Chapman, J.G. (John Gadsby), 1808-1889. / The American drawing-book: a manual for the amateur, and basis of study for the professional artist: especially adapted to the use of public and private schools, as well as home instruction.
(1870 [1873 printing])
Chapter I. Primary instructions in drawing., pp. 11-34
PRIMAKY INSTRUCTIONS. divest himself. They are both good and serviceable in their places; but are often, in the hands of beginners, most sadly abused. 2. The first object of the beginner should be, to acquire a readiness in observing and forming simple lines, with their relation one to another, their direction, variation, beginning, and ter- mination: also, to make a duplicate of any given line. Take, for example, a sheet of ruled letter or foolscap paper, and begin by tracing over the lines with a pen, from left to right, and. from right to left - Let your line be distinct and clear. Avoid a habit of feeling your way, as it were~ by a num- ber of uncertain touches -----~-~-----------~~. Endeavor, at once, to express what you desire with firmness and decision _____________ .3. The system of these early lessons, to those who find it difficult to attain precision of hand, is of so much importance, that it is strongly recommended, especially for schools; that it should be commenced as soon as a child is taught to hold a pen or slate-pencil. By it the instructor will find his pupils more rapidly acquire a good. hand in writing, as well as drawing; the eye, as well as the hand, thus being made progressively familiar with the observation and imitation of lines and forms. The drawing-master comes into our schools at ~oo late a day. Every teacher can and may be one. A child knows its first letter by its form, calls its name, and remembers it, by that knowledge; and few there are, who can not make their letters on a slate, as soon as they know them in the book; rudely, it is true, but still in a manner to be understood. And yet tbis first impulse of nature is too often disregarded; the child is driven from that which might be to him a source of amusement as well as profit, and made, by the forced discipline of schools, to learn to read before he learns to write. "One thing at a time," may be a good adage for old heads, but childhood needs variety in its labors. Its mental exertions should be tempered by agreeable diversion, and, more especially, when that diversion can be made of lasting benefit. We may rely upon it, that the child, who loves his slate better than his book, will soon, by a judicious indulgence, learn to love them both together. The truant and the sullen prisoner to the school-bench would become the willing learner; and the early habits, thus acquired. of
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