International studio — 30.1906/​1907(1907)

Page: 119
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/international_studio30/0133
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English Drawing

English drawing. —the
LANDSCAPE AND FIGURE
SKETCHES OF THE OLDER
MASTERS. BY T. MARTIN WOOD.
The pleasure derived from the study of drawings
lies in appreciation of the draughtsman’s sensitive
vision as displayed in them and the responsiveness
of his pencil. The touch of the artist in a fine
drawing is a thing of nerves. This nervous quality
was essentially the feature of drawing until these
present times, for the reason that the art of line
drawing was insisted upon to such an extent that
an easy skill in it was then looked upon as the first
equipment in every artist. The modern tendency
of training has meant the loss of those finely
sympathetic qualities of drawing which evolved
from persistent training. This scholarship in draw-
ing remains only with a remnant of artists to-day,
a pure stream difficult to find uncontaminated by
so-called systems invented in the schools. The
ability to sketch brilliantly whilst depending on the
same qualities is yet a case apart. As with the gift

ot poets, the sketcher’s vivacity of sight comes with
him at birth. The laws which govern the creation
of a sketch are not to be defined, they answer to an
inward vision on the part of the artist. The great
interest of the sketch is in the fact that it repre-
sents the process of artistic thought, which may or
may not eventually concentrate in the finish of a
painted picture.
To accept a difficult composition from nature, to
define its sentiment in a few lines so instinctively
chosen that they are the lines which give the whole
meaning of the subject, is to make a good sketch.
In the particular set of sketches with which we
illustrate this article the reader will, we hope, be
able to trace that personal character in which their
meaning is to be found, and to note with interest
the quality of the touch with which pencil is put to
paper, as distinguishing the work of one artist from
another. There is no attempt here to touch the
history of drawing in England during the period
which our illustrations cover. The subject would
scarcely come within the province of our pages ;
but the sketches reproduced emphasise the salient
features of a variety of styles. The most


PENCIL sketch (By permission of C. Fairfax Murray, Esq.) by t. GAINSBOROUGH, R.A.
119
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