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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


Page 12

                            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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