\ "Rules are to be considered as fences, placed only where trespass is expected."—Reynolds.
99. The test of excellence, in a method or manner, is its approach to precision, and distinctness of expression, by which an object, or thought, is most clearly represented. He that has a clear perception of the one, or the other, if assisted by proper education, will not be long in
finding a manner or method of conveying it, in his own way, far better than by any he can borrow of another. It is often painful to see the toil bestowed upon a drawing, on which weeks and months have been worn away, in efforts to attain the peculiar touch of an example set before the pupil, without one thought of the sentiment, general character, or expression, of the original : to which the work, method, or manner, was only considered secondary by its author — as if, to write like Shakespeare, meant no more than to copy his handwriting.
LOO. Should the pupil now desire to try the pencil or crayon, he may do so with profit and propriety 5 and he will find the use he has made of the pen has given his hand a degree of precision of touch, that he should never suffer it to lose in the use of other instruments, that are apt to lead to carelessness, because their work can be easily erased, or errors committed, readily disguised. In schools, as well as in private instruction, Indian rubber, stale bread, and all other devices for erasure, should, as far as possible, be kept out of the way 5 and thus errors will be avoided, by the absence of the ready means of other correction than a renewed effort, the preservation of their evidence, and consequent remembrance, and care, to prevent their recurrence in future attempts.
101. Although it might be better to leave the pupil to the selection of his own method, or manner, of expressing that which he desires to represent, after he has perfected its general outline, and to direct his attention to such a variety of drawings, by different artists, as may be within his reach—rather than those by any one individual hand—yet, a few hints on the subject may be found serviceable to him.
102. The instructions which have been given, in reference to the use of the pen, are equally applicable to the pencil, crayon, or chalk. The practice of the primary lessons, on straight and curved lines, will be found to have been essentially useful, in acquiring that command of hand, without which, proficiency in drawing is of no easy attainment. As in nature, objects take every variety of form and direction, so should the lines or touches, used in their delineation, have equal freedom in their direction, and always adapted to the purpose, and as expressive as possible, of the true form and character of the original. This may, at first, appear difficult; but, by observation, study, and practice, it may be soon acquired.
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