SKETCHING In all architectural work, the art of sketch ing is important. To be able to show one's ideas clearly and artistically, or to reproduce some form or object in a pleasing manner, is indeed an essential qualification for the draftsman as well as the architect. Sonic have a natural ability to sketch, which lacks but the pencil and paper to give a true expression of the idea of the mind; while others acquire the art of sketching only by diligent study and persistent practice. Many instances have proven the fact that one may have ability, but that it needs developing, just as in the case of the mathema tician, who becomes an expert in the higher mathematics by a gradual training from the simpler problems on up through more complex ones. Because one has not ability that is appar ent at the outset, is no criterion whereby we may judge of his ability along any particular line. Learn to sketch, as it is a valuable asset for the architect.
Fundamental Principle. To the beginner, the object usually presents itself as made up of small portions, and ordinarily he will make an attempt to show all the small details, over looking the main mass or body of the object. The first thing is to be able to see the object as it really is, as it would really appear to the best advantage when sketched roughly and quickly. Learn to look at the general grouping of the different portions, and their relation to one another. The beginner attempts to draw the object as he sees it at close range, while the experienced person draws it as it appears at a distance. The tendency of the beginner is to represent everything with hard, sharp, and exact lines which are known from actual knowl edge of the object to exist, although they do not really appear so. Learn to study the gen eral proportions as expressed by the shadows, rather than by the exact outlines bounding each surface. Studying an object for sketching is really a study of the shadows. In all sketching, the proportion is the fundamental principle. Having correctly represented the proportions, then represent the object by means of the shad ows as cast upon the object, and let the details be merely an after consideration. Learn to see
the object correctly, and the representation by lines will come by practice.
Pencils and Paper. The pencil is present on all occasions; therefore it is used a great deal in sketching. Pencils may be obtained in all degrees of hardness and softness. Drawing pencils are usually denoted by H, HH, etc., for hard pencils, up to 8H, which is a very hard lead; the soft pencils are denoted by B, BB, etc., up to 4B for very soft pencils. An inter mediate grade known as an HB is between the hard leads commencing with H and the soft leads commencing with B. This is a very con venient grade to use for all kinds of work. A good drawing pencil should contain no grit.
As a general rule, the larger the drawing, the softer the pencil, since the lead in the soft pencils is larger than that in the hard pencils. Therefore, it is rather difficult to make a small drawing with a really soft pencil. As stated above, the most satisfactory pencil for all around work is the medium grade or the HB pencil.
The pencil should never be sharpened to a point. Out away the wood, leaving the lead its full size; and by a few strokes on a piece of scratch paper, wear off the sharp edge, until you have a line the full thickness of the lead.
Hold the pencil comfortably between the fingers, not in a cramped position, but free and easy. The length of line, the position on the paper, and the width and intensity of the lines will determine just which movements of the fingers, wrist, or arm are the best suited to the work. In all work, avoid bending over the drawing; sit upright so that the drawing may be all seen at a glance. The paper should always be at right angles to the line of sight, to insure the best work.
The paper should have a somewhat rough texture for the best work, although some very pleasing sketches have been made upon smooth paper. Never use a glazed paper. The smooth paper requires greater care in its use, it being harder to erase anything successfully. A good grade of tracing paper makes a very good paper for sketches with a medium-soft pencil.