Harold Speed.

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line be used judiciously, a great deal of expressive power is added to
your shading. And, as will be explained in the next chapter, somewhat
the same principle applies to the direction of the swing of the brush in
painting.

Shading lines should never be drawn backwards and forwards from left to
right (scribbled), except possibly where a mystery of shadow is wanted
and the lines are being crossed in every direction; but never when lines
are being used to express form. They are not sufficiently under control,
and also the little extra thickness that occurs at the turn is a
nuisance.

The crossing of lines in shading gives a more opaque look. This is
useful to suggest the opaque appearance of the darker passage that
occurs in that part of a shadow nearest the lights; and it is sometimes
used in the half tones also.

Draughtsmen vary very much in their treatment of hair, and different
qualities of hair require different treatment. The particular beauty of
it that belongs to point drawing is the swing and flow of its lines.
These are especially apparent in the lights. In the shadows the flow of
line often stops, to be replaced by a mystery of shadow. So that a play
of swinging lines alternating with shadow passages, drawn like all the
other shadows with parallel lines not following the form, is often
effective, and suggests the quality of hair in nature. The swinging
lines should vary in thickness along their course, getting darker as
they pass certain parts, and gradating into lighter lines at other parts
according to the effect desired. (See illustration, page 102
[Transcribers Note: Plate XXI].)

[Illustration: Plate XXI.

STUDY IN RED CHALK

Illustrating a treatment of hair in line-work.]

To sum up, in the method of line drawing we are trying to explain (the
method employed for most of the drawings by the author in this book) the
lines of shading are made parallel in a direction that comes easy to the
hand, unless some quality in the form suggests their following other
directions. So that when you are in doubt as to what direction they
should follow, draw them on the parallel principle. This preserves a
unity in your work, and allows the lines drawn in other directions for
special reasons to tell expressively.

As has already been explained, it is not sufficient in drawing to
concentrate the attention on copying accurately the visual appearance of
anything, important as the faculty of accurate observation is. Form to
be expressed must first be appreciated. And here the science of teaching
fails. "You can take a horse to the fountain, but you cannot make him
drink," and in art you can take the student to the point of view from
which things are to be appreciated, but you cannot make him see. How,
then, is this appreciation of form to be developed? Simply by feeding.
Familiarise yourself with all the best examples of drawing you can find,
trying to see in nature the same qualities. Study the splendid drawing
by Puvis de Chavannes reproduced on page 104 [Transcribers Note: Plate
XXII]. Note the way the contours have been searched for expressive
qualities. Look how the expressive line of the back of the seated
figure has been "felt," the powerful expression of the upraised arm with
its right angle (see later page 155 [Transcribers Note: Diagram XII],
chapter on line rhythm). And then observe the different types of the two
standing figures; the practical vigour of the one and the soft grace of
the other, and how their contours have been studied to express this
feeling, &c. There is a mine of knowledge to be unearthed in this
drawing.

There never was an age when such an amount of artistic food was at the
disposal of students. Cheap means of reproduction have brought the
treasures of the world's galleries and collections to our very doors in
convenient forms for a few pence. The danger is not from starvation, but
indigestion. Students are so surfeited with good things that they often
fail to digest any of them; but rush on from one example to another,
taking but snapshot views of what is offered, until their natural powers
of appreciation are in a perfect whirlwind of confused ideas. What then
is to be done? You cannot avoid the good things that are hurled at you
in these days, but when you come across anything that strikes you as
being a particularly fine thing, feed deeply on it. Hang it up where you
will see it constantly; in your bedroom, for instance, where it will
entertain your sleepless hours, if you are unfortunate enough to have
any. You will probably like very indifferent drawings at first, the
pretty, the picturesque and the tricky will possibly attract before the
sublimity of finer things. But be quite honest and feed on the best that
you genuinely like, and when you have thoroughly digested and
comprehended that, you will weary of it and long for something better,
and so, gradually, be led on to appreciate the best you are capable
of appreciating.

[Illustration: Plate XXII.

STUDY FOR DECORATION AT AMIENS "REPOSE" BY PEUVIS DE CHAVANNES

Note how the contours are searched for expressive forms, the power given
to the seated figure by the right angle of the raised arm, and the
contrast between the upright vigour of the right-hand figure with the
softer lines of the middle one.

_Photo Neurdein_]

Before closing this chapter there are one or two points connected with
the drawing of a head that might be mentioned, as students are not
always sufficiently on the look out for them.

In our diagram on page 107 [Transcribers Note: Diagram VI], let Fig. 1
represent a normal eye. At Fig. 2 we have removed the skin and muscles
and exposed the two main structural features in the form of the eye,
namely the bony ring of the socket and the globe containing the lenses
and retina. Examining this opening, we find from A to B that it runs
smoothly into the bony prominence at the top of the nose, and that the
rest of the edge is sharp, and from point C to E quite free. It is at
point A, starting from a little hole, that the sharp edge begins; and
near this point the corner of the eye is situated: A, Figs. 1, 2, 3.
From points A to F the bony edge of the opening is very near the surface
and should be looked for.

The next thing to note is the fact that the eyebrow at first follows the
upper edge of the bony opening from B to C, but that from point C it
crosses the free arch between C and D and soon ends. So that considering
the under side of the eyebrow, whereas from point C towards B there is
usually a cavernous hollow, from C towards D there is a prominence. The
character of eyes varies greatly, and this effect is often modified by
the fleshy fulness that fills in the space between the eyelid and the
brow, but some indication of a change is almost always to be observed at
a point somewhere about C, and should be looked out for. Any bony
prominence from this point towards D should be carefully constructed.
Look out for the bone, therefore, between the points CD and AF.

Never forget when painting an eye that what we call the white of the eye
is part of a sphere and will therefore have the light and shade of a
sphere. It will seldom be the same tone all over; if the light is coming
from the right, it will be in shade towards the left and vice versa.
Also the eyelids are bands of flesh placed on this spherical surface.
They will therefore partake of the modelling of the sphere and not be
the same tone all across. Note particularly the sudden change of plane
usually marked by a fold, where the under eyelid meets the surface
coming from the cheek bone. The neglect to construct these planes of the
under eyelid is a very common fault in poorly painted eyes. Note also
where the upper eyelid comes against the flesh under the eyebrow
(usually a strongly marked fold) and the differences of planes that
occur at this juncture. In some eyes, when there is little loose flesh
above the eyelid, there is a deep hollow here, the eyelid running up
under the bony prominence, C D. This is an important structural line,
marking as it does the limit of the spherical surface of the eyeball, on
which surface the eyelids are placed.

Fig. 4 is a rough diagram of the direction it is usual for the hairs
forming the eyebrow to take. From A a few scant hairs start radiating
above the nose and quite suddenly reach their thickest and strongest
growth between B and E. They continue, still following a slightly
radiating course until D. These hairs are now met by another lot,
starting from above downwards, and growing from. B to C. An eyebrow is
considered by the draughtsman as a tone of a certain shape and
qualities of edge. And what interests us here is to note the effect of
this order of growth upon its appearance as tone. The meeting of the
strong growth of hair upwards with the downward growth between points B
and E creates what is usually the darkest part of the eyebrow at this
point. And the coming together of the hairs towards D often makes
another dark part in this direction. The edge from C to B is nearly
always a soft one, the tone melting into the flesh, and this should be
looked out for, giving as it does a pretty variety to the run of the
line. Another thing that tends to make this edge soft is the fact that a
bony prominence is situated here and has usually a high light upon it
that crosses the eyebrow. From C to D you usually find a sharper edge,
the hairs running parallel to the line of the eyebrow, while from D to B
and A to B a softer boundary can be looked for. The chief accent will
generally be found at B, where a dark mass often comes sharply against
the tone of the forehead.

[Illustration: Diagram VI.

ILLUSTRATING SOME POINTS CONNECTED WITH THE EYES NOT ALWAYS OBSERVED IN
DRAWING A HEAD]

The eyelashes do not count for much in drawing a head, except in so far
as they affect the tone impression. In the first place they shade the
white of the eye when the light is above, as is usually the case. They
are much thicker on the outer than on the inner side of the eyelids, and
have a tendency to grow in an outward direction, so that when the light
comes from the left, as is shown by arrow, Fig. 5, the white of the eye
at A1 will not be much shaded, and the light tone will run nearly up to
the top. But at B4, which should be the light side of this eye, the
thick crop of eyelashes will shade it somewhat and the light will not
run far up in consequence, while B3, A2 will be in the shade from the
turning away from the direction of the light of the spherical surface of
the whites of the eyes.

These may seem small points to mention, but the observance of such small
points makes a great difference to the construction of a head.

Fig. 6 gives a series of blocks all exactly alike in outline, with lines
showing how the different actions of the head affect the guide lines on
which the features hang; and how these actions can be suggested even
when the contours are not varied. These archings over should be
carefully looked out for when the head is in any but a simple full face
position.




IX

MASS DRAWING: PRACTICAL


This is the form of drawing with which painting in the oil medium is
properly concerned. The distinction between drawing and painting that is
sometimes made is a wrong one in so far as it conveys any idea of
painting being distinct from drawing. Painting is drawing (_i.e._ the
expression of form) with the added complication of colour and tone. And
with a brush full of paint as your tool, some form of mass drawing must
be adopted, so that at the same time that the student is progressing
with line drawing, he should begin to accustom, himself to this other
method of seeing, by attempting very simple exercises in drawing with
the brush.

Most objects can be reduced broadly into three tone masses, the lights
(including the high lights), the half tones, and the shadows. And the
habit of reducing things into a simple equation of three tones as a
foundation on which to build complex appearances should early be sought
for.

[Sidenote: Exercise in Mass Drawing.]

Here is a simple exercise in mass drawing with the brush that is, as far
as I know, never offered to the young student. Select a simple object:
some of those casts of fruit hanging up that are common in art schools
will do. Place it in a strong light and shade, preferably by artificial
light, as it is not so subtle, and therefore easier; the light
coming from either the right or left hand, but not from in front. Try
and arrange it so that the tone of the ground of your cast comes about
equal to the half tones in the relief.

[Illustration: Plate XXIII.

SET OF FOUR PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE SAME PAINTING FROM A CAST IN DIFFERENT
STAGES

No. 1. Blocking out the shape of spaces to be occupied by masses.

No. 2. A middle tone having been scumbled over the whole, the lights are
now painted. Their shapes and the play of lost-and-foundness on their
edges being observed. Gradations are got by thinner paint, which is
mixed with the wet middle tone of the ground, and is darkened.]

[Illustration: Plate XXIV.

SET OF FOUR PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE SAME PAINTING FROM A CAST IN DIFFERENT
STAGES

No. 3. The same as the last, with the addition of the darks; variety
being got in the same way as in the case of the lights, only here the
thinner part is lighter, whereas in the case of the lights it was
darker.

No. 4. The finished work, refinements being added and mistakes
corrected.]

First draw in the outlines of the #masses# strongly in charcoal, noting
the shapes of the shadows carefully, taking great care that you get
their shapes blocked out in square lines in true proportion relative to
each other, and troubling about little else. Let this be a setting out
of the ground upon which you will afterwards express the form, rather
than a drawing - the same scaffolding, in fact, that you were advised to
do in the case of a line drawing, only, in that case, the drawing proper
was to be done with a point, and in this case the drawing proper is to
be done with a brush full of paint. Fix the charcoal #well# with a spray
diffuser and the usual solution of white shellac in spirits of wine.

Taking raw umber and white (oil paint), mix up a tone that you think
equal to the half tones of the cast before you. Extreme care should be
taken in matching this tone. Now scumble this with a big brush equally
over the whole canvas (or whatever you are making your study on). Don't
use much medium, but if it is too stiff to go on thinly enough, put a
little oil with it, but no turpentine. By scumbling is meant rubbing the
colour into the canvas, working the brush from side to side rapidly, and
laying just the #thinnest solid tone# that will cover the surface. If
this is properly done, and your drawing was well fixed, you will just be
able to see it through the paint. Now mix up a tone equal to the highest
lights on the cast, and map out simply the shapes of the light masses on
your study, leaving the scumbled tone for the half tones. Note
carefully where the light masses come sharply against the half tones and
where they merge softly into them.

You will find that the scumbled tone of your ground will mix with the
tone of the lights with which you are painting, and darken it somewhat.
This will enable you to get the amount of variety you want in the tone
of the lights. The thicker you paint the lighter will be the tone, while
the thinner paint will be more affected by the original half tone, and
will consequently be darker. When this is done, mix up a tone equal to
the darkest shadow, and proceed to map out the shadows in the same way
as you did the lights; noting carefully where they come sharply against
the half tone and where they are lost. In the case of the shadows the
thicker you paint the darker will be the tone; and the thinner, the
lighter.

When the lights and shadows have been mapped out, if this has been done
with any accuracy, your work should be well advanced. And it now remains
to correct and refine it here and there, as you feel it wants it. Place
your work alongside the cast, and walk back to correct it. Faults that
are not apparent when close, are easily seen at a little distance.

I don't suggest that this is the right or only way of painting, but I do
suggest that exercises of this description will teach the student many
of the rudimentary essentials of painting, such elementary things as how
to lay a tone, how to manage a brush, how to resolve appearances into a
simple structure of tones, and how to manipulate your paint so as to
express the desired shape. This elementary paint drawing is, as far as I
know, never given as an exercise, the study of drawing at present being
confined to paper and charcoal or chalk mediums. Drawing in charcoal is
the nearest thing to this "paint drawing," it being a sort of mixed
method, half line and half mass drawing. But although allied to
painting, it is a very different thing from expressing form with paint,
and no substitute for some elementary exercise with the brush. The use
of charcoal to the neglect of line drawing often gets the student into a
sloppy manner of work, and is not so good a training to the eye and hand
in clear, definite statement. Its popularity is no doubt due to the fact
that you can get much effect with little knowledge. Although this
painting into a middle tone is not by any means the only method of
painting, I do feel that it is the best method for studying form
expression with the brush.

But, when you come to colour, the fact of the opaque middle tone (or
half tone) being first painted over the whole will spoil the clearness
and transparency of your shadows, and may also interfere with the
brilliancy of the colour in the lights. When colour comes to be
considered it may be necessary to adopt many expedients that it is as
well not to trouble too much about until a further stage is reached. But
there is no necessity for the half tone to be painted over the shadows.
In working in colour the half tone or middle tone of the lights can be
made, and a middle tone of the shadows, and these two first painted
separately, the edges where they come together being carefully studied
and finished. Afterwards the variety of tone in the lights and the
shadows can be added. By this means the difference in the quality of the
colour between lights and shadows is preserved. This is an important
consideration, as there is generally a strong contrast between them, the
shadows usually being warm if the lights are cool and vice versa; and
such contrasts greatly affect the vitality of colouring.

Try always to do as much as possible with one stroke of the brush; paint
has a vitality when the touches are deft, that much handling and
continual touching kills. Look carefully at the shape and variety of the
tone you wish to express, and try and manipulate the swing of your brush
in such a way as to get in one touch as near the quality of shape and
gradation you want. Remember that the lightest part of your touch will
be where the brush first touches the canvas when you are painting lights
into a middle tone; and that as the amount of paint in the brush gets
less, so the tone will be more affected by what you are painting into,
and get darker. And in painting the shadows, the darkest part of your
stroke will be where the brush first touches the canvas; and it will
gradually lighten as the paint in your brush gets less and therefore
more affected by the tone you are painting into. If your brush is very
full it will not be influenced nearly so much. And if one wants a touch
that shall be distinct, as would be the case in painting the shiny light
on a glazed pot, a very full brush would be used. But generally
speaking, get your effects with as little paint as possible. Thinner
paint is easier to refine and manipulate. There will be no fear of its
not being solid if you are painting into a solidly scumbled middle tone.

Many charming things are to be done with a mixture of solid and
transparent paint, but it is well at first not to complicate the
problem too much, and therefore to leave this until later on, when you
are competent to attack problems of colour. Keep your early work both in
monochrome and colour #quite solid#, but as thin as you can, reserving
thicker paint for those occasions when you wish to put a touch that
shall not be influenced by what you are painting into.

[Illustration: Plate XXV.

ILLUSTRATING SOME TYPICAL BRUSH STROKES MADE WITH FOUR CLASSES OF BRUSH

Class A, round; Class B, flat; Class C, full flat brush with rounded
corners; Class D, filbert shape.]

It will perhaps be as well to illustrate a few of the different brush
strokes, and say something about the different qualities of each. These
are only given as typical examples of the innumerable ways a brush may
be used as an aid to very elementary students; every artist will, of
course, develop ways of his own.

The touch will of necessity depend in the first instance upon the shape
of the brush, and these shapes are innumerable. But there are two
classes into which they can roughly be divided, flat and round. The
round brushes usually sold, which we will call Class A, have rather a
sharp point, and this, although helpful in certain circumstances, is
against their general usefulness. But a round brush with a round point
is also made, and this is much more convenient for mass drawing. Where
there is a sharp point the central hairs are much longer, and
consequently when the brush is drawn along and pressed so that all the
hairs are touching the canvas, the pressure in the centre, where the
long hairs are situated, is different from that at the sides. This has
the effect of giving a touch that is not equal in quality all across,
and the variety thus given is difficult to manipulate. I should
therefore advise the student to try the blunt-ended round brushes first,
as they give a much more even touch, and one much more suited to
painting in planes of tone.

The most extreme flat brushes (Class B) are thin and rather short, with
sharp square ends, and have been very popular with students. They can be
relied upon to give a perfectly flat, even tone, but with a rather hard
sharp edge at the sides, and also at the commencement of the touch. In
fact, they make touches like little square bricks. But as the variety
that can be got out of them is limited, and the amount of paint they can
carry so small that only short strokes can be made, they are not the
best brush for general use. They are at times, when great refinement and
delicacy are wanted, very useful, but are, on the whole, poor tools for
the draughtsman in paint. Some variety can be got by using one or other
of their sharp corners, by which means the smallest possible touch can
be made to begin with, which can be increased in size as more pressure
is brought to bear, until the whole surface of the brush is brought into
play. They are also often used to paint across the form, a manner
illustrated in the second touch, columns 1 and 2 of the illustration on
page 114 [Transcribers Note: Plate XXVI].

A more useful brush (Class C) partakes of the qualities of both flat and
round. It is made with much more hair than the last, is longer, and has
a square top with rounded corners. This brush carries plenty of paint,
will lay an even tone, and, from the fact that the corners are rounded
and the pressure consequently lessened at the sides, does not leave so
hard an edge on either side of your stroke.

Another brush that has recently come into fashion is called a filbert
shape (Class D) by the makers. It is a fine brush to draw with, as being
flat it paints in planes, and having a rounded top is capable of
getting in and out of a variety of contours. They vary in shape, some
being more pointed than others. The blunt-ended form is the best for
general use. Either this class of brush or Class C are perhaps the best
for the exercises in mass drawing we have been describing. But Class A
should also be tried, and even Class B, to find out which suits the
particular individuality of the student.

On page 114 [Transcribers Note: Plate XXVI] a variety of touches have
been made in turn by these different shaped brushes.

In all the strokes illustrated it is assumed that the brush is
moderately full of paint of a consistency a little thinner than that
usually put up by colourmen. To thin it, mix a little turpentine and
linseed oil in equal parts with it; and get it into easy working
consistency before beginning your work, so as not to need any medium.

In the first column (No. 1), a touch firmly painted with an equal


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