Intuitive Perspective

The accompanying reproduction is one of a well-known pen-drawing by Leonardo. In it the point of sight is at the head of the central rearing horse to this point converge all the lines which in reality are perpendicular to the picture plane. Lay a ruler over the principal lines and verify this fact. All the rest of the drawing seems, however, to have been drawn in freely. Some of the edges of the steps vanish to the point of sight, others do not. This is of course a derogation from the laws of...

Info

Nation either of unintelligence or of lack of taste, of which quality, by the by, it always shirks the definition. Draughtsmanship is not a national gift in England none of the formal arts are practised with success in the British Isles. I am writing about drawing, not about English drawing. Why should I write only about English drawing when the British Museum contains its magnificent collection of drawings of all periods, and by all peoples, from the palaeolithic engraving of a reindeer on a...

Hukusai Hands

It is evident that similar remarks may be made concerning the toes. Rather for their interest than for any clear idea of their instructive utility I am reproducing a page of hand studies from the Mangwa of Hukusai. They are at least suggestive of a field of hand-pose almost unexploited in Europe. Their expressiveness cannot be denied. I trust my readers will not use against me the evident violations on the part of Hukusai of some of the rules, concerning finger...

IoThe Experimental Method

Extend and to complete my no longer perfectly efficient vision, now deprived of its binocular quality. A frequent fault of writers on perspective is to present the matter in an unnecessarily arid and abstract way. A beginner will certainly get a better grip of the subject by following the experimental method of study at the start. Let him either look through the window, or better still, set a pane of glass upright wxyz (Fig. 26) in a saw-cut yz made in a board ghij, and place the apparatus on a...

Aesthetic Criterium

Captain Rattray was allowed to photograph, that is to make a reproduction of one of two little girls in Ashanti, but permission to photograph her little sister was denied to him, because the spirit of the child was too delicate to run the risk of any of it being taken away in the portrait This is surprising as it implies subtraction of part of the child's personality. As a rule participation does not imply subtraction. Possibly the child was not strong enough to resist the various...

Turner And Titian

Incapable of satisfying the severer exigence of figure-work, and who are inclined to claim as a praiseworthy quality their own incapacity. Remark that all this is not a denial of the fact that a man may be so constituted that his best aesthetic expression lies in the field of landscape art. Turner was quite right to devote himself to landscape-painting his gift was to trace on paper and on canvas the endless wonder of mist and light, of night yielding place to the prepotency of day, of the...

Surfaces Of Suspension

But there is a more evident and cogent reason for the study of the nude before draping it. Drapery hangs free from certain supports. Let us consider a standing figure simply draped with a fairly soft material. The folds will hang free from the shoulders behind to the heels, will hang free unless slightly pushed out by the buttocks. If the figure stoops forward the folds will only hang free from the buttocks to the heels along the back the drapery will lie close and very possibly foldless. Now...

Certain Forewords Of Importance

MANY treatises on artistic anatomy exist there exists, it may be, a less number of volumes on figure-drawing. Several of these treatises, of these volumes, I have read, still more have I glanced through years ago I consulted with assiduity Marshall's Anatomy for Artists. Now, as a draughtsman of the nude myself, as a sculptor, as a painter, I have faults to find with one and all of the books on drawing that it has been my lot to come across. Some of them are practically valueless others are...

Czanne Turner Rembrandt

Example turned to account in such work. There is every room for improvement in poster work, but I cannot treat of it here. Few draughtsmen have better rendered than Rembrandt and C zanne (see p. 288, Relation in Art, and pp. 28, 46, and 102, Way to Sketch) the stable planting of a tree in the ground, the columnar nature of the trunk solidly fixed to the earth. This is specially remarkable in the present drawing. Fig. 118, a landscape of the Italian school, is by no means negligible as work, but...

Leonardos Curiosity

Unsatisfied desire, with passionate love of beauty of shape, of grace of gesture or of pose. c Sometimes ', says Walter Pater, ' this curiosity came in conflict with the desire of beauty it tended to make him go too far below that outside of things in which art really begins and ends.' But here we have the essayist speaking, the man who only created in a minor degree and against his opinion perhaps not at all intended for such a practical application as that to which I am here suggesting that...

Perspective Only A Convention

Demetrius at Salonika (it dates from the sixth century) is cast in a perspective which, while established only on a basis of sentiment often in error, still prepares the way for the mathematical studies of the Florentine Renaissance, and itself is but a repetition of Pompeian classical perspective. The whole of solid representation on a flat surface is a convention, the part of this representation which we call perspective is also a convention. The European system, in order to escape...

Relations Between Composition

F us define our terms as far as possible. Composition is a poor and misleading word. It is, however, conse crated by long use, and to replace it would be confusing. The word composition gives the impression of building up, of assembling, and placing together of parts. Though this may be true of the later steps of picture-making, it should not be true of the principal structure of the arrangement. The main facts of a composition should present themselves simultaneously, together with their...

The Futuristsi

Us as a geometrical ellipse free from variations.1 The Futurists made an attempt at employing several European perspective systems in the same canvas but their method was incomplete, a heterogeneous patchwork was more often than not the result. But I must reserve to a special study the examination of these questions. Before closing this chapter I will call attention to the fact that, in Fig. 32, I have employed at least two perspective schemes yet I submit that the result does not shock and in...

Reticence And Measure

Satisfies me at first glance will inevitably allow me to analyse it in a like manner the same facts will always be represented though the ways of representing them will differ. These facts are the real subject-matter of this book. The Leonardo drawing (Fig. 72) of course partakes more of the nature of a diagram than of a drawing, and although it contains many masterly qualities, although I should be very glad to be able to do it myself, still it may be used from one point of view as a...

O Carrire And Manet

Spectator's left the ensuing inch, which denotes the bridge of the nose, is again perpendicular and finally half an inch inclines again to the left over the tip of the nose. At least four directions are taken by one and the same brush-stroke, and moreover each of these segments is quite markedly curved. Doubtless this technique permits of much insistence on the suppleness of flesh it is a method of underlining the way in which the different details of the body interlace and hold together. At...

Combination Of Styles

Fa ade of Lincoln Cathedral that an ogival architect has continued a Norman fa ade but it becomes a defect, because the ogival architect has worked badly. To me it is inconceivable that a man should for one moment think of first using the meaningless horizontal repetition of arcades in the top row, and further be so devoid of invention as to use them again below, and then simply leave off stupidly when he comes to the existing Norman front. Such work shows the most amazing lack of all sense of...

Lincoln Cathedral

From a single brain, except the west front and possibly the upper part of tower and spire. We have no such homogeneous design in our medieval cathedrals. The French were less conservative, perhaps less penurious their Gothic architects were iconoclasts no French architect could have allowed such frightful solecisms to remain as disfigure our cathedrals to the purist's eye, and endear them to the artist This is why I have chosen to reproduce a view of Salisbury Cathedral vaunted as an example of...

Rembrandts Landscape

Sufficiently adaptable to the apparently less complex human figure did not adapt itself to landscape work. That is the inconvenience of learning how to make a drawing instead of learning how to draw. Some of the most remarkable European landscape-drawings we possess are by a man who is classified as a figure painter. This is annoying. His name is Rembrandt. Had he, being a figure artist, the right to produce remarkable landscapes* I do not venture to decide. My special reason for reproducing...

Art And Commerce

But the artist must not be at first hand commercial or if, like Turner, he do not forget his financial interests, he must, again like Turner, only consider them when, for the moment, his art is over and put aside. The irony of the situation comes out when we remember that the saleable value of those who made it their chief occupation inevitably falls, while the value of a Monet has increased by something over a hundredfold. I should be very happy to consider an...

Primitives And Causality

The greater number perhaps of the designs might almost pass for having a Chinese origin. What can this signify, this common use of a ' curved formula 5 in such marked opposition with the Grasco-European straight tendency Can we set up as an axiom that the straight line corresponds with the logico-scientific thought and the specially flexed curve, which we find here and in China, with the tendency to people the seen world with unseen things, with the Feng-shui, with...

About B C I

Perhaps of Amenophis III. Shows extraordinarily natural treatment leading to the supposition that the use of the traditional formula was quite voluntary unknown, for it there is no place in them. European Art may almost be termed, at least in its higher efforts, one long hesitation between Hellenism and Mysticism. But Europe is essentially inartistic, especially its northern races, who, as we have seen, when left to themselves, produced naught but meaningless design. When...

Examination Of

A piece of charcoal and to imitate the external appearance of such a drawing,- especially to imitate its seeming carelessness of detail, its apparent lack of precision we see that kind of work produced by dozens any afternoon in the sketching class of the Acad mie de la Grande Chaumi re in Paris. The only trouble is that precisely these delicacies of observation and noting are invariably omitted. Follow the arm up to the wrist, the ulnar end is marked, while the diagonal direction of the mass...

La Tache Dominante

Black accent is placed at the summit of the curve. A lesser artist would probably have treated all three arches in the same manner and would have deprived us of the plastic eloquence of this delicate decorative arrangement. Evidently such subtleties of intention cannot be enmeshed in a web of words translated into another medium the fine cause of their being is lost, the unerring judgement of equilibrium between decorative intention and solid suggestivity, the consequent choice of pencil-stroke...

Latissimus Dorsi

Figs. 49,72, 83 a, 111) of the composite mass of the obliques, the author of the diagram completely obscures this fact by-bringing down the lower parts of the latissimus dorsi over the upper part of the obliques. The diagram thus belies the appearance of the photograph which it is supposed to explain. More than this, the anatomization is not even correct. The anterior edge of the latissimus dorsi is the only part of the muscle which is of sufficient thickness to modify, in a practical way, the...

Impressionism

In spite of its devise, Impressionism was slightly artificial, perhaps as artificial in an opposed direction as the art it warred against, though artificial in a good and not in a meaningless way it was French it, too, was partly quintessentialized. Hazlitt might have found Impressionism, too, unnatural. Perhaps the truest, that is, the most natural, thing about it, more natural than even its colour, was its transcription of open-air values in place of the artificial bituminous...

Binocular Vision

Vertical registers such was the habit in ancient Egypt and Assyria though in Egypt we may trace here and there a faint beginning of perspective in landscape. For a complete study of perspective I must refer the reader to some such work as Mr. Storey's (Clarendon Press) at the same time I feel that to leave the subject wholly untouched in this volume would be to allow too great a lacuna to exist in it. I shall limit myself to roughly indicating the main facts and to giving a few practical...

Lighting Subsequent To Shape

Distribution of light and shade he seized on first (with the slight exception of the shading between the thighs which is in reality only the marking out of a plane and the almost negligible accent under the calf, one may say that there is no shadow indicated at all), but that his first step was to prepare the solid volumes over which to make his light and shade play subsequently. This is always done by great men. With them lighting is always subsequent to shape. In The Way to Sketch I have...

Nuance And Refinement

Reproduction, for each drawing even each pen drawing is filled with subtle variations of line and tint value, the despair of the commercial block-maker and printer. Re-draw an exact facsimile of any one of these drawings with the uncompromising equality of tint given by ' waterproof Chinese ink 5 on immaculate Bristol board you will be surprised how unrecognizable it has become. Art is an infinite congeries of nuances, of hardly perceptible refinements. Suppress them, and you suppress the art...

IoRodin And Rhythm

Of them for himself, and will see how often they are absent from the drawings of many contemporaries whose work is vaunted but whom it would be invidious to name. However the commonest failing is that of inferior rhythmic succession. An intense feeling for rhythmic succession is what renders interesting and valuable the most careless and rapid of Rodin's drawings, and is what is invariably lacking from those of his imitators. It is, of course, nothing else which gives life to his modelling,...

IoTone Modelling

Yet the artistic use of shadow is a very late development, and the use of strong light and shade with cast shadows belongs to late Europe only (China and Japan may be said to have dispensed with cast shadows).1 Many arts have lived, attained their apogee, and died without ever employing light and shade, as distinct from tone modelling. Greek Art occurs to us, of course, as the most familiar example. It is also curious that such peoples should have hit on the...

Landscapedrawing

IN the opening pages of this book I stated that the best school for every kind of drawing is the nude. Manifestly one could write a whole volume on the special branch of landscape-drawing. Matter is by no means wanting. Comparisons can be instituted between the multiple technical modifications pages may be filled by describing the differences of form between elm and beech, granite and sandstone ' recipes 5 can be and generally are given for ' doing * trees, water, and so on. Needless to say I...

Balance And Perspective

Rhythm without losing one iota of its primal massive simplicity wherein volumes have their being and obey the combined laws of mechanical balance and of optical perspective, you will have no more to learn about drawing. To draw such a diagram is easy. It is not much more difficult (though many would have us believe that it is) to make a drawing which shall express, more or less well, rhythm and flow of outline. The trouble suddenly begins when we try at one and the same time (a) to conceive in...

Peterborough And Beauvais

With any English one in this respect. Let us take Peterborough and Beauvais, though any other pair would do equally well. The proportions of the fa ade of Peterborough are particularly unlucky the enormous arches seem placed there to hold up the thinnest of string-courses, although the architect has been careful to provide each arch with a superincumbent triangle exactly like its brethren. In truth the central triangle had to be smaller than the lateral ones, but the designer, terribly upset at...

Foreshortening

Detail the two volumes of the lower lip clearly seen in the Leonardo (Fig. 96), the median upper lip volume and its two accompanying lateral drooping shapes Need I call attention to the fact that the whole charming cupid-bow design is curved backwards, which, in the case of any three-quarter view, throws all one-half of the mouth into quite violent foreshortening, a foreshortening which makes it necessary to mark out properly the far limit of the upper median mass where it probably hides a...

A Interest And Relative Volume

And exaggerated styling which shocks the logical factors of our personality. The justification of the avowed admiration of the period between, say, 1912 and 1920 for West African sculpture, may be found in the fact that neither the ' advanced ' European school nor the ' primitive' attached importance to mere imitation hence they found common standing in the treatment of rhythm untrammelled by serious reference to natural shape. In reality the two arts were far apart, for the European only...

Corot And Values

At the same time force yourself to reduce the number of scribbled tones employed to four at the most you will often be able to use even less. This exercise is an excellent way to learn both to classify valu s simply, and to learn from your study how genius leads to the employment of simple compositional arrangement of values. There is no need, in order to appreciate its merit, to know what a picture represents its main aesthetic merit lies in its fundamental...

Subconscious Direction

With uncompromising anatomical rectitude.1 In this drawing Leonardo counts on the exact relative placing of his masses to engender the feeling of rhythmic unity in the body. A happy accident intervenes on Degas's biceps profile, a ' first line 5 persists both here and on the supinator contour. Both aid in giving a feeling of solidity to the volume of the arm and it is to be noticed that the darker of the two biceps profiles, the one that persists, and in the end counts, is not that in direct...

Prelogic And Relativity

In the Middle Ages art was much more popularly distributed precisely on account of the more ' mystic' and less ' logical' state of the mass, who had not yet been taught to confound art and photographic production, and to whom the unnatural shape of a Chartres figure was not yet a matter for ridicule, likeness not having yet displaced symbolic suggestion. A figure on Chartres Cathedral may in a way be said to come intermediately between the spiral traced by the Australian on...

Pelvis

(Fig. 56) show the diagonal arrangement exceedingly well without the aid of a diagram. The main directions of the masses in the arm of the torso study by Michael-Angelo (Fig. 49) are shown exaggerated in the diagram (Fig. 51). Further arm analyses are suggested by the diagrammatic rendering of the study of head, shoulders, and two arms from another of Michael-Angelo's drawings (Figs. 53 and 57). Examinations of the component volumes of an arm are given on p. 125 (Figs. 37, 38, and 39), and also...

Drawing For Reproduction

But, continually preoccupied by considerations connected with ease of photographic reproduction, I found myself at once bereft of wrhat artistic talent I may possess. I was not transcribing emotions, I was trying to produce technically tidy work which should fit in with accepted notions as to what a book-page in the year 1926 should look like. All the quality of my work disappeared under the constraint of a system that circumstances imposed on me. When, instinctively, I...

Degas Drawing

Bone, but when the finger is bent the skin itself forms a swelling intermediate between the joints. This also the sensitive line of Degas has noted, as it has again the three planes of the ' sky-line 5 of the knuckle. It would be fastidious to describe the fineness of observation to this detailed extent over the whole of this drawing, but I cannot too strongly recommend the student to go over it patiently, millimetre by millimetre, seeking as he goes, the real reason of every, however slight,...

Ensemble In Paris

Such ideals so their absence is passed over unremarked. Coherent design is the weakest point of British art, which falls back on technical execution. A moment's comparison between London and Paris is all that is wanted to demonstrate this. Think but for an instant of the splendid sequence of the Tuileries and the Champs Elysees up to that great gateway of the Arc de Triomphe think of the terraced gardens falling away from the Trocadero to the Seine and their continuation onward past the Eiffel...

Mental Work

Wherever you are, at whatever moment, observe, mentally simplify the values before you, choose a compositional arrangement of them, act, in short, as if you were really going to paint a picture. Decide just how much lighter or darker that tone is than the other decide which slightly different tones you will group together in order to simplify the yalues to three or four. A little of this reasoned mental work is worth far more than the making of many thoughtless paintings. While...

Unity Of Hand And

Most important features of the hand, the ball of the thumb, is seen to be in direct formal relation with one of the important formal features of the forearm. The thumb and the ball of the thumb are however exceedingly mobile relatively to the rest of the hand that is of course why I drew attention rather to their connexion with muscular forms of the forearm than with the more rigid construction of the skeleton. As the hand and arm are not called upon, in man, to support the weight of the body,...

OAnalogy And Participation

Connecting link between the beings of earth and those of Who shall affirm or who shall deny that the men of Alta-mira did not believe some such beautiful mythology All that remains to us of their creeds, their mental attitudes, are the now fast fleeting rhythms of the cave wall-drawings. Had the Tahitians disappeared, unknown, long ages ago, less still would have remained across the revolving years to tell us that once they too had conceived a mythology of so fine a grade. We may succeed in...

OTechnique And Decoration

It will be noticed that at the pelvic spine I did not take my pencil off the paper the line comes into the modelling, makes a sharp-pointed loop, returns on itself during two-thirds of its length, again makes an acute angle, and continues to express the fall away of the flexible forms of the external oblique. The indication of the iliac spine is really a calligraphic note made about it. Of course the top profile was drawn as I describe it, from right to left....

Japanese Symbolism

Perceived by a mind swept clean of the dust of prejudice, a mind such as the Zen doctrine of Buddhism linking man to Nature would desire. What here again is the aesthetic conditioning First the most concise juxtaposing of elements, each beautiful in itself, juxtaposed in a beautiful way, that is subject to perfected and complex laws of rhythm both verbal and ideal, deprived of any superfluous linking, even syntactical. Then behind this a background of harmonious philosophical doctrine, to which...

Studies Of Legs By Leonardo Da Vinci

Studies of legs By Leonardo da Vinci Fig. 88. Studies of legs By Leonardo da Vinci - dUitt OHM* QKyirfSC . i Fig. 89. Leg study, showing sar tonus By Leonardo da Vinci Fig. 89. Leg study, showing sar tonus By Leonardo da Vinci student must examine for himself the nature of such modifications a letterpress description of three-dimensional changes would be too cumbersome. The arrangements of the great planes of the legs are well indicated under their sculptural aspect by the shading in...

Japanese Convention

In Fig. 121 we have a sample of some of the ingenious ways in which the Japanese have succeeded in codifying certain appearances of trees, reserving to each codification particular handlings of the brush subtly related to the perception of natural shapes which it is not the aim to reproduce, but of which it is the intention to suggest the existence, and at the same time to suggest the relations of these perceptions to the other perceptions. of the universe. The danger of isolating one such...

Landscape And Symbolism

Not in the same river, we are and we are not Let us not forget that a like stationary suggestion of movement inspires the greatest Greek statuary. Oft recurring in this Far Eastern painting, so different from ours, is a torrent which bursts, impetuous, from a rocky gorge, to pause awhile in widespread stillness at the mountain's foot or the same symbolism may assume the form of a lake's immense extent (Fig. 43), stretching to distant and to mist-veiled hills again, elsewhere, an unquiet sea...

Trunk And

On the forward leg of the front view (Fig. 93) the continuity of the forms is very plain. The two vasti come out from behind the pelvis, slide imperceptibly into the volume of the knee, and then continue down the subcutaneous tibia and tibialis anticus to finish over the arch of the instep in the great toe. In the lower part, the forward sweep is counterbalanced by the backward curve of the gastrocnemius (calf muscle), the soleus, and their tendons which in turn seem to disappear under...

Proportions

Undoubtedly we should not hesitate to falsify a detail in the interest of general balance. But one is at once tempted to ask the question whether the composition that necessitates a serious derogation from natural conditions may not be inferior in quality to one that attains to balance equally well while observing them.1 On the other hand, the field of artistic expression is wide, and it cannot be denied that the distortions of a Matisse or a Van Gogh make statements different from those of the...

Clasping Of Forms

We have that the original was of worth. Amongst other qualities which I notice in the composite brush-stroke is the way in which its particular element on the bridge comes downwards and seems to clasp the thinner form immediately above the nose-tip just as the forms of the Rembrandt nude successively clasped one another. Again I repeat that this realization of the clasping of one natural form by another seems to be one of the last things realized in drawing its sentiment is invariably lacking...

Rembrandt Drawing

Blade, with its muscular attributes, and the clavicle or collarbone. The whole body is coherent consequently our descriptive separation is false. I have already spoken of the common error of beginners in overlooking the ' carrying on ' of the forms over different sections of the body. Bad draughtsmen draw a forearm to the elbow, or an upper arm to the shoulder, and leave it at that they overlook the rhythmic insertion of one group of forms into the other. Among other interesting facts, the...

Italian Renaissance Drawing

Current my expectations have been fulfilled. Art is now turning in the direction which I foresaw during the first decade of the century and for which I prepared myself. My views cannot have been quite erroneous. Many may be surprised that I have made so slight a mention of those works among which delightful days of my later youth were spent, so slight a mention of those works which did so much to model my ideas, my own artistic production. I speak of the quattro and cinque centisti of Italy, in...

Drapery

Drapery in a chapter devoted to anatomical construction. But in so doing I am faithful to my creed of uniting, as far as possible, immediately interrelated causes and effects. On p. 305 we have noticed how the external oblique and abdominal forms dragged away from the iliac spine the soft forms of the body behaved exactly like so much drapery. The principal difficulty in drawing drapery is that caused by the frequently large number of folds. We are simply apt to lose our 4 place 5 in drawing...

Imitating The East

To recall the shape of the Chinese character sin (j J> ) the heart, with the accompanying suggestiveness of the meaning of the character fifthly, it is perhaps allowable to add the very choice made of the object represented such a choice is indeed ' an artistic unreality ' the pine symbolizing longevity, the bamboo rectitude, the plum-blossom fragrance and grace, the stork and the tortoise again long life, and so on through a formidable symbolistic list. That then is the use to the Japanese...

The Distance Point

If the work has been done carefully enough, these two lines prolonged will meet in the point s which will fall on the horizon line. This point s is termed the point of sight, and is exactly ' opposite 5 the eye. The line hh' is called the horizon line because, if there be a sea horizon depicted in the drawing, it will lie exactly on this line, which is at the height of the eye, or, if it be preferred, on the same horizontal plane as the eye. That is why when we...

The Knee

Here again we meet with the fitting of the triangular or, more exactly, the pyramidal volume of the foot into the clasping form of the ends of the tibia and of the fibula, that is, between the two ankle-bones. The insertion of the foot between the ankle-bones is also clearly shown in Fig. 37, p. 124. The study may easily be caricatured into the accompanying constructional diagram, Fig. 90. It is very useful to notice that the three middle toes form one mass which points in the direction of...

Euphronios And Rembrandt

What strikes us at once in the drawing is the graded contrast of light and dark, the transparent shadowed air behind the figure, the dimly-discerned artist sitting at work, the discretion of northern light that falls softly from the window. There is seclusion, invitation to meditate, especially on the psychology of the individual, expressed throughout the page. With the Euphronios all is otherwise. Here is no mystery. The shapes of things are clearly stated just as they are evident...

Matisse

Itself was generally forgotten as the discourse proceeded. And why should it not have been The lecture was not about what the drawing contained, but about the facts that the student had not observed. When once the drawing had suggested to Carri re what it was needful to say, its part was played, it disappeared from the scene. Never have I seen Carri re c correct5 a student's drawing in the approved fashion, making an arm a little longer, redrawing that side line of the trunk a little nearer to...

Future Architecture

Must be examined anew from its lowest strata. A new series of forms, due chiefly to the engineers, has imposed itself surely, though scarce perceived, upon us. The shape of the motor-car Is permanently recognized. Building will suffer in the near future still greater modifications than it has yet undergone. The problem of construction has changed entirely. Till now, speaking broadly, the aim of the constructor has always been to convert all stresses into thrusts, for the quality of brick and...

Plastic Reasoning

Inferior artist, the ' illustrator the man who, fitted out with a mediocre mind, has learnt to make a ' correct ' drawing, as he might have learnt to make a * correct 5 table, lacks in interest for us very possibly because, having met it many times and oft, that type of mind has no novelty with which to hold our attention- When it comes to ethnological study and its comparative psychology, perhaps even the transcription of the most commonplace example of the type may not be devoid of interest,...

How To Study

Just this something which is the cause of the swelling he has marked midway betwixt calf and ankle. Finally, just before the ankle itself the line indicates practically the shape of the fibula hardly influenced by overlying tendons, and then only in the upper part. At the ankle itself the bone becomes quite subcutaneous. What should be remarked is the extent to which one single tracing of the pen, the last that we have been considering, has, by turns, indicated now a bone-form, then a muscular...

Pose And Rhythm

Masses are not really set back into the paper a considerable distance behind the breasts. How far we are from the flatness of the usual drawing and how well this fulfils Leonardo's desideratum ' The primary object of painting is to show a body in relief. . . While we are examining this part of the drawing we should do well to remark how the horizontal line (traced for I know not what reason) just marks about the limit of the top plane of the torso, a plane set forward at some forty-five degrees...

Multiplicity Of Motive

Because they form the foreground of the study. It must not be concluded that I lay down as an unbreakable law that foreground objects must be more minutely executed than those of the rest of the picture. Very far from it. Only, in this particular case, the mass importance of the feet attracts special attention to them the eye must not be disappointed by finding emptiness of execution. Once the feet and legs were established, mass was thrust behind mass, as they respectively receded, my pencil...

Tang And

Technique with those connected with the intentional decorative, and to a certain degree geometric, modification of ' natural' form. Decoration or naturalism Landscape or study of detail This last assuredly, No for we have before us not a study but a completed, a perfected work of art, one that has been deemed worthy by tens of generations of able critics. So we see how faulty are the usual classifications of practical Europe. What completes, what renders intensely valid, these few draggings of...

Light And Shade

The blanched rose of early almond-blossom strikes clear against an azure depth of heaven. Once again, dangerous is the absolute dictum when we speak of art. In Relation in Art I have defined the meaning of the word c Values ' as follows The study of the relations of the various quantities of light, with which the artist deals, is called the study of values. We see objects by means of light, either emitted by them or reflected from them. Curiously enough light and shade, as we usually understand...

Anatomy And Form

ON p. 150 I said that th pelvis, from our point of view, was the key to the situation, for it is a rigid bony arrangement which gives us seven bony points always fixed relatively to one another. Nevertheless it is usual to begin a drawing of a standing figure at the head. There is little doubt that this way of work is induced by the natural tendency of the artist's hand to descend, both as a result of the immediate action of gravity upon it, and as a result of the constructional nature of the...

Convexities

Of the figure we are drawing, but we must also have an image before us of a kind of imaginary series of underlying surfaces on which are placed the convexities with which we are actually dealing. And these underlying surfaces must belong, each one, to a general rhythm of their own so that if we made a horizontal section through the middle of the Leonardo drawing we should find something like Fig. 73 in which the black lines represent the section of the real existing surface and the dotted lines...

Greece And Florence

Paive as was the line, it was already emotional. Unlike that of the Greek vase, which we may take to be at its apogee in the fifth century before Christ, we can fix on no definite style of technique as being early Tuscan- A continual change takes place from primitive Giotto or Cimabue to complex Leonardo or Michael-Angelo. What wordy warfare might rage around the question whether 'Michael-Angelo is or is not the ultimate perfection of the ideal which Cimabue created (And did he create it Such...

Naturalism At Altamira

Did not surpass the stage of expression by means of crude decorative shapes. At best, of their work we have but a few deformed and inadequate attempts at reproduction of the human body, a few vague clay or soft stone statuettes,1 if we may dignify them by such name. The neolithic peoples passed on into the ages of bronze and iron before their art became valuable, worthy of consideration. Yet they polished stone, they baked pottery, badly it is true, and would seem to have been in many ways...

Law Of Participation

Imply a form of mentality which is ' prelogical5 and mystic, and which is directed quite otherwise than is ours. (2) Collective representations and the co-ordinations or connexions of these representations which constitute this mentality are governed by the law of participation, and so being, are indifferent to the logical law of contradiction. As a result of this government by the law of participation, instead of by that of contradiction, the primitive mentality finds no difficulty whatever in...

Structural Ensemble

If we seem to branch off from the main line of development, it is only for the moment for my thesis is the real identity between the higher forms of draughtsmanship and the architectural sense. I have several times put forward what may seem to many to be naught but an amusing paradox, to be a passing opinion, of the possible verity of which I should find it difficult to give a demonstration. I have said that not only is nude-drawing the best school for all kinds of...

General And Particular

Traced line which I cultivate myself. In it the noting of the constructional fact is clearly evident . . . unless some unkind and hostile critic contradict me flatly and say that the said modulations are mere accidental phenomena. But even then an examination of a few hundred of my drawings would show an improbable recurrence of the same accident. In drawing from the model we maintain a continuous balance between first, previously acquired type knowledge secondly, newly acquired knowledge,...

Conscious Eastern Aesthetics

To portray the personality of the man. We are still told to portray. And portraiture, likeness to the model, continually occurs as the principal motive force in the arts which spring from the mentality which is produced by logical culture. Why do we object to the idea of the possibility of our occupying at one and the same time two different positions in space Because such an idea is contrary to all the laws which a long examination of the ways of the physical universe has enabled us to...

Natural Form A Compromise

The nearly subcutaneous humerus is discreetly marked by the faint darkening in the middle of the shadow up from the elbow along the first third of the upper-arm towards the shoulder and the three darks in the middle of the shadow at the elbow itself establish without possible doubt the shape and position of the lower end of the humerus (see Fig. 75). Its upper end is of course in this position confounded with the acromion process. They are the cause of the oval light-patch on...

Greece And Japan

And anew disclosing the main rhythm of the body to the observer of the anterior neck modelling. This surface, or rather the volume which it limits, seems to spring forward from between the embracing branches of the sterno-cleido-mastoid which seems (Figs. 55 and 56) to tie down the posterior mass of the skull to the front of the body. I have already said that the skull should be looked on as a sphere balanced on the top of the neck, and that the face should be conceived as a triangular (or...

Insertion Of Limbs Into Trunk

Fig. 49 shows these facts very clearly. The squashing is evident in the dark area on the right of the drawing, the stretching on the opposite side. The relative arrangement of the front pelvic points (Fig. 59) is well marked in this study, which makes an unusually precise statement of the relative directions of the pelvic and thoracic masses. The thorax is nearly vertical, while the whole pelvis is tipped at an angle of about 450. This drawing is a remarkable example of constructional...

Future Reasoning And Antithesis

At contact, by an unusual route, with the underlying metaphysical difficulty. We, at the present day, seem to be tending towards a diminution of the, value of the personal observation by freeing physical science from the subjective element the ' primitives ' diminished the personal value by their tendencies towards ' participation Certainly the two methods of approach are very different, yet it is not inconceivable that they may lead to a slight similarity of result, all proportions kept of...

The Trochanter

Knee is flexed a little horizontal movement is possible between the head of the tibia and the condyles of the femur. The pelvis in woman being larger than in man, the femurs slope together more in the female than in the man. In carrying out sculpture, the head of the trochanter being nearly subcutaneous affords us an admirable point for determining a leg measurement for if measuring is to be avoided in studying, it is often advisable, and sometimes even quite necessary, to use it in executing...

Logic And Rhythm

Should we so anxiously demand resemblance to natural shapes The affair is one of ingrained habit. The more an artist is capable, the more he will attach greater importance to rhythm, of one kind or another, and less importance to ' photographic ' likeness. He will be content with a few amazing brush-marks by Ying Yu-chien. An Assyrian bas-relief (Fig. 41) is the account of the victory of a king. The artist did not wish to give us (it never occurred to him that it might be necessary to give us)...

The Ephemeral And The Durable

Everything in the drawing conspires to that end, the very dragging of the water-colour washes adds a feeling of complexity due to the ragged edges. Hardly any line is clean and sharp, it is broken in its course by saw-like jagging, by the interrupted rendering of dots. Nature, to Turner, was an immense congeries of parts he was far from imposing on her any reduction of her opulence to a scheme that should impoverish her wealth. Painting without scheme is impossible. Some scheme Turner had...

Hatching And Shape

Account, were not properly co-ordinated in the artist's mind he only, now and then, and in a half-hearted kind of way, bothered about recessional composition. Look, on the other hand, at the magnificent display of third-dimensional composition in the foliage of the trees in the Claude. Compare it with the total absence of recessional foliage-composition in the Italian drawing it is only by a difference of handling that we are able to distinguish between the foliage of the nearer and the farther...

Trunk And Pelvis

Although these points correspond to excrescences on the skeleton they show themselves as depressions on the surface of the body, for from them start, in all directions, swelling muscular masses. Fig. 59. Diagram of pelvic construction (female), front view, and connexion with thorax. Fig. 59. Diagram of pelvic construction (female), front view, and connexion with thorax. From the triangle 1, 2, 3 of the sacrum springs the almost immediately flexible spinal column, which...

Participation In Portraits

Is not by any means certain that another mentality when it admires a work of art admires it for its most important qualities. In Relation in Art I report an admiration of the Elgin Marbles for the excellence of their light and shade Which light and shade is only, so to speak, a by-product of their fundamental excellences. What should put us on our guard is that we are inclined to smile at certain ' primitive ' renderings of the human shape while we admire other ' primitive ' balancings of...

Primitive Art Today

Away to the earliest being of our race. What we realize with so much difficulty is that c primitive ' art is a very real thing that it is not only palaeolithic, but that it is the artistic manifestation of many millions of human beings alive at the present moment. The Paris Salons, the London picture shows are by no manner of means representative of the total human desire for beauty, for aesthetic expression. By what right does the aesthetician ignore a branch of his subject which has persisted...

Progressive Finish

Of the tool should only be considered after we have reached a sufficient degree of observational power. In painting or other artistic work I have always found this rule excellent to follow Try to make your picture look satisfactory from the start keep it continuously in such a state that, if obliged to do so, you might leave it for ever at any moment an unfinished but aesthetically satisfying thing. During the earlier periods of the work try to attain this end merely by means of large notings...

Main Transitions Of Plane

When you have been over the whole body in this way, with an artistic anatomy beside you, you will find yourself possessed already of a very considerable quantity of aesthetic knowledge of the constructional facts of the human frame. What you must avoid is to say Ah That is a clever way of indicating the toes, I will go and do likewise. There is no ' way ' of doing these things. The ' way ' is invented at the moment of drawing as a representation of the observed organization of the masses . . ....

Conclusion

WHAT have I written Considerably more than a hundred thousand words concerning the art of drawing I have tried to explain in words ideas which are an integral part of the forms which represent them. Each art exists because the ideas special to it cannot be transmitted otherwise than by its medium. To talk about drawing is to doom oneself from the outset to partial failure. The plastic arts have a logic, a rationality of their own, which cannot be transmuted into the terms of verbal...

Antithesis And Allegory

To the antithetic position which ultimately becomes our logic of antithesis. That this antithetic position dates almost, if not quite, in its rudimentary forms from the beginning is evident when we consider that even animals realize that the presence of two objects eliminates the possibility of their being only one. This really constitutes a very elementary form, if not of antithetical reasoning, at least of antithetical perception. It is the first step in the series which will ultimately lead...

Perspective Of Fingers

Series of hinged rods with several joints. This fundamental condition of their design should always be kept in view while drawing them. If the palm of the hand is flattened out, the first row of knuckles and the subsequent finger-joints make up a set of simple hinges in rods that may be considered as being square in section. Consequently the axes of all these hinges will be subject to the ordinary laws of linear perspective, as will be readily understood from the diagram (Fig. 106). To this...

Mass Equilibrium

TO over-insist on the importance of plastic equilibrium, which is another term for composition in the widest sense, and to over-insist on the importance of conceiving this equilibrium to be above all one of mass to mass would be difficult. Arabesque ornament takes, as a rule, the direction of purely flat decoration of a surface by means of balancings of differently curved lines and variously shaped areas. The Greek key gives us an example of an equilibrium established by means of straight...

Discontinuity Of Perspective

This break is generally carried out with the aid of mist intervening between us and the lower part of a mountain. Sometimes, as in the kakemono by Shubun (fifteenth-century Japan) the high narrow shape allows of what one might term a side scene, or wing introduction, of each separate recessional plane, from the side of the picture. A moment's examination will show the parallelism of the lines of sight in this subject. Were we to have such an approximation to a...

And Rembrandt

Aid of light and shade to them he added a normal lighting which produced in turn a magnificent chiaroscuro scheme. No doubt because Michael-Angelo conceived his pose complete in isolation people look upon his sculpture as greater than his painting. Yet I feel that his frescoes satisfy more fully than his marbles. Not because his brush enriched a splendid shape with wealth of tint, with mystery of shade and light, but because his invention is too unquiet to attain to the serene composure of-the...

Greece And Tangible Mass

The rather naive drawing of the back of Euphronios's backward-glancing man, a back half-obscured by the decorative lines of the mantle the plane of the buttocks is clearly felt then the upward-running profile of the back, instead of continuing from the far buttock profile as a latter-day student (and probably, certainly, more capable draughtsmen still than he) would carry it on, starts from the base of the sacral triangle, thereby very adroitly, if not very accurately, suggesting the insertion...

The Aim Of

But the view-point there is entirely different. In England good workmanship is sought and praised for itself, praised for certain tidy and satisfactory qualities It possesses, and there the matter ends. In China things are quite otherwise, workmanship is looked on only as a means of shadowing forth the abstract, the intangible as such a means It is excellent when well done, but excellent as a means only, not as an end. The Chinese position is homogeneous and...

Shadows

Ing to a vanishing point in a perspective scheme. I include a diagrammatic sketch (Fig. 45) taken from one of my own pictures which was painted from Nature. The sun is almost directly behind the spectator, so the shadows recede almost directly from him. Notice how the cast shadow of the tree branch becomes very much smaller where it falls on the stone Fig. 45. Shadow perspective. From study from Nature showing reduced apparent size of branch shadows on ground and distant stonework. Fig. 45....

IMeretricious Finish

Also, I believe he had but little to do with the school, and only returned there in order to present himself at the final examination. But I cannot vouch for what I only heard casually many years ago. I trust I may be forgiven for insisting so often and so long on this point, to me so important, that of eliminating the c finished ' drawing from the work of students as yet incapable of any but meretricious finish. . . Should the first lesson in value observation be given...

Primitive Art And Consecration

Seeing in primitive arts an embryonic use of the antithetic element which, later, we see carried to a much higher and voulu degree in the painting of the last half-century, an epoch which has seen the conscious introduction of semi-scientific reasoning concerning complementary colours and the like carried to an extreme degree. This same tendency to theorize upon technique has inevitably brought with it a negligence of the signification of the picture, an allegorical representation of spring has...