Pencil Drawing

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Pencils. — Pencils should be of good quality, free from grit, and capable of producing soft grays and strong blacks. It is not possible to specify the grade of pencil required for free-hand drawing either in outline or in light and shade work. The " broad gray line" drawn with a very soft pencil is often thought to be essential to good drawing ; but a drawing must be judged, not by the quality of line employed, but by what it represents. As different drawings represent different subjects and different effects, they cannot be treated in the same way, and so one may require a soft pencil and another a hard one.
The grade of pencil to be used depends upon the size of the drawing, upon whether its chief purpose is to represent form or values, and also upon the amount of detail it is to represent.
If a pencil sketch is to be made quickly as a note simply of light and shade effects, a soft pencil will be necessary to obtain the best results. If the sketch is quite small and intended as a study of the form and details of construction of a head or other subject, more than as a study of the masses of light and dark, it will be necessary to use a medium or even a hard pencil. It is impossible fo make a small drawing which represents many details by the use of a soft pencil or a broad gray line, and the smaller the drawing and the more detail it has, the harder the pencil must be. The old masters often used a pencil made of pure silver, which gave a soft, smooth gray line ; it could be made very sharp, and would retain its point for a long time, and was well suited to the careful studies of form, such as Fig. 27, which these famous artists often made. The pencil used must be suited to the work to be done, and may range from the softest (6 B or 4 B), which may be used for such sketches as Figs. 24, 50, 53, 54, and 6o, to grades such as 2 B, B, or HB, which may be used for such work as Figs. 56 and 57 ; while pencils as hard as 2 H or even 4 H may be used upon very small drawings or very careful studies, such as Fig. 27.
For all studies of values and rapid notes of effects, it is well to use as soft a pencil as the size of the drawing and the surface of the paper will permit. Students who have to make ,many trial lines in order to obtain the proportions cannot use soft pencils in making these touches, for they will produce lines so heavy that the eraser will be required, and even then the paper may not be left in good condition. Pupils who cannot draw fairly well should use, in beginning any sketch, a medium or hard pencil very lightly, so as not to indent the paper ; but in accenting an outline drawing whose lines have been thus determined, or in giving simply light and shade effects, a soft pencil should be used.

Paper. - The paper to be used depends upon the drawing to be made. If the drawing is to be a study of form principally, such as Figs. 27 and 59, and if it is to be worked upon with a medium or hard pencil and with an eraser, the paper should be tough and smooth, though never glazed. If the drawing is to be a rapid study of masses and effects of light and shade, such as Figs. 5o, 54, 55, and 56, the paper should be soft and smooth, and cheap grades are more likely to be suited for such sketches than expensive grades.
A rough paper, such as Whatman's cold-pressed paper, is not suited to rapid sketches of light and shade effects, especially when the sketches are small, for the grain of the paper produces the effect of spots, and smooth tints and atmospheric effects cannot be produced without blending the lines with the finger or the stump.
A very satisfactory drawing may be made upon Whatman's cold- pressed paper by blending the pencil tones with the finger, the stump, or the eraser, used as explained in Chap. V. The drawing thus produced is similar to a charcoal drawing, though much more delicate ; it may be made very pleasing and atmospheric, especially when the subject does not require strong darks. This method of blending a pencil drawing to obtain values is more difficult than the use of the charcoal, for it does not allow changes as readily as the use of charcoal. It is also less direct than the use of the pencil point, consequently students are advised to obtain gradation by the use of the point whenever this is possible, and to draw so as to be obliged to use the eraser but little.
The surface of the paper must not be glazed or hard and smooth, for it will not take the pencil readily ; it must not be so soft as to be torn by the pencil, or by the eraser if it is necessary to use this. A good paper for such sketches as Figs. 5o, 54, 55, and 56 is given by using the smooth side (the back surface) of English crayon paper. This paper is, however, very expensive, and cheap papers will often be found which give good results. Paper as cheap as that of a daily newspaper is often better suited for rapid notes of effects than expensive papers. Paper varies so much that of two lots of the same make and grade, one may be excellent and the other unsatisfactory, and practice alone will enable one to select paper and pencils suitable for any particular drawing; but pupils should remember that success is not so much a question of materials as of ability to draw.

Erasers and stumps. — All the materials suitable for charcoal and crayon drawing may be used upon a pencil drawing, and in the same ways.


The effects of light and shade seen in nature have been explained, and also the ways in which these effects should be studied and represented in a charcoal drawing. It must now be understood that the student who represents nature by light and shade has the same problems whatever the medium he employs, and success depends more upon ability to see than upon medium or technique. If the student can draw, he can draw with any medium ; he will, of course, acquire facility of execution by long use of the medium, but no directions can be given which will produce pleasing handling except the advice to study long enough to draw quickly and truly.

Use of pencil point. —The most important directions for pencil drawing have been given under the topics "Pencils " and " Paper "; but in addition it may be said that the result should always be obtained as directly as possible ; and in rapid sketches, such as Fig. 5o, the student should aim to produce the effect of atmosphere and of nature by means of tones produced by hatching wide pencil lines closely together so as to produce the effect of an even tone of shade. In more finished drawings, such as Fig. 27, the effect of the graded tones required should be produced by working over the surface of the paper with the pencil point alone.
In rapid notes, such as Fig. 5o, care must be taken that an unpleasant effect of separate lines is not produced by too much space between the lines, and in this work the strokes should generally_.. adjoin each other so that the effect of separate lines is not given.
The most important point in all work introducing light and shade effects is that outlines should be avoided whenever this is possible. When the values are not given and outlines are required, the outlines should not be uniform in any way, but should be varied in width, not continuous, and not perfectly straight or regular, even when they represent perfect type forms. See "Free-Hand Drawing," Chap. I.

Various methods. —A pencil sketch may give simply a suggestion of the form by means of outline., or in addition to the outline it may give light and shade effects ranging from the slight touches which serve to suggest the roundness of the object to a study of the full values.

The simplest change in an outline drawing in the direction of light and shade is given by representing the narrow shadows and by suggesting the wider ones by thickening the outlines ; this produces what has been called an accented outline drawing. Fig. 45 is of this nature and much more satisfactory than a uniform outline. The next step in advance is given by representing cast shadows and by suggesting the shadows by increasing the width of the outlines. When objects are composed of small parts, as the stool (Fig. 46), this treatment produces an effective sketch which suggests the principal divisions of light, shadow, and cast shadow. The figure shows how much the cast shadows add to the effect given by the accented outline.
Fig. 47 is similar to Fig. 46, the effect being largely due to outline and to the cast shadows. The drawing differs, however, from Fig. 46, as it represents the shadow upon the heel, and thus gives the contrast of the masses of light, shadow, and cast shadow, by which principally wt recognize objects.
Shadows and cast shadows are given to produce a stronger impression of nature than can be obtained from an outline, and no shading which does not help to suggest the facts should ever be placed upon any drawing. If the cast shadow in Fig. 49 were given without the shadow side, the effect would not be as satisfactory as a simple outline, for the outline would suggest the cube ; while if the cast shadow were represented without the shadow side, the first impression the drawing would create would be that of curiosity concerning the nature of the cube which throws a cast shadow and yet has no shadow surface. Generally when the cast shadow of an object is shown, the shadow surface adjoining the cast shadow 'should be represented whenever it is visible ; and the larger it is and the more the object resembles a type solid, the more necessary it is to represent it.
If the shadow side of an object, the cube, for instance (Fig. 49), is represented and the cast shadow is omitted, a satisfactory drawing May result, for an object is often seen when situated so that its cast shadow is some distance away from it or even invisible ; but when an object is represented as resting upon any other object and is shaded to represent a shadow surface, the drawing will generally be unsatisfactory if the shadow of the object cast upon its support is not represented.
Satisfactory drawings similar to Fig. 48, which represent more or less perfectly the shading upon an object, are often given when the cast shadow of the object is not represented. Fig. 27 is carried much farther than Fig. 48, and is an example of a different nature ; it is, however, a drawing, for it consists in part of outline.

Use of background — In order to avoid outlines it is necessary to use a background ; this may be vignetted against the object and extend no farther than is necessary to relieve the parts of the object which are lighter than the background. The use of an outline along the upper part of the bucket in Fig. 5o is thus avoided, and backgrounds may be used in similar ways or may extend completely around the drawing Figs. 51 and 52. Fig. 51 is more effective • than Fig. 49, but is still not true to nature, for it represents the edge separating the two faces in light by a line. Fig. 52 is more satisfactory than Fig. 51, for it represents the objects wholly by light and shade and defines the edge separating the two faces of the pyramid in light, not by a line as in Fig. 51, but by the slight difference seen in the object in the values of the two surfaces.
Fig. 53 is similar to Fig. 52 but is more effective, as it represents objects of different colors and has much stronger contrasts of light and dark. Fig. 53 shows the nature of many of the subjects which the artist represents and in which the principal contrasts of light and dark are often due to color as much as to light and shade. In making any drawing an artist represents the most prominent effects, and so most sketches give at least the shadows and cast shadows and any marked contrasts due to different colors. Figs. 47, 5o, 54, and 58 show the simplest rendering of these effects ; such sketches are quickly made, and are very effective and well suited for illustrations.
The student is advised to use this method for rapid sketches giving the form and the principal light and shade and color effects ; and he should fill sketch-books with notes similar to Figs. so and 54 until he can give the form and the masses of dark truly in a few minutes.
This method of making a sketch by means of three or four tones is particularly adapted for illustrations which are to be reproduced by the cheaper processes, for the tones may be produced by means of lines which may be varied in width and so spaced as to give the effect of shade without joining each other ; while the same effect in a wash or blended drawing cannot be cheaply reproduced.
When the student has time to study more detail than is given by this rendering, he should employ a background, as in Figs. 52 and 53 ; and the study in this way of such groups of still life is advisable, as it gives the best preparation for work from life such as Figs. 59 and 60.
Fig. 58 shows the beginning of a sketch from life. It is carried but little farther than the outline stage illustrated by Fig. 26, but a sketch begun in this way may be carefully finished without a background, as illustrated by Fig. 27 ; or it may be finished with a background and be similar in effect to the head of the woman in Fig. 59 ; or it may be carried still farther and be a study of full values such as Fig. 28.
Fig. 6o is a study by Rembrandt which gives the shadows and cast shadows and the modelling in the mass of the light. Such a drawing is most true and satisfactory when it represents dark objects, or objects which appear darker than their background, and the study illustrates the fact that the background is always least necessary when an object appears darker than its background.

Interiors and landscapes. - When representing interiors and landscape subjects the artist has the same choice as to what he will represent as when drawing the subjects already considered. He may use simply outline. If this is done the drawing would generally be accented ; but if not confined to outline, light and shade effects would be introduced just as in the sketches previously considered.
Fig. 55 represents the masses of light and shade and color, and shows the method used in Figs. 5o and 54 applied to a more extended. subject. Figs. 56 and 57 show the same method applied, in landscape. It is possible to make, with a pencil, studies of full values of such subjects ;..but it is not easy to do this, and generally the artist is satisfied to give the form and suggest the effect by representing the masses of light and shadow, and also those of dark color.
The more picturesque the subject, the more necessary it becomes to render it artistically, and the more important it is to avoid outlines ; or, if this cannot be done, to avoid making them uniform in strength or direction. Outlines should never be drawn where the form is expressed by shading, and, whenever possible, form should be given by hatchings of lines forming a tint of shade or shadow as illustrated by the lines of the ridges of the fish houses of fig. 25. This applies to all work with the pen as well as the pencil.
The directions given in Chap. V and in this chapter, to avoid uniformity and regularity in both outlines and values, must not be construed to mean that regular objects are to be represented as irregular. Students often think that it is necessary to represent a regular curve, such as an ellipse, by an irregular line, and a straight line by lines in different directions ; but such drawings are more unsatisfactory than those which mechanically represent the facts, for they do not represent the facts at all. Regularity cannot be represented by what creates the idea of irregularity, and the student who takes pains to produce variety will generally produce mechanical and unpleasant effects, for pleasing variety is due to the accidental effects produced by the attempt to express directly what is felt.
It is possible to make artistic and inartistic drawings of any subject which shall be equally true as far as the facts of form are concerned. Thus, two portraits of the same person may be equally correct as likenesses, and one be mechanical and unsatisfactory, while the other is artistic and pleasing in consequence of slight gradations and variations which produce an atmospheric and natural effect without changing the form. Students must realize that the vibrations of the atmosphere produce slightly irregular appearances in regular objects, but do not change the general impression of the lines and masses, and any variation from mechanical accuracy which causes false ideas of form must be avoided.




Brushes. — Round sable brushes should be provided for study in water color if the best results are desired. These brushes are very expensive, as they cost from two to 'seven dollars each, but the art student cannot find a satisfactory substitute, and should have at least one large brush about 3A of an in. in diameter and '3/4. inches long ; its handle should be at least 9 inches long. The brush should have a fine point so that as fine a line can be drawn with the largest brush as with the smallest. Sable brushes are firm, elastic, and always keep their shape if they are carefully washed after using and brought to a point before they are laid aside. Camel's-hair brushes and brushes made in Japan are cheap and suitable for use in the public schools.
Bristle brushes are used by some for painting. They are also very valuable for washing off color and obtaining high lights, as they are stiff and will quickly remove the color ; a flat, short, and stiff brush should be used for this purpose. The sable brush should never be used for washing or obtaining lights, as this will soon spoil its point. Pigments. — The brush may be used with any pigment in making a water-color monochrome, but satisfactory results will be obtained only by the use of transparent colors. Bright colors such as red and orange may be used, but the first impression created by their use is generally that of the color instead of the subject of the picture, and the student is advised to use no bright color for monochrome work.
The best results will be given by the use of sepia, neutral tint, or Payne's gray. These colors should be the moist colors prepared in pans or in tubes from which they may be squeezed into pans.
India ink may be' used, but this ink should be prepared by grinding a stick of ink, as the liquid inks contain chemicals which cause them to penetrate the paper so that changes are made with difficulty.
India ink is not as desirable as the colors in pans, for the use of these gives better preparation for painting from nature in water colors.
Charcoal gray gives clear gray tones well adapted for reproduction, and is a desirable color when one is able to obtain effects directly ; but it is not suitable for students who must try many times to secure the effect, for the color is not absorbed by the paper, and is very apt to be removed or rendered spotty by the methods which students must employ to obtain truthful drawings.

Paper. — Whatman's papers are best suited for water-color work ; of these the cold-pressed paper may be used, but the rougher papers intended for watercolor work will generally give better results.
Cheaper papers may be used if they are hard and have a rough surface which is not readily injured and which will stand washing with the brush or sponge.
The student who understands light and shade and is able to make a truthful, artistic drawing in charcoal or pencil requires little more than an explanation of the nature of any medium, and the most important facts regarding its preparation and its use, in order to be prepared to obtain by study that familiarity with the medium which will allow artistic work to be done.
A brush drawing may be made in a great variety of ways. To explain the subject thoroughly would require a book instead of a few pages, so that only the most important points can be explained.
The simplest use of the brush is that in which the point of the brush is used with color for the production of an outline drawing. In making such a drawing the outline would often be varied by the artist, as is illustrated by the sketch of the lion (Fig. 6i) by Rembrandt.
Another simple effect readily produced by. the brush is the silhouette ; this often gives in an interesting way die beauty and variety of form seen in nature.
A brush drawing may be done in flat tones representing the different values of the colors of the subject, as in the case of much of the poster work now done ; or the color values and also the details of form and color within these values may be given as in Japanese paintings.
The brush is also used to produce more or less complete studies of form and values such as have been explained previously.
The method explained in Chap. VI, by which sketches are made by representing shadows, cast shadows, and colors by the use of three or four tones, is well adapted to brush rendering upon dry paper, and subjects, such as Figs. 5o, 54, and 56, are often represented in this way with the brush. In fact any of the drawings done with the charcoal or pencil might have been rendered in the same way, so far as values are concerned, by the use of the brush.
Two very distinct methods of working in water color with the brush are briefly explained as follows :

The dry method — In this the paper must be stretched by wetting it and then securing it• to the board by means of mucilage, tacks, or in any other way.' Instead of stretching the paper, many artists use water-color paper which has been stretched and prepared in the form of blocks.
The paper is often secured to the board by means of a frame which is arranged to fit upon the edge of the board and to clamp the paper to it. In this case, to stretch paper it is only necessary to wet it and then to clamp it to the board by this frame.
Some artists prefer to stretch the paper upon a stretcher, such as is used for a canvas in oil painting, securing the paper to the stretcher by means of tacks. When thus placed upon a stretcher, both sides of the paper are exposed to the air so that the paper will dry much more quickly than when upon a board. Muth valuable time is spent in waiting for washes to dry, and the use of a stretcher in this way is consequently helpful.
When the paper has been stretched, some artists will suggest the form very lightly in outline with the pencil; others will use the point of the brush and color to indicate the principal lines and proportions ; sometimes the forms of the shadows may also be lightly indicated. Some artists may not consider it necessary to draw any outlines of the forms or shadows before beginning to represent the values by washes applied with the brush. Few students will, however, be able to draw directly with the brush ; and since water colors are not easily changed when once they are placed upon the paper, students are advised to determine the form and principal lines very lightly with the pencil until able to draw well at first touch. In thus using the pencil or the brush, care must be taken not to make the touches strong enough to show when the drawing is finished, for in all work outlines must be avoided.
When the drawing is thus suggested, the student may begin to wash in the values. .A large brush should be used, and the color taken with it from the pan and mixed with water enough to produce the desired tint ; this should then be applied with a brush full of color. The wash should be quickly floated over the entire surface to be colored, in order that a clear tone may be produced. The wash should be moved with a regular motion of the brush, and should not be allowed to stand in one place longer than in another. It should not be allowed to dry within any part where an even value is desired, as where a wash dries it produces a water mark. The washes should be begun at the top with the paper slightly inclined so that the wash flows toward the bottom of the board. The side of the brush should be applied to the paper when large spaces are to be covered, and the point of the brush when small parts are worked upon or when careful drawing is required.
The student should carry the first washes over as much of the surface of the paper as possible. The first wash, which must be very light, can generally be carried over the entire paper with the exception of the high lights. Before beginning with the washes, some artists go over the entire paper with clear water in order to dampen the paper so that the washes will not dry_ too quickly and produce water marks; but this is not necessary, as the first light wash will dampen the entire paper with the exception of the high lights.
When the first wash has dried, a second may be placed upon it, but if the second is applied while the paper is wet, the first will be at least partially removed. The second wash should be carried over as much of the paper as possible, and over the contours of all objects and parts which are seen against darker values ; the wash should be varied to represent the gradation seen in the subject. The effect produced by these washes should be similar to the charcoal sketch (Fig. 33), so far as the masses of light and dark are concerned.
All washes, even the first light one, should, when possible, be graded when applied, in order that they may represent as directly as possible the variety of effects seen. The washes should be prepared by taking the color from the pan with the brush and mixing it in the cover of the box with water enough to produce the desired tints ; but the tints should not be perfectly mixed before they are applied to the paper, for perfectly even tones will not produce the best results. For this reason, as far as possible, graded washes should be produced directly upon the paper by adding water when the wash is to be made lighter, and by adding color when it is to be made darker. The color to be added should be taken from the pan with the brush and applied directly to the part of the wash which is to be strengthened ; it will be taken up by the water of the wash and thus .softened, and may be blended so as to produce any desired gradation and strength of color. When color is mixed in this way upon the paper, the tones are not perfectly even, and the variety. thus produced gives a crispness and a charm to the work which can be obtained in no other way.
The student should try to grade every wash applied so that the variety seen in nature is suggested ; but he will not be able to give all the values by the first washes ; and so when they are dry it will be necessary to strengthen some parts by going over them again, and possibly to lighten some parts by washing part of the color off.
In order to avoid bringing washes in both directions up to any outline, the washes should always be carried over all outlines when ever it is possible to do this the washes are not frequently carried over the outlines they will either overlap or not quite meet at The outlines, and in either case will dry and form water lines which outline the object and produce a hard, mechanical effect. It may be possible for artists to obtain pleasing effects by placing each value by one wash upon simply the part it represents. Drawings of this nature are most frequently seen done in color, but the difficulties of producing artistic effects by this method alone are so great that students are advised not to attempt it. They should obtain effects by working over outlines as much as possible and by decreasing the size of the washes as their strength increases, until finally the accents of dark, which complete the drawing, are added.
When a brush drawing is well started it will be well to give, in some small part, an accent of dark as strong as may be desired in the finished drawing, in order that as the drawing progresses the darks may be compared with this accent. In this way the values may be given so as to avoid making too light or too dark a study.
If the color runs or is dropped upon parts where it is not desired, it may be removed by absorbing it with blotting paper or with a brush from which the color has been pressed.
When the study is hard and crude as a result of unavoidable water lines, the paper should be dried and then thoroughly washed with clean water and a soft sponge or a brush. The grain of the paper should not be injured in doing this, and if little rolls of paper begin to form, they show that the washing process must stop if the paper is not to be spoiled. Washing in this way will greatly improve a hard drawing, and most satisfactory effects are sometimes produced. by washing a drawing which is apparently in a hopeless condition.
Some artists obtain their effects principally by use of the sponge and brush upon drawings intentionally made crude and hard, in order that they may be softened and brought together by washing. Students should know the value of this method, but they should aim to produce results directly, and should never work with the intention of producing false effects which are to be subjected to the action of accidental processes.
Students should aim to produce an atmospheric effect by grading the washes as they are applied, and especially by grading them along the contours. A hard effect will be given by any drawing in which the washes are keen and sharp at the contours, or in which lines of light.or of dark are formed by water lines or by washes which do not quite meet. The wet method. — This method is called the Dutch method because used by these painters, and it differs from the dry method in making use of paper which is kept wet until the finishing touches are applied. This avoids the crude effect given by the dry method when objects are sharply defined, or when washes dry and form water lines.
The paper to be used is soaked in water, and also a piece of blotting paper as large as the paper, and the two are then placed together upon the drawing board, the blotting paper being under the water-color paper, and both are secured to the board by rubber bands encircling the board and placed upon the edges of the paper The drawing is then made with the point of the brush, just enough water being used to moisten the brush and cause it to take up the color. When the principal forms are suggested in outline, the masses of dark are put in with the side of the brush, just enough water being used to cause the color to mix and to flow from the brush to the wet paper. The water upon the paper dilutes the color and causes it to flow evenly and produce tones which softly blend into each other No tendency to hard outlines is produced, but, on the contrary, the effect of the drawing in its first stages is extremely blurred, for the different tones grade into each other and produce simply masses of light and dark with no separations or decided forms throughout the drawing. The paper being wet all the time, there is no danger that the color will dry and produce water lines, and as much time as is desired may be spent in studying the proportions and forms of the dark masses as they are put in. When the paper has been covered so as to suggest the effect of light and shadow, the darks should be strengthened by working more color into them with the brush. The color should be taken directly from the pan and worked into the dark masses throughout the drawing until the proper contrasts of light and dark are obtained. In thus strengthening the darks, if the color spreads into the lights it may be taken up with the blotter ; and the bristle brush may be used to lighten any parts which may be too dark.
When the masses and the effect have been obtained as explained the paper should be allowed to dry so that if color is placed upon it with the brush full of color it will not run. The necessary decision and 4he accents should then be put in with washes which are allowed to dry without blending ; and the drawing should be finished by carefully drawing with the point of the brush any details of dark needed, and by taking out with a stiff bristle brush any accents of light.
This method gives softness, except where decision is produced by the finishing touches, and is an artistic method capable of producing the most beautiful effects. The method is at first difficult, particularly when colors are used ; if this method is not used by students, its principle should be applied as far as possible so as to cause the washes placed upon dry paper to blend and to soften into each other in all the first stages of any drawing. Decision and keenness are given only by the accents produced by the last work upon„ the drawing.
The best method for the student who represents values seems to be a combination of both methods, the first work being done with the paper wet, and with color which is worked into the paper so that the different values throughout the drawing are represented by tones which softly grade into each other. When the masses are quite strongly indicated, the paper should be allowed to dry and the drawing finished as explained under the " dry method."
Figs. 62, 63, 64, and 65 are students' drawings intended as studies of values, and made by combining both methods as explained above; they show how the knowledge gained by still-life study in charcoal may be applied to more interesting subjects.



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