Freehand Drawing Or Sketching

Definition of Freehand—its uses to the artisan and draughtsman. IIow to draw Curves. Manipulation of the Pencil. Plotting Points. Examples—copying a moulding, a cabinet screw driver, cylinders. A Stone Baluster. A Screw Wrench. Use ot Squared Paper—enlarging and diminishing drawings. Scctional Tracing Paper -how to use it. Stone Carving for a Window Head. Various Hinges - description of their uses and sizes : butt, back flap, table and desk hinges, trestle, parliament, pew, counter flap, hook and eye, Collinge, cross garnets, floor springs

The term " freehand " has been defined in Chapter E, and it is only necessary to say here that what is meant and described under that term is the production by pen or pencil of those parts of a technical drawing that cannot profitably be made by means of instruments. There are many small and subtle curves met with in technical drawing that can be quickly and well put in by the unaided pen or pencil if the draughtsman educates his hand to that end, and it is to assist hint in acquiring this power that these instructions are given. Straight lines can be better and more profitably produced by mechanical aids, and though the power to draw a straight line a foot long entirely without the help of a ruler, etc., may be of value on rare occasions, it seems to the author that time can be better spent than in attempting to acquire such exceptional skill, and he prefers to use instruments for the purpose himself. The ability to draw a linn regular line, showing the profile of a moulding, or to sketch some small object we wish to describe is of value to every artisan, anil not the least to those who aspire to positions of authority or supervision.


The methods here described are those used by the author for many years.

How to draw a Curved Line.—The beginner generally starts off to draw a curved line by gripping the pencil rigidly between thumb and fingers in a nearly upright position, and, with stiffly set wrist, proceeds to trail slowly across the paper, in as near as may be the direction desired. Invariable result : a weak, wobbly and irregular line, which, if unadvised; he disgustedly rubs out and begins afresh in the same manner! Nothing else might be expected, the tense muscles causing continual vibration of the hand.

Quite the opposite of the above method is the eorrcct one. The pencil should be held as lightly as possible, much as one does in writing, with the fingers and thumb working in unison, not counteracting or checking each other. The particular slope or angle of the pencil is of less moment, and will vary with individual habits, also, to some extent, with the size of the curve to be drawn. For large, bold sweeps, an angle as shown in Fig. 4, page 129.. is suitable, very similar to that of a pen in writing. Smaller curves will need the pencil held more uprightly, so that the point shall not interfere with the view. The hand should rest lightly on the table, and the arm should not to any extent participate in the movement. The drawing should be made by the hand working on the heel as a pivot and finishing its movement at the wrist. I)o not attempt to take the curve farther than one sweep of the hand will carry, but, ha\ing reached that point, move the hand and start afresh.

Suppose it is desired to draw a curved 'me as a-b, Fig. 3, some guide points are necessary to the novice, and these may simply be j)lotted in as points, through which it is desired the curve to pass, or they may be projected from a given drawing, such as points in the plan of a circular sash, for which a face mould is required. The drawing, then, in its preliminary stage, will be as Fig. 1: a', 1, 2, b' being the points the. curve must pass through. Next put in a scries

Technical Drawing Curved Line
Figs. I to 3. Successive Steps in drawing Curved Lines. Fig. 4. Method of working. Fig. 5. Preliminary Sketch for Fig. 6. Fig. 6. Section of a Moulding. Figs. 7 and 8. A Cabinet Screwdriver. Fig. 9. A Hollow Cylinder. Fig. 10. A Stone Baluster. Fig. 11. A Screw Wrench


of dashes or points between the main ones as shown by Fig. 2.

The middle point in each section should first be put in so that the general appearance of the curve may be judged ; having obtained these satisfactorily, put in others as close as may be considered necessary; Hi fact, the whole curve may be dotted-in this way without much departure from truth at first attempt, but if correction is necessary, it is easy to erase the offending dot. Next proceed to iine-in as shown in Fig. 4, commencing at the right hand and joining up the dots, not by short steps, but by a bold sweep of the pencilí" about 1 \ in, in length. If a few " trial " sweeps are made just above the paper, the hand will get into the correct swing.

Probably at the first attempts the junctions will not flow into each other and the joints will be plainly seen, but after a little experience it will be possible to carry the hand forward whilst marking the line and so get a firm, continuous one without visible junctions.

To copy a Moulding Fig. 6.--The given section was drawn mechanically—that is, with rules and compasses— but the copy (Fig. 5) is entirely freehand—i.e. the original of this print was so drawn.

It is shown partly finished to indicate the method of procedure. Draw in the straight lines for back anil bottom of the moulding, and set off the extremities of the moulded part as shown in dotted lines. Next draw a series of similar perpendicular lines on cach drawing, spacing them the same distance apart in each.

Measure the height of each upon the original and set oft heights upon the copy; thus a series of points will be found through which the curve may be drawn. If the spaces are too wide for the eye to carry the line, dot in intermediate points, as advised above. You may or may not use instruments for the perpendicular* and measurements, according to the degree of accuracy required; it is quite pedantic to insist on every construction line being drawn freehand.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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