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 VII. [Studying and sketching from nature.], pp. 169-208
SKETCHING AND STUDYING so very readily by chalking the thread, and rapping it against the picture, precisely as a carpenter uses his chalk-line. Vanishing-points which may fall out of the lijrnits of the picture may be man- aged in the same manner. It is frequently desirable, in the progress of a work, to recover certain perspective lines and points which may have become obliterated, or worked out of place; and, to this end, a thread will be generally found most serviceable, as it can he applied even over moist oil-colors, without injury. Where we merely require the guidance of a horizontal line, a fine thread, stretched in its place, obviates all necessity for erasures, and can at any time be renewed. For this purpose. the points on the edge of the picture, where such line falls, should always be preserved. If a necessity for the recovery of a vanishing-point is likely to be of frequent recurrence-as, for instance, in a landscape with buildings, or in architectural subjects-the picture, if on canvas, tn~y be even pierced at such point with a fine needle, and a thread passed through, for the pur- pose, without injury-a touch of color, when it is no longer required, being sufficient to obliterate every trace of it. In making out perspective drawings, on paper stretched on a board or table, much time may be saved, and accuracy insured, by fixing fine needles at the points of sight, principal vanishing- points, distance, etc. These few, of many other expedients which might be suggested, have been given in the hope that they may tend to do away with the dread, which too many have, of encountering "the worry of perspective"-without which they may rest assured that no one ever yet went far successfully in art, and that no one ever will. 43. There are many cases in which it may be required that the sketcher should employ a sort of short-hand method of securing memoranda, which may be afterward elaborated quite as well, if not better, under more convenient circumstances. Thus, in sketching buildings, it may be enough to indicate the general forms and proportions, and, instead of laboring over details, which may be often repeated in the same subject, to elaborate such details in bits here and there-or perhaps on a larger scale, at the foot of the sketch, or on another piece of paper. Instead of drawing in with equal care and precision all the windows, doors, cornices, etc., of a building, it may be sufficient to mark their position and number, and to finish carefully one of each. 44. In sketching views, it very frequently occurs that we are obliged to get in the genei ar effect and composition on a scale so small that, when we come to its details, it is almost impossible to express them with the distinctness which may be desirable. In such cases, it is always better
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