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 Académie de la Grande Chaumière 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 of the extensors of the thumb is suggested by the upward bend of the upper line of the shadow tracing. People often forget that in the human species the thumb lies normally in a plane at right angles to that of the fingers. It also does so in the movement of the ha$d in the present drawing ; remark with what excessive refinement the thick charcoal line, that appears so coarse, really establishes the thumb plane seen in acute foreshortening. Place your own hand in the same position and examine it from the base of the thumb to the first joint of the forefinger. You will first notice the swelling of the head of the metacarpal bone of the thumb, soon followed by the prominence caused by its other end. You will find both these facts noted by Degas, as well as, by a very fine line, the upper limit of the plane of the side of the hand, while two little slanting slightly-curved lines give us the depression between the two extremities of the thumb metacarpal. The thumb disappears in rapid foreshortening, which fact Degas has indicated by a double line, the two parts of which touch, however. It should be noticed that in spite of the clumsy thickness of the general line, Degas does not sacrifice to it even so very small a fact as this almost invisible receding thumb plane, not because it is a very evident fact on regarding the model, but because it is needful to account for the bodily existence of the thumb. One-half of this double line also plays the part of limiting the fleshy mass of the abductor indicis, and one of the interossei dorsales. Degas

Fig. 74.

Study of girl's torso by Degas British Museum

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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