^r/ztzrt^——nuz/?^—/nar¿ r/ui>/t^—//taw r/tay/¿^—

thence, to simple words and sentences, not only written in a straight and even line, across the page, but repeated others, equidistant from each other, with a degree of ease and accuracy that would have done no discredit to older hands. If the men, who were then boys, now require ruled paper, or write in random, wandering lines, it has been the fault of after-years.

Another most admirable method, of exercising the hand, should not be forgotten. It was, to practise the drawing of the letters backward 5 by which the faint lines were necessarily reversed. We had often seen such letters and copies, in our " copper-plates," but never imagined they were to be done by any other method than by " painting them up."

Then, again, we were made to draw the letters with a single faint line-5 a practice well calculated to give ease and delicacy of touch, as well as certainty of hand: for he who depends upon the nib of his pen as a rest, will never be able to obtain command of it, or write, or draw, with ease and freedom.

Long after our writing-master had left us, and the fruits of his instruction were ripened, under the care of others, such continued to be sportive, as well as profitable exercises among us, on the slate and blackboard: and more than o-ne complaint came against us, for our chalk-and-charcoal illustrations on the neighboring fences. Had there been, then and there, one to give a proper direction to this impulse, thus awakened by the instruction of our writing-master, to design, more than one would now hold his memory in grateful recollection.

Such a system of instruction develops the art of writing 5 and such is the art of writing, in its relation to the art of drawing. The teacher, or pupil, who can, with his pen, produce the most simple curve, and repeat it at pleasure, can draw. If he can not draw, the art of writing is to him a mystery as hidden. Let not the teacher, therefore, who undertakes to instruct in writing, say, " I can not draw." The time will come, when he will blush as soon, to own a want of capacity in one art as the other.

111. In schools, where a teacher of drawing is not employed, and even where there is one, the improvement of scholars, in both writing and drawing, may be promoted, in a very great degree, and with little or no additional labor to the teacher, by taking one half, or even two thirds of the time, usually devoted to writing, and applying it to drawing. The result will be found in no way to impede the improvement of the writing-classes; but, 011 the contrary, greatly facilitate their advancement in that branch of education.* The copy-books, accessory to this work, will here be found of much use : for, by their aid, any teacher can initiate his pupils in knowledge and application of the first principles of drawing. He should require his scholars to practise each lesson with care and attention, and to become familiar, and, to a certain degree, perfect, in each, progressively ; and the beginning once made, there is no fear that either he, or they, will have cause to regret the effort, or fail to prosecute the study farther.- According to the advancement of his pupils, will he be able to judge of their capacity for higher attempts. In learning to draw, as in the acquirement of every other branch of education, the first steps are often the most important 5 and care, in the outset, may save much disappointment, and insure success. The method of instruction advised for schools, is equally applicable to home-education, or to those whose more mature years and judgment qualify them, in a measure, to become their own teachers

112. The study of art is, in itself, so pleasing, that but little more is required of teachers than the initiation of pupils in its rudiments, upon such sound principles that they may continue its pursuit, aided only by observation, reference to nature, and good productions of art, and such standard works on the subject, as their wants may require. They will find, even before they have mastered the very first rudiments, and in their very first attempts to draw from nature, the absolute necessity of a knowledge of the first principles of perspective 5 and, if in earnest in the business, they will not fail at once, to seek such knowledge : and it will be far better for them to supply the want when its necessity is felt, than if they were to undertake its attainment in advance. Again : when they attempt to draw the figure, they will be made sensible of the importance of a certain degree of knowledge of its anatomical structure ; and thus, at every step, no matter how far they may extend the pursuit, they will feel, for ever, progressive wants, which must be progressively supplied. For all, however, there must be a secure groundwork ; and that is a knowledge of the first principles of the imitative art. Once initiated, and made to feel the capacity of art, and the power they possess, its cultivation will not be a task, but constant and increasing delight. This must be done by small beginnings, by securing success, by not attempting too much, by a knowledge and capacity of its application to practical results, gradually acquired —

* The author has tlie gratification of finding this fact fully corroborated by the experience of an eminent teacher of New York, the Rev. W. Morris, rector of Trinity school, who, from actual experiment, has placed the matter in a light that can not fail to interest both parents and teachers. He divided his writing-class, without regard to any superior natural talent, or aptness, in his scholars, and allowed "one half the class to write every day in the week, as boys ur-ually do in school, and the other half wrote and drew on alternate days. The result produced an average of five to one good writers, in favor of the drawing-class." A similar experiment any teacher can make, and ir, is well worth tlie serious attention of all.

a hotter and surer system of rapid instruction than any other that can be devised. One simple straight, or curved line, drawn with accuracy, and the beginning is made; and a habit of observation of forms, and their imitation, is induced, which gradually leads from small to greater efforts. Wants are felt at every step 5 and their supply is naturally sought by like means that have given strength to reach the point already attained. The eye, the mind, and hand, keep pace with each other, in the march of improvement; and the increase of knowledge and capacity impels to higher attainments and insures results, which never can be reached by a course of superficial instruction, having only for its object the production of a drawing or picture — the joint labor of master and scholar — of which the former has, too often, far more than his share.

113. What can a pupil have learned, to advantage, who can do nothing without his drawing-master by his side ? And to what useful or satisfactory purpose can the little superficial knowledge thus acquired in his lesson, be applied in after-life ? It has been by such systems of superficial instruction, that drawing has been abused, and reduced in its consideration as a useful art 5 and, to say the truth, it is useless enough, when thus perverted from its high and valuable purposes. Such systems are worse than useless: they are evils, which go far to retard the cultivation of true taste, not only in art itself, but all those refinements which centre in it 5 and the sooner a reformation in our schools is begun, the sooner will a more healthful influence be seen and felt in society. We are not to look solely to teachers, for a remedy of the evil: for, unfortunately in this, as in everything else, the market will be, necessarily, supplied according to the nature of the demand; and, unless parents and pupils can be made sensible of the importance of a proper system of instruction, and of the advantages to be derived therefrom, teachers battle against windmills, and their most earnest and conscientious exertions will be in vain, and fruitless of satisfaction or reward. The work of reformation is no untried experiment. Abroad, the diffusion of judicious education in design, largely and freely distributed throughout all classes of society, has proved, not only how easily it can be done, but with what favorable results; and it is time an effort should be made in America, at least to keep pace with, if not to lead, in the march of the onward century in which we live. Surely, we will not admit the existence of national incapacity. From a land abounding with the beautiful 5 with genius, wealth, enterprise, and freedom, much may be expected, and much may be achieved : and should be, in this, as in all that tends to elevate its national character and importance.

114. Whatever the experience of the world may be, with regard to the necessity of coercion, and of forcing the youthful mind, by physical persecution, into the reception of knowledge, that no

Was this article helpful?

0 0
How To Become A Professional Pencil Drawing Artist

How To Become A Professional Pencil Drawing Artist

Realize Your Dream of Becoming a Professional Pencil Drawing Artist. Learn The Art of Pencil Drawing From The Experts. A Complete Guide On The Qualities of A Pencil Drawing Artist.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment