In concluding (his lxx>k, I want to thank the readers of my previous lxx)ks for their very kind letters. Because of the large number of these, and because of the pressure on my own time, I have never been able to answer as many as 1 wished to. If my lxx>ks have helped you, I am happy.
It is only within the past decade that so many books on drawing and painting have been available. Perhaps another seems superfluous, but in investigating l>efore starting this one. I found very few which concentrated on heads or hands. Both are so important to commercial and portrait artists that I have undertaken to fill the gap. It is iny conviction that such a book should come from a person whose livelihood has depended upon the very material he is writing about. In this capacity I have felt that I could substitute actual practice for theory, because my own work based on the principles given here has proved itself by actual sales to leading publications over a long period of time.
There are many fine men in the field of commercial art, and many fine teachers in the schools, who would be capable of handling the same subject. It is largely a matter of finding the time and energy for such an effort in an already full schedule. I have found, however, that time can be apportioned for almost any endeavor that is interesting and pleasant to undertake, simply by curtailing competing pleasures. Much of this lx>ok has been done in the evenings or at times between the pressure of other work. My hope is that if I could find time to do the book, others could also in the same way set aside time to study it. My end of the effort is completed, but I am still concerned that it will go out and do the job for young people that I want it to do.
The men in the field who are now the greatest contributors are men who had to come up the hard way, without much knowledge available in lxxiks, grasping here and there for information together with much personal practice and experiment. Books will not do the work for anyone, but they can make individual effort more practical and profitable, speeding the acquiring of much-needed knowledge, so that the artist can have more years of successful practice.
It is not my intention to have my readers stop their study of the head and hands with the closing of this lxx)k. My aim has l>een to help them to a well-grounded start that will give their own ability the l)est of chances. We know that a head cannot be well drawn by any approach that does not. in the final effort, produce solidity and good construction. The portrayal of character must come from specific analysis and from understanding the general anatomy of the head. If I have shown you how that analysis can be made and the reasons for the things that happen in drawing a head, your own progress will greatly accelerated.
Aside from technical knowledge, I feel that the artist must have a certain reverence for the l>eauty of the construction of the head, the qualities of its forms that give it individuality, plus a desire for beauty of craftsmanship in the rendering. He should strive never to let his technique become a routine formula, by which all heads are done in the same manner. I>ct him experiment constantly with the expression of his basic knowledge. Some heads can I>e done Ik'SI by suggestion, others by complete detail and fidelity to life. Some will be more interesting if rendered in line, others by tonal suggestion. The result should never look as if it came off an assembly line. To vary your technical style is not easy; neither is keeping your thinking varied. A great deal of practice and experiment is required.
A very fine idea is for a group of young artists
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