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 III. Rudiments of drawing.--The human figure., pp. -90
.10 RUI)IMENTS OF DRAWING. advised is sincerely believed to be the surest and most direct to the attainment of that objecL It is no experiment, but one that has been well tested and proved, claiming no novelty, beyond its adaptation to the wants and purposes of our time and country, divesting the art of all mystery, and placing it within the reach and comprehension of every one. 72. Some who have, perhaps, filled their minds with high aspirations, may look with disdain upon the simple beginning placed before them, "as matters for children," and turn over leaf by leaf in search of something to strike their fancy, and yet, they may not be able to draw two straight lines, nor two crooked ones either, to a given purpose, with the accuracy of many an urchin on the school-bench, who has only started when they considered themselves already far on the way. Let such reflect seriously upon this self-deception, and let them be assured, that the higher their aspirations, the more they will require the aid of such elementary knowledge to realize them. It is a short task, that will well repay the labor bestowed, even to those most richly endowed with the gift of genius; for by such aid will they most surely develop that genius, and reach the goal of their highest ambition. 73. Before entering upon the ~tady of the whole figure, some degree of attention should be bestowed upon the delineation of the hand and foot; both of which present difficulties to the beginner, and from these very difficulties,are well calculated to strengthen that general capacity which should be his aim, and which is an essential qualification in a draughtsman; more irregular and less balanced in their parts and proportions than the head, the pupil is compelled to rely more upon his eye and judgment in ascertaining the modulations of their form and outline, the proportions of the parts, and their relation to one another. But, if he has carefully studied and practised one of the first and most simple examples placed before him (32), he pos- sesses the understanding of a principle from which he will derive much assistance. If he has not hurried forward too rapidly, and has bestowed proper attention upon what has been already urged, in reference to the delineation of the individual features of the head, he will soon find the diffi- culties encountered, in his first attempts in drawing the hand or foot, gradually lessened, as he becomes familiar with the application to them, as to every other object, of one of the first and leading principles of design (21). If he is not already, he will soon be convinced that the time and study this knowledge has cost him have been well bestowed, and that he has done better, and advanced more surely, than if he had filled his port-folio with what might seem higher attempts; but, from which he would have derived but little permanent advantage.
Based on date of publication, this material is presumed to be in the public domain.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright