and shadow. The painter dispenses with outline because he can define contours against other masses or build out the form in relief by the use of values.
You must understand the difference between contour and line. A piece of wire presents a line. A contour is an edge. That edge may be a sharp limitation to the form (the edges of a cube) or a rounded and disappearing limitation (the eon-tour of a sphere). Many contours pass in front of one another, like the contours of an undulating landscape. Line figure drawing, even as landscape drawing, demands foreshortening in order to produce the effect of solid form. You cannot outline a figure with a bent wire and hope to render its solid aspect. Look for two kinds of lines: the flowing or rhythmic line, weaving it about' die form; and, for the sake of stability and structure, the contrasting straight or angular line.
Line can have infinite variety, or it can be intensely monotonous. Even if you start with a bent wire, you need not make it entirely monotonous. You can vary the weight of line. When you are drawing a eontour that is near a very light area, you can use a light line or even omit it entirely. When the line represents a contour that is dark and strong, you can give it more weight and vitality. The slightest outline drawing can be inventive and expressive.
Take up your pencil and begin to swing it over your paper; then let it down. That is a "free" line, a "rhythmic" line. Now, grasping your pencil lightly between thumb and index finger, draw lightly or delicately. Then bear down as though you really meant it. That is a "variable" line. See if you can draw a straight line and then set down another parallel to it. That is a "studied" line.
If you have considered a line as merely a mark, it may be a revelation to you that line alone possesses so much variation that you can worry over it for the rest of your days. Remem-
bcr that line is something to turn to when your drawings arc dull. You can start expressing your individuality with the kinds of line you draw.
Now to the figure. What is the height-to-width relationship of an ideal figure? An ideal figure standing straight must fit within a certain rectangle. What is that rectangle? See drawing, page 26. The simplest and most convenient unit for measuring the figure is the head. A normal person will fall short of our ideal by half a head-he will measure only seven and a half heads instead of eight. You need not take eight heads as an absolute measure. Your ideal man may have any proportions you wish, but he is usually made tall. On pages 26 to 29 you will find various proportions in head units. Note that at any time you can vary your proportions to suit the particular problem. Study these carefully and draw them, two or three times, for you will use them, consciously or not, every time you set up a figure. Some artists prefer the legs even a little longer than shown. But, if the foot is shown tipped down in perspective, it will add considerable length and be about right.
It is remarkable that most beginners' work looks alike. Analyzing it, I have found certain characteristics that should be mentioned here. 1 suggest that you compare this list with your own work to see if you can locate some of the characteristics for improvement.
1. Consistently gray throughout.
What to do: First get a soft pencil that will make a good black.
Pick out the blacks in your subject and state them strongly.
By contrast, leave areas of white where subject is white or very light. Avoid putting overstated grays in light areas.
Do not surround things that aio light with heavy lines.
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