1 Freehand Drawing

light, outline, shade, objects, pencil, color, nature, outlines and lines

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6.. Outline. The untrained eye usually sees objects in out line filled in with their local color, that is, the color they appear to be when examined near the eye without strong light or shade thrown upon them. One of the first things the student' has to learn is that there are no outlines in nature. Objects are distin guished from each other not by outlines but by planes of light and dark and color. Occasionally a plane of dark will be so narrow that it can only be represented by a line, but that does not refute the statement that outlines do not exist in nature. Very often only one part of an object will be detached from its surroundings. Some of its masses of light may fuse with the light parts of other forms or its shadows with 'surrounding shadows. If enough of the form is revealed to identify it, the eye unconsciously supplies the shapes which are not seen, and is satisfied. The beginner in drawing is usually not •satisfied to represent it so, but draws definitely forms which he does not see simply because he knows they are there. Obviously then it is necessary to learn what we do not see as well as what we do.

7. Although there are no outlines in nature, most planes of light and shade have definite shapes which serve to explain the form of objects and these shapes all have contours, edges or bound aries where stops and another begins. As the history of drawing shows, it has always been a convention of early and primi tive races to represent these contours of objects by lines, omitting effects of light and, shade. To most 'people to-day the outline of an object is its most important element—that. by which it is most easily identified—and for a large class of explanatory drawings outlines without light and shade are, sufficient. By varying the width and the tone of the outline it is even possible to suggest the solidity of forms and something of the play of light and shade and of texture.

8: Since, in order to represent light and shade, it is neces sary to set off definite boundaries or areas and give them their proper size and- contour, it follows that the study of outline may very well be considered a simple way of learning to draw, and a drawing in outline as one step in the production of the fully devel oped work in light and shade. An outline drawing is the simplest one which can be made, and by eliminating all questions of light and shade the student can concentrate all his effort on representing contours and proportions correctly. But he should always bear in mind.that his drawing is a convention, that it is not as he actually .

sees nature, and that it can but imperfectly convey impressions of the surfaces, quality and textures of 'objects.

9. It is often asserted that whoever can learn to write can learn to draw, but one may go further and assert that writing is drawing. Every letter in a written word is a drawing from mem

ory of that letter. So that it may be assumed that every one who can write already knows something of drawing in outline, which is one reason why instruction in drawing may logically begin with the study of outline.

Some good teachers advocate the immediate study of light and shade, arguing that since objects in nature are not bounded by lines to represent them so it is not only false but teaches the student to see in lines instead of thinking of the solidity of objects. But these arguments are not sufficient to overbalance those in favor of beginning with outline, especially in a course planned for architectural students to whom expression in outline is of the first importance.

Pencils. Drawings may be made in " black and white" or in color. A black and white drawing is one in which there is no color and is made by using pencil, charcoal, crayon or paint which produces different tones of gray ranging from black to white.

The pencil the natural medium of the architect and the materials for pencil drawing are very inexpensive and require little. time for their preparation and care. Drawings in pencil are very easily changed and corrected if necessary. All the required plates for this course are to be executed in pencil.

The pencil will make a drawing with any degree of finish ranging from a rough outline sketch' to the representation of all the light and shade of a complicated subject. In addition it is the. easiest of all mediums to handle. Students are sometimes led to think that it is more artistic to draw in charcoal crayon or pen and ink. It may be that an additional interest is aroused in some students by working in these materials, but the beginner must assure himself at once that artistic merit lies wholly in the result and not at all in the material in which the work is executed.

Pencils are made in varying degrees of hardness. The softest is marked BBBBBB or 6B; 5-B is slightly less soft and they increase in hardness through the following grades: 4B, 3B, 2B, B, F, II, 2H, 3II, 4II, 5II, 6H. A pencil should mark smoothly and be entirely free from grit. The presence of grit is easily reog nized by the scratching of the.pencil on the paper and by the unevenness in the width and tone of the line. The leads of the softer pencils are the weaker and are more easily broken. They give off their color the most freely and produce blackest lines. What hardness of pencils one should use depends upon a number of considerations, one of the most important being the quality of paper upon which the drawing is made.

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