, and whose constant temptation is to patch up that upon which he has probably already worked far too long, the indefiniteness of cross-hatching merely weakens his work yet more. Let us then try to make bold, vigorous, and at the same time accurate drawings, and it will be much easier, later on, to reduce and tone down such pen work than it would be to strengthen drawings already weak and timid, or to improve a method of work acquired through the making of many lines.
It does not hurt a pen drawing, so far as the process reproduction of it is concerned, to paste another piece of paper over it. Indeed the usual way to hide a blot on a drawing is either to paste a piece of paper over it and to join the lines at the edges, or cut a hole somewhat larger than the blot and paste a piece of paper on the back. In reproducing from a wash-drawing, however, there would be great danger of the shadow of the edge of the overlaid paper producing a line in the plate at the place of junction. In the one case there is only
Fig. 29. - Objects reflected in still water. Effect obtained by the use of vertical lines only. (See the preceding page.) the white of the paper to reckon with; in the other case, the grey "half-tone" ground reproducing the web of the wire screen, interposed between the drawing and the negative, has to be taken into account.