International studio — 30.1906/​1907(1907)

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1 cm
Pencil-Drawing from Nature

, given
of all

been so much better had you been able to add
another three inches to the top ; but, alas ! you
have not sufficient canvas now. Had you made a
study in line of the placing of the masses within
the page of your book, you would have avoided
the calamity. Not only is pencil-drawing from
nature an aid to memory and the knowledge of
form, but it is an excellent aid to good composition.
Get a large sketch-book about 15 ins. by 12 ins.,
with medium grain paper, not quite white (because
the reflection from white paper when drawing in
the open air is trying to the eyes), and a pencil
with a loose lead—one of those which screw up
the lead about one-eighth of an inch thick. Take
an ash-tree, for instance, like the illustration
on page3o, and sit down and draw first
with an exceedingly light
touch, the general outline
of the big masses, the sweep
of the outline, the trend of
the branches, and the strong
curves of the trunk ; you
can still with a light touch
suggest any alteration in
the disposition of the
masses of light and shade,
of the placing of your trees,
etc., within the page of
your paper.
When you have made a
number of attempts to find
the best arrangement of the.
material of nature (a yard
this way or that in the
selection of a point of view
may totally change your
composition); when you
have made the trial lines,
and suggested in the faint-
est possible manner where
the masses come, then at-
tack your subject with frank
fearlessness. Never mind
about rubbing out your
trial lines, they will and
should serve as guides to
draw in your outline with
the strong vigour and cou-
rage which comes of confi-
dence. Don’t use india-
rubber except as a very last
resource. There is no need
of it, and with sufficient
practice you will enjoy

your sketching with a point, and your drawing
will gain in directness and virility in proportion to
the time you devote to its practice.
Draw the outline of the trees with an edge which
suggests the foliage. It would be better to draw
the foliage first and then draw the branch which
will reasonably support it. The weight of the
masses of foliage must have an adequate support.
The branches must be attached to the trunk with
that peculiar articulation which is characteristic of
its species.
You will quickly see what are the general
peculiarities of the ash, elm or oak. You will
learn so much of their habits that you will very
clearly gauge what they would do were their local
conditions changed. And if you put a tree in your


(By permission of Fairfax Murray. Esq.)

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