Fifth Lesson. Before submitting the examples we have prepared for this lesson, it will be necessary to make a few observations upon copying.
We will suppose that you have to copy a drawing:, - perhaps an architectural one. How would you commence ? Most probably differently to your neighbour, who would also commence differently to his neighbour, and so on, unless guided by correct principles. Do not imagine that what we state is without foundation, it is perfectly true; for, not long since, we placed two drawings of the same subject before four pupils, and requested them to copy them, and each one commenced differently. One of them began at the right-hand side, the other at the left, another at the top, and the fourth in the centre of the drawing. What could illustrate more forcibly than these blunders, that attention to the rules of the art is absolutely necessary ?
You ask, " how am I to commence ?" and to this question we will at once reply. First, enclose a certain space, by means of four lines, if for a landscape ; or by an oval or circular line, if for a portrait, etc.- this is called the boundary line of the drawing, and is used to confine a certain portion of a landscape or other subject. The importance of attending to this rule will be obvious to every person ; and when we treat hereafter of sketching from Nature, you will then find how essential it is to adopt this method. When the boundary-line is formed, your next care should be to determine the relative positions of the principal objects, points, or features, etc.; and if you have attended to the instructions given in the former lessons, you will not have much difficulty in doing so by faint lines and dots. In a landscape you will have to fix the height of the horizon, which should be done by first placing a dot at each side of the boundary-line, and then, if you have judged the distance correctly, uniting the two by a faint line drawn through the picture; this is called the horizontal line. When that has been done determine the nearest conspicuous object to the boundary line, its height, width, and relative position to the horizontal line, and other objects; then fix the position of the trees, distance, and foreground, by means of faint outlines, or dots, or both, taking care to observe their relative situations, inclinations, and measurements are regulated by their proximity to the boundary, horizontal, and base lines of the picture ; the last-mentioned line, being the bottom or lower boundary line of the drawing..
In fig. 8, you were directed to draw a line perpendicular to the horizontal ones, this was done for the purpose of enabling you to judge the relative distances of the several angles of the pyramid from each other, and you will find it very useful to draw a line through the centre of any object that you have to copy, because it serves as a guide to the proper disposition of the several other parts. Of course, as you become more and more proficient in the art, this will not be always necessary.
We will now commence some practical illustrations of the preceding remarks. You are required to draw tig. 20, which is a
Fig. 20, centre-piece for a border, or an ornamental panel. Fig. 21, is a diagram illustrating the method of doing so, which is thus: First draw three horizontal lines, a b, c d, e f, and bisect them with the perpendicular line g h. You have only to determine the relative distances of each point by means of dots, and to draw the curved and straight lines faintly, as shown in fig. 21, and after-wards to rub out the superfluous lines, and strengthen the outline by broad touches With an H B pencil.
We have found it an excellent plan to cut the Indian-rubber, used for rubbing out architectural and fine drawings, in a triangular shape, because the angles enable us to remove very small lines, or dots. The Indian-rubber should not be more than l-4th to 3-7ths of an inch thick.
Our next example is of a different character, being the outline of an antique vase (tig. 22). In drawing this figure, a circle is first of all drawn, and then it is divided by two perpendicular lines, (as shown in fig. 23), and a horizontal line drawn above the circle. These lines are sufficient to enable the pupil to construct the figure with ease.
Our next exercises are taken from antique vases, and given without any diagramatic illustrations to enable the pupil to construct
them ; because, having already given ample directions, we wish pupils to think for themselves, so as to be able to act at times without the aid of an instructor.