The Art of Pencil Drawing

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The Art of Pencil Drawing...

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— HARIN COUNTY FREE LIBRQRY

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DRAWING

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THE ART OF

PENCIL

DRAWING by Ernest W.Watson

WATSON-GUPTILL PUBLICATIONS



NEW YORK

Paperback Edition 1985

©

Copyright

First

1968 by Watson-Guptill Publications

published 1968

a division

New

in

York by Watson-Guptill Publications.

of Billboard Publications, Inc.,

1515 Broadway,

New York, N.Y 10036

Congress Catalog Card Number: 68-27552 ISBN 0-8230-0275-6 ISBN 0-8230-0276-4 (pbk.)

Library of

Distributed

House,

St.

in

the United

Ebbe's

St.,

Kingdom by Phaidon Press

Ltd., Littlegate

Oxford

rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means

All

— graphic,

electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage

and

retrieval

systems

written permission of the publisher.

Manufactured

12

in

U.S.A.

3 4 5 6 7/90 89 88 87 86 85

— without

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION,

7

AUTHOR'S NOTE, 1.

9

WAYS WITH THE

PENCIL,

i3

Simple Materials and Equipment, 13 Pencils, 16



Tonal

Palette, 16

Charcoal Effect, 22

2.

Going

Eraser, 19

LOOKING AND SEEING, to the



Heart of Things, •

1

3



Size

and Subject, 36

Size and Artistic

Communication Between

Size

Composing the Sketch: Isolating a

4.

What

Core of

PATTERN,

Creates Pattern?

SHADOWS,

Fixative, 26



3 5

Size



Size

Texture

at

and Medium,

3 5

38



Various

Ways

of Manipulating Values, 49

5 1 •

Beginning With Pattern, 52



Basing Composition on Pattern, 60

Tone and Value, 6y





Accenting Shadows, 70

79

Close Range, 79

Pencil and Texture, 82

3

and Detail, 36

Creative Manipulation of Shadows, j6

TEXTURE,

Garden,

Artist and Object, 32

69

Shadows and Form, 69

6.

in a

51

Pattern and Silhouette, 61

5.



Selection, Subordination, Emphasis, 38

Interest, 43

Pattern in Masonry, 60

1

35

and Tone, 36

Temperament,

Paper,

Tortillon Stump, 19

An Experience

Time, Weather, and OtherConsiderations, •



31

AND COMPOSITION,

SIZE

Shaping the Lead, 13

Versatility of the Pencil, 24



Creative Seeing, 32,

3.









Paper and Texture, 79

Abstract Texture, 82

7

.

SKETCHING

TOWN AND

Emotional Incentive, 89



CITY, 89

An Incident of Thwarted Incentive, 90

Getting Accustomed to Onlookers, 94



Establishing a Focal Point, 94

Knowledge of Architecture, 94 Perspective and Proportion, 96 •

8.

LANDSCAPE SKETCHING,

Use of Symbolism, 105 Skies



Size in

105

Landscape Sketching, 105

and Clouds, 106

An Interesting Problem in Landscape Sketching,

9.

DRAWING

A Sketching Trip,

TREES, 1 1 3 •

106

113

Palm

Trees,

1 1

6

Silhouette, 116



Geometric Analysis of Tree Forms, 116

10.

MEMORY AND IMAGINATION,

Working Purely from Memory, 125 Working from On-the-Spot Sketches,

125

125



Drawing by Seeing, 128

Degas' Advice to Students, 130' Following your Pencil, 130

Role of the Subconscious 131



Rapid Sketching, 131



Imagination, 132

Drawing and a Sketch, 132 Creative Role of Untouched Paper, 133* Imagination and Experience, 135

Distinction Between and

Imagination and Improvisation, 135

GALLERY OF PENCIL DRAWINGS, INDEX,

141

157

-h

INTRODUCTION

Like thousands of art students across America,

and magazine

articles

of Ernest Watson.

handsome pencil drawings stroke by

his

which

he's still a

master

of pencil drawing. For this

subject to

army of

which he has devoted

Having introduced imposing parade of

To

writings by heart and studied

a large

—Ernest Watson this

is

a large

his

is

fathom the technique of

and faithful following

the author to read

new book by

admirers, a

event of particular importance because a

his

stroke, trying to

at the age of 84.

following that continues to grow



knew

I

was brought up on the books

I

Ernest



on the craft

Watson

is

an

most ambitious book on the subject

part of his professional

life.

the reader to the fundamentals of pencil drawing in an

books

earlier

—many of them

still

available



the author

now

turns to the knotty and sophisticated problems of the advanced reader: the serious

whom art will soon

student for fessional

who wants

The Art of

Pencil Draining

of technique,

its

scope

equally important this

into the disciplines of drawing. Thus,

unique among Ernest Watson's books. Purely in terms

greater than any other

is is

is

be a profession; the advanced amateur; and the pro-

more deeply

to delve

his

most personal book,

his

name; but

which the author

reveals the

book that bears in

creative processes, both technical and philosophical,

which underlie

and

art

his

his teaching.

For Ernest Watson began

his professional life as

these have remained his dual vocations.

he concluded

his art studies at

Born

in

both

artist

and teacher, and

Conway, Massachusetts,

in 1884,

Pratt Institute in 1907 and began teaching there the

following year. His tour of service at that famous art school was twenty-one years; as

supervisor of day and evening classes

art students,

and

his

from

19 19 to 1929, he

profound feeling for young people

is

met thousands of

one of the secrets of

his

success as a teacher and as a writer of books that teach.

From as

a

teaching, Ernest

Watson turned

to educational journalism, serving first

Art Editor of Scholastic from 193 1 to 1937. Then, sensing the public need for magazine that would teach art techniques to the growing number of amateur

artists

and

lishing idea

art students, he

— the

and the

late

Arthur Guptill

hit

on

a

remarkable pub-

magazine which ultimately became the most widely read

art

American Artist. As Editor-in-Chief of American Artist from 1937 to the end of 1955, when he became Editor Emeritus, Ernest Watson found the ideal way to combine his talents as artist, teacher, and journalist. Building upon the success of the magazine, Watson-

journal in the world:

Guptill Publications soon found

another "first";

this small,

itself

publishing art instruction books.

adventurous American publishing house was the

It

was

first

to

coming

sense the

art

boom and

to specialize in books that taught

Americans to

draw and paint. The continuing growth of American Artist and Watson-Guptill books

—both begun

when today's art boom seemed a both Ernest Watson and Arthur Guptill.

at a

tribute to the vision of

time

But Ernest Watson's extraordinary productivity writer has been matched by his creativity as an

artist.

major public collections

Congress, the

Museum

New York

as

editor,

is

a

and

as a

multi-color

medium

the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of

Public Library, the Brooklyn

of Art, and the Boston Public Library.

Watson

drawings for several national advertising campaigns. a steady flow of superb pencil

publisher,



His beautiful color prints

remarkable for their pioneering use of the linoleum cut are in such

as

wild dream

Museum, also

And

the Baltimore

found time to make

he continues to produce

drawings which have greater freedom and vitality

than ever. Let

me admit

it:

these drawings are a kind of secret motive in publishing this

beautiful book. Except for the lucky

few who've been allowed

to turn the pages

of Ernest Watson's private albums, his admirers have never seen a comprehensive

range of

his pencil

drawings. Here, then, for the

previously unpublished work in the art of the pencil,



first

time,

drawings which are not only

but works of art

as inspiring as

the

man

is

the cream of his

self-sufficient lessons

himself.

Donald Holden, Editor Watson-Guptill Publications

AUTHOR'S NOTE Frankly,

was cajoled into doing

I

Having written several books I demurred at the

book.

this

dealing with various aspects of drawing and picturemaking,

suggestion of Editor Donald

very persuasive,

Holden that

write yet another. But editors can be

I

who

indeed was Mr. Holden,

as

my

studio and began leafing through portfolios of

many

over

years.

At

the end of his browsing,

had made about the drawings, been the

basis for a

the idea for this

book had

The drawings

its

I

Rochelle

drawings made here and abroad

was reminded that the comments

them one by

inspecting a

my New

would have

one,

tape recording of our discussion.

do.

were made exclusively with the graphite pen-

produce effective and beautiful drawings

who know how

And

to use them.

have worked with

all

hands of crea-

in the

there are different

ways or manners

years ago that

it

will

versatile tool, a claim

all

but the graphite pencil;

do everything

which

drawings made over

fifty

a

artist.

of these different tools and have learned what they will

have practically discarded

I

Thus

beginning.

of using any one of them, according to the preference and idiosyncrasy of the I

I

other kinds of pencils: carbon, charcoal, lithographic, even

silver pencils. All will

tive artists

we were

in those portfolios

many

There are

cil.

as

book had there been

journeyed to

I

once

I

want

set

I

discovered

to do with a pencil. It

out to demonstrate in

is

a series

a

great

many

tremendously

a

of one hundred

period of twelve years for a prominent manufacturer

of drawing pencils. I

was commissioned by the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company to produce

of pencil drawings to be used

as

advertisements for their Eldorado

a series

artists' pencil.

These drawings appeared, one each month, in the architectural magazine Pencil Points

(now

They were

Progressive Architecture)

,

in

size

light halftone reproduction

agement of the

this

It

tures, ceramics,

When

text

which accompanied each high-

a technically instructive

nature for the encour-

of this medium.

artistic use

took

me

in the selection of subjects.

also to art

museums, where

and other craft creations from the

recently

I

began assembling

the offices of the Joseph a

The

The commission took

twelve year period, to Europe, England, Mexico, and

country.

select

was of

was given absolute freedom a

and others.

of Pencil Points. Although created for advertisements, these

pages carried scant commercial messages.

me, over

Artist, School Arts,

faithfully reproduced at the exact size of the originals, approximately

9" x 12", the page

I

American

I

experiences in doing them.

was privileged to draw sculp-

illustrations for this book,

printed here

sections of

originals.

Dixon Crucible Company

number of examples

many

— and

I

journeyed to

to inspect these drawings, to to

revitalize

my

remembered

mention

I

in

commission because

this

it

was

a

unique opportunity for exploring

depth the potentialities of the graphite pencil. Long before

become a devotee of the graphite pencil, having used taught

this,

however,

had

I

commercially and having

it

use at Pratt Institute and in special classes for architects.

its

There has been

my

collections of

a

healthy resurgence of interest in pencil

now

drawings have been, and are

work

in circulation in

of late years;

many

educa-

tional institutions.

Every viewed his

it

makes use of the

artist

with such zeal

as,

but

pencil,

know

I

medium. Usually the pencil functions

it

as

is

quite different

in

from adopt-

an independent medium.

Like

other media, the pencil has

all

expression. Likewise to creativeness.

it

has

its

limitations.

Often they stimulate

ing with the pencil sharpens the essential interest.

it.

artist's

This perceptiveness

is

That

into black and white expression.

have not painted professionally,

I

its

own

special suitability for pictorial

But limitations

The

are

never think color.

pleasure?

I

suppose

so.

One

ing compensation for that

enhanced in itself

is

also in the act of translating color a creative

function. (Although

When

become color

However,

is

I

blind, as

it

drawing with pen-

were.

A

sacrifice of

attains such sensitivity to values that there

loss.

working with color certainly

when draw-

necessity for selectiveness

experienced the entrancement of color while

has to

Yet one

by no means hindrances

perceptiveness in pinpointing the subject's

working for twenty years or more with color woodcuts.) cil, I

medium

an adjunct to some other

as

experimenting with compositional arrangements. This ing

who have

of few indeed

for example, a watercolorist applies to the mastery of

I

am

the

first

is

satisfy-

to agree that experience in

contributory to one's development in the mastery

of any black and white medium.

Simple pages,

This

is

as

a

is,

there

is

a lot to

say about

try to demonstrate some of the things

I shall

not

my medium

step-by-step kind of presentation.

Nor

its use.

be instructive learns best

as

represent

a

the following

you can do with

—knowing from my own

its

more advanced work.

variety of themes and solutions, which

well as inspiring

this pencil.

does the arrangement of

chapters follow a calculated progression from elementary to

The drawings shown

On

I

trust will

experiences that one

through example.

In closing these brief remarks, laboration of

my

wife Eve,

who

I

want

to

acknowledge with gratitude the

has contributed her editorial

know-how

col-

to this

work.

Ernest

W. Watson Threshold

Mulberry Lane,

New Rochelle, New York January,

10

1

968

THE ART OF PENCIL DRAWING

WAYS WITH THE PENCIL

There are the "Author's

a great

Note"

many ways

—that

medium. What

favorite

I

to use the pencil.

I

have concentrated upon

I

shall



have already explained the graphite pencil as

have to say about materials,

themselves will apply in large measure, therefore, to what

well as the drawings

as is

in

my

known

as the

broad-

stroke technique.

The

principal ingredients for success in this use of the graphite pencil

this applies to all

media



are practice

ten for elementary students,

advanced

in this

niques.

treatise,

But there

are a

I stress

who

for the

may

the pencil in outdoor sketching

simple and inexpensive:

to carry in one's pocket.

The

is

pensable; a is

obvious. It allows one to get

would be out of the

portfolio serves as a drawing board.

is

few pen-

Two large

A folding camp stool

is

rub-

indis-

light metal and canvas one which folds to about 8" x 15" will serve.

carried easily, along with the portfolio, under the arm.

stool

The equipment

question.

portfolio to hold drawing papers and a

a

ber bands will hold the paper securely to the portfolio.

It

be exploiting seriously the

AND EQUIPMENT

into places where watercolor or oil

cils

time

first

to

medium.

The convenience of is

conceptual problems and advanced tech-

few instructions about materials which should be offered

SIMPLE MATERIALS

needed

and experimentation. In other books writ-

have gone into greater detail than seems appropriate

I

wherein

anyone, however advanced, pencil as a

—and

more comfortable and

portant item

is

is

practical

the kneaded eraser,

which

when is

a

traveling

A

by

wooden

substantial car.

One more im-

must for pencil work.

SHAPING THE LEAD The

pencil

brush; but

is

not

when

a tool for

rendering large tonal areas such

used with restraint, in reasonably restricted areas,

ing tonal suggestions which are

perform referring

given

best in this

now

manner

its

the lead (we

still

a

can indeed be called

piece of paper as in Figure

1,

makes becomes

as

until the stroke

it

it

charm-

yields

medium. To

speak of "lead pencils," the term lead

only to the pencil core, regardless of

a bevel point, if a bevel

natural with the

principal claim for preeminence as a

its

chemical base) has to be

a point.

the pencil, held in a natural writing or drawing position,

on

as are

is

This bevel results

worn down by

when

abrasion

the pencil being held in an identical position

wide

as the

diameter of the lead allows,

if

such

13

Figure

The

1.

Preparing your Pencil for Broad-Stroke Technique

broad-stroke technique

maximum width down on a piece of the

shown

is

a natural

way

to use the pencil, for

fine

sandpaper (or any rough paper), until

in 3. Start with the pencil sharpened as in

of merely cutting

away

the wood.

Then wear

1

,

it

will give sharp, thin lines as in

Figure

2.

takes advantage of

it

down

until

worn

has a point like that

by tapering the lead

the lead

point suitable for broad-stroke technique like that in 2 and 3. over,

it

of the pencil lead. For this technique, the pencil lead should be

slightly, instead

you have a

When

fiat-surface

this point

is

turned

4

Tonal Palette

This tonal palette serves as an approximate key to the use of varying degrees of pencil lead hard to soft. Not all of the numbered pencils are likely to be used by the artist in any



given sketch. Three or four,

14

maximum,

usually suffice.

is

have larger diameters and therefore

desired. Soft leads

This kind of point

is

awkward to use. When, in the

quite different

from

again to resume the same stroke character, the same position

One

it

laid

is

must

down and

be held in the

to testing a watercolor brush to be assured that resilient surface

The

positive strokes.

been referred to

The development

This

in exactly

bite a trifle into the

as

as this

as before.

equivalent

is

charged with the desired color.

it is

strokes will have well defined edges. This

condition for working in broad-stroke, It has also

trial.

provided by several sheets of paper between

and the drawing permits the pencil edge to

more

then taken up

hand

formerly in order that the bevel will contact the paper

as

always has a scrap of drawing paper on the board for

The

which would be most

a chisel sharpening,

course of drawing, the pencil

wider strokes.

will yield

technique

a

hard board

paper and yield is

an important

appropriately called.

is

pencil painting.

of facility in broad-stroke requires practice:

fill

many

sheets

of practice paper with stroke experiments to hasten the point of proficiency. Bevel points, used for broad-stroke, will also

produce sharp, thin

lines

when

the pencil

is

turned in the fingers.

PAPER

When we paper

talk about the technical aspects of pencil drawing,

as well;

what

is

paper being used.

On

darker tones than

if

done with any degree of pencil lead

is

we must

consider

conditioned by the

paper having the roughest tooth, lighter pencils will produce

used on a smooth surface.

Some

surfaces yield a surprising range

will

have the most receptive surface

of desired values; others are limited.

you can

If

made

ever

sold at

available for pencil drawing.

Arthur Brown's

are available in

you

find a clay coated paper,

many

art

Such papers, named Video and Media,

supply store at 2 West 46th Street,

other

cities.

Or any

you from Arthur Brown. The papers

New York

are

City, and

dealer should be able to secure

them

for

are sold in pads of convenient sizes.

They

are

expensive papers, but are worth whatever they cost.

The blade.

I

clay coating permits scraping out with a sharp knife edge or with a razor

use a single edge razor blade

possibilities

liage mass;

which must be

sharp. This enlarges technical

enormously. White tree branches can be scraped out from

white accents can be introduced where needed

small areas can be

removed

in this

way.

You cannot

in

a

dark fo-

any tonal mass; even

use an eraser on clay coated

paper. Bristol boards are

trade

name of Aquabee

which

sometimes excellent.

I've used extensively

is

has been available in stores for as long as If there

is

One

of

my

favorite papers bears the

made by Bee Paper Company. Another paper Alexis, made by the Strathmore Paper Company; it

Satin Finish,

I

can remember.

not a large art supply store in your town,

a trip to a

nearby art cen-

15

ter

An

worthwhile to collect sample papers.

is

who

essential for those

More

are serious.

assortment of the right papers

will be said about papers in

is

my comments

upon drawings reproduced on following pages. Oh yes, the weather! We must not overlook the weather as a factor. On a damp, foggy, or rainy day, paper has a way of responding most unsatisfactorily. Paper absorbs moisture and becomes receptive to to

any

pencil.

When

much

do what can be done with

Of

in this

damp

when

harder leads

the weather

is

scale

is

scale for specific tonal effects

based

is

upon dry paper

and dry.

clear

course the paper can be dried out in the kitchen oven before using.

grammatic

less

condition, softer leads will be needed

Any

dia-

conditions, so this

only approximate in wet weather.

PENCILS In placing so

much

and paper are equal partners tion,

we must

brand

Y pencil.

4B

brand

Often they

X

fication of a musical note

that sketch; and that

than 6B.

as I

far

is

for hard,

from

is

I

B

connec-

for soft)

A

a science.

—by

relatively

unlikely to be identical with the same label on a

when

were employed

approximate;

it is

on the keyboard of

a

in a certain

by no means

I state

in cap-

drawing, the reader

is

as reliable as the identi-

well-tuned piano.

can designate only such textural relationships

labels, therefore,

So far

is



differ radically in this respect. So,

tions that certain degrees of lead

advised that the designation

(H

grading of pencils

their degree of hardness

in

reminding ourselves that pencil

are

in the creation of technical harmonies. In this

realize that the

numbers that indicate soft pencil labeled

we

emphasis upon paper,

as

My

references to

were involved

in

used the same manufacturer's brand throughout.

know, the familiar American brands

A German pencil named Stabilo

ing 8B. These were not available in

is

are not

made

available in soft leads

up

in leads softer

to

and includ-

my earlier sketching years.

TONAL PALETTE In a book palette leads

I

wrote

many

which served

—hard

as

to soft. It

years ago,

now

out of print,

is

a

good

way

to

Figure

A

3.

used an illustration of a tonal

remind the student that

range of leads should be carried in one's sketching looks a bit frightening,

I

an approximate key to the use of varying degrees of pencil

I

should explain that not

a

kit. If this palette

all

considerable

(Figure 2)

of the numbered pencils are

Chinese Stone Head

soft pencil lightly applied to a rough-surfaced

paper produced the grainy, charcoal-like

Darker, smooth tones were achieved by working the sharp point of the lead into the grain of the paper. I rubbed a stump over the black tones of the headress, and stroked my effect.

finger lightly over the cheek area.

The

lighted side of the face, which contrasts with the

tones of the background and shaded areas of the head,

16

is

untouched paper.

m

Figure

By

pressing

4.

Lightening Tones with a Kneaded Rubber

down on your

lighten desired areas.

Figure

A

5.

pencil tone with a piece of kneaded rubber, you can

Avoid rubbing or erasing which smears the

lift off

and

tones.

Cutting Light Accents

piece of kneaded rubber pinched to a sharp edge will cut light accents into pencil tone.

Mt* ,--

mnm\

Figure

The

6.

Tortillon

i

i

imirnm

Stump

tortillon stump, a tightly rolled paper cylinder which is tapered to a point, should be used sparingly. Used too freely, the stump will destroy the characteristic quality of the pencil.

18

by the

likely to be used

are adequate for

one will

any subject; and on certain surfaces, mentioned

two or even

later,

suffice.

The paper.

any given sketch. Usually three or four numbers

artist in

softest lead will of itself

However,

become

less

extreme of the

one soon discovers

as

smooth

produce

in texture,

This

scale.

is

experimenting, the tones of

in

more grained

not always

complete tonal range on almost any

a

a soft pencil

approach the

in effect, as they

lightest

disadvantage; indeed, that kind of rough

a

texture was important in drawing the Chinese stone head

(Figure 3).

A

sketch

made exclusively with that one softest lead can be handsome. But at the moment we are concerned with a smoother technique. As the drawings in this book are studied, a good many technical characterother than

istics

my

usual broad-stroke will be noted. There

the sharp staccato

is

needed for drawing members of the palm tree family; thin, vigorous

lines for

some

branches; delicate, sensitive lines for others. Sharp outlining strokes for rock masses, and staccato short strokes to relieve a too-pallid mass

such

uses.

Sometimes



broad wash-like effect can be dramatic;

a

few of

these are a

this

is

done by hold-

ing the pencil nearly lying on the paper, using not the lead's point, but the side of

its

length. Experiment, experiment, experiment!

ERASER The kneaded

eraser

work.

It will

so called because the rubber, in

is

be kneaded between

thumb and

not smear the graphite

Once

ing" with this rubber! face loses

may

its

fingers. It as

do other

Kneaded rubber illustrated in Figure

is

it

One

I

is

soft

enough

to

ever use in pencil

does very

little

"eras-

by actually rubbing, the

sur-

good clean-up

down upon

it

without rubbing,

as illus-

eraser.

useful for cutting small, light accents into pencil tone as

is

5.

a

To do

Kneaded rubber remains

I

erasers.

the paper has been erased

be lightened by pressing the rubber

drops,

cake form,

the only eraser

freshness and receptivity; but a tone that has been rendered too dark

trated in Figure 4. This

again.

is

this,

the rubber

pliable in

warm

hardens. If placed on a radiator for a

usually carry an eraser in

is

squeezed into

weather, but

a

narrow edge.

when

few moments, the

the temperature

eraser

becomes

soft

my trousers pocket.

TORTILLON STUMP The is

tortillon

stump

is

a tightly

wound paper

cylinder which tapers at one end. It

designed for rubbing tones of pencil, charcoal, or crayon.

ingly because too the special

much

charm of

the

It

should be used spar-

blending of pencil strokes deadens the fresh look which

medium. Figure

6 illustrates

how

the

stump modifies

is

the

effect of direct strokes, giving a wash-like appearance.

Up

to this point, I've been speaking principally about one aspect of pencil

19

Figure

The

pencil

brass. I

20

7. is

Rendering of Brass Valve polished ideally suited for rendering the subtle tonal patterns of brightly

used $B, 4B, and

2B

leads on a slightly toothy paper.

Figure

8.

An

Abstraction

one of a series, produced for the manufacturers of the Eldorado pencil, designed to demonstrate the many techniques of which it is capable. The technique here might be designated as semi-photographic, relatively smooth rendering, in contrast to the direct handling method, which exploits the /

seldom do

this type of

rendering uith the pencil. This drawing

is

charm of stroke technique. It is a somewhat laborious tonal method, yet I was surprised to find, after I began this series, that it was rather fascinating. And. as you can see in this example, the identity of the pencil is not wholly submerged by this atypical technique. I created the entire series of abstractions on heavy white drawing paper, with three or four degrees of leads. Some, like the one here shown, were based upon well known forms. Others were entirely abstract. The constructions were placed in a shadow box and illuminated by a 730 watt spotlight to insure dramatic light and shadow effects.

21

The rendering of

technique, the broad-stroke method.

may

a brass value

(Figure 7)

by building up tone with more

shows

how

or

pointed leads, rubbed here and there cautiously with the tortillon stump or

less

polished surfaces

best be simulated

smooth surface of such an

finger to produce the characteristic

with the smooth technique ize a

in this

drawing, there

enough direct

is

object. line

But along

work

to vital-

rendering which easily could have become photographic.

Such

a polished

light that reflects a reflections are

globular surface

window

alive

with

where

this

is

in the shop

reflections.

Aside from the high-

drawing was made,

muted, and they blend into the darks in smooth

all

other light

transition.

We

are

not conscious of the pencil point in this rendering except, as already stated, for the

few forceful line strokes, here and there, which serve to contribute a sense of vibration. The few white strokes are untouched paper, not scraped out as they could have been had the surface been clay coated. For

this

drawing

used Strathmore's

I

Alexis paper. It

is

probable that the kneaded eraser played

rubbing out, but by pressing

must be very

soft

and

down and

pliable to serve in this

(The abstraction, Figure

8,

was

a

part in this rendering, not by

lifting the tone here

also

and

there.

The

eraser

manner.

rendered with the point rather than the

broad-stroke bevel edge.)

CHARCOAL EFFECT The drawing of

how this

the stone head

from the T'ang Dynasty of China (Figure

employed

the pencil can be

in a charcoal-like

drawing was simulated by using

not charcoal) paper. In such

a

a

manner. The charcoal

very soft pencil on

a

3)

shows

effect of

rough surfaced (though

pencil-paper combination, the pencil lead skims over

the paper lightly, except in the very dark areas. In some places, as around the eyes

and the

lips, a

surface,

produced the darker, smoother

rubbed into front.

sharpened point, worked into the depressions of the paper's grained

a jet

Nowhere

tones.

The very top of

the head piece was

black tone with the stump, which was also rubbed lightly on

else in

the drawing was the

stump

its

used, but the shaded cheek and

nose were stroked lightly with the finger for a rather smooth texture.

The background by the

side of the lead,

Figure

9.

from the cheek and neck were produced held as one would hold a charcoal stick. The

tones that fan out

with the pencil

The Chain

Gate, Wells Cathedral, Somerset, England

This drawing attests to the pencil's great versatility and power as a tool for rendering

began by making a meticulous rendering of the subject in light and then placed the darkest values to establish the tonal limits of the drawing. All

architectural subjects. I line,

other values ivere keyed accordingly.

22

----

-

/

i

™f. ***

<

i

*

'

f.

Her-

N

/ _

ft

down hard on

pencil was pressed

the paper for the black areas that outline the cheek

and the neck. This drawing and that of the brass valve were among those made

as

advertisements for Eldorado Pencil.

VERSATILITY OF THE PENCIL I

had the good fortune,

many

week

years ago, of spending a

in the beautiful cathe-

I made many drawings there. The Chain Gate, Wells Cathedral (Figure

dral town of Wells in Somerset, England.

An

architectural subject like

draughtsman who works entirely freehand

challenges the

benefit of straightedge or ruler.

tecture stood

one always chooses the best time of day for the favorable light and

aspect of his subject even

convenient. In this case, ferred view,

too brief, though very useful, study of archi-

me in good stead in rendering this subject.

If possible,

shadow

My

9)

always do, without

as I

I

if,

had to be

it

was obliged to

for one reason or another, this

Sunday morning. In order

a

establish

my

may

be none too

to obtain the pre-

position near the middle of the road lead-

ing to the arch. This road soon became a busy thoroughfare for the worshipers

bound

Sunday morning

for the

and

service,

approach. However, these friendly people

simply flowed around me, I

became accustomed

and look over

my

to

a trivial



I

I

found myself

in the path of their

have always found the English such

detour that created no problem at

drawing with wayfarers about, some of

shoulder. This

is all

right so long as

I

am

all.

whom

Long

ago,

stand behind

not expected to answer

questions by too inquisitive observers.

The

first

step in the drawing, of course,

—giving me freedom

ture in light line

ning even the that

would

first line

best express

Rendering, arches and the

main

all

visits,

began with the darkest values

visualized the tonal effects



in this case the

shadowed

accents. These define the limits of the tonal

other values being keyed to them.

aspect of the picture arch. This

upon

to begin the tonal rendering. Before begin-

had, on previous

few black window

An essential ing brightly

I

a meticulous layout of the struc-

my impressions of the subject.

as usual,

range throughout,

right of the

drawing,

was

had

is

the sunlit face of the projecting mass at the

to be kept white to intensify the effect of sun shin-

the structure. "White

is

so essential in tonal

work. Consider, for

example, the white accents at the bases of the vertical arch supports. These are

Figure

Ruined Columns, Temple of Zeus

10.

This drawing was

made

primarily to demonstrate the potential of the pencil in direct, such as you see under the archi-

vigorous, broad-stroke rendering, with jet black tones



columns with their Corinthian capitals. A clay coated paper like most receptive to rendering very dark tones, but it is equally inviting to

trave supported by the

Video or Media

is

light values. Notice the sharp, thin lines in the architrave.

The

clean white lines within

the shaded flutes of the columns also contribute to the dramatic effect of the drawing.

24

purely arbitrary

as

the gray tone of the

masonry naturally covered

these details to

the ground.

In pencil drawing, one always avoids any leaning toward photographic simulation

— thus the intrusion of white

and the tonal break

diversions like that over the upper left

masonry rendering, which

in

window,

gives pattern interest to the wall

over the small doorway at the right of the main arch. This kind of patterning a

device for "getting out of the picture" gracefully.

is

served

by resorting

to open-stroke technique.

On

The

is

also

the left side, this necessity

suggestion of sunlight streak-

ing into the scene, as noted here above the left arch, can often be used to good

advantage in enforcing the impression of sunlight

seen



the device

if

The importance of that dark bush or vine overhanging if it be covered by a piece of white paper. attention to the rendering of the street,

I call

in this

which

I

not overdone.

is

the iron fence

think

is

is

readily

quite successful

drawing, very dark under the arch, gradually lightening in tone

as it

comes

forward, and then tapering off in an open, linear technique. Let this wall it

me

refer again to that facing wall at the right of the arch. Photographically,

would doubtless present

a

uniform gray value to the camera

eye, although

might, to be sure, be somewhat modified by reflected light from adjacent walls.

However,

in

my rendering,

the shaded tones vary radically

the arched door to lighter tones above, again

from very dark value

at

becoming very dark above, where con-

seemed advisable.

trasts

I've

taken

a lot

of space to discuss this drawing because

qualities that testify to the great versatility

rendering architectural subjects.

me in remembrance,

thrills

as this

And

then

it

embodies

so

many

and expressive power of the pencil in

I like

to talk about an experience

which

one does.

FIXATIVE Often the question

is

asked, "Should one

rubbing when they are handled?" of

my

less

sketches were

made

I

11.

pencil drawings to prevent

have always avoided

The Main

Portal,

damage by

the use of fixative.

prior to the invention of acrylic fixatives,

are far superior to the old shellac

Figure

'fix'

and alcohol type which did

Many

which doubt-

stain the

work

Rouen Cathedral

This light-toned, delicate rendering follows the bold drawing of the ruined Greek Temple of Zeus {figure 10) in order to dramatize the vast range of potential expression of the graphite pencil. the other forms

me

The great may seem

cathedral doorway, of course, intentionally subordinate to

is

it,

that the lacey detail of the glorious facade above could

rendering

it

in very light tones.

the focal point here; but while

not the case. It seemed to most appropriately be realized by this is

While meticulously delineating the area

just over the arch,

the detail of the two flanking spires has been treated suggestively; and the forms above are so indefinite as to rely upon the viewer s imagination for completion.

26

.•

y

$

*

r

**•

*

j

1

J

Figure

12.

Uprooted Tree And Cabin In South Carolina

The uprooted

tree was the real reason I stopped along the road to make this drawing. It took no more than twenty minutes. Note the broad-stroke technique used in the tall tree

and the dead

trunk. The clouds play an important part in the composition, holding together elements that would otherwise be scattered. There is much profit in rapid sketching. It compels a degree of spontaneity which is later reflected in more carefully studied drawings. It

28

certainly encourages the use of broad-stroke technique,

which has a rapid covering

effect.

yellow over the years.

may

The modern spray

fixatives

(which come

have no such unwelcome effect on drawings, but

I

in aerosol cans)

continue to avoid fixatives

of any kind. I

that

have referred only to

accompany

others. This

all

a limited

number

of "ways" in this chapter: captions

of the sketches reproduced in this book will encompass

many

seemed to be the most direct means of presenting the subject.

*9

Figure

13.

Magenta Tulip

An

hour of intense, concentrated work went into this study of a single bloom in full sunA profound exercise in seeing, I searched out shapes, color contrasts, textures, and shadow patterns. Though I copied the forms meticulously, no attempt was made to achieve light.

botanical accuracy. Collection and courtesy, Dr. and Mrs. Frederick C. McLellan.

30

LOOKING AND SEEING

There

is

between looking and seeing

a vast difference

fundamental to the

artist's



a difference

which

is

experience in communicating whatever object or scene

with which he becomes esthetic ally involved.

GOING TO THE HEART OF THINGS Looking

but

is

a superficial

experience which does not promote intimate acquaint-

ance, does not go to the heart of things. Indeed,

transient a nature that

look but seeing

been

we do not

made aware of

upon our

this

without

a

of so

is)

We

consciousness.

gap between looking and

room

in

which we have

drawing of the front of an auto-

driving for years.

but

it is

a

evident,

means

the door of awareness

useless

be

casual impact

a

even be unable to make

physical eye,

all tools, it is

when

We may

see.

We may

we have been

The Like

makes only

asked, for example, to describe the furnishings of a

if

visiting.

mobile

it

can be (and often

it

an end.

to

open.

is

It

behind

a sensitive film

nothing but

is

It

may

it,

a tool, albeit a

marvelous

tool.

operates to a significant purpose only

be likened to a camera lens, which

is

waiting to receive impressions and vividly

The eye does not do the seeing; it does not do the perceiving. We see, really see, when we lose self-consciousness in contemplation of scenes, objects, or events. Only then can we be said to integrate with the subject, become a part of it as happens when we witness an absorbing drama or watch a major league game. When we really see, we transcend our own individuality, forget self, and become record them.

engrossed in a visual adventure.

AN That

is

duced

EXPERIENCE IN A GARDEN

the

Figure

in

garden,

moment

way

I

it

was with me when, one sunny morning,

13.

Reclining in

a

seen a tulip.

Oh,

I

gaze

had looked

gloried in their beauty artist's palette. I

my

when

drew

the tulip repro-

lawn chair within reach of our full-blown

was wholly preoccupied with

of relaxation,

I

fell

a serious

problem.

upon some magenta

at tulips in a

was depressed. In

tulips.

I

lazily

gamut of

on their long stems

color on an

in gentle breezes,

and tremble with seeming disapproval when agitated by gusty winds. Yes, looked at innumerable tulips in I

could remember; yet, until

a

a

had never before

long succession of springtimes and hid

their colors blazoned like the

had watched tulips sway

I

tulip

detached and agreeable kind of way for

this occasion, I

had never

as

I

had

long

as

really seen one.

V

Suddenly, at

reached out to me. I

was seeing

went

to

moment I began

this I

a tulip! I

was

as

though they had

bloom

in full sunlight.

to see these flowers. It

found myself focusing upon

was drawn into

a single

an urge to sketch the flower and

I felt

it.

I

my studio for paper and pencil.

CREATIVE SEEING I

spent a full hour seeing and drawing that tulip. value relationships,

trasts, its

meticulously, though not

from

not satisfy a botanist because

He would

not be familiar.

would be looking

textures,

its

was

I

shapes, I

saw, as

its

color con-

copied the forms

My drawing

viewpoint.

not have seen what

its

patterns.

probably would

terms with which he could

a translation into

Each of us would

for.

shadow

its

a botanical

it

searched

I

I

must have missed what he

necessarily see a tulip in different ways,

and both of us could maintain that we had indeed seen

though not in

it,

its

completeness. I like

what William Saroyan once wrote about

as creative seeing.

and

love.

You and

What

You make

see the object,

Now

its

You

see it again.

You

relate its reality to

such

is

a

thing

survival and

you love

its

look steadily and clearly.

notice the true nature of

all reality,

to

all

it

in its entirety

time and space and action.

commonness and

may sound esoteric, but Saroyan was trying felt. And he made a mighty good job of it.

this

can only be

"There

constitutes such looking? Clarity, intelligence, imagination

point of looking at the object.

you

You

in its parts.

You admire

a

seeing:

its

individuality."

to put into

words what

COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ARTIST AND OBJECT Yet Saroyan did not state the whole truth of the matter. The artist employs even more than eyes and brain; his muscles creatively enter into the seeing process. Without making a graphic record, the seeing process the

arm and hand make

through collaboration of

a

eye, brain,

communication of viewer and

of oneself with the

may seem

like a

life

The

incomplete.

action of

recognizable contribution to the phenomenon. Thus,

the intimate experience of knowing, cal

is still

and muscle, we go beyond knowing about to

which

the basis of creation. There

is

object. It

is

a

very

of the object, even though

metaphysical concept, and

it is,

real experience, this

recipro-

merging

be an inanimate object. This

it

yet

is

it is

a

very

and those of us who draw or paint creatively are well aware of

real

this

phenomenon,

intercommuni-

cation between artist and object.

Consider, for example, our comparative responses

graph and drawing directly from the object. There

tween

artist

32

a

photo-

a deeply sensed intimacy be-

and object when both are parts of the same scene, both immersed

the same atmosphere, as slight

is

when drawing from

and lacking

it

in detail

were.

—has

Is

that not

infinitely

why

a sketch

more meaning

—our

sketch,

in

however

to us than a fine photo-

graph of the same subject, or

a

painting of

in part the therapeutic value of

I I

by another

artist? I

think this explains

drawing and painting for amateurs, although they

doubtless are not consciously aware of

scends the mere ability to create

it

a

it.

The

inspiration of "being with" tran-

reasonable facsimile.

have gone to some length in discussing

believe that a conscious awareness of

its

this

concept of creative seeing because

impact upon one's drawing experience

js

both pleasurable and inspiriting.

33

SIZE

One he plan

of the

sketch or his painting?

his

may mean success.

an

first decisions

AND COMPOSITION must make concerns

artist

The way he answers

the question

the difference between success and failure; at least

There

is

work, whatever

)ust the right size for his

How

size.

it

it

may

large shall

important. It

is

will qualify his be.

WEATHER, AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

TIME,

There are many factors to be considered. One painter to take along a large canvas

ing light, for example

—he

will

when

is

would be

time. It

for one reason or another

have not over an hour for

for quickly recording some

moving action

canvas on a windy day or in

a

is

is still

confine their outdoor sketching to small panels that

—rapidly changThe

his sketch.

necessity

The inconvenience of

another.

busy thoroughfare

folly for the

a large

another factor. Most painters

fit

in their paint boxes, or to

relatively small watercolor papers.

But

SIZE

AND MEDIUM

aside

from

media

these contingent factors there are others

—which

impose definite limitations.

It

is

—inherent

pen sketch 20" by 30", but no one would think of doing

on the other hand, presents

manage

that can

rower space the pen,

is

However,

a

a relatively small scale for a

a 20' x 30'

it.

A

make

a

20" x 30" canvas,

painter in

oils, a

medium

mural gracefully. Watercolors are kept within nar-

limits, as are pastels.

When

handled broadly, the pencil



—which,

like

medium will produce a stroke many times as broad as a pen line. not a medium for large scale work. Architects, to be sure, do make

point

it is

in the various

technically possible to

pencil renderings four or five feet long to visualize proposed buildings for their clients.

But we

are discussing sketching,

and are not concerned with these elabo-

rate drawings intended to illustrate details, suggest textures of building materials,

and give an impression of the whole design.

Figure

14.

Six

Drawings

These

six sketches are

dered

when

The

of a Boathouse, Cornish Coast,

reproduced at exact

size to

suggest

how

the structure might be ren-

and most detailed sketch is a how the boathouse would appear at a distance

seen at varying distances.

smallest drawing illustrates

The

England

largest

close-up.

of about

a quarter of a mile. Detail disappears with distance.

35

AND

SIZE

SUBJECT

Do not make your pencil somewhat upon the than

a

A

What

is

The

my

and

larger than that,

may

suggest a larger drawing

a castle

my

For beginners,

is

is

would

for an even

reproduced

recommend very

strongly

I

as large as I

is

preference

largest sketch of the boathouse (Figure 14)

original.

The answer depends

too large?

castle or a skyscraper

work

almost never

I

smaller scale.

of

subject.

large.

boathouse, but an 8" x 10" pencil drawing of

attempt.

size

drawings too

at exact

small drawings;

novices will thus escape the danger of becoming hypnotized by detail. It

by way of

is

illustrating

some of these

size factors that I

have made the

six

drawings in Figure 14 of the boathouse originally sketched on the Cornish coast of England. They are reproduced at exact structure might be rendered

The sketch

it

largest

in pencil,

would force the is

the

is

way

when

has

it

all

and are intended to suggest how the

seen at varying distances.

obviously a close-up.

and

size,

It

is,

have

as I

the detail afforded

might appear

It

it is

well to keep in

mind

The

it

larger

smallest sketch

a limited

range of values; there are no very

When we

are close to the subject,

the simplified light and dark pattern of that far

when working on our

close-ups; otherwise

and sense of volume. In larger drawings,

illustrative detail that the big pattern is

To draw

complete tonal gamut.

see its

distant effect

by

would care to

AND TONE

dark tones. As we come nearer, the darks appear.

clarity

subject.

as I

at a distance of, say, a quarter of a mile.

Seen at a distance, light and shadow show

But

by the

big

pictorial details at the expense of general effect.

the structure

SIZE

we

said, as

fairly

common

practice

among

ings with thumbnail sketches

it is

we run

the risk of losing

very easy to become so diverted

—hence compositional power—

artists to

is

sacrificed.

preface their final drawings or paint-

which help them

to see their subjects in simple

and

effective patterns.

SIZE

AND DETAIL

Large drawings simply demand

detail.

There should be no inactive

of the picture must have something to say. interest, the

drawing

fails

to convince;

it

When

a large area

is

areas.

Every part

devoid of illustrative

looks empty. In this connection, refer to

the various treatments of the boathouse roof. In the first four sketches, the roof so small that the textural interest of the pencil strokes themselves satisfies the

is

need

for detail.

In the fifth drawing

and

in the largest one, it

we

begin to feel the need for greater interest in the roof;

was necessary to give

patched roof that probably leaks during heavy

would look unfinished

36

if

a definite impression of rains.

The

duplicated in the sixth drawing.

an ancient

roof of the fifth sketch

Figures 15 and

The photograph

16.

Photograph and Sketch of South

Street,

New York

New

York (top) was taken "way back when." The pencil sketch made from the photograph (bottom) suggests hmv attention can be focused upon the point of interest through subordination and emphasis of a team loading at the curb of South Street.

of elements.

37

It

safe to say that

is

large in

any medium. They

In large scale,

artists.

most beginners get into

than

tors other

size

it is

by working too

a lot of trouble

themselves tasks that would worry even practiced

set

what we

so difficult to get

enter into quality

—such things

call "quality." as

Of

course fac-

the right paper and proper

grade of pencil, to mention two. should remind the reader that the foregoing remarks about size apply only

I

to drawings that have

work with

large scale

no purpose beyond the brush, often

or as studies for paintings.

They do

their

make

own charm.

Painters,

accustomed to

sizeable pencil notes purely as records

with no thought of producing drawings

this

to delight the eye.

SIZE

There

AND

is still

the artist's

another factor that must be considered in our discussion of

own temperament. Some

scale; others a bold,

ARTISTIC TEMPERAMENT

can function only

scrawling hand.

movement. These are important.

and pencil is

They

at large size.

like to

work

That

is

at small

"Large scale" people usually write with

draw with arm movement rather than

finger

individual, temperamental qualities ought to be considered; they

The

large scale person probably will never be as effective

with charcoal,

as

people naturally do their best

size.

pastel, or painting

The

media.

scale

which

with pen suits

him

something each individual must discover for himself.

COMPOSING THE SKETCH: SELECTION, SUBORDINATION, EMPHASIS To

illustrate

that most of

my

discussion of composition,

you were too young

remember,

am if

going to take you back to days indeed you had been born. Look-

recently — from days when took my camera on walks — pulled out photograph of team and loaded

my picture file New York streets

ing through

through

to

I

I

I

this

cart

a

standing on South Street (Figure 15).

Here

is

a

rather fascinating subject,

which

I

probably would have sketched

had there been time, that day, before the wagon pulled out from the curb. All could do was

make

this

photo record, but

now

it is

useful to demonstrate

I

how one

upon the center of interest by removing the camouflage of its environment. The wagon and cargo are clearly silhouetted against the shadowed background, but focuses

the horses are lost in the confusion of the darkened buildings.

The

tiny pencil sketch (reproduced at exact size in Figure 16) demonstrates

Figures 17 and

18.

Photograph and Sketch of Theatre of Marcellus,

Rome

Here, the photograph (at lower right) and final drawing pose a problem of simplification and pattern similar to that in South Street, New York (Figures 15 and 16). Both subjects required an illustrative approach that would give the illusion of reality, yet create a pattern that would direct the eye to a desired focal point.

38

Figures 19 and 20.

Ponte San Lorenzo, Venice

In this drawing, the barges under the bridge constitute the compositional nucleus of the scene. Seeing activity

made

around the barges, and expecting that they would soon depart, I and incorporated it into the final drawing at the right.

the quick study seen above

In the rendering of these barges, it was urgent to depict them with the darkest tones the pencil is capable of producing. Obviously, this task is the work of very soft leads. The

paper was Alexis, a surface with just enough tooth to accept very dark values. In contrast which represents the bridge's fagade (under the balustrade) was kept very light just dark enough to display the lighter values of the balustrade and the

to these darks, the tone



gracefully arched

member

that appears to support the bridge.

The patch

of very light

pavement stones bordering the canal prevents the canal edge from leading the viewer's attention out of the picture at the right. Perhaps the indication of buildings beyond the canal might have been extended more completely, yet they are of little more than environmental use, without any architectural interest.

40

£ I.

4MP



l

.£***•

;,

i

)

J

^ 4M|

1

>

how I might have developed the subject had I how the darkened building mass on the right the roof, receding

the

now

in

present

is

dissolved as

it

Note

spot.

approaches

and how, with restrained suggestions,

The light team where we want

is

ered by the beauty which its

light

behind the

the Theatre of Marcellus (Figures 17 and 18}

a similar situation.

In Venice, the artist

dor of

interest;

end helps to focus the

at the far

The photograph and drawing of

Rome

gradually

on the

it

lighted building facades have been given a sense of completion.

gray shading it.

from the center of

been able to draw

literally surfeited

lies

before

dedication to the arts

commitment the glory of

is

bewild-

sculptured forms; and the pervad-

its

to artistry in every detail of environment. This all

Europe, but Venice, the "Pearl of the Adri-

kind of bewitchment for the

atic," has a special

is

in the architecture of buildings; the splen-

myriad canals;

bridges, that span the

ing sublimity of man's

him

One

with sketchable subjects.

artist

who

is

confronted with the

The problem is one of selection, espedraw or paint everything is distracting.

perfect subject at the turning of every corner. cially if one's

time

is

limited and the desire to

One comes upon some S. it,

Lorenzo (Figure 20)

.

I

made

Such was the

say "was" because at that particular time

freight barges were tied

masses that

subjects that are utterly compelling.

up under

this sketch.

I

when

Potite

I first

the span. Those barges were the dark shapely

began to draw them

at

once (Figure 19)

,

ignoring

the structure of the bridge, because, seeing considerable activity on the barges,

pected that they were about to be ished

saw

moved



as

indeed they were.

I

I sus-

had scarcely

fin-

drawing the boats when two boatmen with poles pushed them out into the

canal and out of the picture entirely. This did not disturb

remained and,

I

suspect, looks exactly the

same

many

me

because the bridge

years later.

drawing the bridge and indicating the buildings on the far

took

I

my

time

side of the canal.

ISOLATING A CORE OF INTEREST In pencil sketching, simplification

is

a necessity

because one does not reproduce the

entirety of any subject in a photographic manner.

which one wishes

to isolate to

Figure 21.

some degree from

its

Always there

is

a

core of interest

environment.

Wells Cathedral Tower

one of the many drawings I made in that lovely Somerset cathedral town. I careselected a view of the tower that would display its upper reaches. It is framed at the fully tree, and supported below by a mass of dark foliage. As in all architectural old left by the

This

is

drew the tower meticulously, keeping its shadow tones in a silvery middle gray. Although drawn with architectural accuracy, the shadow strokes are vigorous and direct, avoiding the fussiness and monotony of an unbroken technique. I wanted to attract as little attention as possible to the tree, so that it would not dnert attention from the tower. subjects, I

below the tower serves as a color contrast, thus enhancing the natural delicacy of the tower. I kept the foliage mass as restricted in area as possible, completing its form below merely by white space with hints of its growth form. The light-toned tree

The dark

foliage

delicately rendered at the right

is

very important as an enclosing element.

43

Figures 22 and 23.

Photograph and Drawing of Brooklyn Coal Sheds

This drawing, made in 1946 and reproduced in a book strating a kind of compositional strategy that has

which

interest

is

wide

now

out of print,

is

useful in

application. I refer to the

illu-

way

in

focused at a central point by arbitrarily manipulating the shadows of

the projecting coal sheds. These shaded sides of the structure appear in the photograph

uniform values (above). I modified these shadow tones in my drawing (right), emphasizing dark and light contrasts and concentrating the darkest values near the picture's center,

as

which

is

the natural focal point. Interest

is

also concentrated at this point by the variety

of detail. Notice the introduction of white elements, such as the flight of stairs, at the focal

The shadowy tone that plays up the side of the pier is not actually a shadow; tonal improvisation, a part of the all over compositional strategy.

point.

44

it is

a

1

A

^

Toner (Figure 21) that rises when seen from the viewpoint of

Such, for example, was the Wells Cathedral

above

my

group of

a

and

trees

drawing. The tower

manner

as to

much

too

is

focus interest

a

vine covered wall

the jewel in a setting

upon

it

which should be treated

in

such

a

agreeably, without allowing the setting to absorb

of the viewer's attention. So the foliage mass was rendered with restraint,

very dark against the structure and merely suggested below. Likewise, the tree that fans out about the tower provides an enclosing frame for lightly indicated trees

on the right serve

that runs along the path below

The drawing

is

a

arbitrary manipulation of values and, shall far

from doing violence

focus attention upon It

is

to natural vision,

a restricted area

remember

helpful to

to focus upon more than

whole scene, or

a

a

this

how

illustrate

a

at a focal point,

we say, we are

side,

and the

The

side.

wall

all.

of Brooklyn Coal Sheds (Figure 23)

by concentration of attention

on that

purpose on that

a similar

supporting base for

graph of the subject (Figure 22) to life

it

is

accompanied by

a

photo-

drab scene can be brought to

where

interest

aroused by

is

theatrical lighting. In doing this,

aiding

what

seeks to do:

it

in



the inability of the eye

it

of interest.

phenomenon of

seeing

very small point at one time.

We

cannot "take in"

a

picture of a scene, at a glance. People are not aware of this limita-

beam moves over a that the phenomenon

tion because the focal

scene so rapidly, flitting unconsciously

from point

is

of

to point,

and he composes

it

his picture,

be

it

a

not noticed. The

artist

from point

well aware

painting or a sketch, in such a

direct attention to a chosen center of interest, and to prevent the eye

indiscriminately

is

way

as to

from roaming

to point over the entire field of vision.

This purpose was accomplished in the sketch of Brooklyn Coal Sheds (Figure 23), by lightening

shadow values

upon

all

peripheral

shadow

in a restricted area at the center,

the area of action, thus bringing to

itself, is

values,

life

by concentrating the darkest

and by throwing theatrical lighting

what, in the photograph,

as in

the scene

drab monotony.

Figures of workers have been introduced, and miscellaneous white shapes and lines

have been cut into the dark shadow to enliven the sense of activity. The spot-

Figure 24.

Vesuvius from Sorrento

Cliffs

difficult to give the effect of the smoking volcano in the disenough of the immediate foreground to illustrate the dramatic form of the limestone cliffs rising from the Bay of Saples and to have them serve as a frame or foil for the volcano. It would be impossible to correctly represent the tone of the volcano in pencil. I might better have rendered it in outline. In my sketch, the volcano appears nearer than the fifteen miles away it actually is. Nevertheless, the purpose of the sketch nas accomplished, since no one expects the same degree of literal ness from a pencil

In this drawing,

it

was rather

tance, while rendering just

drawing is

as

possible.

cessful. I

from a painting

The



in





which a far greater range of values in addition to color cliffs, accomplished with little effort, is reasonably suc-

indication of the

added a hint of the shoreline, and a few projecting

rocks.

47

light has

brought the

tone across the pier

of

flight

stairs

out of the shadows.

—which could not have been

there

The



is

slanting, shadow-like

an arbitrary contribu-

tion to the dramatic effect.

VARIOUS WAYS OF MANIPULATING VALUES Another quite

different situation

might appropriately be included

in this chapter.

The panoramic view of Vesuvius from the Sorrento Cliffs (Figure 24) was sketched from the garden of the Cocumela pension, perched atop the limestone cliffs abut-

My view was along

ting the Gulf of Naples.

one hundred sixty feet or more above the

known

across the

Bay of Naples.

cliff

One would seem ogive,

main entrance

wanted

as a

to render this

a

rise

about

prominence

frame for the view of Vesuvius

rocky mass in dark tones and then

receded from the prominence, at the same time indicating

it as it

formation with

I

which

cliffs,

and was intercepted by

sea,

Montechiaro. This prominence serves

as

gradually lighten the

the side of those

as little

penciled tone

as possible.

drawing of the Cathedral (Figure 25). Selection would

to have little scope for composition in the

Notre

to

appear to be involved here.

It

Dame

was necessary to

select areas to receive

tion of the tonal darks and those in which the detail

is

an approxima-

brought out into the

light,

tone being restricted to that which was essential for the expression of forms. This arbitrary division of dark and light sections of the sculptured decoration resulted, I

think, in a

graph

itself.

modeling

more

striking presentation in the pencil rendering than in the photo-

The white

is

carried

in white, instead of the

Figure

25.

up with the dark literal

areas

by representing the

lightest

gray light of the subject.

Detail of Ogive Sculptures, Notre

Dame Cathedral,

Paris

The unknown creator of (his magnificent sculpture is among the vast company of artists who, during the era of cathedral building, contributed anonymously to a great collaborative achievement for the glory of God. This drawing was made from a photograph. I could not have been favored with a vantage point from which to make such a detailed rendering. Photographs are not likely to evoke the emotional incentive experienced in direct drawing from the subject. Occasionally, however. I have been so stimulated by unusually fine photographs of sculpture and architectural details, that I could not resist the temptation to draw them. One can readily see that my drawing is not a copy. // is a simplification and translation from one medium into another. The forms, but not the tonality, are copied. Tone is interrupted even in the darkened upper area by white paper accents.

49

^

t-i

PATTERN Unless that

is



a

drawing

—without

made

being

is

exclusively with line

pattern becomes the essence of

its

structure.

Even

in line,

tonal mass,

we do not

escape

demand of pattern, as may be simply demonstrated by the comparison of Figures 27A and 27B. In A, the drawing suffers from the absence of design interest pro-

the

vided in B, where the massing of twigs in three different places provides

excitement entirely lacking in A. Thus, tonal pattern junction of

WHAT You might

is

a

degree of

created through the con-

lines.

CREATES PATTERN? say that you cannot

make any drawing without pattern

two adjacent

In a drawing of any

lines,

of some kind.

the shape of the space they enclose, and

indeed the conformation of the lines themselves, constitute pattern. In this chapter,

however,



I

from

refer principally to pattern resulting

relationships of tonal masses

and shapes, together with the white

their relative sizes

areas that are associated

with them. Color

may

be almost entirely responsible for pattern

sketch Along the Beach,

St. Ives

(Figure 28)

,

possibilities, as in

my

where the color tones of vines which

decorate the wall of the principal building, and the color tones of the roofs, constitute the essence of pattern interest. In such a situation, the designing of the foliage

becomes the key to the

interest of the entire sketch.

broken into by uncovered

may

not have been just

of this foliage mass

by the

as I

areas of the

rendered

—dark and

light

it.



masonry

Here the mass of the vine

—white paper. The

effect

That does not matter. The tonal

are of

importance

too,

and one

is

may

is

or

variations

impressed

relationship of nearly black areas at the left to the light tones at the right,

where the observer's

interest

is

being gently led out of the picture.

Interesting value relationships are always a big factor in the creation of pattern.

Consider, for example, the impact of the black accents of the

Beach,

St. Ives.

These are

pattern interest

as vital to

as

windows

seasoning

is

in

Along the

to food. In this

sketch, also do not overlook the function of line both in line width and line value, in

its

assertiveness

Figure

The

and

26.

in

Old

its

expression of perspective.

Jesuit

Church

point of interest in this sketch

of details.

The palm

tree

is

in Sorrento, Italy

is

the bell tower, where

I

concentrated

fortuitously placed to support the tower;

the base serves as a terminating connection with the

my

delineation

and the shrubbc r

street.

5>

Figure

Even

Two Line Drawings of Twigs

27.

in line

we do not

escape the

drawings reveals. Drawing (right),

A

demand

{left)

where the massing of twigs

two line Drawing B

of pattern as a comparison of these

lacks the design interest generated in

in three different areas creates visual excitement.

BEGINNING WITH PATTERN Pattern

is

the very first consideration in the creation of almost every sketch. Analyze,

for example, the sketch of tial,

basic pattern

(Figure 30B)

,

which

we

Rocky Shore

#3

(Figure 29)

.

First

we

look for the essen-

will hold the entire structure together (Figure

30A) Next .

attend to the prominent secondary pattern details and intend to

keep these inviolate, proceeding to subdivide them without losing their identity and their

importance in the allover pattern scheme. In Figure 30C, we work within

the lighted area of the principal boulder, again seeking the most

After that, we get

down

to rendering.

We

dominant

shapes.

have established the framework, but

however important, is only the beginning. As we explore the tonal aspects, we get even deeper into pattern problems. Yet, if we have become expert and have "taught our pencil," it takes over very much as I have tried to illustrate in the detail of Rocky Shore #3 (Figure 31). Within that small shadow area, pattern continues to dominate our work. And pattern here, as you see, is involved with values and with technical niceties, where directhat,

tion and character of stroke conspire with white (or light) accents within the mass to portray the texture of the rock

52

and to create an agreeable abstract expression.



i

.

W

-A L

JI8.W/an-

•«'

i *

Figure

28.

Along

the Beach,

St. Ives,

Cornwall

On the shore of almost any harbor in Cornwall, the artist is treated to the delights of ancient towns created to serve the business that for centuries has been the occupation of



this part of old England the sea. and other Cornwall harbor towns

The

I



made many drawings

in St. Ives, Mousehole,

seaports that have been sketched

Newhn.

and painted by thou-

group of masonry structures seen here is not perhaps dramatic its informality and meaningful presence. Pattern and value relationships dominate the vine which clings to the main building of this group. How vital to the effect are the two uncovered areas of the wall ami the contrasting dark window sands of

artists.

typical

in itself, but, rather, colorful by

openings.

Note the

variety of tone in the greenery, graduating

mass that creeps over the wall,

from the near black foliage where solid tone gives

to the very light areas at the right,

way

to open-line technique as interest trails off for exit at the right. The dark mass of seaweed near the boats contributes an important balancing tonal note, and adds an appro-

priate illustrative accessory as well.

53

Figure 29. This

is

Rocky Shore #3, Larchmont,

New York

one of several studies I made of the interesting rock formations on the New York Long Island Sound. The rocky outcrops attract geologists and artists alike. A com-

shore of

parison of the three studies discloses different rendering techniques, which are due, in

The two other rock subjects and 34) were drawn on clay coated paper, which not only permitted scraping out of white shapes and accents, but also provided diversity of tonal character. However, there is considerable technical interest in the toned areas. If this rendering lacks some of the tonal character apparent in the other interpretations of the same subject, it emphasizes the pattern structure, as is pointed up in the accompanying analytical diagrams. large measure, to the drawing papers on which I worked.

(Figures 32

54

Figures 30 and 31.

Pattern Structure of

Rocky Shore

#3

Figure 30 A (top) isolates the dominant compositional basis of the picture the anchor pattern. In

30B

(center), the secondary pattern units appear.

—what And

I call

in

30C

(bottom), these secondary pattern units are subdivided into smaller light and shadow details.

Figure 31 (below), a pencil sketch, explores a detail of the same subject. Within

that small

shadow

area, pattern continues to dominate, involving itself with values

and

technical niceties.

55

r>* r

-ft:

Figures 32 and 33.

Rocks

at Shore,

Manor

Park, Larchmont,

In contrast to the simple compositional arrangement of Rocky Shore the light and dark

drawing

is

from one

shadow

of the rock formation.

The

enfolding rocks behind.

I

The

light areas

line analysis (Figure

(Figure 29),

The

which keep the eye bouncing

33) explores the dominant divisions

nearer rock mass forms a distinct unit silhouetted against the

remember

insisting

upon the cohesion

dark massing of clouds, cohering with the tree mass,

56

#3

patterns of this rock mass might be described as jazzy.

composed of many small, dark and

detail to another.

New York

is

of this

group.

The

a stabilizing factor in the design.

.

T*ff4&

,

Rocks

Figures 34.

my

in

Larchmont Harbor

—and

The subject itself when the light revealed the beauty of these boulders. All I had to do was follow my pencil. The niceties of technical rendering were spontaneous and effortless. The drawing is on clay coated paper, so it was probably rendered with two or three leads. The treatment is so direct that I did not need / consider this

was

fascinating,

to take

best

and

I

drawing of rocks sketched

it

I've

made many

of them.

at just the right time of day,

advantage of the paper's scraping out

possibilities.

On

a clay coated paper like

Video, one can create the blackest tones of which any pencil is capable. The intrusion of white accents throughout adds immeasurable sparkle to this sketch. The sky needed only the barest linear cloud indication. Indeed, as you examine most of

note that the sky seldom goes beyond line suggestion. It tonal modeling of clouds.

Though tone does most

V snail), of the

is

my

drawings, you will

not often that I venture into

white paper with a few linear cloud suggestions

work

in this drawing, line accenting of contours

suffices. is

very

important. Collection, Mrs. Frederic C. Michel.

57

Figure

35.

Detail of the Chain Gate, Wells Cathedral

The tonal patterning on the narrow wall is a typical technique used for rendering masonry. The white shapes which break into the tonal mass serve a two-fold purpose: they create pattern, and they act as a transition to the adjacent wall. Note the diversity of values within the individual stones

Figure

36.

—a purely

arbitary variation of tonal reality.

A Canal in Venice

Sauntering along the canals of Venice, one comes upon dramatic compositional effects that vary with the time of day. At a time other than that chosen for this sketch, the light and

dark effect of this scene would be quite different.

The

sunlit wall

would be

in

shadow, and

shadow Here I solved the problem of leading into or retreating from the sketch by creating an arbitrary pattern in my treatment of the paving

the impact of that dark

missing.

Reference might also be made to the wall of the distant building, which combines an area of smooth tone with sharply pointed pencil strokes above. There was no need to indicate the structural composition of the wall as I did in the narrow vertical wall at the end of the walk. Here the indication of a few blocks of stone within a broad tonal mass stones.

(a Inch tapers off to white paper) suffices to give

and courtesy, Mr. Donald Holden.

58

an impression of

solid structure. Collection

'

J

r I

Now

study other drawings

Compare

operates.

as

you contemplate the ways

have to search for

will

masses which

Figure

it.

may

indicates

32

was constantly aware of

I

which pattern

the other rock studies (there are three in the book) in Figures

32 and 34. In these, the basic pattern structure

you

in

as I

drew.

not be so obvious. In Figure 32

two main

I call this

divisions in the rock

drawing

a

jazzy render-

ing, being so intrigued with the jumble of broken elements. But look herein for the

kind of pattern effects I've pointed out in Figure 31.

PATTERN IN MASONRY I

now call

attention to a kind of patterning

(Figure 35) from the drawing of

I isolate a detail

(Figure 9).

is

We

use in rendering masonry.

The Chain Gate, Wells Cathedral

have already written at some length about various technical aspects

I

of this drawing, but wall that

we commonly

I

want

to refer here to the tonal patterning

upon

the

narrow

isolated.

have,

first,

which break into the tonal

the intrusion of white stone shapes

mass. These white shapes not only create pattern, they also serve as an agreeable transition to the adjacent wall,

which

is

indicated only in outline. This avoids an

emphatic and undesirable separation of the two

we

tones themselves,

some dark, some

light

walls.

Then, looking within the

note great diversity of values in individual stone members



a

purely arbitrary variation of tonal

reality. All

presumably

were of equal value. This effect of patterning of masonry structure

among which

ings,

in

I shall

is

evident in

many

of the draw-

point out one other: the paving of the sidewalk in

A Canal

Venice (Figure 36)

BASING COMPOSITION

Now

to

come

ON PATTERN

to a consideration of pattern

which becomes the structural

basis for

the whole composition of the sketch.

To With

illustrate this, I refer to

it I

illustrate

show an

how

a

little

St.

Germain. In

in a

St.

a positive

and

felicitous pattern

which

is

Germain, France

pattern sketch (right)

drawing of

,

drawing develops upon

St.

Germain, France (Figure 37). rough sketch, which I have made to

sketch of

analysis (Figure 38)

Figures 37 and 38.

The

my

it,

I

was done

in a

minute or two, as a preliminary for the

organized the design, planned the values, and simplified

the tonal scheme. In starting the drawing itself (above), I began with the black notes under the awnings, then rendered the dark shaded sides of the buildings

The

60

roofs

came

next, then the lightest tones. Last, I

drew

and the cast shadow. and the curb.

in the clouds

any drawing

visualized before

tune time. The

begun.

is

Had

ready made skeleton pattern,

any event, is

I

would not have

drawn

dated by the horse

A

would have been obliged

I

was made

carts. It is

without

A

those

to create

a sketch,

my

own. In

which, by the way,

in 1925.

Old

which were made on one of the few

spent in that stimulating town.

View

of Zermatt (Figure 41)

light; the sketch

is

nothing more than

ber because of the hotel where

I

have included

it

as

we

is

no unifying pattern of dark and

record of

put up during

my

a

scene

visit there,

I

wished to remem-

and to remind

monotonous

the small houses of

me

similarity.

an example of the failure to produce an exciting drawing

without strong pattern interest. ings of things that

there

,

a factual

among

of the rather tortuous approach I

upon

seen in the sketch and pattern analysis of

Swiss Chalet, Zermatt (Figures 39 and 40),

In

very oppor-

the day been cloudy and the scene devoid of

left this place

similar pattern situation

brilliant days I

this scene at a

buildings at the left were casting a dramatic shadow

tall

on the opposite side of the street. this

happened upon

I

thus

On many

want

we make purely

occasions,

factual draw-

to remember.

PATTERN AND SILHOUETTE Pattern, of course, applies to silhouettes, their shapes, and their contour characteristics.

Refer to the tree silhouettes (Figure 82)

ent from one another in form, are attracted to trees

is

the

first

The pattern

aspect with

which are most appealing

upon correctly portraying

are insistent

.

of these trees, so differ-

which we

are concerned.

in their silhouette patterns,

We

and we

their silhouette aspect before breaking their

masses up into light and shadow definitions.

Often there

is

little

more than

are relatively distant in the landscape.

we have ings.

be done, especially

a silhouette to

But when the

trees are

viewed

if

the trees

at closer range,

the problem of rendering the details of branch structure and foliage group-

Often the

foliage

is

confusing in

its

monotonous

repetition of

many

unrelated

details.

Even

in

rendering distant tree groups

structural details



there

Figures 39 and 40.

is



those not near

enough for focus upon

the need for textural refinement of the masses in a

man-

Old Swiss Chalet, Zermatt

The

chalet makes a picturesque subject for any medium. It is a particularly delightful motif for the pencil artist because its construction deep roof overhang and butt ends of timbers which support the horizontal wall timbers gives the sketcher something very

— —

tangible to get hold

of. This sketch was made in a favorable light; the sun was falling on the gable end, creating deep shadows of great interest. Actually, the tone of the gable facade was uniform, but the pencil rendering shows great tonal variety, lightening up the facade by the use of white areas, within which the horizontal timbering is indicated

directly

by

line.

The accompanying

pattern of the chalet.

62

analysis (Figure 40) explores the confining light

and shade

2: &+

6}

^

1

L

Figure 41.

A View in Zermatt

made principally to record a picture The mountain rising abruptly behind

This sketch was

of the hotel

where

days in 1925.

the hotel

dotted with simple huts

is

I lived for



a few

The stream which flows in the foreground seemed as white as milk the mineral from the surrounding mountains. The crazy cluster of little huts which lines the path to the hotel makes little sense esthetically, so I did not try to make a studied composition of them. This sketch is a realistic report of what was there no more, no less. or chalets.

deposits



64

>

¥

— *

#

^rw

Figure 42.

View

of Cheddar, England

Cheddar was. years ago when

I teas there,

a sleepy and beautiful one-street town.

located on a lovely lake, lightly indicated in

always a problem to render in pencil. the light tonal strokes with sharp line call attention to the

My



my

sketch,

usual

way

It was below Cheddar Gorge. Water is

of suggesting water

is

to accent

as I characteristically did in this sketch. I also

treatment of the banked trees

mass and



the

employment here

add technical

of accenting

These line accents help give this scumbled sketch more assertiieness. Line accents are used around some of the lighter areas of tone within the tree masses. The tree tones were kept very dark at their lines to give a sense of solidity to the

to

variation.

bases to contrast dramatically with the buildings silhouetted against them.

65

\ :-k :%.

TTv^

•*•!

V

F*~

WV*

1*IN

u', 6- *»>

T

#

M |

ner suggested by

my drawing

duce some

and shadow

a

light

at

Cheddar, England (Figure 42)

effects and, as

you

will see, I

.

There,

I

did intro-

have added accents with

sharp point and directional lines within the silhouette mass, which serve to give

what might otherwise have been

considerable textural and tonal attraction to

a

relatively flat tonal shape.

While referring

to that

Cheddar sketch,

might speak

I

also of the

function of

pattern in suggesting water. This combines arbitrary pattern with more than of reflections from the white buildings. is

I

hint

a

have found that the use of sharp, thin

helpful in giving the light, tonal water shapes a sharper definition and a

line

more

positive statement.

TONE AND VALUE Lest the term "tone" be confusing to some readers, I

use

it

in

dictionary,

work,

I

my

book) should be envisioned

means the dark or

think the term tone

I

as color tone,

which, according to the

But

in speaking of non-color

light value of a color.

is

should explain that tone (as

generally understood to

mean

value.

Tone

is

more

appropriate than value in such use, since value has other connotations not involved

and white drawing.

in black

In conclusion, analysis of

I

would say that pattern

any subject he chooses to draw.

the artist's

is

It

is

first

consideration in the

an anchor for every

detail of his

drawing. Other shapes are tied to the dominant pattern core. Making rapid analytical pattern aspects of

any subject





similar to those I

made

for the St.

Germain

drawing (Figure 37) is certainly good practice, at least until the time when such an analysis can be purely visual in the artist's head, rather than sketched out.

Figure 43.



Another Swiss Chalet, Zermatt

The darkened passageway between steps, establishes the tonal

key for

the buildings, which leads upivard

all the other

and includes the

gray areas which focus upon

it.

This tonal

conspicuous in the shadow of the roof overhang, which tapers from very dark to very light at the right; and it is true of all the tones on the facing facade that gradually

scale

is

lighten in value as they recede

from the central

the building, like the timbers themselves, strokes

which

is

offer contrast, but are not insistent

characteristic. Distant hills or

mountains are

one use tone, or merely

suggest

line, to

interest.

horizontal.

enough

The principal stroke emphasis on Monotony is avoided by vertical to destroy the horizontal structural

difficult to indicate

with the pencil. Should

them?

67

I



SHADOWS

I sit in

my

wonder at shadows. As I write our garden, which is enclosed on one side by an

have never

I

lost

brick built by an Italian craftsman in

an arched

Now,

head. ful

recess,

is

a beautiful

whom

this

morning, near noon,'

exquisite wall of clinker

should love to meet. In the wall, set

I

sculptured head.

It

is

a

copy of an

original

Mayan

moment, the early October sun brings it to life. It casts a delightfalls upon the unevenness of the textured wall. Overhead, the ivy

at this

shadow that

vine that drapes the wall hangs slightly over the arched curve of the recess and adds its

serrated

shadow

to that of the sculpture.

Sometimes

seems

it

we

are

vouchsafed

an unexpected awareness of the beauty of simple things. This has been one of those

moments when, in meditation, I recall the words of William Saroyan, quoted in Chapter 2. Read them again. At the first reading you may have overlooked their profundity, perhaps considering them no more than a poetic reference to a common experience rather than a practical prescription

Shadow may be wholly

many

sketches.

A

much

as

indeed they

are.

responsible, or practically so, for the pattern seen in

perfect example of such dominant and illustrative pattern

in the tonal analysis of

define



my

Mousehole sketch (Figure 49)

.

is

seen

Shadows almost always

of the subjects' forms and are the basis of pattern in perhaps the

majority of sketches.

SHADOWS AND FORM Shadows

are the artist's best friend.

Without shadows, form

object uniform in color and value, illuminate

an identical amount of

pure outline

light,

and

it

disappears

it

is

so that each of

from

sight.

invisible. its

Form can

Paint an

facets receives

be described by

described, but not portrayed. There are no outlines in appearance,

though outline has

a useful

and an

esthetic function in representation to

have been conditioned from childhood

Figure 44.

—when we began

to

draw

which we

in outline.

Assisi Street

have included a number of Assisi street sketches because of their unusual architectural This sketch was made when the sun played upon the buildings with a delightful tonal consonance, which left little need for improvisation in designing the shadow pattern. /

interest.

The

tones of the foreground, which lead the eye to the center of interest, are the only Note the arbitrary patterning of gray and white on the sunlit walls. The figures

exception.

at the street's

end serve

as tonal accents,

and give a feeling of

aliveness to the scene.

69

Shadows

by forms and

cast

forms themselves. Hence, the

their details in turn define the character of the

upon the relative accuracy of their Shadows cast by invisible forms (hence of no

artist insists

shapes as they appear in nature.

descriptive importance) can be treated arbitrarily and used to best advantage in

the compositional pattern of light and dark as one sees Assissi Street

(Figure 44) and in the sketch of a

Such

fit.

is

the case in the

Venetian canal (Figure 45). In

both of these scenes the shadows upon sunlit walls give no hint of the shapes which cast

them, so the

artist

free to manipulate

is

them

without obligation

esthetically,

to objective reality.

Sometimes, however, the cast shadow

upon which

it falls.

is

two drawings,

In these

controlled

by the nature of

the surface

the surfaces were practically plain walls.

ACCENTING SHADOWS There

is

my

a different situation in

this case, the

sketch of the Rialto in Venice (Figure 46). In

shadow on the near end of the bridge has

a descriptive

defines the sculptured convolutions of this structure that spans the

This shadow

is

the most important feature of the entire drawing.

the time of day

when

Notice that

this

it

appeared just

shadow

as

you

darkened

is

see it in

my

This

effect,

at its delineating edge.

which may or may not be present

it

chose carefully

sketch.

other drawings you will observe the same treatment of shadows. tice.

I

function;

Grand Canal.

in nature,

And in examining It is common prac-

depends upon the light-

ing and the reflected lights that often condition the shadows greatly. But shadows thus rendered with emphasis on the edge give the sketch a positive character and enliven

its

general aspect.

Even

if

shadow

the

is

not assertive in the subject,

it

enlivening effect because of the contrast with lighted areas where shadows

The accenting of shadows

at their edges

is

is

really

not

as

important

shadows (even by linear accents)

subjects, the accenting of

fall.

an important aspect of the drawing

of a mountain peak near Gates Pass in Tucson, Arizona (Figure 47) that here, where exact delineation

has an

as it is

is

.

It

is

evident

in architectural

an important tech-

The emphasis at the shadow's edge is easy to render because, when drawing vigorously, you naturally end with a degree of accent of the strokes nical device.

which presumably

is

Figure 45.

at the shadow's edge.

A Canal in Venice

At almost any time on a sunny matic picture sketch

is

effects.

The

day, sun

artist

and shadow

effects give Venice's canals

very dra-

can play with the shadows to suit his pictoral needs.

probably fairly faithful to the shadow pattern that drew

me

My

to this particular

The shadow that plays upon the building facade at the right combines agreeably with the dark bridge and water reflections. I treated the building on the left with as little

subject.

detail as necessary to give

tonal rendering to give vertical, diagonal,

70

it

reality.

them a sense

and horizontal

The

sunlit walls of the various buildings

of structure.

strokes.

These very light tones were

needed

laid in with

v. it

v

-""'•

4 '

i^ViA'1

ft

4 Figure

The

46.

The

Rialto, Venice

original drawing, on Alexis paper,

is

/ Figure 65.

Vicola San Andrea, Assisi, Italy

In this scene, attention

is

so exclusively centered

surrounding details are scarcely noticed. architectural reality of the arch, plus

that

is

upon the view through the

A minimum

enough foreground

to get us into the picture,

needed. Rendering such a large, dark area as the arch

drawing.

I

thought

that the dark sunlit fagade

is

it

advisable to direct

intensified at the far

my

arch, that

of structural support to explain the

strokes to

is

is

all

always a problem in pencil

conform with perspective. Notice

edge to enhance by contrast the impression of the

on the plaza beyond.

98

„l

If A:

Figure 66.

What

I said

The Main

Street of

Borg 'Unto,

Fiesole

about the technical treatment of ancient walls of the Assist street (Figure 65)

applies equally here. Also note the treatment of the right side of the street



the

way

I

faded out the detail near the street level to terminate the sketch there, using such structural details as doors, windows,

and

sign.

These

details are compositional niceties

one

learns to utilize in creating a sense of the street's identity as a part of a larger scene.

99

B

Figure 67.

Colonnade

at

Marcote, Lake Lugano, Italy

This inconsequential architectural subject attracted

me

sufficiently to

half-hour sketch while I awaited transportation by boat to Lugano. seated at a table give needed

ioo

punch

to

an otherwise monotonous tonal

warrant making a

The dark scene.

figures

LM

'

AA

i\

}

S*^ *

i i

VUmvCou.*.

Figure 68.

The doorways

Franciscan Monastery at Fiesole

teas

my special interest. The sun was and shadow. Note, however, that undoubtedly full shadow, and serves to

this

darkened entrance, one notes a studied

of this detail of the Monastery attracted

at a favorable angle to give a dramatic pattern of light

an arbitrary area of white breaks into what enliven the rendering at that point. Within

relationship of dark values to define details within the shadows.

IOI

Figure 69.

Carriage at Sorrento, Italy

This tiny carriage was sketched from the balcony of our room in the Cocumela pension. In it, my artist friend Will S. Taylor and I took many sketching tours during June, 1925.

102

J

'

X

s

Figure 70.

Freight Carts in Florence, Italy

This scene was drawn in 1925. long before the intrusion of the motor age which has done such violence to the picturesque streets all over the aorld.

103

."\

Figure 71.

The Old

Post

Road

it seemed a particularly had only to make the most of what the subject offered. I did change the direction of the road and ploived a field alongside it. This is a very small sketch. I could not otherwise have rendered it so completely tonal as I have done. The moment an artist tries to draw such a subject in large scale, he runs into trouble. The cloud mass was certainly designed to give what I think is an invitation to the imagination to continue over the hill down to a pleasant valley. The drawing is on Video paper.

In this landscape, the old house and the foliage surrounding

happy motif.

104

I

UM

LANDSCAPE SKETCHING

8

—where

In landscape sketching

The

limitations of the pencil.

no problem as

much

the brush

brush, with

its

is

supreme

—we

are aware of the

color and tonal characteristics, poses

in representing broad areas of landscape,

faithfulness to natural appearance, and

which can be brushed

on

as

in

with

may

large a canvas, as

be

desired.

USE OF SYMBOLISM

The

pencil artist, unable to render the breadth of fields and

upon

degree of tonal similitude, must rely simple diagrams in Chapter 10.

augmented by that

is

from childhood

sketched in

line

with an agreeable

the sort of imagination described in the

and with areas enclosed by

which

line

are

restricted tonal rendering, the artist tries to give an illusion of reality

We

acceptable to the observer,

ditioned

a field

many imagined to supply. With this

With

hills

to accept

have noted that the audience has been con-

symbolism of

line in picturization.

Thus,

a

cow

of white paper creates a pasture, otherwise completed with

phenomena

natural

a city child

who

as

the experience of the observer

has never traveled

beyond

a

is

as

qualified

concrete environment,

contribution of imagination based on experience would, of course, be negligible.

But the audience we

SIZE IN

concerned with does not require the presence of

are

a

cow.

LANDSCAPE SKETCHING

In another chapter,

we

considered the question of size in pencil sketching. There

the discussion dealt with the rendering of buildings viewed at varying distances. Size in landscape sketches has to do with the limitation of the pencil in rendering

an acceptable manner. The pencil,

sizeable tonal areas in

adapted to rendering large tonal

areas.

Beyond

a

is

not

In this respect, the limitations of a pencil

drawing resemble the limitations of an etching, which ings.

previously stated,

as

is

at its best in small render-

certain size, the pencil cannot cope effectively with tonal relation-

ships.

My own limits.

solution in landscape

to keep the size within acceptable

twice this

)

which has

,

a

maximum

8". In a sketch of this size, the tonal qualities of pencil masses

exploited adequately,

is

is

Refer to the sketch The Old Post Road (Figure 71

width of

tion

drawing

size, I

as

I

believe they are in this example. If

could not have produced

especially valid

when

a

I

can be

had drawn the subject

comparable rendering. This considera-

really black tones are vital, as they are here.

Anyone

105

who

uses pencil recognizes the impossibility of putting

And I am

masses.

inclined to ask

good tonal quality into large

what would be gained by

rendering of this

a larger

particular subject. I realize

that some artists just cannot

who might draw

in the

it

appealing than mine, but

same manner.

less

study wall which are

my

Thomas Nason;

Bernard Brussel-Smith,

is

Practically

my drawings in

is

less

tonal relationship

a wall



at least

where

it

as it

may,

I

engraving, Christ Raising Lazarus, by

size has

no

relation to bigness of concep-

what counts!

expression

are slightly reduced. So, I

wood

the other, a

6" x 7". No, the

Adequacy of all

is

would be

have two pictures on my an engraving of a rural landscape, 2" x

Be that

favorites: one

worker

would not

it

his result

upon

scale

consideration in a pencil sketch, which

not intended to be framed and displayed on a large picture.

tion.

a

A large

would sketch

would not say

I

not actually

is

would compete with 3/4", by

I

achievement would depend

his

than upon other virtues. Size is

at small scale.

the same subject twice the size as

attempt to render

usually

work

would

book are shown

this

say, choose

another

at exact size; three or

medium

if

four

you must work

at

large scale.

SKIES

My

AND CLOUDS

Rocky 'Promontory

(Figure 72)

Road. They are the same

dominant

falls in

The Old Post

the same category as

In both these subjects, the treatment of the sky

size.

Rocky Promontory, where

factor, particularly in

thought to designing the cloud masses.

I

seldom go

this far in

is

a

gave considerable

I

sky rendering;

I

find

that in most sketches the barest indication of cloud contours, with a bit of shading,

Delray Beach, Florida (Figure 73) where they are needed to give compositional support to the tonal ocean and the wind-

Cloud forms

suffices.

blown palm to profit It

is

however I

tree.

from

a

are

important

The study of Rocks

in

,

Larchmont Harbor (Figure 34)

slight their

need

my own

may

be in many,

if

drawings, in writing

rendering sky forms, and that in I settled

many

is

an

asset to the

not most, of

this, I

as

group of

trees in the distance,

distance seemed to permit.

aspects of silhouette, lighting.

106

landscape

his pencil

discover that

I

artist,

drawings. As

largely neglected

sketches where some cloud indication was

IN LANDSCAPE SKETCHING

Jersey Landscape (Figure 74) illustrates an interesting problem. a

seems

for a purely linear rendering.

AN INTERESTING PROBLEM by

also

darkening sky.

obvious that familiarity with cloud forms

look through

needed,

also in

which

I

After rendering the

To

I

and decided to render them with

accomplish

this, I seized

combined with limited trees, I felt

upon

was intrigued as

much

detail

the most prominent

detail of the structure

and the

the necessity of expressing their distance

Figure 72.

As

in

Rocky Promontory

The Old Post Road

gave considerable thought

(Figure ji), the sky to designing the

the dominant factor in this drawing. I

is

cloud masses here.

from

at the

border of the marshy

what

considered necessary to accomplish this effect.

I

ground its

light

enough

field.

So

I

selected

in tone to subordinate

it

to connect

it

I

contemplate

would

this

lead the eye

—even

structure,

I

The intervening reach of

drawing now,

tance of clean definition of tones ness.

its

with the foreground and background.

light line indications that

As

it.

the nearby scrubby

I

growth

was careful to keep the fore-

to the distant trees, thus preventing

attracting attention. While giving thought to

look over the foreground instead of at

I

I

it

field

needed

a

tried to attain this liaison

from foreground

think

wanted people

to

link

with

to background.

helpful to emphasize the impor-

the lightest tones

—and avoidance of

fuzzi-

This sharpening of detail does not interfere with whatever tonal delicacy one

desires:

tions,

I

it

implies positiveness as opposed to indirection.

White

structural indica-

think, should be given emphasis, and not permitted to lose their basic func-

tion as supporting features.

107

Hg

V

jfff,

•sk

Figure 73. This sketch brush-like

is

v

—>

Windy Day, Delray

Beach, Florida

interesting for several reasons. Notice

manner with a broad-stroke

first

how

the ocean

is

rendered in a

technique. This technique could be done without

overreaching the scope of the pencil because the white caps and surf supplied a pleasing break in an otherwise fiat, rather heavy tone. Note that these white caps repeat the pattern

on the beach. The action of the palm clearly indicates the force of the it. The low growing palmetto, with its more resistant fronds, takes a swirling motion. It is rendered with a sharp point of very soft pencil. I was able to use the razor blade to scrape out many palm fronds across others of opposing directions, because the drawing is on clay coated paper. The cumulus clouds were added with a broad of the cabanas

wind as

its

stroke of a

108

fronds bend before

medium pencil.

1

.

'

^

3

_

Figure 74.

Jersey Landscape

In this sketch, interest detail.

This

is

is

focused upon the distant row of trees, rather than on foreground is enclosed by a border line. I am

the only drawing in the book which

invariably concerned with getting out of the picture gracefully, for

1

feel that the sketch

should obviously be a selected part of the larger environment. Here the border seemed necessary to connect the foreground and distance, otherwise separated by a relatively neglected middle distance.

109

Figure 75.

Road

to Gates Pass in Tucson,

Arizona

This desert road approaches the pass to Tucson from the south. Shortly beyond, it begins to ascend the very dramatic road which a gravel road at the time this sketch was made





its southern border. This rather hurried sketch was on Alexis pencil paper. The pattern of light and dark on the mountains always intrigues an artist and gives him very definite shapes to work with. This composition seemed to require a tonal cloud treatment to connect the two peaks. The dark render-

connects the town and the country on

done with

soft lead

ing of the palo verde bush in the foreground gives the scene perspective.

1

10

I^^MMMBBB

1

>

.

E "i

Figure 76.

Live

Florida foliage offers

Oak Arch many

near

delights

St.

Augustine, Florida

and

surprises.

Sometimes

forests or their

present dramatic compositions, as does this detail not far from

draped wih Spanish moss

arrest the passing artist,

forms with pencil or brush. To render the leads to simulate the dark, slashes of white



shadowy

interior. I

sunlight striking through

draped over the branches

is

effect



St.

and compel him

remnants

Augustine. Live oaks

to record their

unusual

seen here required generous use of soft tried to avoid solid tone by introducing

to dramatize the

shadowy depth. The moss

a detail that lends melancholy beauty to the scene.

1

1

.

v

m

x

Figure 77. This

is

water.

I

12

^mmtm^mmmmm

Dead Live Oaks

at

Banner Queen Ranch near Julian, California

one of several live oaks which were dying in a valley parched through want of few branches spring out of the dying trunk in a last effort to hang onto life.

A



DRAWING Many

sonnets have been penned about the glory of trees. Trees have indeed

been the object of worship in primitive

societies.

divinity with mountains, the sun, and

many

trees are

not regarded

a short step

which

TREES

are a

as sacred,

shared the concept of

other natural phenomena. If today

them

the naturalist's and the artist's love for

removed from worship. At any

wonder and

They have

a delight to those

rate, trees are beings

—they

is

but

are alive

who, for one reason or another, have more

than ordinary association with them.

Many years religions at a

ago

I

and hewed them into lake.

He

had

had

a friend, older

midwestern university.

a

way

than

A giant

logs for a cabin

who was

I,

professor of comparative

of a man, he felled trees in the forest

which he

built

upon

the shore of a Berkshire

upon the branches. It would

of resting his hand upon the trunk of a great tree

upward

shoulders of a companion, and gazing

seem most unlikely that the

artist

who

silently into its

as

habitually draws or paints trees could

fail to

empathy with them. Some trees, like the giant sequoia, are approached with the awe and respect due the mighty. But one can be on intimate

share that kind of

terms with the apple or the dogwood Trees, like intriguing.

human

They

as well.

beings, often do astonishing things. Their eccentricities are

twist and turn in the most unexpected

would seem, with an

instinctive sense of

ways

—almost always,

And when

good design.

they

die,

it

they

usually do so with dignity and artistry. I

would appear

duced

in this book. Well, I

in the

glow of

fascinates

me,

many

to be addicted to dead trees, there are so

must plead

guilty, although I've

health, fully foliated. For

it is

them repro-

countless trees

the skeletal structure of trees that

particularly those that are aged

which they have acquired during

drawn

of

enough

to display the character

their lifetime.

A SKETCHING TRIP At Banner Queen Ranch in 1961, a marvelous I

was on

a

number of days

a

in the California

group of dying oaks which

sketching trip with at

won

mountains north of San Diego, there was,

Roy Mason,

the ranch, he with

may

have disappeared by

the noted watercolor painter.

his brushes, I

with

my

pencils.

A

this time.

We

spent

picture he

American Watercolor Society Gold Medal that year. These trees had been nourished by a mountain stream which, for some reason, had ceased to flow with sufficient volume to support them as in past years. Two of painted there

my

the

drawings of the

trees (Figures

jy and 78) are reproduced

in this book.

113

Figure 78. It

Another Dead Live Oak Tree

should be evident that

I

at

Banner Queen Ranch

had an exceptionally delightful time with

this

drawing, which

make, was appealing, from the beautiful upward writhing of the main trunk to the fascinating texture at its base. The fallen trunk behind is a wonderful supporting form for the standing tree. The texture of its bark is carefully rendered, and the

invited technical virtuosity. It

because everything about

small sinuous trees that

is

as exact a transcription of the subject as I could

it

fall

over

it

are clusters of mistletoe.

114

The tangle of fine twigs adds The two small dark masses in the standing tree

cast black shadows.

a pleasant contrast to the heavier forms.

\

'"

*

-

Figure 79.

^

A Very Large Sycamore at Banner Queen Ranch

Evidence of strong winds having bent the tree give cally delightful.

The

it

a writhing character that

is

rhythmi-

trunks and branches, beautifully exposed, form a visible framework

supporting the foliage masses. These are silhouetted, light against dark, with shaded masses

behind them.

Some

of the branches are seen dark against light.

required two hours of intense application to portray clay coated paper, 7" this paper.

x iiVa" with medium .

it

who do

can be real labor, as well as great pleasure.

when

The drawing

exact structure. It

soft pencils

Lighter grades of pencils were used for

rather exhausting performance. Artists

its

much

is

of this tree

rendered on

which give very black tones on of the foliage mass. This was a

not draw from nature cannot realize that I

remember having a lame back and neck

the drawing was completed, just before dusk on January 25, 1961.

115

By

enormous sycamore (Figure 79) grew nearby.

contrast, an

foliated,

but

it

revealed

structure dramatically in a

its

web

was copiously

It

of writhing branches,

the two main trunks of which outlined an odd pear-shape, which was form to build on.

the basic

PALM TREES

When

first I

began drawing palm

make them resemble terns of light is

they seemed somewhat

trees,

glorified dusters.

The main thing

caused by the

way

easy to

difficulty

the fronds in places break and droop against fronds on the

When you work

on clay coated

somewhat laborious procedure.

I

stock,

you can handily

you must work around them with

scrape these out with the razor blade. Otherwise a

is

to establish definite pat-

and shade areas among the waving fronds. One technical

other side of the stem.

dark tone,

is

baffling. It

found myself using

a fairly

point in simulating the sharply pointed fronds, often emphasizing their

sharp

tips.

A

comparison of the sketch of Wind-blown Palms (Figure 80) which were among the palms

first

I

had drawn, with

illustrates this point.

A

later

palms such

of the dead maple (Figure 52). Here

impact of growth

as

Portrait of an Egret (Figure 81)

different technical situation

we

encountered in the drawing

is

are absorbed

by the fascinating textural

on the weathered trunk, and the fragmented beauty of

scars

shattered branches.

SILHOUETTE

From

other detail (Figure 82)

we draw and

areas

appears

a distance, a tree in full leaf

nearer,

when

foliage

But

its

the foliage

basic character is



there

close range, branches

is

ways

)

.

by the simple form. As

revealed

When the

no such

light

foliage

is

and shade

sparse

trees

light, or

grow

is

light

against dark

But the

detail

is

It

is

then

silhouette aspect should

always be kept in mind, and the tree character, thus simplified, retained

how much

sunlit

like that of the

openings in foliage masses.

invaluable.

by



effect.

become prominent, sometimes

and sometimes dark against

that knowledge of the

is

lacking light, shadow, and

dense, the clusters of leaves are defined

their shaded parts (Figure 83

locust trees (Figure 89)

At

.

as a silhouette,

—no matter

involved in the completion of your drawing.

GEOMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TREE FORMS

We

learn

most about

tree structure

when, after the

leaves

have

an unobstructed view of trunk and branches. Such knowledge to the landscape artist as familiarity with the structure of the

is

fallen, as

human

we have

indispensable

skeleton

is

to

the painter or illustrator. I

116

have selected

a fascinating subject

(Figure 84) to demonstrate

a

method of

'-

Figure 80.

Wind-BIown Palms, Lake Worth,

Florida

This is a rapidly sketched group of palms which were flailing about in a stiff breeze. The draning was made with a single soft lead on Alexis paper. The pencil had a rather sharp point, instead of a bevel edged point. There could be no scraping out of white fronds, since I

was not working on

clay coated paper.

117

1M

R&

geometric analysis in portraying the characteristic forms of particular subject

was

is

bare banyan tree, which

a

at first startled

upon

by the

aerial root structure

accounts for

down more and more

it lets

This

discovered near Boynton Beach, Florida.

form of the main trunk, which seemed

(they are really aerial roots) and hold

legs

grows,

elk-like

I

trees.

many

its

to stand

antlers high in the air.

The

As the

tree

eccentricities of the banyan.

of these roots from

I

its

branches, until finally the

mass of the trunk members becomes enormous.

The banyan, this

was not

unlike deciduous trees, retains

a living tree.

Yet

its

its

foliage perpetually, so evidently

skeleton had not yet lost even

its

incidental

have made three diagrams (Figure 85) which reveal the order of my In A, we discover how a right angle gives an encompassing form, and we

branches. analysis.

I

take note of the enclosing arc which touches the tops of the branches. In B, the analysis

further developed with the identification of the prominent v-shape,

is

which could, indeed, have been to begin with the

center-dotted center

line.

in our analysis.

continued

Now

not for the fact that

most inclusive form. This v-shape

we

In C,

Recognition of

line.

a starting point if

There

a

isolate the smaller

rectangular mass

are other

is

I

constructed upon

always like a vertical,

v-shape, which also has a vertical

—nearly square—

minor geometric

is

yet another aid

relationships that appeared as I

my analysis. have taken pains to

I

select for this

demonstration

a tree

which

offers

unusually obvious geometric references. Yet every tree can be analyzed to some extent through geometric reference. Indeed, to be,

if

first to

form

is

we

we can go

are faithful in portraying a tree's character.

be measured

somehow

in order to represent

the only reliable reference

Before leaving

this

so far as to say that

it

has

Every subject we draw has

its

individuality.

Geometric

we have.

drawing subject,

I call

attention to the palmetto, which

serves as a pleasant textural accessory for the banyan.

growing there but palmettos have an environmental

The palmetto was not affinity

actually

with the banyan.

This drawing on Video paper was rendered with two pencils, one very soft the other

lead,

medium. Note how shadows of branches

branches. This effect should not be overlooked; I

it

are

cast

upon other

enhances the illusion of

reality.

have emphasized becoming familiar with characteristic tree structures. In

winter,

when

trees are bare,

one should study structure, unhampered by

This study usually can be done while you

sit

in a heated car. In addition,

foliage.

another

method of study is drawing twigs in the studio. Collect a variety of twigs of different growth types. Meticulous drawing of these twigs will be most profitable, since, in effect, they are miniature branches of grown trees.

excellent

Figure 81.

Portrait of an Egret

was finishing sketching this palm tree, a handsome white fowl alighted in the I was draicing. The egret made a white silhouette against the dark, shadowed area at the base of the tree. The clay coated paper on which I was working enabled me to scrape out the bird's white form with a razor blade. Just as I

very spot

119

*

t

c

Figure 83.

'-,

20

^CTC^rsr*

*.

»*.-„

Diagram

of Light and

As we approach the tree with dense areas and their shaded parts.

1

»

Shadow

in Foliage

foliage, the clusters of leaves

become defined by

sunlit

Si -

21

Figure 82.

Drawn from other detail.

Silhouettes of Trees

a distance, trees in full bloom appear as silhouettes, lacking light, shadow, and Basic character is revealed by the simple form.

I

21

\

V

JhO'

I

y

>ii

^ar

V

-

Figure 84.

Dying Banyan Tree, Boynton Beach, Florida

djmg banyan tree caught my attention, and I became fascinated with it as I drew. an ideal subject to illustrate my analysis of tree structure, and I made three diagrams (Figure 85) to show the order of this analysis. Although this tree offers unusually obvious geometric references, every tree can be analyzed to some extent through this approach. Indeed, we can even say that it has to be, if we are faithful in portraying its character. 77?w

It is

Geometric Analysis of Structure of Dying Banyan Tree

Figure 85. In

A

we

(top),

structure. In

B

discover

how

a right angle gives an encompassing form to the branch

(center), the analysis

is

further developed with identification of the promi-

nent v-shape, which might well have been a starting point, to begin

dotted

with the most inclusive form. This v-shape

line.

In

C

(bottom),

we

122



if

not for the fact that

constructed

isolate the smaller v-shape,

center line. Recognition of the rectangular mass

our analysis.

is

which

is

nearly square

upon a

also built



is

I like

vertical center-

on a

vertical

yet another aid in

-

/

Figure 86.

Neglected Palm Tree

at

Delray Beach, Florida

This tree seems to have had a poor start in ground. But

life,

bent in

its

youth almost level with the

head in a remarkable performance of rectitude. In spite of its handicap, it bears fruit and tries to look healthy, although its upper fronds appear somewhat broken. Those which hang almost to the ground have great beauty of form and detail they were a delight to draw. The top fronds were rendered with a very soft, sharp lead, capable of producing solid black masses and sharply pointed fronds. The little punk trees give a kind of friendly support to the palm, but are not interesting in themselves. The foreground is a rather formless scumble. it

finally raised

its



124

-



MEMORY AND IMAGINATION

10

Drawing from memory of simplicity

—and

a

is

simplicity

is

wonderful an

art. I

discipline. It helps

one develop the

art-

have often recommended the following

method of study.

WORKING PURELY FROM MEMORY If,

when

scape^

—something you would

stone wall bordering a

even

love to sketch

back to your

—stop your car and

sit

in

it

or on the

and try to organize the subject. Without benefit of

field,

strong mental picture of the scene to take

a slight pencil notation, create a

Do

come upon an eye-stopping land-

driving through the countryside, you

studio.

not try to memorize

details, as

in photographic completeness.

could. First ask yourself

what

You

though you hoped to reproduce the scene

cannot do

you

attracts

this,

and you shouldn't even

you

if

to the subject. Fix the big elements in

and

importance to each

mind:

their shapes, their essential character,

other.

Don't try to remember incidentals; focus upon the broad compositional

their relative

ensemble. Plan your picture: the size of the maple tree and

its

barn

relation to the

or house, the proportion of the house, the shape of the roof and chimneys, etc. to picture

it all

Take it

a

a

mentally.

good long time recording

this

picture on your

memory

broadly painted picture, with the elements simply massed

remember

Now

—even

detail

you

Try

you

are lost, unless

will find that

in.

film.

If

Make

you try

to

you have an extraordinarily photographic mind.

you can remember that scene when you return home

the next day. Quickly sketch

its

broad aspect just

as

Don't allow any time for elaboration. The shorter the time, the

you remember better.

Repeat

it.

this

exercise often.

WORKING FROM ON-THE-SPOT SKETCHES Having experimented with pure memory, try next with quick sketches. In

this exercise,

to

supplement your memory

study your subject for five minutes. Then

whip out your sketchbook (a small size) and give yourself exactly five minutes no more to transcribe what you have seen. Time yourself, and don't cheat. Your



effort will indeed be sketchy,

but

it

will

have

its

virtue.

Repeat

this

exercise

several times.

In your next experiment, allow ten minutes for mental analysis and ten minutes for the sketch.

Double the time for the sketch

several of these

memory

tests

in the

next exercise. Finally, after

and quickie sketches from

all

kinds of subjects, take

125

f

/

%

?

Figures 87 and 88.

Ragged Live Oak Tree

in

North Carolina

The story of the drawing of this tree has been told in the text. Figure 8j (left) is the final drawing; Figure 88 (above) is the little silhouette sketch which I hurriedly made on the spot.

In this spontaneous drawing, quickly rendered with a broad bevel stroke,

massed foliage rather than meticulous the downward flow of dominant lines.

sized the impact of is

I

empha-

detail. Its essential characteristic

127

J

all

the time

you

the quickies.

desire to "finish" the sketch.

Which have .

It

is

at the

was tempted to stop to draw

I

as the

hour was growing

decided to proceed. Yet,

late,

announced:

"We must

myself with the It



North

in

as usual

as

little

it.

We

we drove

on,

it.

We

silhouette sketch

oak

a

I

where

are in territory

Which we

(Figure 88),

evident that this drawing was

all

Eve and

hundred yards it;

but

my

I

mind

had traveled on about three miles when

go back and get that tree!"

6B pencil flowed down the cascading the branches,

when we

My wife

couldn't get that tree out of

I

recorded the essential design and gave

it is

Carolina.

did pull off the road to admire

imagery to make the large drawing that evening

Now

experience drawing a live oak

and we had many miles to travel that afternoon,

and regretted the decision to leave

minutes.

wheel

my

by

are likely to be discovered. Seeing this live

ahead,

I

illustrated

was sketched somewhere

were driving homeward, she

drawing subjects

with

these "finished" sketches

the greatest dramatic impact?

This quick sketch approach tree (Figure 87)

Compare

But

I

contented

about fifteen

in

time for sufficient mental

our motel.

made with

considerable speed, as the

and hanging moss forms and along

foliage

my

of which were vivid in

at

me

did.

drawn

memory. This drawing

is

good

a

example of broad-stroke technique and vigorous handling, which contrasts with the drawing of the locust trees (Figure 89).

Thus

it is

that conditions and

moods

determine what you do with your pencil.

DRAWING BY SEEING The teaching methods

of

Hoyt

L.

Sherman

in

drawing by

seeing. I refer here only to

bit

we have

by

described.

one aspect of the method

The term means

a

white background,

a flashlight.

we

try to achieve by the

basic one,

memory

calls

disci-

seeing the subject as a whole, rather than

During

is

seen

is

darkened and the subject, placed

by students for only

this brief look, the

This procedure

is

Locust Trees on Cape

Locust trees grow with a sinuous line which

on

second, as

in front of or

illuminated by

upon

a single detail.

certainly a sound discipline, and even though a student

Figures 89 and 90.

siderable time

a

it is

student can take in the over-all impression

of the model, but he has no opportunity to focus

is

— the

is

bit.

In this method, the studio

on

worth

This approach dramatically teaches the importance of what the author

"perpetual unity," which means just what pline

are

connection with the approach to perceptive seeing. His approach

mentioning

really.

Ohio State University

at the

this sketch

rendered with a scumbled

because

it is

line, rather

Cod

is

very graceful.

I

must have spent con-

meticulously studied throughout.

than with firm direct strokes.

A

The

foliage

very soft lead was

needed for the dark shaded mass, within which a few spots of sunlight filter and give the effect of depth. The foreground bushes are very lightly defined and indefinitely rendered, to serve as a base for the trees, figure 90 (below) is a thirty-second sketch.

128

working alone cannot conveniently practice it, the thought of it should be helpful. As the late Maurice Sterne said, "You must draw what you have seen rather than

what you

see."

DEGAS' ADVICE I

came upon

a

TO STUDENTS

word of advice

drawing and painting: "After of the

imagination,

artist's

it

by Degas, the great French master of

to students all,"

he

said,

"a painting

ought never to be

a

is

first

of

all

the product

copy. If afterwards he can add

two or three natural accents, evidently that doesn't do any harm. It is much better to draw only what remains in the memory. It is a transformation during which imagination collaborates with memory; you produce only that which strikes the eye, that is to say, the necessary retaining forms and expression. Never draw or .

.

.

paint immediately."

Degas went

a step further.

He recommended

model should pose on the ground second

floor,

and the

that in painting a portrait, the

work

artist

at his easel

on the

floor.

Degas' instructions were intended for students

who were

painting subjects

moment. They do not apply to most sketching problems, yet they do emphasize what we have been saying about the lesson to be learned in memory exercises. Degas' advice demonstrates how memory can become our

which do not concern us

teacher

when we

drawings

I

are

at the

drawing anything

have made of

trees,

wherein

at I

all.

His words have no reference to the

worked with quite

trying to capture the reality of the subject before me. to develop a perceptive eye

a literal attitude in

They do emphasize

the need

which goes to the heart of the matter, and does not be-

come engrossed with non-contributory

elements.

FOLLOWING YOUR PENCIL Occasionally

we

hear novelists declare that characters in their stories frequently do

and say unexpected things not consciously planned by the author. This seemingly mysterious collaboration of the "other mind" offers us

a

glimpse into the secret of

creativeness.

cil.

The novelists' experience may help explain what I mean by following your penAt some stage in your drawing experience, you will discover your pencil doing

things

you have not consciously

dictated. These spontaneous performances are

indeed fundamental to creativity. Without them, you

may

succeed in producing

tolerably good technical results, but your drawings will not have emotion or verve.

They will not Is it //

thrill the observer.

not obvious that

to follow?

to act creatively unless

130

when we

That "something" you

is

follow our pencil,

we must have something

for

emotional experience. Don't expect your pencil

are emotionally

keyed up, and unless you have

a

backlog

of intimacy with the typical characteristics of the subject you are drawing. Such

intimacy comes only through long experience of drawing

knowing much about There draw. 59)

is

When

their eccentricities.

Your

yet another factor. this

—the pencil

happens will



as it

not help you

photograph

—except when

must not be distracted while you

attention

did while a bit;

Sorrento lacks the spontaneity which after a

kinds of things and

all

it

I

was sketching Sorrento Street (Figure

you

will

have to push

ought to have, and

it.

My

so will a

drawing of

drawing made

communication with

the artist has had first-hand

the subject previously, as was the case in the drawing of the sculptures in the Ogive

of Notre Dame's main portal (Figure 25).

ROLE OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS

Of course there is nothing mystical about this experience of What happens is that your subsconscious, habituated to your and replete with

knowledge on

all

file

following your pencil.

thinking and working,

therein, has taken over responsibility for

much

of the technical effort of the earlier learning times,

as

much

the pianist's fingers auto-

matically strike the keys which once he had to select consciously.

RAPID SKETCHING Rapid sketching

is

good training for such mastery when there

is

no time for fussing

over details or worrying about technique. Keep attention focused upon form, structure, pattern, easily said

and tone and do not worry about the pencil

than done, of course, but

who said

it is

strokes. This

is

more

easy?

Perhaps the thirty-seconds sketch shown herewith (Figure 90) will be instructive in this discussion. It

is

a half-size identification

sketch of the locust trees (Figure

89) which is reproduced at the exact size of the original. book I made half-size "quickies" of every drawing I planned

These small sketches were then attached to

from them the

subjects to be used.

for study. This

The ing,

you

If

my

entire

organizing this

to include in the book.

studio wall, where

I

could select

book was thus spread out before

many

you compare the miniature of the

will note that the sketch

here to demonstrate that

my

is

of them could be identified by no locust tree with the original

only approximate in

pencil could not help

acterizes the undulating action of branches

its

making

and would

resemblance. a

I

create a very attractive locust tree. Unconsciously,

me

show

it

serve, if asked, as the basis

made

a

I

could

good form, and the

quite definite hints for branch structure.

In conclusion, is

I

draw-

sketch which char-

of a very interesting tree form. Without making any noticeable changes,

pencil gave

me

customary practice.

sketches are so scrappy that

little

one but me.

is

The

my

When

I

would say that

this

phenomenon of following your

pencil

really the goal of the sketching student.

131

Sketches to Illustrate the Power of Imagination

Figure 91.

The

artist

should be ever mindful of his audience's imagination and its creative role. The is merely a rectangle divided horizontally by a line, devoid of pictorial

sketch at the left suggestion.

A

into water

and

boat sketched crudely in the lower half (center), transforms the rectangle sky. Substitute

a house for the boat

(right),

and you have land and

X

viewer's imagination automatically translates the untouched paper above line

sky.

The

into sky.

IMAGINATION The but

vitality of the sketch also the

depends notably upon imagination

imagination of

all

who view

manner of an awkward anecdote by undue embellishment.

which can be boring spontaneity of his

The sketch

in the

ence in this regard

is

by the

however crudely,

in the

by reference

line

the area below line

X.

It

to Figure 91.

untouched paper

No See

as

a

is

artist

this artifice better

few

lines in this

automatically illustrative

when

untouched paper becomes the

more we

learn to

does not always

want

than did the great master Rembrandt.

drawing of

a

winter landscape (Figure 92)

to treat his subject in such a shorthand manner. illustrative

an Egret (Figure 81), which

completeness

I call a

This brings us logically to the question,

132

it is

sky.

DRAWING AND A SKETCH

Often he prefers to delineate with 'Portrait of

merely

you have land and

The more expert we become,

DISTINCTION BETWEEN A The

is

part of the picture.

one understood

what he did with

(A)

devoid of pictorial suggestion.

X becomes water or land. Thus white,

translated into objective reality. use

ruins the

lower half (B) and transform the rectangle

unnecessary to do anything about the sky:

is

who

detail

participation of the audi-

into water and sky. Substitute a house for the boat (C) and It

should be ever mind-

story teller

The

his satisfaction.

illustrated, in part,

a rectangle divided horizontally a boat,

artist

artist's,

presents the essence of the idea, inviting the imagination of the

audience to complete picturization to

Sketch

The

the

and stop short of introducing extraneous

ful of his audience's imagination



the sketch.

—not only

as in, for

drawing rather than

"What

is

a

example, The a sketch.

sketch?" and

"What

is

a

•r^a nf«

A Winter Landscape, by Rembrandt Van Rijn

Figure 92.

No

one understood

how

to

me

untouched paper as part of a picture better than the great

master Rembrandt. See what he did with a few lines in this drawing of a winter landscape. Courtesy, The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University.

drawing?" The distinction between them of rendering

may commonly be

attitude toward the delineation. In

work

drawing the palm

beauty and

its

color remains to be imagined

I

unimportant, since each type

referred to as either sketching or drawing.

differs greatly.

its

may seem The

act of

tree in Portrait of

endeavored to represent

it

drawing

an Egret,

completely with

by any person who

sees

it.

is

one's

synonymous with

was enamored with

I

my

But

Nothing but The same can be said of pencil.

many

other drawings here reproduced, particularly those of trees, which usually

draw

as

dramatic manifestions of the universal creative mind

—not

I

hesitating to

change the growth structure for better design appearance. The drawing of the tulip in the chapter

when

on Looking and Seeing would not be

reading the text accompanying

classified as a sketch, as

is

evident

it.

CREATIVE ROLE OF UNTOUCHED PAPER The

intention of this chapter

paper

is

a creative

is

primarily to convince the reader that untouched

part of the sketch. If you inspect the drawings throughout this

book, the concept will be evident.

The sketch Ponte San Lorenzo

19) shows the barest indication of buildings gestion in

is

sufficient,

in

Venice (Figure

beyond the bridge; however, the sug-

along with imagination, to complete adequately the environment

which the bridge and the boats constitute the essence of the composition. In

my

drawings, the interplay of untouched paper with penciled areas

is

all

an essential

feature of the allover effect. If one attempts to cover entire areas of a subject with

tone



as

the painter customarily does



the result will be labored and dull.

White

accents which break into even those parts which are tonally treated (such as the

133

,

Figure 93.

Road

to

Therapy

have commented upon this drawing in the text, but I might add some technical notes. The drawing, on Alexis paper, was probably done with a simple soft lead, possibly a 4B. /

The

tones are largely scumbled, as are the lines which outline forms

scape formation. rolling hills.

is

and

indicate land-

clouds seemed an essential aspect of this sketch, as they enfold the

The road rambles

destination. It

134

The

in

an undulating fashion without being quite sure of

indeed lost in indefiniteness beyond the buildings.

its

darkness of an open door)

give sparkle to a drawing and enhance through contrast

,

the impression of dark space.

IMAGINATION AND EXPERIENCE There

another kind of imagination;

is

picture "out of the blue."

"Out of

nothing. Imagination draws

accumulated by the

we

its

it is

used by the

artist

senses over years of

remembered forms,

sense,

they become

new

mean pure invention out of memory or experience, the stuff

keen observation. In imaginative drawing,

distort them,

creations.

subject

At any

rate,

called

Road

common

der over rolling

hills

impractical.

when I drew the sketch made at 2:00

as I

did



Therapy (Figure 93), because the night was indeed therapy. Here the covered



New England,

in

is

to

a.m. during a sleepless

can juxta-

they have their value. They are

course one has to start with something familiar, I

We

and give them fresh connotations. In that

useful when, for one reason or another, sketching outdoors

Of

up, a

the blue" does not

content from

dip into our storehouse for inspiration and for visual memories.

pose the

so

when he makes

bridge, once

was the starting point. Then the road began to mean-

into the distance, rambling

more by accident than by scheme.

In Barbihirate Park (Figure 94) I began with the tall building. From then grew without any preconceived plan, a process of accidental addition. ,

on, the sketch

Of

course,

it is

sort of thing;

morning

not necessary to wait upon the need for therapy for one to do

two o'clock

—even

in the afternoon

copy but

(Figure 95)

some rocks

falls

in

(let us call

as suggestion.

New

time for

a

two

in the

pictures

which

it as

them

that)

may start with

The drawing which

named Rocky

I

York's Central Park, and developed into something

The photograph

This kind of creative drawing

summon

good

Holloii'

into this category. It began with a newspaper photograph and

the photograph as could be.

to

as

better.

Other rainy-day sketches serve not as

is

this

ingenuity; and

it

is

served only as

a

as

unlike

point of departure.

profitable discipline because

encourages a more creative attitude

it

compels one

when one

sketches

outdoors directly from the subject. Very often, the best subject one could wish for is

enhanced by the addition of some made-up

accessories.

IMAGINATION AND IMPROVISATION I

had planned to write

a

chapter on improvisation, but,

there seemed to be such a tenuous distinction between

as I it

explored the subject,

and imagination that

I

decided to place two improvised drawings of trees intended for the former to this chapter.

The

first

(Figure 97)

is

a

memory-improvisation of jungle growth that

Route 17 in Georgia. The foliage fascinated me and I would have stopped to sketch it had this been possible. But in that rather narrow two-way highway as it was in 1963, anyway there were no turnouts for miles. It was just as well, in this lines





135

r

Figure 94.

Barbiturate Park

an impossibly conglomerate group of buildings. As a sketch, plete indifference to the result. Yet, sometimes sketches made with This

is

bring out qualities that have their to

box

in the rising buildings.

such as Alexis.

136

own

validity.

it is

evidence of com-

this

kind of abandon

For example, the clouds are important

The drawing was done with a

single soft lead

on a paper

'

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1

MV

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vr*

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v

%"

1 *^*r\

-

Rocky Hollow

Figures 95 and 96.

77?« largely imaginary drawing started with a newspaper photograph of a rocky glen in Central Park, New York City. My drawing turned the photograph into something quite different.

began

The

rocks themselves were extremely attractive in form

to draw, I continued to

develop

my own

and

texture.

When

I

composition with made-up rock forms

drawn from memories of rock characteristics, stored up over the years. One would think rocks would be easy to improvise, but this is not the case. They have their own anatomy, which the

artist

has to discover through experience.

much interest to this drairing was made on clay coated paper, so gives

out of the dark rock mass. ity

I

The

tangle of brush in the depression

a detail of this area). The drawing that some of the delicate white twigs could be scraped "got out of the picture" at the right side by lightening the tonal(Figure 96, at

left, is

of rock forms and by introducing grasses and a dead limb to create rhythm at that point.

137

-

^4

utf

'•

Figures 97 and 98.

Dead Trees

in the Jungle along

Route

17,

Georgia

this highway, which was bordered by swamps and filled with dead was impossible to stop on the narrow road, so I had to depend on memory. I suppose photographs might help at such times, but the camera is dictatorial, while memory releases creativeness. I am very fond of this drawing because it encompasses great technical variety. If it is studied very carefully, the contrast between broad-stroke, and fine, delicate line (both in black and white) is obvious. Although one gets the impression of utter confusion of form and line, the composition is rather carefully designed. The accompanying line sketch {below) reveals a stabilizing group of branches and foliage which /

drove for miles on

jungle

trees. It

anchors the entire composition.

.

case; all I

needed for

my

improvised rendering was

a

generalized

memory

of the

chaotic effect and an ability to weave these broken forms into a contrived design.

The other sketch (Figure 99) which ,

percent improvisation; standing in

this

a desolate field

which faced

I

Back home, ject

I

have labeled Fallen Trees,

a

parking

lot

where

I sat

ninety-five

waiting for

those stumps

on

to, regardless

of our interest in what

a scrap of

paper (there are

contemplated the sketch and began playing with that

is

I

get

much

pleasure

from

exercises in invention

before us)

tree.

The

which probe the mental

good practice for landscape students, whatever

their media.

I

my

tirhes

grew, imagination supplying tumbled branches disintegrating where they

for memories to supply the factual elements for improvisation. are

is

drawing was motivated by three uninspiring stumps

made a rough sketch of when we draw because we have

wife.

I

subfell.

files

think such exercises

They

train not only

the creative faculties, but also the perceptive eye in on-the-spot drawing.

139

'

'

Figure 99.

Fallen Trees

is almost entirely "made-up." I drew the upright stumps from memory and them with improvised fallen branches. I might point to the technical variety here employed broad-stroke and sharp line, with a little scraping out.

This sketch amplified



140

ii.

GALLERY OF PENCIL DRAWINGS

<

An Old House at Hildesheim

Here is another example of selective detail in a drawing which appears to be more finished and more elaborate than it really is. Examine the roofs, for example, which have intricate tiling that is simply rendered by a pattern of wavy strokes that are hardly more than doodles. The same kind of stroke is used for the architectural details surrounding the u indoles. The windows themselves range from fairly finished rendering, in which most of the panes and mullions appear, to mere suggestions handled with a few vertical and horizontal strokes. The use of deep blacks for shadows is also highly selective.

a Shipping This

is

in the

Boat Basin

at

Rockland, Maine

I made in the summer of 1956. The freight schooner moored made an attractive subject. I improvised the lobster pots in the left

one of many sketches

alongside an old barge

foreground as a counter balance for the dark barge cabin. Notice that the side of the schooner is made very light at the stern for the sake of contrast with its dark shading.

Those

vertical

dark strokes on the barge's side are arbitrary, technical and compositional

effects.

143

rffir$

Hotel Alamo, Old Tucson, Arizona This

is

obviously a rapid, casual sketch in which quick, horizontal and vertical lines serve

to indicate the

rough old boards of the wooden buildings. Compare the very sketchy render-

ing here with the far more polished handling of Gothic architecture in drawings reproduced elsewhere in the book. In this case, the rough handling and swift, almost scribbly pencil strokes are entirely in keeping with the ramshackle nature of the subject.

An

Ancient Willow in Valhalla,

New York

made with a charcoal pencil on a fine day in June. It was rubbed here and there with a moistened finger; and, since the paper was clay coated, some important effects were scraped out with a sharp razor blade. I seldom draw with charcoal or carbon pencils, but I resorted to the charcoal pencil in this instance because I wanted to render the tree foliage in larger and less broken tone masses than is agreeable with graphite pencils. The dense foliage obscures most of the branch structure.

This drawing was

144

^1 -

it

F *£*&

A Souvenir of Kitt The The

Peak, Arizona

and branches. wind blown conifer is characteristic of trees which manage to survive the rigors of cold, snow, and wind. They grow close to the timberline on Kitt Peak, high on the summit of the Quinlan Mountains. There, an unusually clear atmosphere attracted astronomers, who built an observatory which houses the world's largest solar telescope. The drive up to the Kitt Peak Observatory is thrilling. foliage of this rugged specimen

sparse in proportion to the trunk

is

texture of the battered trunk testifies to

its

age. This

Cathedral at Burgos, Spain

The apparent

precision of this architectural drawing

The

is

deceptive, for the handling of the

Gothic detail of the tower, for example, consists simply of impressionistic dabs with the chisel point that give the illusion of far more careful rendering. Note how loosely the windows are sketched, with a few lines simply sugpencil

is

actually quite free.

gesting occasional mullions

intricate

and panes

of glass.

The Spanish

are roughly indicated with curving strokes that suggest their

dering a single

146

tile

completely.

roof

tiles in

the foreground

form without actually

ren-

< Gargoyles, Notre

Dame Cathedral, Paris

was amused by the companionship of the imaginary stone bird and the real pigeons. The gargoyle is drawn mainly with curving strokes that follow the form of the feathers and thus reinforce the curving design within the sculpture itself. As I frequently do, I have allowed occasional blanks between the strokes where the white paper comes through to give an effect of liveliness and informality. Notice how the strokes follow the form in the other architectural details such as the concave stone work in the foreground. For obvious reasons, the living birds are drawn with freer, more casual In drawing

strokes than

this, I

is

the stone one.

A Broken Flower Pot The simplest, least pretentious subject often offers the most delight humble subjects, when deeply experienced in the manner described Looking and Seeing, are as rewarding to the artist life group. One might point out here the manner tone



ivith

shadow

in rendering.

Such

in the chapter

on

more universally intriguing still which I developed the deep shadow

as the in

very soft leads, of course, and white strokes between the leads to keep the

vibrant. It

seemed natural

contour of the curved

to give the strokes a swirling direction

following the

interior.

149

Ll

On

the Path

Up the Cliff, Sorrento, Italy A

often interesting to see how much can be done with a very modest subject. Here we have nothing more than a path, a wall, a fragment of architecture, and some foliage, yet the drawing is dramatized by the convergence of the path and wall into the deep darkness of the doorway, which becomes the focal point of the drawing. This is a good example of the way in which the vieiver's attention is controlled by the manipulation of values. // is

The

darkest note in the drawing

to white

is

the center of interest,

and the tones gently graduate

paper at the edges.

Detail,

King Lear

Panel, by John Gregory, Folger Shakespeare Library

Here the dramatic design element

is

the sweeping drapery, which

is

handled with bold,

rhythmic strokes that express the movement of the folds. The drawing is in a relatively high key, with very selective accents of dark in such places as the fists, behind the head, and in the area of the sleeves to call attention to the upper part of the figure. Notice the vignette effect as the right

150

hand

side of the figure melts

away

into white paper.

<

J

& » v:

V

Banyan Trees, Coral Gables, Florida /

made

this

meticulously accurate and detailed drawing because these banyans were the

seen. It was a labor of over two hours. The rhythmic intertwined patand branches had to be carefully observed, particularly because this pattern was thrown into bold relief by dark strokes drawn between the lighter forms. Compare the long, rhythmic strokes of the trunks and branches with the short scribble strokes used to render the texture of the foliage. The strip of shadow at the bottom of the drawing

most dramatic

I

had

tern of the trunks

is

particularly important to anchor the trees to the landscape.

153

< Old Houses on the Arno, Florence In sketching these houses across the

Arno from my

hotel room, I

made an

arbitrary pattern

of tone to avoid what might be tonal monotony. After draiuing all the structures in outline, I

proceeded with a medium-soft lead to tone the most interesting

deep cast shadow and the curved form of an arch. From there, to culminate in the light and shadow of the roof formations.

Log Cabin This

is

and the

at

I

which has a spread the tone upwards detail,

New Salem, Illinois

one of many structures activities of the

young

in the restored old village, Illinois rustic,

Abraham

made famous by

broad strokes that follow the construction of the horizontal selectively rendered to create a pleasant pattern.

sented suggestively

,

The

the residence

Lincoln. Quite naturally I used

trees

logs.

The

roof shingles were

behind the cottage are repre-

with only enough tone for definition. Their shadows integrate with

the building as a part of the tonal design.

155

.

.

A

/

(

/

"
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