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Title: Pen Drawing - An Illustrated Treatise
Author: Maginnis, Charles, 1867-1955
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Pen Drawing - An Illustrated Treatise" ***

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F.A.I.A., LL.D.






To Mr. David A. Gregg and to Mr. Bertram G. Goodhue, who have generously
made special drawings for this little book, and to the Publishers
who have courteously allowed me to make use of illustrations owned
by them, my thanks and my cordial acknowledgements are due.

  C. D. M.


   1. JOSEPH PENNELL. From _The Century Magazine_ (The Century Co:
      New York)
   2. MAXIME LALANNE. From "La Hollande à Vol d'Oiseau," by H. Havard
      (A. Quantin: Paris)
   3. MAXIME LALANNE. From "La Hollande à Vol d'Oiseau," by H. Havard
      (A. Quantin: Paris)
   4. RESTORATION HOUSE, ROCHESTER, ENGLAND. Drawing from a Photograph
   5. JOSEPH PENNELL. From "Highways and Byways in North Wales" (Macmillan
      & Co: London)
   6. BERTRAM G. GOODHUE. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
   7. HERBERT RAILTON. From "Coaching Days and Coaching Ways," by
      W. Outram Tristram (Macmillan & Co: London)
   8. BERTRAM G. GOODHUE. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
   9. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  10. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  11. MARTIN RICO. From _La Ilustracion Española y Americana_
  12. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  13. DANIEL VIERGE. From "Pablo de Ségovie," by Francisco de Quevedo
      (Léon Bonhoure: Paris)
  14. MARTIN RICO. From _La Ilustracion Española y Americana_
  15. ALFRED BRENNAN. From _St. Nicholas_ (The Century Co: New York)
  16. LESLIE WILLSON. From _Pick-Me-Up_ (London)
  17. DRAWING FROM PHOTOGRAPH. From _Harper's Magazine_ (Harper &
      Brothers: New York)
  18. JOSEPH PENNELL. From "The Sâone: A Summer  Voyage," by Philip
      Gilbert Hamerton (Seeley & Co: London)
  19. JOSEPH PENNELL. From "The Sâone: A Summer Voyage," by Philip
      Gilbert Hamerton (Seeley & Co: London)
  20. JOSEPH PENNELL. From _Harper's Magazine_ (Harper & Brothers:
      New York)
  21. E. DANTAN. From _L'Art_ (Paris)
  22. J. F. RAFFAËLLI. From _Gazette des Beaux-Arts_ (Paris)
  23. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  24. D. A. GREGG. From "Architectural Rendering in Pen and Ink," by
      D. A. Gregg (Ticknor & Co: Boston)
  25. DANIEL VIERGE. From "Pablo de Ségovie," by Francisco de Quevedo
      (Léon Bonhoure: Paris)
  26. DANIEL VIERGE. From "Pablo de Ségovie," by Francisco de Quevedo
      (Léon Bonhoure: Paris)
  27. HARRY FENN. From _The Century Magazine_ (The Century Co:
      New York)
  28. REGINALD BIRCH. From _The Century Magazine_ (The Century Co:
      New York)
  29. JOSEPH PENNELL. From _The Century Magazine_ (The Century Co:
      New York)
  30. BERTRAM G. GOODHUE. From _The Architectural Review_ (Bates
      & Guild Co: Boston)
  31. JOSEPH PENNELL. From "Charing Cross to St.  Paul's," by Justin
      McCarthy (Seeley & Co: London)
  32. LEONARD RAVEN HILL. From _Pick-Me-Up_ (London)
  33. DANIEL VIERGE. From "Pablo de Ségovie," by Francisco de Quevedo
      (Léon Bonhoure: Paris)
  34. P. G. JEANNIOT. From _La Vie Moderne_ (Paris)
  35. PORCH OF AN ENGLISH CHURCH. From a Photograph
  36. D. A. GREGG. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  37. NORMANDY MOAT-HOUSE. From a Photograph
  38. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  39. STREET IN HOLLAND. From a Photograph
  40. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  41. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  42. GEORGE F. NEWTON. From "Catalogue of the  Philadelphia & Boston
      Face Brick Co." (Boston)
  43. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  44. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  45. FRANK E. WALLIS. From _The Engineering Record_
  46. HARRY ALLAN JACOBS. From _The Architectural Review_ (Bates
      & Guild Co: Boston)
  47. D. A. GREGG. From "Architectural Rendering in Pen and Ink," by
      D. A. Gregg (Ticknor & Co: Boston)
  48. D. A. GREGG. From _The Brickbuilder_ (Rogers & Manson: Boston)
  49. HERBERT RAILTON. From "Coaching Days and  Coaching Ways," by
      W. Outram Tristram (Macmillan & Co: London)
  50. D. A. GREGG. From _The American Architect_ (The American
      Architect and Building News Co: Boston)
  51. WALTER M.CAMPBELL. From _The American Architect_ (The American
      Architect and Building News Co: Boston)
  52. HERBERT RAILTON. From "Coaching Days and Coaching Ways," by
      W. Outram Tristram (Macmillan & Co: London)
  53. A. F. JACCACI. From _The Century Magazine_ (The Century Co:
      New York)
  54. CLAUDE FAYETTE BRAGDON. From _The Brickbuilder_ (Rogers &
      Manson: Boston)
  55. HARVEY ELLIS. From _The Inland Architect_ (The Inland Publishing
      Co: Chicago)
  56. C. E. MALLOWS. From _The British Architect_ (London)
  57. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  58. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  59. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  60. C. D. M. Drawn for "Pen Drawing"
  61. A. B. FROST. From _Scribner's Magazine_ (Charles  Scribner's
      Sons: New York)
  62. ALFRED G. JONES. From a Book Plate
  63. WALTER APPLETON CLARK. From _Scribner's Magazine_ (Charles
      Scribner's Sons: New York).
  64. A. CAMPBELL CROSS. From _Quartier Latin_ (Paris)
  65. MUCHA. From a Poster Design
  66. HOWARD PYLE. From "Otto of the Silver Hand," by Howard Pyle
      (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York)
  67. WILL H. BRADLEY. From a Poster Design for _The Chap-Book_
      (Herbert S. Stone & Co: Chicago)
  68. P. J. BILLINGHURST. From a Book Plate
  69. "BEGGARSTAFF BROTHERS." From a Poster Design
  70. EDWARD PENFIELD. From a Design for the "Poster Calendar"
      (R. H. Russell & Son: New York)
  71. LOUIS J. RHEAD. From a Poster Design for "Lundborg's Perfumes"
  72. J. W. SIMPSON. From a Book Plate


  CHAPTER I.--Style in Pen Drawing
  CHAPTER II.--Materials
  CHAPTER III.--Technique
  CHAPTER IV.--Values
  CHAPTER V.--Practical Problems
  CHAPTER VI.--Architectural Drawing
  CHAPTER VII.--Decorative Drawing



Art, with its finite means, cannot hope to record the infinite
variety and complexity of Nature, and so contents itself with a
partial statement, addressing this to the imagination for the full
and perfect meaning. This inadequation, and the artificial adjustments
which it involves, are tolerated by right of what is known as artistic
convention; and as each art has its own particular limitations, so
each has its own particular conventions. Sculpture reproduces the
forms of Nature, but discards the color without any shock to our
ideas of verity; Painting gives us the color, but not the third
dimension, and we are satisfied; and Architecture is _purely_
conventional, since it does not even aim at the imitation of natural

[Sidenote: _The Conventions of Line Drawing_]

Of the kindred arts which group themselves under the head of Painting,
none is based on such broad conventions as that with which we are
immediately concerned--the art of Pen Drawing. In this medium,
Nature's variety of color, when not positively ignored, is suggested
by means of sharp black lines, of varying thickness, placed more or
less closely together upon white paper; while natural form depends
primarily for its representation upon arbitrary boundary lines.
There is, of course, no authority in Nature for a positive outline:
we see objects only by the difference in color of the other objects
behind and around them. The technical capacity of the pen and ink
medium, however, does not provide a value corresponding to every
natural one, so that a broad interpretation has to be adopted which
eliminates the less positive values; and, that form may not likewise
be sacrificed, the outline becomes necessary, that light objects may
stand relieved against light. This outline is the most characteristic,
as it is the most indispensable, of the conventions of line drawing.
To seek to abolish it only involves a resort to expedients no less
artificial, and the results of all such attempts, dependent as
they necessarily are upon elaboration of color, and a general
indirectness of method, lack some of the best characteristics of
pen drawing. More frequently, however, an elaborate color-scheme
is merely a straining at the technical limitations of the pen in
an effort to render the greatest possible number of values.

It may be worth while to inquire whether excellence in pen drawing
consists in thus dispensing with its recognized conventions, or
in otherwise taxing the technical resources of the instrument.
This involves the question of Style,--of what characteristic pen
methods are,--a question which we will briefly consider.

[Side note: _What Constituted "Style"_]

It is a recognized principle that every medium of art expression
should be treated with due regard to its nature and properties.
The sculptor varies his technique according as he works in wood,
granite, or marble; the painter handles his water-color in quite
another manner than that he would employ on an oil-painting of
the same subject; and the architect, with the subtle sense of the
craftsman, carries this principle to such a fine issue as to impart
an individual expression even to particular woods. He knows that
what may be an admirable design when executed in brass may be a
very bad one in wrought-iron and is sure to be an absurdity in
wood. An artistic motive for a silver flagon, too, is likely to
prove ugly for pottery or cut-glass, and so on. There is a genius,
born of its particular properties, in every medium, which demands
individual expression. Observe, therefore, that Art is not satisfied
with mere unrelated beauty of form or color. It requires that the
result confess some sensible relation to the means by which it has
been obtained; and in proportion as it does this, it may claim
to possess that individual and distinctive charm which we call
"Style." It may be said, therefore, that the technical limitations
of particular mediums impose what might properly be called natural
conventions; and while misguided ambition may set these conventions
aside to hammer out effects from an unwilling medium, the triumph
is only mechanical; Art does not lie that way.

[Side note: _The Province of the Pen_]

Ought the pen, then, to be persuaded into the province of the brush?
Since the natures of the two means differ, it does not stultify
the water-color that it cannot run the deep gamut of oil. Even if
the church-organ be the grandest and most comprehensive of musical
instruments we may still be permitted to cherish our piano. Each
has its own sphere, its own reason for being. So of the pen,--the
piccolo flute of the artistic orchestra. Let it pipe its high treble
as merrily as it may, but do not coerce it into mimicking the bassoon.

[Illustration: FIG. 1 JOSEPH PENNELL]

Pen drawing is most apt to lose its individuality when it begins
to assume the characteristics of wash-drawing, such as an elaborate
massing of grays, small light areas, and a general indirectness
of method. A painter once told me that he was almost afraid to
handle the pen,--"It is so fearfully direct," he said. He understood
the instrument, certainly, for if there is one characteristic more
than another which should distinguish pen methods it is Directness.
The nature of the pen seems to mark as its peculiar function that
of picking out the really vital features of a subject. Pen drawing
has been aptly termed the "shorthand of Art;" the genius of the
pen-point is essentially epitome.

If we turn to the brush, we find its capacity such that a high
light may be brought down to a minute fraction of an inch with a
few swift strokes of it; whereas the tedious labor, not to speak
of the actual technical difficulties, encountered in attempting such
an effect of color with pen and ink, indicates that we are forcing
the medium. Moreover, it is technically impossible to reproduce
with the pen the low values which may be obtained with the brush;
and it is unwise to attempt it. The way, for example, in which
Mr. Joseph Pennell handles his pen as compared with that in which
he handles his brush is most instructive as illustrating what I
have been maintaining. His pen drawings are pitched in a high
key,--brilliant blacks and large light areas, with often just enough
half-tone to soften the effect. His wash-drawings, on the contrary,
are so utterly different in manner as to have nothing in common
with the others, distinguished as they are by masses of low tone
and small light areas. Compare Figs. 1 and 5. Observe that there
is no straining at the technical capacity of the pen or of the
brush; no attempt to obtain an effect in one medium which seems to
be more naturally adapted to the other. Individuality is imparted
to each by a frank concession to its peculiar genius.

[Illustration: FIG. 2 MAXIME LALANNE]

[Side note: _Examples of Good Style_]

I have said that the chief characteristic of pen methods is Directness.
I think I may now say that the chief element of style is Economy
of Means. The drawing by M. Maxime Lalanne shown in Fig. 2 is an
excellent example of this economy carried to its extreme. Not a
stroke could be spared, so direct and simple is it, and yet it
is so complete and homogenous that nothing could be added to make
it more so. The architecture is left without color, and yet we are
made to feel that it is not white--this subtle suggestion of low
color being obtained by a careful avoidance of any strong black
notes in the rendering, which would have intensified the whites
and lighted up the picture. Fig. 3, by the same artist, is even
more notable by reason of the masterly breadth which characterizes
the treatment of a most complicated subject. A comparison of these
with a drawing of the Restoration House, at Rochester, England, Fig.
4, is instructive. In the latter the method is almost painfully
elaborate; nothing of the effect is obtained by suggestion. The
technique is varied and interesting, but the whole drawing lacks that
individual something which we call Style. In the Lalanne drawings we
see foliage convincingly represented by means of the mere outlines
and a few subtle strokes of the pen. There is no attempt at the
literal rendering of natural objects in detail, all is accomplished
by suggestion: and while I do not wish to be understood as insisting
upon such a severely simple style, much less upon the purist theory
that the function of the pen is concerned with form alone, I would
impress upon the student that Lalanne's is incomparably the finer
manner of the two.

[Illustration: FIG. 3 MAXIME LALANNE]

[Illustration: FIG. 4 FROM A PHOTOGRAPH]

[Illustration: FIG. 5 JOSEPH PENNELL]

[Side note: _A Word of Advice_]

Between these two extremes of method there is a wide latitude for
individual choice. Contrast with the foregoing the accompanying
pen drawing by Mr. Pennell, Fig. 5, which gives a fair idea of the
manner of this admirable stylist. Compared with the sketches by
Lalanne it has more richness of color, but there is the same fine
restraint, the same nice regard for the instrument. The student
will find it most profitable to study the work of this masterly
penman. By way of warning, however, let me remind him here, that in
studying the work of any accomplished draughtsman he is selecting
a style for the study of principles, not that he may learn to mimic
somebody, however excellent the somebody may be; that he must,
therefore, do a little thinking himself; that he has an individuality
of his own which he does not confess if his work looks like some
one's else; and, finally, that he has no more right to consciously
appropriate the peculiarities of another's style than he has to
appropriate his more tangible property, and no more reason to do
so than he has to walk or talk like him.



Every illustrator has his special predilections in the matter of
materials, just as he has in the matter of methods. The purpose
of this chapter is, therefore, rather to assist the choice of the
student by limiting it than to choose for him. It would be advisable
for him to become acquainted with the various materials that I may
have occasion to mention (all of them are more or less employed
by the prominent penmen), and a partiality for particular ones will
soon develop itself. He is reminded, however, that it is easily
possible to exaggerate the intrinsic values of pens and papers;
in fact the beginner invariably expects too much from them. Of
course, he should not use any but the best,--even Vierge could
not make a good drawing with a bad pen,--but the artistic virtues
of a particular instrument are not likely to disclose themselves
in the rude scratchings of the beginner. He has to master it, to
"break it in," ere he can discover of what excellent service it
is capable.

[Side note: _Pens_]

The student will find that most of the steel pens made for artists
have but a short period of usefulness. When new they are even more
unresponsive than when they are old. At first they are disposed to
give a hard, wiry line, then they grow sympathetic, and, finally,
lose their temper, when they must be immediately thrown away. As
a general rule, the more delicate points are better suited to the
smooth surfaces, where they are not likely to get tripped up and
"shaken" by the roughness in the paper.

To begin with the smaller points, the "Gillott Crow-quill" is an
excellent instrument. The normal thickness of its line is extremely
small, but so beautifully is the nib made that it will respond
vigorously to a big sweeping stroke. I say a "sweeping stroke,"
as its capacity is not to be taxed for uniformly big lines. An
equally delicate point, which surpasses the crow-quill in range,
is "Gillott's Mapping-pen." It is astonishing how large a line
may be made with this instrument. It responds most nimbly to the
demands made upon it, and in some respects reminds one of a brush.
It has a short life, but it may be a merry one. Mr. Pennell makes
mention of a pen, "Perry's Auto-Stylo," which seems to possess
an even more wonderful capacity, but of this I cannot speak from
experience. A coarser, but still a small point, is the "Gillott
192"--a good pen with a fairly large range; and, for any others
than the smooth papers, a pen smaller than this will probably be
found undesirable for general use. A shade bigger than this is
the "Gillott 303," a very good average size. Neither of these two
possesses the sensitiveness of those previously mentioned, but
for work demanding more or less uniformity of line they will be
found more satisfactory. The smaller points are liable to lead one
into the quagmire of finicalness. When we get beyond the next in
size, the "Gillott 404," there is nothing about the coarse steel
points to especially commend them for artistic use. They are usually
stupid, unreliable affairs, whose really valuable existence is
about fifteen working minutes. For decorative drawing the ordinary
commercial "stub" will be found a very satisfactory instrument.
Of course one may use several sizes of pens in the same drawing,
and it is often necessary to do so.

Before leaving the steel pens, the "double-line pen" may be mentioned,
though it has only a limited sphere. It is a two-pointed arrangement,
practically two pens in one, by means of which parallel lines may
be made with one stroke. Rather interesting effects can be obtained
with it, but on the whole it is most valuable as a curiosity. Though
somewhat out of fashion for general use, the quill of our fathers is
favored by many illustrators. It is splendidly adapted for broad,
vigorous rendering of foreground effects, and is almost dangerously
easy to handle. Reed pens, which have somewhat similar virtues,
are now little employed, and cannot be bought. They have to be
cut from the natural reed, and used while fresh. For many uses
in decorative drawing one of the most satisfactory instruments is
the glass pen, which gives an absolutely uniform line. The point
being really the end of a thin tube, the stroke may be made in any
direction, a most unique characteristic in a pen. It has, however,
the disadvantages of being friable and expensive; and, as it needs
to be kept clean, the patent water-proof ink should not be used with
it unless absolutely necessary. A flat piece of cork or rubber should
be placed inside the ink-bottle when this pen is used, otherwise it
is liable to be smashed by striking the bottom of the bottle. The
faculty possessed by the Japanese brush of retaining its point
renders it also available for use as a pen, and it is often so

[Side note: _Inks_]

In drawing for reproduction, the best ink is that which is blackest
and least shiny. Until a few years ago it was the custom of penmen
to grind their India ink themselves; but, besides the difficulty of
always ensuring the proper consistency, it was a cumbersome method,
and is now little resorted to, especially as numerous excellent
prepared inks are ready to hand. The better known of these prepared
inks are, "Higgins' American" (general and waterproof), Bourgeois'
"Encre de Chine Liquide," "Carter's," "Winsor & Newton's," and
"Rowney's." Higgins' and Carter's have the extrinsic advantages
of being put up in bottles which do not tip over on the slightest
provocation, and of being furnished with stoppers which can be
handled without smearing the fingers. Otherwise, they cannot be
said to possess superiority over the others, certainly not over
the "Encre de Chine Liquide." Should the student have occasion
to draw over salt-prints he will find it wise to use waterproof
ink, as the bleaching acid which is used to fade the photographic
image may otherwise cause the ink to run.

[Side note: _Papers_]

Bristol-board is probably the most popular of all surfaces for
pen drawing. It is certainly that most approved by the process
engraver, whose point of view in such a matter, though a purely
mechanical one, is worthy of consideration. It has a perfectly
smooth surface, somewhat difficult to erase from with rubber, and
which had better be scratched with a knife when any considerable
erasure is necessary. As the cheap boards are merely a padding
veneered on either side with a thin coating of smooth paper, little
scraping is required to develop a fuzzy surface upon which it is
impossible to work. Only the best board, such as Reynolds', therefore,
should be used. Bristol-board can be procured in sheets of various
thicknesses as well as in blocks.

Whatman's "hot-pressed" paper affords another excellent surface
and possesses some advantages over the Bristol-board. It comes
in sheets of various sizes, which may be either tacked down on
a board or else "stretched." Tacking will be satisfactory enough
if the drawing is small and is to be completed in a few hours;
otherwise the paper is sure to "hump up," especially if the weather
be damp. The process of stretching is as follows: Fold up the edges
of the sheet all around, forming a margin about an inch wide. After
moistening the paper thoroughly with a damp sponge, cover the under
side of this turned-up margin with photographic paste or strong
mucilage. During this operation the sheet will have softened and
"humped up," and will admit of stretching. Now turn down the adhesive
margin and press it firmly with the fingers, stretching the paper
gently at the same time. As this essential part of the process must
be performed quickly, an assistant is requisite when the sheet
is large. Care should be taken that the paper is not strained too
much, as it is then likely to burst when it again contracts.

Although generally employed for watercolor drawing, Whatman's
"cold-pressed" paper has some advantages as a pen surface. Slightly
roughish in texture, it gives an interesting broken line, which
is at times desirable.

A peculiar paper which has considerable vogue, especially in France
and England, is what is known as "clay-board." Its surface is composed
of China clay, grained in various ways, the top of the grain being
marked with fine black lines which give a gray tone to the paper,
darker or lighter according to the character of the pattern. This
tone provides the middle-tint for the drawing. By lightly scraping
with a sharp penknife or scratcher, before or after the pen work
is done, a more delicate gray tone may be obtained, while vigorous
scraping will produce an absolute white. With the pen work added,
it will be seen that a good many values are possible; and, if the
drawing be not reduced more than one-third, it will print excellently.
The grain, running as it does in straight lines, offers a good deal
of obstruction to the pen, however, so that a really good line is

Thin letter-paper is sometimes recommended for pen and ink work,
chiefly on account of its transparency, which obviates the necessity
of re-drawing after a preliminary sketch has been worked up in
pencil. Over the pencil study a sheet of the letter-paper is placed
on which the final drawing may be made with much deliberation. Bond
paper, however, possesses the similar advantage of transparency
besides affording a better texture for the pen.



[Side note: _The Individual Line_]

The first requirement of a good pen technique is a good Individual
Line, a line of feeling and quality. It is usually a surprise to
the beginner to be made aware that the individual line is a thing
of consequence,--a surprise due, without doubt, to the apparently
careless methods of some successful illustrators. It is to be borne
in mind, however, that some illustrators are successful in spite
of their technique rather than because of it; and also that the
apparently free and easy manner of some admirable technicians is
in reality very much studied, very deliberate, and not at all to
be confounded with the unsophisticated scribbling of the beginner.
The student is apt to find it just about as easy to draw like Mr.
Pennell as to write like Mr. Kipling. The best way to acquire such
a superb freedom is to be very, very careful and painstaking. To
appreciate how beautiful the individual line may be one has but
to observe the rich, decorative stroke of Howard Pyle, Fig. 66,
or that of Mucha, Fig. 65, the tender outline of Boutet de Monvel,
the telling, masterly sweep of Gibson, or the short, crisp line of
Vierge or Rico. Compared with any of these the line of the beginner
will be either feeble and tentative, or harsh, wiry, and coarse.

[Illustration: FIG. 6 B. G. GOODHUE]

[Illustration: FIG. 7 HERBERT RAILTON]

[Side note: _Variety of Line_]

The second requisite is Variety of Line,--not merely variety of
size and direction, but, since each line ought to exhibit a feeling
for the particular texture which it is contributing to express,
variety of character. Mr. Gibson's manner of placing very delicate
gray lines against a series of heavy black strokes exemplifies
some of the possibilities of such variety. Observe, in Fig. 6,
what significance is imparted to the heavy lines on the roof of
the little foreground building by the foil of delicate gray lines
in the sky and surrounding roofs. This conjunction was employed
early by Mr. Herbert Railton, who has made a beautiful use of it
in his quaint architectural subjects. Mr. Railton's technique is
remarkable also for the varied direction of line and its expression
of texture. Note this characteristic in his drawing of buttresses,
Fig. 7.

[Illustration: FIG. 8 B. G. GOODHUE]

[Illustration: FIG. 9 C. D. M.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10 C. D. M.]

[Side note: _Economy of Method_]

The third element of good technique is Economy and Directness of
Method. A tone should not be built up of a lot of meaningless strokes.
Each line ought, sensibly and directly, to contribute to the ultimate
result. The old mechanical process of constructing tones by
cross-hatching is now almost obsolete. It is still employed by
modern pen draughtsmen, but it is only one of many resources, and
is used with nice discrimination. At times a cross-hatch is very
desirable and very effective,--as, for example, in affording a
subdued background for figures having small, high lights. A very
pretty use of it is seen in the tower of Mr. Goodhue's drawing,
Fig. 8. Observe here how the intimate treatment of the roofs is
enhanced and relieved by the foil of closely-knit hatch on the
tower-wall, and how effective is the little area of it at the base
of the spire. The cross-hatch also affords a satisfactory method
of obtaining deep, quiet shadows. See the archway "B" in Fig. 9.
On the whole, however, the student is advised to accustom himself
to a very sparing use of this expedient. Compare the two effects in
Fig. 9, Some examples of good and bad cross-hatching are illustrated
in Fig. 10. Those marked "I" and "J" may be set down as bad, being
too coarse. The only satisfactory cross-hatch at a large scale would
seem to be that shown in "N," where lines cross at a sharp angle;
and this variety is effectively employed by figure illustrators.
Perhaps no better argument against the necessity for thus building
up tones could be adduced than the little drawing by Martin Rico,
shown in Fig. 11. Notice what a beautiful texture he gives to the
shadow where it falls on the street, how it differs from that on
the walls, how deep and closely knit it all is, and yet that there
is absolutely no cross-hatching. Remark, also, how the textures
of the walls and roof and sky are obtained. The student would do
well to copy such a drawing as this, or a portion of it, at least,
on a larger scale, as much can be learned from it.

[Illustration: FIG. 11 MARTIN RICO]

[Size note: _Methods of Tone-Making_]

I have shown various methods of making a tone in Fig. 12. It will be
observed that Rico's shadow, in Fig. 11, is made up of a combination
of "B" and "C," except that he uses "B" horizontally, and makes
the line heavy and dragging. The clear, crisp shadows of Vierge
are also worthy of study for the simplicity of method. This is
beautifully illustrated in the detail, Fig. 13. It would be impossible
to suggest atmosphere more vibrating with sunlight; a result due
to the transparency of the shadows, the lines of which are sharp
and clean, with never a suggestion of cross-hatch. Notice how the
lines of the architectural shadows are stopped abruptly at times,
giving an emphasis which adds to the brilliancy of the effect. The
drawing of the buildings on the canal, by Martin Rico, Fig. 14,
ought also to be carefully studied in this connection. Observe how
the shadow-lines in this drawing, as in that previously mentioned,
are made to suggest the direction of the sunlight, which is high in
the heavens. An example of all that is refined and excellent in
pen technique is the drawing by Mr. Alfred Brennan, Fig. 15. The
student would do well to study this carefully for its marvellous
beauty of line. There is little hatching, and yet the tones are deep
and rich. The wall tone will be found to be made up similarly to "A"
and "H" in Fig. 12. The tone "B" in the same Figure is made up of
lines which are thin at the ends and big in the middle, fitting into
each other irregularly, and imparting a texture somewhat different
from that obtained by the abrupt ending of the strokes of "A." This
method is also employed by Brennan, and is a very effective one.
A good example of the use of this character of line (unknitted,
however) is the drawing by Mr. Leslie Willson, Fig. 16. The irregular
line "C" has good possibilities for texture, and the wavy character
of "D" is most effective in the rendering of shadows, giving a
certain vibration to the atmosphere. "E" and "F" suggest a freer
method of rendering a tone; while "G" shows a scribbling line that
is sometimes employed to advantage. The very interesting texture of
the coat, Fig. 17, is made with a horizontal line having a similar
return stroke, as may be noticed where the rendering ends. There are
times when an irresponsible sort of line is positively desirable,--say
for rough foreground suggestion or for freeing the picture at the

[Illustration: FIG. 12 C. D. M.]

[Illustration: FIG. 13 DANIEL VIERGE]

[Illustration: FIG. 14 MARTIN RICO]

[Illustration: FIG. 15 ALFRED BRENNAN]

[Illustration: FIG. 16 LESLIE WILLSON]

[Size note: _Outline_]

I have invariably found that what presents the chief difficulty
to the student of pen and ink is the management of the Outline.
When it is realized that, by mere outline, one may express the
texture of a coat or a tree or a wall without any rendering whatever,
it will be seen that nothing in pen drawing is really of so much
importance. Notice, for example, the wonderful drawing of the dog
in Fig. 34. Again, if a connected line had been used to define
the corners of Railton's buttresses in Fig. 7 all the texture,
would have been destroyed. Instead of this he has used a broken
outline, sometimes omitting it altogether for a considerable space.
On the ledges, too, the lines are broken. In Rico's drawing, Fig.
11, all the outlines may be observed to have a break here and there.
This broken line is particularly effective in out-door subjects,
as it helps to suggest sunlit atmosphere as well as texture.


Architectural outlines, however, are not particularly subtle; it
is when we come to render anything with vague boundaries, such as
foliage or clouds for example, that the chief difficulties are
encountered. Foliage is an important element of landscape drawing
and deserves more than passing consideration. To make a successful
rendering of a tree in pen and ink the tree must be first well drawn
in pencil. It is absolutely impossible to obtain such a charming
effect of foliage as that shown in Mr. Pennell's sketch, Fig. 18,
without the most painstaking preparation in pencil. The success
of this result is not attributable merely to the difference in
textures, nor to the direction or character of the line; it is
first of all a matter of good drawing. The outline should be free
and subtle so as to suggest the edges of leafage, and the holes
near the edges should be accented, otherwise they will be lost
and the tree will look solid and characterless. Observe, in the
same drawing, how Mr. Pennell suggests the structure of the leafage
by the irregular outlines which he gives to the different series of
lines, and which he emphasizes by bringing the lines to an abrupt
stop. Observe also how the stronger texture of the tree in Fig. 19
is obtained by making the lines with greater abruptness. Compare
both of these Figures with the foreground trees by the same artist
in Fig. 20. The last is a brilliant example of foliage drawing
in pen and ink.

[Illustration: FIG. 18 JOSEPH PENNELL]

[Illustration: FIG. 19 JOSEPH PENNELL]

[Illustration: FIG. 20 JOSEPH PENNELL]

[Illustration: FIG. 21 E. DANTAN]

[Side note: _Textures_]

The matter of Textures is very important, and the student should
learn to differentiate them as much as possible. This is done,
as I have already said, by differences in the size and character
of the line, and in the closeness or openness of the rendering.
Observe the variety of textures in the drawing of the sculptor
by Dantan, Fig. 21. The coat is rendered by such a cross-hatch
as "N" in Fig. 10, made horizontally and with heavy lines. In the
trousers the lines do not cross but fit in together. This is an
excellent example for study, as is also the portrait by Raffaëlli,
Fig. 22. The textures in the latter drawing are wonderfully well
conveved,--the hard, bony face, the stubby beard, and the woolen
cap with its tassel in silhouette. For the expression of texture
with the least effort the drawings of Vierge are incomparable.
The architectural drawing by Mr. Gregg in Fig. 50 is well worth
careful study in this connection, as are all of Herbert Railton's
admirable drawings of old English houses. (I recommend the study
of Mr. Railton's work with a good deal of reservation, however.
While it is admirable in respect of textures and fascinating in its
color, the values are likely to be most unreal, and the mannerisms
are so pronounced and so tiresome that I regard it as much inferior
to that of Mr. Pennell, whose architecture always _appears_, at
least, to have been honestly drawn on the spot.)

[Illustration: FIG. 22 J. F. RAFFAËLLI]

The hats in Fig. 10 are merely suggestions to the student in the
study of elementary combinations of line in expressing textures.

[Side note: _Drawing for Reproduction_]

As the mechanical processes of Reproduction have much to do with
determining pen methods they become important factors for consideration.
While their waywardness and inflexibility are the cause of no little
distress to the illustrator, the limitations of processes cannot
be said, on the whole, to make for inferior standards in drawing,
as will be seen by the following rules which they impose, and for
which a strict regard will be found most advisable.

First: Make each line clear and distinct. Do not patch up a weak
line or leave one which has been broken or blurred by rubbing, for
however harmless or even interesting it may seem in your original
it will almost certainly be neither in the reproduction. When you
make mistakes, erase the offensive part completely, or, if you
are working on Bristol-board and the area of unsatisfactoriness
be considerable, paste a fresh piece of paper over it and redraw.

Second: Keep your work open. Aim for economy of line. If a shadow
can be rendered with twenty strokes do not crowd in forty, as you
will endanger its transparency. Remember that in reproduction the
lines tend to thicken and so to crowd out the light between them.
This is so distressingly true of newspaper reproduction that in
drawings for this purpose the lines have to be generally very thin,
sharp, and well apart. The above rule should be particularly regarded
in all cases where the drawing is to be subject to much reduction.
The degree of reduction of which pen drawings are susceptible is
not, as is commonly supposed, subject to rule. It all depends on
the scale of the technique.

Third: Have the values few and positive. It is necessary to keep
the gray tones pretty distinct to prevent the relation of values
being injured, for while the gray tones darken in proportion to the
degree of reduction, the blacks cannot, of course, grow blacker.
A gray tone which may be light and delicate in the original, will,
especially if it be closely knit, darken and thicken in the printing.
These rules are most strictly to be observed when drawing for the
cheaper classes of publications. For book and magazine work, however,
where the plates are touched up by the engraver, and the values in a
measure restored, the third rule is not so arbitrary. Nevertheless,
the beginner who has ambitions in this direction will do well not
to put difficulties in his own way by submitting work not directly

[Side note: _Some Fanciful Expedients_]

There are a number of more or less fanciful expedients employed in
modern pen work which may be noted here, and which are illustrated
in Fig. 10. The student is advised, however, to resort to them as
little as possible, not only because he is liable to make injudicious
use of them, but because it is wiser for him to cultivate the less
meretricious possibilities of the instrument.

"Spatter work" is a means of obtaining a delicate printable tone,
consisting of innumerable little dots of ink spattered on the paper.
The process is as follows: Carefully cover with a sheet of paper
all the drawing except the portion which is to be spattered, then
take a tooth-brush, moisten the ends of the bristles consistently
with ink, hold the brush, back downwards, in the left hand, and
with a wooden match or tooth-pick rub the bristles _toward you_
so that the ink will spray over the paper. Particular, care must
be taken that the brush is not so loaded with ink that it will
spatter in blots. It is well, therefore, to try it first on a rough
sheet of paper, to remove any superfluous ink. If the spattering is
well done, it gives a very delicate tone of interesting texture,
but if not cleverly employed, and especially if there be a large
area of it, it is very likely to look out of character with the
line portions of the drawing.

A method sometimes employed to give a soft black effect is to moisten
the lobe of the thumb lightly with ink and press it upon the paper. The
series of lines of the skin make an impression that can be reproduced
by the ordinary line processes. As in the case of spatter work,
superfluous ink must be looked after before making the impression
so as to avoid leaving hard edges. Thumb markings lend themselves to
the rendering of dark smoke, and the like, where the edges require
to be soft and vague, and the free direction of the lines impart
a feeling of movement.

Interesting effects of texture are sometimes introduced into pen
drawings by obtaining the impression of a canvas grain. To produce
this, it is necessary that the drawing be made on fairly thin paper.
The _modus operandi_ is as follows: Place the drawing over a piece
of mounted canvas of the desired coarseness of grain, and, holding
it firmly, rub a lithographic crayon vigorously over the surface
of the paper. The grain of the canvas will be found to be clearly
reproduced, and, as the crayon is absolutely black, the effect is
capable of reproduction by the ordinary photographic processes.



[Side note: _The Color Scheme_]

After the subject has been mapped out in pencil, and before beginning
the pen work, we have to consider and determine the proper disposition
of the Color. By "color" is meant, in this connection, the gamut of
values from black to white, as indicated in Fig. 23. The success
or failure of the drawing will largely depend upon the disposition
of these elements, the quality of the technique being a matter
of secondary concern. Beauty of line and texture will not redeem
a drawing in which the values are badly disposed, for upon them
we depend for the effect of unity, or the pictorial quality. If
the values are scattered or patchy the drawing will not focus to
any central point of interest, and there will be no unity in the

[Illustration: FIG. 23 C. D. M.]

There are certain general laws by which color may be pleasingly
disposed, but it must be borne in mind that it ought to be disposed
naturally as well. By a "natural" scheme of color, I mean one which
is consistent with a natural effect of light and shade. Now the
gradation from black to white, for example, is a pleasing scheme,
as may be observed in Fig. 24, yet the effect is unnatural, since
the sky is black. In a purely decorative illustration like this,
however, such logic need not be considered.

[Illustration: FIG. 24 D. A. GREGG]

[Side note: _Principality in the Color-Scheme_]

Since, as I said before, color is the factor which makes for the
unity of the result, the first principle to be regarded in its
arrangement is that of Principality,--there must be some dominant
note in the rendering. There should not, for instance, be two principal
dark spots of equal value in the same drawing, nor two equally
prominent areas of white. The Vierge drawing, Fig. 25, and that
by Mr. Pennell, Fig. 5, are no exceptions to this rule; the black
figure of the old man counting as one note in the former, as do
the dark arches of the bridge in the latter. The work of both these
artists is eminently worthy of study for the knowing manner in
which they dispose their values.

[Illustration: FIG. 25 DANIEL VIERGE]

[Side note: _Variety_]

The next thing to be sought is Variety. Too obvious or positive a
scheme, while possibly not unsuitable for a conventional decorative
drawing, may not be well adapted to a perspective subject. The
large color areas should be echoed by smaller ones throughout the
picture. Take, for example, the Vierge drawing shown in Fig. 26.
Observe how the mass of shadow is relieved by the two light holes
seen through the inn door. Without this repetition of the white the
drawing would lose much of its character. In Rico's drawing, Fig.
11, a tiny white spot in the shadow cast over the street would, I
venture to think, be helpful, beautifully clear as it is; and the
black area at the end of the wall seems a defect as it competes
in value with the dark figure.

[Illustration: FIG. 26 DANIEL VIERGE]

[Side note: _Breadth of Effect_]

Lastly, Breadth of Effect has to be considered. It is requisite
that, however numerous the tones are (and they should not be too
numerous), the general effect should be simple and homogeneous. The
color must count together broadly, and not be cut up into patches.

[Illustration: FIG. 27 HARRY FENN]

It is important to remember that the gamut from black to white is
a short one for the pen. One need only try to faithfully render
the high lights of an ordinary table glass set against a gray
background, to be assured of its limitations in this respect. To
represent even approximately the subtle values would require so
much ink that nothing short of a positively black background would
suffice to give a semblance of the delicate transparent effect of
the glass as a whole. The gray background would, therefore, be
lost, and if a really black object were also part of the picture
it could not be represented at all. Observe, in Fig. 27, how just
such a problem has been worked out by Mr. Harry Fenn.

It will be manifest that the student must learn to think of things
in their broad relation. To be specific,--in the example just
considered, in order to introduce a black object the scheme of
color would have needed broadening so that the gray background
could be given its proper value, thus demanding that the elaborate
values of the glass be ignored, and just enough suggested to give
the general effect. This reasoning would equally apply were the
light object, instead of a glass, something of intricate design,
presenting positive shadows. Just so much of such a design should
be rendered as not to darken the object below its proper relative
value as a whole. In this faculty of suggesting things without
literally rendering them consists the subtlety of pen drawing.

It may be said, therefore, that large light areas resulting from the
necessary elimination of values are characteristic of pen drawing.
The degree of such elimination depends, of course, upon the character
of the subject, this being entirely a matter of relation. The more
black there is in a drawing the greater the number of values that can
be represented. Generally speaking, three or four are all that can be
managed, and the beginner had better get along with three,--black,
half-tone, and white.

[Illustration: FIG. 28 REGINALD BIRCH]

[Side note: _Various Color-Schemes_]

While it is true that every subject is likely to contain some motive
or suggestion for its appropriate color-scheme, it still holds that,
many times, and especially in those cases where the introduction
of foreground features at considerable scale is necessary for the
interest of the picture, an artificial arrangement has to be devised.
It is well, therefore, to be acquainted with the possibilities of
certain color combinations. The most brilliant effect in black
and white drawing is that obtained by placing the prominent black
against a white area surrounded by gray. The white shows whiter
because of the gray around it, so that the contrast of the black
against it is extremely vigorous and telling. This may be said to
be the illustrator's _tour de force_. We have it illustrated by
Mr. Reginald Birch's drawing, Fig. 28. Observe how the contrast
of black and white is framed in by the gray made up of the sky,
the left side of the building, the horse, and the knight. In the
drawing by Mr. Pennell, Fig. 29, we have the same scheme of color.
Notice how the trees are darkest just where they are required to
tell most strongly against the white in the centre of the picture.
An admirable illustration of the effectiveness of this color-scheme
is shown in the "Becket" poster by the "Beggarstaff Brothers,"
Fig. 69. Another scheme is to have the principal black in the gray
area, as in the Vierge drawing, Fig. 26 and in Rico's sketch, Fig.

[Illustration: FIG. 29 JOSEPH PENNELL]

[Illustration: FIG. 30 B. G. GOODHUE]

[Illustration: FIG. 31 JOSEPH PENNELL]

Still another and a more restful scheme is the actual gradation
of color. This gradation, from black to white, wherein the white
occupies the centre of the picture, is to be noted in Fig. 20.
Observe how the dark side of the foreground tree tells against the
light side of the one beyond, which, in its turn, is yet so strongly
shaded as to count brilliantly against the white building. Still
again, in Mr. Goodhue's drawing, Fig. 30, note how the transition
from the black tree on the left to the white building is pleasingly
softened by the gray shadow. Notice, too, how the brilliancy of
the drawing is heightened by the gradual emphasis on the shadows
and the openings as they approach the centre of the picture. Yet
another example of this color-scheme is the drawing by Mr. Gregg,
Fig. 50. The gradation here is from the top of the picture downwards.
The sketch of the coster women by Mr. Pennell, Fig. 31, shows this
gradation reversed.

The drawing of the hansom cab, Fig. 32, by Mr. Raven Hill, illustrates
a very strong color-scheme,--gray and white separated by black,
the gray moderating the black on the upper side, leaving it to
tell strongly against the white below. Notice how luminous is this
same relation of color where it occurs in the Venetian subject by
Rico, Fig. 14. The shadow on the water qualifies the blackness
of the gondola below, permitting a brilliant contrast with the
white walls of the building above.

It is interesting to observe how Vierge and Pennell, but chiefly the
former, very often depend for their grays merely upon the delicate
tone resulting from the rendering of form and of direct shadow,
without any local color. This may be seen in the Vierge drawing,
Fig. 33. Observe in this, as a consequence, how brilliantly the
tiny black counts in the little figure in the centre. Notice, too,
in the drawing of the soldiers by Jeanniot, Fig. 34, that there
is very little black; and yet see how brilliant is the effect,
owing largely to the figures being permitted to stand out against
a white ground in which nothing is indicated but the sky-line of
the large building in the distance.

[Illustration: FIG. 32 L. RAVEN HILL]

[Illustration: FIG. 33 DANIEL VIERGE]

[Illustration: FIG. 34 P. G. JEANNIOT]



I have thought it advisable in this chapter to select, and to work
out in some detail, a few actual problems in illustration, so as
to familiarize the student with the practical application of some
of the principles previously laid down.

[Illustration: FIG. 35 FROM A PHOTOGRAPH]

[Illustration: FIG. 36 D. A. GREGG]

[Side note: _First Problem_]

In the first example the photograph, Fig. 35, shows the porch of
an old English country church. Let us see how this subject has
been interpreted in pen and ink by Mr. D. A. Gregg, Fig. 36. In
respect to the lines, the original composition presents nothing
essentially unpleasant. Where the strong accent of a picture occurs
in the centre, however, it is generally desirable to avoid much
emphasis at the edges. For this reason the pen drawing has been
"vignetted,"--that is to say, permitted to fade away irregularly
at the edges. Regarding the values, it will be seen that there is
no absolute white in the photograph. A literal rendering of such
low color would, as we saw in the preceding chapter, be out of
the question; and so the essential values which directly contribute
to the expression of the subject and which are independent of local
color or accidental effect have to be sought out. We observe, then,
that the principal note of the photograph is made by the dark part
of the roof under the porch relieved against the light wall beyond.
This is the direct result of light and shade, and is therefore
logically adopted as the principal note of Mr. Gregg's sketch also.
The wall at this point is made perfectly white to heighten the
contrast. To still further increase the light area, the upper part
of the porch has been left almost white, the markings suggesting
the construction of the weather-beaten timber serving to give it
a faint gray tone sufficient to relieve it from the white wall.
The low color of the grass, were it rendered literally, would make
the drawing too heavy and uninteresting, and this is therefore only
suggested in the sketch. The roof of the main building, being equally
objectionable on account of its mass of low tone, is similarly
treated. Mr. Gregg's excellent handling of the old woodwork of the
porch is well worthy of study.

[Side note: _Second Problem_]

Let us take another example. The photograph in Fig. 37 shows a
moat-house in Normandy; and, except that the low tones of the foliage
are exaggerated by the camera, the conditions are practically those
which we would have to consider were we making a sketch on the spot.
First of all, then, does the subject, from the point of view at
which the photograph is taken, compose well?* It cannot be said that
it does. The vertical lines made by the two towers are unpleasantly
emphasized by the trees behind them. The tree on the left were
much better reduced in height and placed somewhat to the right,
so that the top should fill out the awkward angles of the roof
formed by the junction of the tower and the main building. The
trees on the right might be lowered also, but otherwise permitted
to retain their present relation. The growth of ivy on the tower
takes an ugly outline, and might be made more interestingly irregular
in form.

[Footnote *: The student is advised to consult "Composition," by
Arthur W. Dow. [New York, 1898]]

[Illustration: FIG. 37 FROM A PHOTOGRAPH]

The next consideration is the disposition of the values. In the
photograph the whites are confined to the roadway of the bridge
and the bottom of the tower. This is evidently due, however, to
local color rather than to the direction of the light, which strikes
the nearer tower from the right, the rest of the walls being in
shadow. While the black areas of the picture are large enough to
carry a mass of gray without sacrificing the sunny look, such a
scheme would be likely to produce a labored effect. Two alternative
schemes readily suggest themselves: First, to make the archway the
principal dark, the walls light, with a light half-tone for the
roof, and a darker effect for the trees on the right. Or, second,
to make these trees themselves the principal dark, as suggested by
the photograph, allowing them to count against the gray of the
roof and the ivy of the tower. This latter scheme is that which
has been adopted in the sketch, Fig. 38.

[Illustration: FIG. 38 C. D. M.]

It will be noticed that the trees are not nearly so dark as in
the photograph. If they were, they would be overpowering in so
large an area of white. It was thought better, also, to change the
direction of the light, so that the dark ivy, instead of acting
contradictorily to the effect, might lend character to the shaded
side. The lower portion of the nearer tower was toned in, partly
to qualify the vertical line of the tower, which would have been
unpleasant if the shading were uniform, and partly to carry the
gray around to the entrance. It was thought advisable, also, to
cut from the foreground, raising the upper limit of the picture
correspondingly. (It is far from my intention, however, to convey
the impression that any liberties may be taken with a subject in
order to persuade it into a particular scheme of composition; and
in this very instance an artistic photographer could probably have
discovered a position for his camera which would have obviated the
necessity for any change whatever;--a nearer view of the building,
for one thing, would have considerably lowered the trees.)

[Illustration: FIG. 39 FROM A PHOTOGRAPH]

[Side note: _Third Problem_]

We will consider still another subject. The photograph, Fig. 39,
shows a street in Holland. In this case, the first thing we have
to determine is where the interest of the subject centres. In such
a perspective the salient point of the picture often lies in a
foreground building; or, if the street be merely a setting for the
representation of some incident, in a group of foreground figures.
In either case the emphasis should be placed in the foreground,
the distant vanishing lines of the street being rendered more or
less vaguely. In the present subject, however, the converging sky
and street lines are broken by the quaint clock-tower. This and the
buildings underneath it appeal to us at once as the most important
elements of the picture. The nearer buildings present nothing
intrinsically interesting, and therefore serve no better purpose
than to lead the eye to the centre of interest. Whatever actual
values these intermediate buildings have that will hinder their
usefulness in this regard can, therefore, be changed or actually
ignored without affecting the integrity of the sketch or causing
any pangs of conscience.

The building on the extreme left shows very strong contrasts of
color in the black shadow of the eaves and of the shop-front below.
These contrasts, coming as they do at the edge of the picture,
are bad. They would act like a showy frame on a delicate drawing,
keeping the eye from the real subject. It may be objected, however,
that it is natural that the contrasts should be stronger in the
foreground. Yes; but in looking straight at the clock-tower one does
not see any such dark shadow at the top of the very uninteresting
building in the left foreground. The camera saw it, because the
camera with its hundred eyes sees everything, and does not interest
itself about any one thing in particular. Besides, if the keeper
of the shop had the bad taste to paint it dark we are not bound
to make a record of the fact; nor need we assume that it was done
out of regard to the pictorial possibilities of the street. We
decide, therefore, to render, as faithfully as we may, the values
of the clock-tower and its immediate surroundings, and to disregard
the discordant elements; and we have no hesitation in selecting
for principal emphasis in our drawing, Fig. 40, the shadow under
the projecting building. This dark accent will count brilliantly
against the foreground and the walls of the buildings, which we
will treat broadly as if white, ignoring the slight differences
in value shown in the photograph. We retain, however, the literal
values of the clock-tower and the buildings underneath it, and
express as nearly as we can their interesting variations of texture.
The buildings on the right are too black in the photograph, and
these, as well as the shadow thrown across the street, we will
considerably lighten. After some experiment, we find that the building
on the extreme left is a nuisance, and we omit it. Even then, the
one with the balcony next to it requires to be toned down in its
strong values, and so the shadows here are made much lighter, the
walls being kept white. It will be found that anything like a strong
emphasis of the projecting eaves of the building would detract
from the effect of the tower, so that the shadow under the eaves
is, therefore, made grayer than in the photograph, while that of
the balcony below is made stronger than the shadow of the eaves,
but is lightened at the edge of the drawing to throw the emphasis
toward the centre.

[Illustration: FIG. 40 C. D. M.]

To add interest to the picture, and more especially to give life
to the shadows, several figures are introduced. It will be noticed
that the cart is inserted at the focal point of the drawing to
better assist the perspective.



It is but a few years since architects' perspectives were "built
up" (it would be a mistake to say "drawn") by means of a T-square
and the ruling pen; and if architectural drawing has not quite
kept pace with that for general illustration since, a backward
glance over the professional magazines encourages a feeling of
comparative complacency. That so high a standard or so artistic
a character is not observable in architectural as in general
illustration is, I think, not difficult to explain. Very few of the
clever architectural draughtsmen are illustrators by profession.
Few, even of those who are generally known as illustrators, are
anything more--I should perhaps say anything _less_--than versatile
architects; and yet Mr. Pennell, who would appear to assume, in
his book on drawing, that the point of view of the architect is
normally pictorial, seems at a loss to explain why Mr. Robert Blum,
for instance, can illustrate an architectural subject more artistically
than any of the draughtsmen in the profession. Without accepting
his premises, it is remarkably creditable to architecture that
it counts among its members in this country such men as Mr. B.
G. Goodhue and Mr. Wilson Eyre, Jr., and in England such thorough
artists as Mr. Prentice and Mr. Ernest George--men known even to
distinction for their skill along lines of purely architectural
practice, yet any one of whom would, I venture to say, cause
considerable displacement did he invade the ranks of magazine
illustrators. Moreover (and the suggestion is not unkindly offered),
were the architects and the illustrators to change places architecture
would suffer most by the process.

[Side note: _The Architects' Case_]

That the average architect should be incapable of artistically
illustrating his own design, ought, I think, to be less an occasion
for surprise than that few painters, whose point of view is essentially
pictorial, can make even a tolerable interpretation in line of their
own paintings. Be it remembered that the pictures made by the architect
are seldom the records of actualities. The buildings themselves
are merely contemplated, and the illustrations are worked up from
geometrical elevations in the office, very, very far from Nature.
Moreover, the subjects are not infrequently such as lend themselves
with an ill grace to picturesque illustration. The structure to be
depicted may, for instance, be a heavy cubical mass with a bald
uninteresting sky-line; or it may be a tall office building, impossible
to reconcile with natural accessories either in pictorial scale or
in composition. These natural accessories, too, the draughtsman
must, with an occasional recourse to his photograph album, evolve
out of his inner consciousness. When it is further considered that
such structures, even when actualities, are uncompromisingly stiff
and immaculate in their newness, presenting absolutely none of
those interesting accidents so dear to the artist, and perhaps with
nothing whatever about them of picturesque suggestion, we have a
problem presented which is somewhat analogous to that presented by
the sculpturesque possibilities of "fashionable trousering." That,
with such uninspiring conditions, architectural illustration does not
develop so interesting a character nor attain to so high a standard
as distinguishes general illustration is not to be wondered at. It
is rather an occasion for surprise that it exhibits so little of
the artificiality of the fashion-plate after all, and that the better
part of it, at least, is not more unworthy than figure illustration
would be were it denied the invaluable aid of the living model.
So much by way of apology.

[Side note: _The Architects' Point of View_]

The architectural perspective, however, is not to be regarded purely
from the pictorial point of view. It is an illustration first, a
picture afterwards, and almost invariably deals with an individual
building, which is the essential subject. This building cannot,
therefore, be made a mere foil for interesting "picturesqueries,"
nor subordinated to any scenic effect of landscape or chiaroscuro.
Natural accessories or interesting bits of street life may be added
to give it an appropriate setting; but the result must clearly
read "Building, with landscape," not "Landscape, with building."

Much suggestion for the sympathetic handling of particular subjects
may be found in the character of the architecture itself. The
illustrator ought to enter into the spirit of the designer, ought to
feel just what natural accessories lend themselves most harmoniously
to this or that particular type. If the architecture be quaint
and picturesque it must not have prosaic surroundings. If, on the
other hand, it be formal or monumental, the character and scale of
the accessories should be accordingly serious and dignified. The
rendering ought also to vary with the subject,--a free picturesque
manner for the one, a more studied and responsible handling for
the other. Technique is the language of art, and a stiff pompous
phraseology will accord ill with a story of quaint humor or pathos,
while the homely diction that might answer very well would be sure to
struggle at a disadvantage with the stately meanings and diplomatic
subtleties of a state document.

[Side note: _Rendering of Detail_]

It would be well for the student, before venturing upon whole subjects,
to learn to render details, such as windows, cornices, etc. Windows
are a most important feature of the architectural drawing, and the
beginner must study them carefully, experimenting for the method
which will best represent their glassy surfaces. No material gives
such play of light and shade as glass does. One window is never
absolutely like another; so that while a certain uniformity in
their value may be required for breadth of effect in the drawing of
a building, there is plenty of opportunity for incidental variety
in their treatment.

A few practical hints on the rendering of windows may prove serviceable.
Always emphasize the sash. Where there is no recess, as in wooden
buildings, strengthen the inner line of sash, as in Fig. 41. In
masonry buildings the frame and sash can be given their proper
values, the area of wood being treated broadly, without regard
to the individual members. The wood may, however, be left white
if required, as would be the case in Colonial designs. In either
case the dark shadow which the sash casts on the glass should be
suggested, if the scale of the drawing be such as to permit of it.
Do not try to show too much. One is apt to make a fussy effect,
if, for instance, one insists on always shading the soffit of the
masonry opening, especially if the scale of the drawing be small.
Besides, a white soffit is not a false but merely a forced value,
as in strong sunlight the reflected light is considerable. If the
frame be left white, however, the soffit ought to be shaded, otherwise
it will be difficult to keep the values distinct. In respect of
wooden buildings there is no need to always complete the mouldings
of the architrave. Notice in Fig. 41 that, in the window without
the muntins, the mouldings have been carried round the top to give
color, but that in the other they are merely suggested at the corners
so as to avoid confusion. Care should be taken to avoid mechanical
rendering of the muntins. For the glass itself, a uniformly flat
tone is to be avoided. The tones should soften vaguely. It will be
found, too, that it is not advisable to have a strong dark effect
at the top of the window and another at the bottom; one should

[Illustration: FIG. 41 C. D. M.]

The student after careful study of Fig. 41 should make from it
enlarged drawings, and afterwards, laying the book aside, proceed
to render them in his own way. When he has done so, let him compare
his work with the originals. This process ought to be repeated
several times, the aim being always for _similarity_, not for
_literalness_ of effect. If he can get equally good results with
another method he need not be disconcerted at the lack of any further

The cornice with its shadow is another salient feature. In short
shadows, such as those cast by cornices, it is well, if a sunny
effect be desired, to accent the bottom edge of the shadow. The shadow
lines ought to be generally parallel, but with enough variation to
obviate a mechanical effect. They need not be vertical lines,--in
fact it is better that they should take the same slant as the light.
If they are not absolutely perpendicular, however, it is well to make
them distinctly oblique, otherwise the effect will be unpleasant.
A clever sketch of a cornice by Mr. George F. Newton is shown in
Fig. 42. Notice how well the texture of the brick is expressed
by the looseness of the pen work. Some of the detail, too, is
dexterously handled, notably the bead and button moulding.

The strength of the cornice shadow should be determined by the tone
of the roof above it. To obtain for this shadow the very distinct
value which it ought to have, however, does not require that the
roof be kept always much lighter than it. In the gable roof in
Fig. 57, the tone of the roof is shaded lighter as it approaches
the eaves, so that the shadow may count more emphatically. This
order may be reversed, as in the case of a building with dark roof
and light walls, in which case the shadow may be grayer than the
lower portion of the roof, as in "B" in Fig. 44.

[Illustration: FIG. 42 GEORGE F. NEWTON]

But the beginner should not yet hurry on to whole subjects. A church
porch, as in Fig. 35, or a dormer with its shadow cast on a roof,
as in Fig. 43, will be just as beneficial a study for him as an
entire building, and will afford quite as good an opportunity for
testing his knowledge of the principles of pen drawing, with the
added advantage that either of the subjects mentioned can be mapped
out in a few minutes, and that a failure or two, therefore, will
not prove so discouraging as if a more intricate subject had to
be re-drawn. I have known promising beginners to give up pen and
ink drawing in despair because they found themselves unequal to
subjects which would have presented not a few difficulties to the
experienced illustrator. When the beginner grows faint-hearted,
let him seek consolation and encouragement in the thought that were
pen drawing something to be mastered in a week or a month there
would be small merit in the accomplishment.

[Illustration: FIG. 43 C. D. M.]

[Side note: _A General System_]

It is a common fault of students to dive into the picture unthinkingly,
beginning anywhere, without the vaguest plan of a general effect,
whereas it is of the utmost importance that every stroke of the
pen be made with intelligent regard to the ultimate result. The
following general method will be found valuable.

Pencil the outline of the entire subject before beginning the pen
work. It will not do to start on the rendering as soon as the building
alone is pencilled out, leaving the accessories to be put in as
one goes along. The adjacent buildings, the foliage, and even the
figures must be drawn--carefully drawn--before the pen is taken up.
The whole subject from the very beginning should be under control,
and to that end it becomes necessary to have all the elements of
it pre-arranged.

[Side note: _Arrangement of the Values_]

Next scheme out the values. This is the time to do the thinking. Do
not start out rashly as soon as everything is outlined in pencil,
confident in the belief that all windows, for instance, are dark,
and that you may as well make them so at once and be done with
them. This will be only to court disaster. Besides, all windows
are not dark; they may be very light indeed. The color value of
nothing is absolute. A shadow may seem almost black till a figure
passes into it, when it may become quite gray by comparison. So a
window with the sun shining full upon it, or even one in shade, on
which a reflected light is cast, may be brilliantly light until the
next instant a cloud shadow is reflected in it, making it densely
black. Arrange the values, therefore, with reference to one general
effect, deciding first of all on the direction of the light. Should
this be such as to throw large areas of shadow, these masses of
gray will be important elements in the color-scheme. An excellent
way to study values is to make a tracing-paper copy of the line
drawing and to experiment on this for the color with charcoal,
making several sketches if necessary. After having determined on
a satisfactory scheme, put fixatif on the rough sketch and keep
it in sight. Otherwise, one is liable, especially if the subject
is an intricate one, to be led astray by little opportunities for
interesting effects here and there, only to discover, when too
late, that these effects do not hang together and that the drawing
has lost its breadth. The rough sketch is to the draughts man what
manuscript notes are to the lecturer.

[Side note: _Treatment of Detail_]

Do not be over-conscious of detail. It is a common weakness of the
architectural draughts man to be too sophisticated in his pictorial
illustration. He knows so much about the building that no matter how
many thousand yards away from it he may stand he will see things
that would not reveal themselves to another with the assistance
of a field-glass. He is conscious of the fact that there are just
so many brick courses to the foot, that the clapboards are laid
just so many inches to the weather, that there are just so many
mouldings in the belt course,--that everything in general is very,
very mathematical. This is not because his point of view is too
big, but because it is too small. He who sees so much never by any
chance sees the _whole building_. Let him try to think broadly of
things. Even should he succeed in forgetting some of these factitious
details, the result will still be stiff enough, so hard is it to
re-adjust one's attitude after manipulating the T-square. I strongly
recommend, as an invaluable aid toward such a re-adjustment, the
habit of sketching from Nature,--from the figure during the winter
evenings, and out of doors in summer.

[Illustration: FIG. 44 C. D. M.]

The beginner is apt to find his effects at first rather hard and
mechanical at the best, because he has not yet attained that freedom
of handling which ignores unimportant details, suggests rather
than states, gives interesting variations of line and tone, and
differentiates textures. A good part of the unpleasantness of effect
will undoubtedly be found to be due to a mistaken regard for accuracy
of statement, individual mouldings being lined in as deliberately
as in the geometrical office drawings, and not an egg nor a dart
slighted. Take, for example, the case of an old Colonial building
with its white cornice, or any building with white trimmings. See
the effect of such a one in an "elevation" where all the detail is
drawn, as in "A," Fig. 44. Observe that the amount of ink necessary
to express this detail has made the cornice darker than the rest
of the drawing, and yet this is quite the reverse of the value
which it would have in the actual building, see "B." To obtain
the true value the different mouldings which make up the cornice
should be merely suggested. Where it is not a question of local
color, however, this matter of elimination is largely subject to
the exigencies of reproduction; the more precisely and intimately
one attempts to render detail, the smaller the scale of the technique
requires to be, and the greater the difficulty. Consequently, the more
the reduction which the drawing is likely to undergo in printing,
the more one will be obliged to disregard the finer details. These
finer details need not, however, be absolutely ignored. Notice, for
instance, the clever suggestion of the sculpture in the admirable
drawing by Mr. F. E. Wallis, Fig. 45. The conventional drawing
of the façade, Fig. 46, is a fine illustration of the decorative
effect of color obtainable by emphasizing the organic lines of
the design.

[Illustration: FIG. 45 FRANK E. WALLIS]

[Side note: _Foliage and Figures_]

The elements in a perspective drawing which present most difficulties
to the architectural draughtsman are foliage and figures. These
are, however, most important accessories, and must be cleverly
handled. It is difficult to say which is the harder to draw, a tree
or a human figure; and if the student has not sketched much from
Nature either will prove a stumbling-block. Presuming, therefore,
that he has already filled a few sketch-books, he had better resort
to these, or to his photograph album, when he needs figures for
his perspective. Designing figures and trees out of one's inner
consciousness is slow work and not very profitable; and if the
figure draughtsman may employ models, the architect may be permitted
to use photographs.

[Illustration: FIG. 46 HARRY ALLAN JACOBS]

Unhappily for the beginner, no two illustrators consent to render
foliage, or anything else for that matter, in quite the same way,
and so I cannot present any authoritative formula for doing so.
This subject has been treated, however, in a previous chapter, and
nothing need be added here except to call attention to an employment
of foliage peculiar to architectural drawings. This is the broad
suggestive rendering of dark leafage at the sides of a building,
to give it relief. The example shown in Fig. 47 is from one of
Mr. Gregg's drawings.

[Illustration: FIG. 47 D. A. GREGG]

The rendering of the human figure need not be dealt with under
this head, as figures in an architectural subject are of necessity
relatively small, and therefore have to be rendered very broadly.
Careful drawing is none the less essential, however, if their presence
is to be justified; and badly drawn figures furnish a tempting
target for the critic of architectural pictures. Certainly, it
is only too evident that the people usually seen in such pictures
are utterly incapable of taking the slightest interest whatever in
architecture, or in anything else; and not infrequently they seem
to be even more immovable objects than the buildings themselves,
so fixed and inflexible are they. Such figures as these only detract
from the interest of the drawing, instead of adding to it, and the
draughtsman who has no special aptitude is wise in either omitting
them altogether, or in using very few, and is perhaps still wiser
if he entrusts the drawing of these to one of his associates more
accomplished in this special direction.

The first thing to decide in the matter of figures is their arrangement
and grouping, and when this has been determined they should be
sketched in lightly in pencil. In this connection a few words by
way of suggestion may be found useful. Be careful to avoid anything
like an equal spacing of the figures. Group the people interestingly.
I have seen as many as thirty individuals in a drawing, no two of
whom seemed to be acquainted,--a very unhappy condition of affairs
even from a purely pictorial point of view. Do not over-emphasize the
base of a building by stringing all the figures along the sidewalks.
The lines of the curbs would thus confine and frame them in
unpleasantly. Break the continuity of the street lines with figures
or carriages in the roadway, as in Fig. 55. After the figures have
been satisfactorily arranged, they ought to be carefully drawn as
to outline. In doing so, take pains to vary the postures, giving
them action, and avoiding the stiff wooden, fashion-plate type of
person so common to architectural drawings. When the time comes
to render these accessories with the pen (and this ought, by the
way, to be the last thing done) do not lose the freedom and breadth
of the drawing by dwelling too long on them. Rise superior to such
details as the patterns of neckties.

We will now consider the application to architectural subjects
of the remarks on technique and color contained in the previous

[Side note: _Architectural Textures_]

To learn to render the different textures of the materials used in
architecture, the student would do well to examine and study the
methods of prominent illustrators, and then proceed to forget them,
developing meanwhile a method of his own. It will be instructive for
him, however, as showing the opportunity for play of individuality,
to notice how very different, for instance, is Mr. Gregg's manner
of rendering brick work to that of Mr. Railton. Compare Figs. 48
and 49. One is splendidly broad,--almost decorative,--the other
intimate and picturesque. The work of both these men is eminently
worthy of study. For the sophisticated simplicity and directness of
his method and the almost severe conscientiousness of his drawing,
no less than for his masterly knowledge of black and white, no safer
guide could be commended to the young architectural pen-man for the
study of principles than Mr. Gregg. Architectural illustration in
America owes much to his influence and, indeed, he may be said to
have furnished it with a grammar. Take his drawing of the English
cottages, Fig. 50. It is a masterly piece of pen work. There is
not a feeble or tentative stroke in the whole of it. The color
is brilliant and the textures are expressed with wonderful skill.
The student ought to carefully observe the rendering of the various
roofs. Notice how the character of the thatch on the second cottage
differs from that on the first, and how radically the method of
rendering of either varies from that used on the shingle roof at
the end of the picture. Compare also the two gable chimneys with
each other as well as with the old ruin seen over the tree-tops.
Here is a drawing by an architectural draughtsman of an architectural
_actuality_ and not of an artificial abstraction. This is a fairer
ground on which to meet the illustrators of the picturesque.

[Illustration: FIG. 48 D. A. GREGG]

[Illustration: FIG. 49 HERBERT RAILTON]

[Illustration: FIG. 50 D. A. GREGG]

[Illustration: FIG. 51 WALTER M. CAMPBELL]

[Illustration: FIG. 52 HERBERT RAILTON]

[Illustration: FIG. 53 A. F. JACCACI]

[Illustration: FIG. 54 C. F. BRAGDON]

[Illustration: FIG. 55 HARVEY ELLIS]

[Side note: _Examples_]

Mr. Campbell's drawing, Fig. 51, is a very good example of the
rendering of stone textures. The old masonry is capitally expressed
by the short irregular line. The student is advised to select some
portion of this, as well as of the preceding example to copy, using,
no matter how small the drawings he may make, a pen not smaller
than number 303. I know of no architectural illustrator who hits
stonework off quite so cleverly as Mr. Goodhue. Notice, in his
drawing of the masonry, in Fig. 8, how the stones are picked out
and rendered individually in places and how this intimate treatment
is confined to the top of the tower where it tells against the
textures of the various roofs and how it is then merged in a broad
gray tone which is carried to the street. Mr. Railton's sketches are
full of clever suggestion for the architectural illustrator in the
way of texture. Figs. 7 and 52 show his free rendering of masonry.
The latter is an especially very good subject for study. Observe
how well the texture tells in the high portion of the abutment by
reason of the thick, broken lines. For a distant effect of stone
texture, the drawing by Mr. Jaccaci, Fig. 53, is a fine example.
In this the rendering is confined merely to the organic lines of
the architecture, and yet the texture is capitally expressed by
the quality of the stroke, which is loose and much broken. The
general result is extremely crisp and pleasing. For broad rendering
of brick textures, perhaps there is no one who shows such a masterly
method as Mr. Gregg. As may be seen in his sketch of the blacksmith
shop, Fig. 48, he employs an irregular dragging line with a great
deal of feeling. The brick panel by Mr. Bragdon, Fig. 54, is a neat
piece of work. There is excellent texture, too, in the picturesque
drawing by Mr. Harvey Ellis, Fig. 55:--observe the rendering of
the rough brick surface at the left side of the building. A more
intimate treatment is that illustrated in the detail by Mr. C.
E. Mallows, the English draughts man, Fig. 56. In this drawing,
however, the edges of the building are unpleasantly hard, and are
somewhat out of character with the quaint rendering of the surfaces.
Mr. Goodhue uses a similar treatment, and, I think, rather more
successfully. On the whole, the broader method, where the texture
is carried out more uniformly, is more to be commended, at least
for the study of the beginner. Some examples of shingle and slate
textures are illustrated by Fig. 57. It is advisable to employ a
larger pen for the shingle, so as to ensure the requisite coarseness
of effect.

[Illustration: FIG. 56 C. E. MALLOWS]

[Illustration: FIG. 57 C. D. M.]

[Illustration: FIG. 58 C. D. M.]

[Side note: _An Architectural Problem_]

To favorably illustrate an architectural subject it will be found
generally expedient to give prominence to one particular elevation
in the perspective, the other being permitted to vanish sharply. Fig.
58 may be said to be a fairly typical problem for the architectural
penman. The old building on the right, it must be understood, is
not a mere accessory, but is an essential part of the picture. The
matter of surroundings is the first we have to decide upon, and
these ought always to be disposed with reference to the particular
form of composition which the subject may suggest. Were we dealing
with the foreground building alone there would be no difficulty
in adjusting the oval or the diamond form of composition to it.*
As it is, the difficulty lies in the long crested roof-line which
takes the same oblique angle as the line of the street, and the
influence of this line must be, as far as possible, counteracted.
Now the heavy over-hang of the principal roof will naturally cast
a shadow which will be an important line in the composition, so we
arrange our accessories at the right of the picture in reference
to this. Observe that the line of the eaves, if continued, would
intersect the top of the gable chimney. The dwelling and the tree
then form a focus for the converging lines of sidewalk and roof,
thus qualifying the vertical effect of the building on the right.
As the obliquity of the composition is still objectionable, we
decide to introduce a foreground figure which will break up the
line of the long sidewalk, and place it so that it will increase
the influence of some contrary line, see Fig. 59. We find that by
putting it a little to the right of the entrance and on a line
with that of the left sidewalk, the picture is pleasingly balanced.

[Footnote *: See footnote on page 62.]

[Illustration: FIG. 59 C. D. M.]

We are now ready to consider the disposition of the values. As I
have said before, these are determined by the scheme of light and
shade. For this reason any given subject may be variously treated.
We do not necessarily seek the scheme which will make the most
pictorial effect, however, but the one which will serve to set
off the building to the best advantage. It is apparent that the
most intelligible idea of the form of the structure will be given
by shading one side; and, as the front is the more important and
the more interesting elevation, on which we need sunlight to give
expression to the composition, it is natural to shade the other,
thus affording a foil for the bright effects on the front. This
bright effect will be further enhanced if we assume that the local
color of the roof is darker than that of the walls, so that we
can give it a gray tone, which will also make the main building
stand away from the other. If, however, we were to likewise assume
that the roof of the other building were darker than its walls, we
should be obliged to emphasize the objectionable roof line, and
as, in any case, we want a dark effect lower down on the walls to
give relief to our main building, we will assume that the local color
of the older walls is darker than that of the new. The shadow of the
main cornice we will make quite strong, emphasis being placed on
the nearer corner, which is made almost black. This color is repeated
in the windows, which, coming as they do in a group, are some of
them more filled in than others, to avoid an effect of monotony.
The strong note of the drawing is then given by the foreground

[Illustration: FIG. 60 C. D. M.]

Another scheme for the treatment of this same subject is illustrated
by Fig. 60. Here, by the introduction of the tree at the right of
the picture, a triangular composition is adopted. Observe that the
sidewalk and roof lines at the left side of the building radiate
to the bottom and top of the tree respectively. The shadow of the
tree helps to form the bottom line of the triangle. In this case
the foreground figure is omitted, as it would have made the
triangularity too obvious. In the color-scheme the tree is made the
principal dark, and this dark is repeated in the cornice shadow,
windows and figures as before. The gray tone of the old building
qualifies the blackness of the tree, which would otherwise have made
too strong a contrast at the edge of the picture, and so detracted
from the interest of the main building.



In all modern decorative illustration, and, indeed, in all departments
of decorative design, the influences of two very different and distinct
points of view are noticeable; the one demanding a realistic, the
other a purely conventional art. The logic of the first is, that
all good pictorial art is essentially decorative; that of the second,
that the decorative subject must be designed in organic relation to
the space which it is to occupy, and be so treated that the design
will primarily fulfil a purely ornamental function. That is to say,
whatever of dramatic or literary interest the decorative design
may possess must be, as it were, woven into it, so that the general
effect shall please as instantly, as directly, and as independently
of the meaning, as the pattern of an Oriental rug. The former, it
will be seen, is an imitative, the latter an inventive art. In
the one, the elements of the subject are rendered with all possible
naturalism; while, in the other, effects of atmosphere and the
accidental play of light and shade are sacrificed to a conventional
rendering, by which the design is kept flat upon the paper or wall.
One represents the point of view of the painter and the pictorial
illustrator; the other that of the designer and the architect. The
second, or conventional idea, has now come to be widely accepted
as a true basic principle in decorative art.

[Side note: _The New Decorative School_]

The idea is not by any means novel; it has always been the fundamental
principle of Japanese art; but its genesis was not in Japan. The
immediate inspiration of the new Decorative school, as far as it
is concerned with the decoration of books, at least, was found in
the art of Dürer, Holbein, and the German engravers of the sixteenth
century,--interest in which period has been lately so stimulated
by the Arts and Crafts movement in England. This movement, which
may fairly be regarded as one of the most powerful influences in
latter-day art, was begun with the aim of restoring those healthy
conditions which obtained before the artist and the craftsman came
to be two distinct and very much extranged workers. The activities
of the movement were at first more directly concerned with the
art of good book-making, which fructified in the famous Kelmscott
Press (an institution which, while necessarily undemocratic, has
exerted a tremendous influence on modern printing), and to-day
there is scarcely any sphere of industrial art which has not been
influenced by the Arts and Crafts impetus.

[Side note: _Criticisms of the School_]

This modern decorative renaissance has a root in sound art principles,
which promises for it a vigorous vitality; and perhaps the only
serious criticism which has been directed against it is, that it
encourages archaic crudities of technique which ignore the high
development of the reproductive processes of the present day; and,
moreover, that its sympathies tend towards mediæval life and feeling.
While such a criticism might reasonably be suggested by the work of
some of its individual adherents, it does not touch in the least
the essential principles of the school. Art cannot be said to scout
modernity because it refuses to adjust itself to the every caprice
of Science. The architect rather despises the mechanically perfect
brick (very much to the surprise of the manufacturer); and though
the camera can record more than the pencil or the brush, yet the
artist is not trying to see more than he ever did before. There
are, too, many decorative illustrators who, while very distinctly
confessing their indebtedness to old examples; are yet perfectly
eclectic and individual, both in the choice and development of
motive. Take, for example, the very modern subject of the cyclist
by Mr. A. B. Frost, Fig. 61. There are no archaisms in it whatever.
The drawing is as naturalistic and just as careful as if it were
designed for a picture. The shadows, too, are cast, giving an effect
of strong outdoor light; but the treatment, broad and beautifully
simple so as to be reconcilable with the lettering which accompanied
it, is well within conventional lines. That the character of the
technical treatment is such as to place no tax on the mechanical
inventiveness of the processman is not inexcusable archæology.

[Illustration: FIG. 61 A. B. FROST]

A valuable attribute of this conventional art is, that it puts no
bounds to the fancy of the designer. It is a figurative language
in which he may get away from commonplace statement. What has always
seemed to me a very logical employment of convention appears in the
_Punch_ cartoons of Sir John Tenniel and Mr. Lindley Sambourne.
Even in those cartoons which are devoid of physical caricature (and
they are generally free from this), we see at a glance that it is
the political and not the personal relations of the personæ that
are represented; whereas in the naturalistic cartoons of _Puck_,
for example, one cannot resist the feeling that personalities are
being roughly handled.

[Side note: _Relation_]

A chief principle in all decorative design and treatment is that of
Relation. If the space to be ornamented be a book-page the design
and treatment must be such as to harmonize with the printing. The
type must be considered as an element in the design, and, as the
effect of a page of type is broad and uniformly flat, the ornament
must be made to count as broad and flat likewise. The same principle
holds equally in mural decoration. There the design ought to be
subordinate to the general effect of the architecture. The wall
is not to be considered merely as a convenient place on which to
plaster a picture, its structural purpose must be regarded, and
this cannot be expressed if the design or treatment be purely
pictorial--if vague perspective distances and strong foreground
accents be used without symmetry or order, except that order which
governs itself alone. In other words, the decoration must be organic.

[Illustration: FIG. 62 ALFRED G. JONES]

[Side note: _Classes of Decorative Design_]

Decorative illustrations may be broadly classified under three
heads as follows: First, those wherein the composition and the
treatment are both conventional, as, for example, in the ex-libris
by Mr. A. G. Jones, Fig. 62. Second, where the composition is
naturalistic, and the treatment only is conventional, as in Mr.
Frost's design. Third, where the composition is decorative but
not conventional, and the treatment is semi-natural, as in the
drawing by Mr. Walter Appleton Clark, Fig. 63. (The latter subject
is of such a character as to lend itself without convention to a
decorative effect; and, although the figure is modeled as in a
pictorial illustration, the organic lines are so emphasized throughout
as to preserve the decorative character, and the whole keeps its
place on the page.) Under this third head would be included those
subjects of a pictorial nature whose composition and values are
such as to make them reconcilable to a decorative use by means
of borders or very defined edges, as in the illustration by Mr.
A. Campbell Cross, Fig. 64.

[Illustration: FIG. 63 W. APPLETON CLARK]

[Illustration: FIG. 64 A. CAMPBELL CROSS]

[Side note: _The Decorative Outline_]

Another essential characteristic of decorative drawing is the emphasized
Outline. This may be heavy or delicate, according to the nature of
the subject or individual taste. The designs by Mr. W. Nicholson
and Mr. Selwyn Image, for instance, are drawn with a fatness of
outline not to be obtained with anything but a brush; while the
outlines of M. Boutet de Monvel, marked as they are, are evidently
the work of a more than usually fine pen. In each case, however,
everything is in keeping with the scale of the outline adopted,
so that this always retains its proper emphasis. The decorative
outline should never be broken, but should be kept firm, positive,
and uniform. It may be heavy, and yet be rich and feeling, as may
be seen in the Mucha design, Fig.65. Generally speaking, the line
ought not to be made with a nervous stroke, but rather with a slow,
deliberate drag. The natural wavering of the hand need occasion no
anxiety, and, indeed, it is often more helpful to the line than

[Illustration: FIG. 65 MUCHA]

Perhaps there is no more difficult thing to do well than to model
the figure while still preserving the decorative outline. Several
examples of the skilful accomplishment of this problem are illustrated
here. Observe, for instance, how in the quaint Dürer-like design
by Mr. Howard Pyle, Fig. 66, the edges of the drapery-folds are
emphasized in the shadow by keeping them white, and see how wonderfully
effective the result is. The same device is also to be noticed in
the book-plate design by Mr. A. G. Jones, Fig. 62, as well as in
the more conventional treatment of the black figure in the Bradley
poster, Fig. 67.

[Illustration: FIG. 66 HOWARD PYLE]

[Illustration: FIG. 67 WILL H. BRADLEY

[Side note: _Color_]

In the rendering of decorative subjects, the Color should be, as
much as possible, designed. Whereas a poster, which is made with
a view to its entire effect being grasped at once, may be rendered
in flat masses of color, the head- or tail-piece for a decorative
book-page should be worked out in more detail, and the design should
be finer and more varied in color. The more the color is attained
by means of pattern, instead of by mere irresponsible lines, the
more decorative is the result. Observe the color-making by pattern
in the book-plate by Mr. P. J. Billinghurst, Fig. 68. A great variety
of textures may be obtained by means of varied patterns without
affecting the breadth of the color-scheme. This may be noticed
in the design last mentioned, in which the textures are extremely
well rendered, as well as in the poster design by Mr. Bradley for
the _Chap-Book_, just referred to.

[Illustration: FIG. 68 P. J. BILLINGHURST]

[Illustration: FIG. 69 "BEGGARSTAFF BROTHERS"]

The color-scheme ought to be simple and broad. No set rules can
be laid down to govern its disposition, which must always have
reference to the whole design. The importance of employing such a
broad and simple scheme in decorative drawing needs no better argument
than the effective poster design by the "Beggarstaff Brothers,"
Fig. 69, and that by Mr. Penfield, Fig.70. Of course the more
conventional the design the less regard need be paid to anything
like a logical disposition of color. A figure may be set against
a black landscape with white trees without fear of criticism from
reasonable people, provided it looks effective there.

[Illustration: FIG. 70 EDWARD PENFIELD]

[Side note: _Modern Decorative Draughtsmen_]

A word or two, in conclusion, concerning some of the modern decorative
draughtsmen. Of those who work in the sixteenth century manner,
Mr. Howard Pyle is unquestionably the superior technician. His
line, masterly in its sureness, is rich and charged with feeling.
Mr. H. Ospovat, one of the younger group of English decorators,
has also a charming technique, rather freer than that of Mr. Pyle,
and yet reminding one of it. Mr. Louis Rhead is another of the same
school, whose designs are deserving of study. The example of his
work shown in Fig. 71--excellent both in color and in drawing--is
one of his earlier designs. Mr. J. W. Simpson, in the book-plate,
Fig. 72, shows the broadest possible decorative method; a method
which, while too broad for anything but a poster or a book-label,
is just what the student should aim at being able to attain.

[Illustration: FIG. 71 LOUIS J. RHEAD]

[Illustration: FIG. 72 J. W. SIMPSON]

Some of those decorators whose work shows a Japanese influence have
a most exquisite method. Of these, that remarkable draughtsman, M.
Boutet de Monvel, easily takes the first place. Those who have had
the good fortune to see his original drawings will not easily forget
the delicate beauty of outline nor the wonderfully tender coloring
which distinguishes them. Mr. Maxfield Parrish is another masterly
decorator who is noted for his free use of Japanese precedent as
well as for the resourcefulness of his technique. The drawings
of Mr. Henry McCarter, too, executed as they are in pure line, are
especially valuable to the student of the pen. In respect both of
the design and treatment of decorative subjects, the work of the
late Aubrey Beardsley is more individual than that of any other
modern draughtsman. That of our own clever and eccentric Bradley,
while very clearly confessing its obligations, has yet a distinctive
character of its own. The work of the two latter draughts men,
however, is not to be recommended to the unsophisticated beginner
for imitation, for it is likely to be more harmful than otherwise.
Nevertheless, by steering clear of the grotesque conventions with
which they treat the human figure, by carefully avoiding the intense
blacks in which a great deal of their work abounds, and by generally
maintaining a healthy condition of mind, much is to be learned
from a study of their peculiar methods.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Pen Drawing - An Illustrated Treatise" ***

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