Lesson In Drawing

Before going into the field to make * sketch, it is essential \ou become familiar with the different lines used in drawing, the less difficulty you will have m sketching from nature. The first effort will be to get control of the hand and pencil, or pen, which is the leading essential in learning to write or draw. Secondly, a right understanding of the straight and cuno lines used cannot be dispensed with. A neglect of these first principles, and the want of a thorough drilling by an experienced teacher, in our educational institutions, is the leading difficulty in the aihancenient of students in these branches, and has often been a subject of comment.

There are three leading lines in draw ing, the straight horizontal line, thus:

made by carrying the pencil from left to right, and vice Versa, beginning and ending abruptly; then perpendicular ones, commencing at the top, draw the pencil down; then.a straight oblique line, with 52 deg. slant, which is about the proper angle for writing.

Tiie right and left cune is used as the («ginning and ending of all the small letters.

The Line oi Beauty, as it is called, is the two curves combined ; commcncing at the top, making first the left and then the right line, equal in length, forming a c«repouj*J curve, the basis of two-thirds of all the capital letters. A combination of curves lying horizontally, as in fig. 2, gives the line which is formed by the meeting of the lips, from these dliferent lines our sketches from nature are made up.


A curved Hue changes its direction at every point.

A circle is a figure comprehended by a single curve line, called


A curved Hue changes its direction at every point.

A circle is a figure comprehended by a single curve line, called

point called the center. From a to I will be found the left, or convex, and irom c to d the right, or concav e curve. The whole may be made by a quick movement ot the hand, with crayon, on the black-board, thus ■■ Turn your right side to the board, place the crayon at the bottom, c, anu with the elbow as the radius, eurrv the crayon toward the left from c to a, and so on until you reach the starting point, c, again, moving the hand at as rapid a rate as is possible.

Now, if these lines can all be drawn correct, and with freedom, take the equilateral triangle and practice it without a ruler.

An angle is the space between two Vljtas that start from the same point.

The perpendicular line, passing from the vanishing point a, to the ba^e b. The whole of the fig. 4 forms what appears to us the gable of a house, a the point where the rafters meet, b the center of the plate. This gives the horizontal, vertical, and oblique lines.

I shall endeavor to make these lessons clear and concise for the beginner, touching only on those points which are indisiien-sable in learning to draw. Although many of these principles you may have acquired, the elements of linear perspective is the very first thing to which your attention should be directed.

Landscapes. All objects which present themselves to the eye, such as buildings, forests, fields, mountains, water, &c., whether viewed from a hill or 011 a lev el, we will call a landscape. Now as it is impossible to make an exact copy of the subject lie-fore us, by means of any transfer process, it can only be eifected by a distinct apprehension of the real form of the objects them selves, and of those apparent forms under which they are presented to the eye, in their different positions in the landscajie. All these objects have their outlines, composed either of straight or curve lines, which may be irregular in their relation to each other. Now if we were placed on a flat, horizontal plain, the water or ground which we would have in view before 11s, would appear to rise from the spot 011 which we stood, the limit of that rise being determined by a clear and well defined straight iine, called the horizontal line. It will appear in the lake ; 1k?-tween this and the sky 110 object intervenes. This horizontal or boundary line lies directly opposite to the range of the eye, and the one to which every other line is referred, and by which the accuracy of the drawing is secured. The point where it crosses the perpendieuhir line will be the center of our picture.

In Placing a Landscape on Paper, first arises the question as to how much of the landscape we will introduce into our picture. Let us snppose it to be taken from the point of view, then that position of the scene which the eye can easily take in, without moving the head, will constitute the picture. The space included between the point where we are standing and a point w here our picture commences, establishes the required distance of the eye from the proposed picture. Now, if through this point a straight line be supposed drawn, perpendicular to the horizon, this line will pass through, and determine the foremost objects of the picture—touching all the leading objects directly in iront of us.

Position of the Horizontal Line will depend upon whether or not we make the sketch irom the ground, or irom an elevation. It the view be made from the level with it, the horizontal line may be drawn at about one-fifth of the space of the paper we intend for our picture. It we take the sketch from an elevated point, a little above the level of the ground, then the horizontal line may be placed at about one-third the height, and so on. If the view is to be made from a high hill, or top of the house, placé the horizontal line at one-half the height.

Now, in holding up the pencil or ruler horizontally with the eye, and on a level with it, you will see what objects will appear 011 that horizontal line. In making a photograph of a building it is always best to have the camera a little elevated, and at a considerable distance from the object, as a better picture can be secured. All horizontal planes seem to ascend if they lie below the horizontal line, and t«> descend if they lie above it, vanish or merge into it, as shown in figures 5 and 6.

In making a sketch from an elevation, the distant part of the ■view seems higher than the foreground. This occur* when the point from where the view is taken is too much elevated. A better, and much more natural perspective, can be obtained by lowering the point of view, which also changes the horizontal line.

After knowing the position of the horizon of your subject, point of sight for the point of distance, yon have to extend the line of horizon fmrn the point of sight to the limits of such distance.

For illustration, fasten a thread with a pin to the table, at a point corresponding to the line of the horizon of your picture; a thread thus adjusted will, when drawn out over the pieture, fall exactly over all the lines seeking

The Vanishing Point. In this way you get the lines for the cornice 111 a building, or row of buildings, upper and lower lines of the windows and doors, base and sidewalk.

In making a sketch of 8 building, it is only necessary to get the general outlines, and instead of working in all the doors and windows, finishing up the cornice, etc.. all that is necessary will be to get the outline of one door or window, and the style of cornice, and indicate the remainder ly merely a mark showing the position, and make a memorandum of the essential points

make a dot on the sketch board at a point where you wish the first upper corner of the building to commence, draw a perpendicular ;:ne for the corner, do likewise at such a distance to the left as you wish the building to extend on the sketch, and you have the other corner. Holding the drawing book perpendicular between you and the building, and on a level with the eye, place the ruler on the sketch-book corresponding to the upper horizontal line of the building, and make aline for the cornice, the base line is produced in the same manner. The point C, where the two lines would meet, were they continued toward the left, will be the vanishing point, from w hich run all the other horizontal lines when you come to finish up the drawing.


A horizontal right line has, with respect to the plane of the picture, one of three positions. It is either parallel to it, oblique to it, or perpendicular to it. We will sit with the back against one of the walls of a rectangular room. Tiie wall opposite is parallel to that behind us, and consequently to the plane of our picture in that

position. The two remaining walls being at right angles with that opposite, are e\idently perpendicular to the plane of the drawing, and all horizontal right lines on those two walls, are also perpendicular to that plane, and will appear to tend towards a point immediately opposite to the eye. II. II. is the horizontal line or level of sight; C the point opposite the eye, and that point toward which all horizontal right lines on the walls, A & B, appear to slant, though in reality they are perpendicular to the wall C. The lines 1 & 2, where the ceiling and side walls meet, and 3 & 4, the lower limit of the walls, as well as the horizontal lines of the door, and its panels, are in that position, all perpendicular to the plane of the opposite wall, and therefore to the plane of the drawing. The effects of the drawing in different positions of the hor zontal line, should be carefully studied; if it be placed above the level of the eye, and removed to the right or kit, it will appear like this :

If below the level of the. eye, it will assume a direction like, this :

But placed to the right or left of the eye, on a perfect level, and horizontal, it will appear thus:

It drawn from, and directly opposite to the eye, the end may appear thus:

A point lias position, b'lt not magnitude.

If a book, or block of wood, having a square base, be represented at different distances, seen from a point in which its sides

are oblique to the plane of the picture, and seen from both points, under the same circumstances in all resj>ects, as regards surrounding objects, except that the distance of the artist from the base line is mach less in one than the other, then it will appear as do figures 7 and b.

A svrfac has lrngth and breadth nn'y. A lolid has length, breadth, i>nd

Iii figure 7 the distance from us is much greater than in figure 8, and the vanishing point farther away. We will find the first the most pleasing to the eye, although both are accurate. In these figures we make the two oblique lines of the base equal in length, and our position directly opposite the center perpendis ular line. If we should change our position further to the right, the left oblique line at the base would apparently shorten, and vice versa.

In making a sketch from nature, the artist must choose a position that will command the best v iew of the scene about to be placed on paper, and from a standpoint that will secure the leading objects in the landscape before you. Begin by sketching those objects neartsf you first. The reasons will be shown hereafter.

In attempting to make a "bird's eye" view of buildings, where an elevation cannot be obtained, it will be found somewhat dililcult. We can only mark dow 11 on the sketch-book what can be seen from the position we occupy on the level with the objects before us, and imagine the remainder. A.t the same time three things should be kept in view, the perspective, the jjer-pendicular lines, and proper elevation, in order to give to our picture the appearance it would have if others viewed it from the supposed point of observation as the sketcher.

The intention of the wnter has been

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to touch upon all the points and rules in drawing, and dwell upon each separately, and sufficient fur a person of ordinary ability, and a good many grains of continuity, to make a sketch artist.

"It matters not what a man's vocation may be, if he has the taste to discern, and mind to esteem, the good and beautiful in nature and art, an expression of refinement will be manifest in all that he undertakes."

In this work I did not expect more than to take the first step toward teaching to sketch from nature. An easy, rapid, and decided manner of sketching is to be acquired only by practice. It is an acquisition essential to excellence -11 all the other artistic qualities, to which it serves as a basis. Having given you the necessary instruction, I will now assist you in

Selecting a Position. Choose a point that will command a good view of the scene, and prevent closer and more immediate objects from concealing any portion of the remote distance; and though the height of the horizontal line in this case may sometimes be more than half the height of the paper, according to the elevation attained by the artist to command the view. In this ease the horizontal line is at about one-half the height of the paper. It frequently occurs in making a sketch, that the artist cannot place himself at the desired point for the best view. In such case we will imagine a point above the highest object in the foreground of the proposed sketch. That point may be 011 the land, or 011 the water The artist, with a knowledge of perspective and elevation in view, may make a memorandum of the whole; but should he attempt to draw it from the point he is compelled to see it, no one would recognize it as a truthful representation. We regulate the whole by our knowledge of perspective, as accurately as if we stood upon the very spot from which wc desired to be understood that the view was taken.

In Making a Bird's Eye View of a village or city, the first thing to be done is to get a plat, or outline, of the streets and blocks,

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and mark them on the sketch-Look in squares, (or rather diamond sliape), each line and cross line representing a street. Commence sketching in the buildings from the point clrnsen, which should be the one nearest the business center, and where the best houses stand, or from a point where you can secure the best material for a foreground, such as a stream of water and bridge, or a forest, etc. Transfer each block to paper, showing the fronts of one side and the rear of the buildings of the other side, and so on through the entire row of blocks, when vou return to the place of starting, and go down the second row, always workiug toward the vanishing point.

After you have gone over the entire city, and taken every building, tree, and other objects of interest, and completed the sketch, yon are ready for working it up. Lay out the blocks and streets on drawing paper, with pencil, in perspective, ruling from the vanishing point, the center of the picture, tow aril the point of view, which enlarges the objects of the foreground, and diminishes those in the distance.

In drawing in the buildings, begin with the first house in the foreground, drawing the roof lines, which should be parallel with the lines of the street; next the gables, after which the corner lines, which should be iierpeudicular to the drawing paper.

The drawing should lie made first with pencil, and then in ink, with fine pointed steel pen; for shading, use small camel hair brush and India ink.

Lignts and Snades. In a sketch it is found that mere outline is insufficient to the representation of an object in relief •, it cannot give substance, nor define relative distances so as to maintain the objects in their proper places. The matter of fact representation of the breadth of a meridian light, and the same passage of landscape viewed under the shades of evening, affects the feeling very differently. In the latter, there is a charm which operates even upon lninds least susceptible of impressions from the beauties of nature. The general principle acted uijoii by

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artists, is to dispose the iights and shades in the manner best suited to the treatment they propose lor their work.

There are two extremes of light and shade, and between these lie all those half tints and reflected 'lights, and exquisite gradations of shade, which must be so carefully placed in the drawing as to clearly indicate the graceful curve of each individual petal, without in any way destroying the roundness and breadth of a flower. The gradations of shade are sometimes perplexing to the learner; but in this respect the eye is a very safe guide. It requires no cultivated taste—not even any great amount of critical observation—to see when 1111 object which should look perfectly round, appears flattened on the one side, or swell too much on the other. The theory of foreground and middle distances and background, has much to do with the principles of light and shade. It is. not the line of perspective alone which makes one portion of a picture retreat, and another come forward.

In the drawing of a round object, apple or ball, the shades fall on the concave part, and incline toward the side opposite to light. All shades of objects in the same picture must fall the same way, or farthest from the light. That part •lying nearest to the light must receive the least shade. This rule will be notice'i in the face, folds of the drapery, etc. Landscapes show the hea\iest shades nearest us; the greater the distance the lighter grows the picture. In clouds, tii" shades are the lightest that are nearest the horizon, it being the greatest distance from us, and those nearest the center of the pieturu tho iu>. strongest.

Colors are merely sensation's produced by the action of light on the nervous tissue of the retina, which covers the back of the eye.

here are Three Pudi u;y Colors ix Nature, Blue, Bed,-and Yellow. From these are formed all the other beautiful tints which well up from the bosom of the deep, glows in every flower, blossoms in the trees, and sparkles in the dew drop¡f* softly stealing from the 1110011 and stars, and written upon the blue arc of night, lied indicates anger, and sometimes guilt. Blue is said to be true, but denotes melancholy and gloom. Yellow indicates cautiousness and prudence, and reflects the most light of any, after white.

Yellow-green is the color nature assumes at the falling of the leaf, and this was worn in the days of chivalry, the emblem of despair. Green denotes tranquility. In heraldry it is used to express liberty, love, youth and beauty, and at one time all letters of grace were signed with green.

The color of all objects depend on the action of those bodies 011 the light which fail upon them, the different rays of which they reflect, either entirely, or only partially. The light of the sun, aud the lights used for illumination, gas, etc., seem to consist of an infinite number of rays, of different color, and however widely they may be spread out by the prism jn the spectrum, can.

Cr• ?#» v¿¿IIT - LJfCIHtx-fcCI Dy Iwlid oSO? i never be entirely separated, but always form an even gradation of color, from red at one end of the spectrum, through orange, yellow, green, etc., to purple at the other end. Sir Isaac New ton divided the spectrum into seven parts, thinking he could distinguish seven different colors, red, yellow, blue, orange, green, indigo, and violet, which he called primary colors. Sir I). Brewster showed that those colors which Newton considered simple were, in reality, compound, and mixed up with a considerable proportion of white light. He concludes from his experiments that there were but three simple colors, red, yellow, aud blue—by the mixing of which the other colors were produced.

The principal advantages attending the choice of red, blue, and yellow, as primary colors, are: That the choice seems to agree with the fact that whenever a ray of white light has one of these three colors removed by absorption, the remaining colors of the ray is that which would be found by an equal mixture of the other two colors. And when a ray has two of its primary colors removed, the remaining color' of the ray is that of the third primary color. The color which opposes the strongest contrast to any primary color, is that secondary color, which is formed of a mixture of the remaining two primaries, in such proportion as would form with the first white light. This color is called its complimentary color—colors being called complimentary to each other when they together form white light. For instance, blue has for its complimentary color the neutral secondary orange, formed of a mixture of red and yellow, and this color gives the most vivid contrast that can be opiwsed to blue. Green is the complimentary, and strongest contrasting color to red, and red to green ; and yellow the strongest contrast, and eompl'-nentary to purple, and purple to yellow.

W hen the colore of the spectrum in a circle, hi a perfect gradation all around the circumference, and so that the three primaries, red, yellow and blue, are at points in the circumference equal distance from each other, the strongest contrast to any color will be found ¡it a point ou the other side of the circle diu-

colors in nature.

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

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