cases, it is true, but it is there. By the aid of shadows is developed the true form of the model; and to parts more or less advanced or depressed, are thereby given a location, as decided and certain as if seen in profile. So truly can they be expressed, on a flat surface, that a sculptor can model a bust, from a picture, and the eye may be so completely deceived, by their close representation, as scarcely to distinguish the reality from its counterfeit. It is, therefore, as essentially necessary to preserve the forms, masses, and proportions, of shadows, as of the more
substantial parts of the object of imitation; and the surest way to acquire facility in expressing them, is to proceed in precisely the same manner with .them, as with other details and accessories.
88. The Hand, although more difficult to draw than the foot, not only on account of its peculiar structure, but the great variety of action and position, of which it is capable, presents greater facility of study to the draughtsman, is better understood, and more familiar to our obser-
vation. What has been said, with regard to the difficulty of finding, in nature, beautiful and well-formed feet, does not apply to the hands, for they are often to be met with, of the most exquisite form and just proportions} and there are no objects in nature, the study of which is better calculated to strengthen the general capacity of the student, in the art of drawing. If he can draw a hand, with ease and accuracy, he can draw anything. Let him, therefore, set about the work with earnestness, for success will place him in a position, from which he can look with pleasure on the labor by which it has been attained, and forward to the assured consummation of his most ardent aspirations.
89. If the importance of first securing the general form of the head and foot has been already felt, it will be evident, with greater force, in drawing the hand, especially when the fingers are extended. Let us, therefore, have recourse to a reduction of the outline of this first example of the hand, to explain more fully the method or process by which it can be most readily obtained. When once the general form of the principal and most massive portion of the hand, extending from the wrist to the beginning of the fingers, is ascertained, and indicated with accuracy, next decide upon the length, expansion, and relative position, of the fingers, as a group, and then proceed with each, in its turn of relative importance, continually comparing and verifying your conclusions, as you advance, by the method already explained 5 never losing sight of the general character of the whole, and keeping the parts in perfect harmony of action with it. This example may be found even more difficult than those that follow 5 but it is well for the pupil to have his strength tested, and if he has earnestly, and successfully, followed the line of study /
marked out for him, thus far, he may be safely said to be even now within sight of the more pleasant ways of art, with assurance of strength and capacity to enter upon the broad and boundless field that lies before him. A little farther, and the elementary work is done, and another and higher, is begun. But, before the one is
accomplished, or the pupil prepared to enter upon the other, he must be fully impressed with the practical application of the general principles of design, which it has been the purpose of these pages to inculcate, not only with reference to the examples placed before him, but to all other objects. He must not only possess a perfect comprehension of the method, but practically assure himself of its value, by repeated and careful trials.
Was this article helpful?