DRAWING

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DRAWING, considered as a distinct branch of art, is the elder sister of painting, and, in the course of time, became connected with geometry. It is the art of representing, by means of lines, upon, a flat surface, the forms of objects, and their positions and relations. The attempt to imitate, by lines, the forms which we see in nature, is* the commencement of all drawing. According to a Greek tradition, drawing and sculpture took their rise together, when the daughter of Dibutades drew the outline of the shadow of her lover upon the wall, which her father cut out and modelled in clay. We can distinguish, in the earliest attempts at drawing, different epochs, which are found in almost all nations:1. Objects were delineated only with rude, shapeless lines; e. g., an oval represented a head. 2. In order to make such drawings more striking to the eye, the sketch was filled up with black, or some other color, and then the eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth and hair were marked with white upon the dark surface. To all these figures the name was attached, and, in general, explanatory words, such as we find upon all the old vases. This custom was continued by the Greeks, even in the most flourishing period of the art of drawing among them; for the figures of the great picture of Polygnotus, at Delphi, were designated by such inscriptions. Irffche 3d epoch, an attempt was made to give animation to pictures, by representing the different colors of the drapery; but, as yet, there was no attempt at perspective. In this manner Helen and Andromache embroidered tapestry, as described in the poems of Homer. In the 4th period, the want of prominence in the figures was remarked. Ardices and Telephanes (probably fictitious names) began, by drawing lines in the back ground, to produce the appearance of shadow, and to give prominence to their figures. In later times, Polidoro di Caravaggio delineated in this way many frescoes in Rome, where he used only a single color, but produced the shading by lines drawn thus, in the manner called hatching. These works are called al sgrqfito or peintures hachAes. This manner of drawing, however, was very hard. Philocles and Cleanthes invented the monochrome, or picture with one color. In the monochrome, the color used was mixed with white, so that this resembled the manner that is now called en camayeu. This was the first step from drawing to proper painting, which is distinguished by having the back ground of the picture filled. The Greeks were very careful and particular in their instruction in drawing. Pamphilus, the teacher of Apelles, wished his pupils to remain with him 10 years. There were three stages of instruction : in the first, firmness of hand and of stroke was obtained, and the learners drew with styles upon tablets covered with wax ; in the second, fineness and delicacy of stroke was studied, while the learner labored with the style upon smooth tablets, made of boxwood, and sometimes upon membranes, or upon the skins of wild beasts, properly prepared, and covered with wax. In the third stage, freedom and ease were to be acquired ; here the pencil was used instead of the style, and with it black or red sketches were drawn upon white tablets, or white sketches upon black tablets. The tablets used were covered either with chalk or gypsum. Linedrawing was carried to the highest perfection, and was the glory of the greatest masters. The rivalship of Apelles and Protogenes in such lines, drawn with distinguished delicacy and skill, and displaying a master's hand, is well known. This fineness and clearness of outline is also the chief merit of the celebrated vase painters. Something hard and dry was found in the pictures executed on such outlines, and it may well be maintained that this manner of drawing, through the influence of the Byzantine school on the west of Europe, gave rise to the dry and meager style of the old Italian as well as of the old Dutch school. When we consider the art of drawing as it exists at the present time, we perceive that the kinds of drawing are three with the pen, with crayons, and with Indian ink, or similar substances. Artists sometimes employ colored and sometimes white paper; in the former case, the lights are produced by white crayons; but in the latter case, they are produced by leaving the paper uncovered. The drawings with the pen have always something hard and disagreeable, yet they give steadiness and ease to the hand, and are peculiarly serviceable to landscape painters. There are two different ways of drawing with the pen; either the drawing is darkened on the shaded side with lines, or the outline only is given by the pen, and the shades are delicately touched in with India ink. This mode is peculiarly adapted to architectural drawings. The crayon drawings are the most common, and the most suitable for beginners, because any faults can be effaced or covered over. Artists make use of black, as well as of red crayons; and, when the ground is colored, they produce the light by means of white crayons. If the crayon is scraped, and the powder rubbed in with little rolls of paper or leather, the drawing becomes exceedingly delicate and agreea* ble, though its outline is deficient in strict precision. This manner, which, from tlie French name of the rolls used, is also called a Vestompe, is peculiarly suitable for large masses, and shades, and chiaroscuro, and for producing a harmonious effect of light. There are also crayon drawings, where the principal colors of the objects painted are delicately sketched with colored pencils. These are peculiarly suitable for portraits. To this kind of drawings belong likewise those made with lead and silver pencils, upon papef and parchment, which are suitable for the delicate delineation of small objects. In some cases, drawings of this description are softly touched with diy colors. There is another style of drawing, in which India ink, or sepia and bistre intermingled with carmine and indigo, art) used. The lights are produced by leaving the white surface uncovered. This mode produces the finest effect, and is very much used in the representation of afi kinds of subjects. There are various classes of drawings, as sketches, studies, academy figures, cartoons, &c. Sketches are the first ideas of the subject of a picture, thrown off hastily, to serve as the basis of a future drawing. They are made with charcoal, with, the pen or the pencil. To the rapidity of their execution may be ascribed the animation perceptible in the sketches of great masters, of which there are rich collections. Studies are copies of single parts of subjects made cither after life or from models ; as heads, hands, feet, sometimes also whole figures. Drawings from skeletons and anatomical preparations, those of drapery, animals, plants, flowers, scenery, &c, are also called by this name. Academy figures are drawn from living models, who stand in academies of fine arts and other establishments, intended for the education of artists. The models, male and female, of all ages, are placed in different situations and attitudes, on an elevated spot, by lamp light. The pupils stand round and draw, under the direction of professors. Experienced painters and sculptors likewise continue to draw from living models, either in private or in company. The most perfect figures, of course, are selected. In order to study drapery, a little figure of wood, with movable limbs, is placed so that the student can draw from it. The drapery is often put on wet, that it may follow more closely the form of the body, and that the; folds may be more marked and expressive. Cartoons (q. v.) are drawings on gray paper, of the same size as the paintings which are to be copied from them. These are, for instance, large oil paintings, fresco pictures, &c. Artists make use, also, of other means, in order to transfer the outlines of a painting upon another canvass, if they wish to copy very faithfully. If the copy is to be on a larger or a smaller scale than the original, it is customary to place on each canvass frames of wood, the space enclosed by which is divided, by means of threads, into quadrangular compartments. The compartments on the original are larger or smaller than the others, as the case may be. The artist then draws in eacho square of his canvass what he finds in the corresponding square in the original. If rthe copy is intended to be precisely of the same size with the original, the outlines ore often traced through a black gauze, from which they are afterwards transferred by pressure to the canvass of the copy. This, it is true, does not give any distinct forms, but it indicates precisely the spot where every object is to be placed, which saves much time. If the intention is to copy the outlines of the original exactly, it is necessary to make a caique, that is, a paper saturated with varnish, and quite transparent, which is put on the painting; the outlines are drawn; then the paper is blackened with crayons on one side, put on the new e^nvass, and the outlines are followed *;/ some pointed instrument, and thus transferred to the canvass. It is evident that it is never allowable to take a copy in this way from very valuable pictures. The sketches of great masters are always valued very highly, because they show most distinctly the fire and boldnesc of their first conceptions. But for this very reason, because their excellence depends on the freedom with which they are thrown off, it is far more difficult to make copies from them than from finished paintings. The great schools in painting differ quite as much in respect to drawing as in respect to coloring. The style of drawing of the old Italian school is as hard, dry and meager as that of the old German school. The defects of the former are more often redeemed by beautiful forms and just proportions, wliilst in the latter a meaning is frequently expressed which inclines more to poetry than to ait. At a later period, the Roman school became, in Italy, through the influence of Raphael's exquisite sense of the beautiful and expressive in form, and through the study of the antique, the true model of beautiful drawing. The Florentine school strove to excel the Roman in this respect, and lost, by exaggeration, the superiority which it might, perhaps, otherwise have gained from its anatomical correctness and deep study of the art. The masters of the Florentine school often foreshorten too boldly. In the Lombard school, delicate drawing appears through enchanting coloring ; but perhaps it is more true to nature and feeling than to scientific rules. The Venetian school, in reference to the other schools of Italy, has many points of resemblance, good and bad, with the Dutch school, in reference to Germany. In the Venetian school, tne drawing is often lost in the glow and power of the coloring; and it is very often not the nobleness of the figures and ideas in the drawing, but the richness, boldness and glowing nature of the painting, which delight us. The French school was, in Poussin's time, very correct in drawing ; and he was justly called the French Raphael. At a later period, the style of this school became manure. David introduced again a purer taste in drawing, and a deep study of the antique. This study of the antique, together with the precision of their drawing, are the distinguishing characteristics of the modern French school. In Germany, there cannot be said to be any general style of drawing peculiar to her artists. The many distinguished artists of that country have formed themselves individually, by the study of nature and works of art; and whilst some of the most celebrated painters are distinguished for cor rect drawing, others are reproached for the want of it, in some of their finest pictures. On the whole, their drawing is not so correct as that of the French. Many young German artists unfortunately consider the naivete' of the ancient masters of their country as beauty, and strive to imitate it.