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Title: The Art of Illustration - 2nd ed.
Author: Blackburn, Henry, 1830-1897
Language: English
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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.

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THE ART OF ILLUSTRATION.


  [Illustration: "THE TRUMPETER." (SIR JOHN GILBERT, R.A.)

  (_Drawn in pen and ink, from his picture in the Royal Academy, 1883._)

  [Size of drawing, 5-1/2 by 4-3/4 in. Photo-zinc process.]]



  The Art of Illustration.

            BY
     HENRY BLACKBURN,

  _Editor of "Academy Notes," Cantor Lecturer on Illustration, &c._

            WITH
  NINETY-FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS.


       SECOND EDITION.


           LONDON:
  W. H. ALLEN & CO., LIMITED,
   13, WATERLOO PLACE, S.W.

            1896.



         PRINTED BY
  WYMAN AND SONS, LIMITED,
        LONDON, W.C.



            DEDICATED TO
       SIR JOHN GILBERT, R.A.,
    ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL PIONEERS
  OF BOOK AND NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION.



  [Illustration: (PEN-AND-INK DRAWING FROM HIS PICTURE, BY MR. CHARLES
  COLLINS, 1892.)

  [Photo-zinc process.]]



PREFACE.


The object of this book is to explain the modern systems of Book and
Newspaper Illustration, and especially the methods of drawing for what
is commonly called "process," on which so many artists are now engaged.

There is almost a revolution in illustration at the present time, and
both old and young--teachers and scholars--are in want of a handbook for
reference when turning to the new methods. The illustrator of to-day is
called upon suddenly to take the place of the wood engraver in
interpreting tone into line, and requires practical information which
this book is intended to supply.

The most important branch of illustration treated of is _line drawing_,
as it is practically out of reach of competition by the photographer,
and is, moreover, the kind of drawing most easily reproduced and printed
at the type press; but wash drawing, drawing upon grained papers, and
the modern appliances for reproduction, are all treated of.

The best instructors in drawing for process are, after all, the
_painters of pictures_ who know so well how to express themselves in
black and white, and to whom I owe many obligations. There is a wide
distinction between their treatment of "illustration" and the so-called
"pen-and-ink" artist.

The "genius" who strikes out a wonderful path of his own, whose
scratches and splashes appear in so many books and newspapers, is of the
"butterfly" order of being--a creation, so to speak, of the processes,
and is not to be emulated or imitated. There is no reason but custom
why, in drawing for process, a man's coat should be made to look like
straw, or the background (if there be a background) have the appearance
of fireworks. No ability on the part of the illustrator will make these
things tolerable in the near future. There is a reaction already, and
signs of a better and more sober treatment of illustration, which only
requires a _better understanding of the requirements and limitations of
the processes_, to make it equal to some of the best work of the past.

The modern illustrator has much to learn--more than he imagines--in
drawing for the processes. A study of examples by masters of line
drawing--such as Holbein, Menzell, Fortuny or Sandys--or of the best
work of the etchers, will not tell the student of to-day exactly what he
requires to know; for they are nearly all misleading as to the
principles upon which modern process work is based.

In painting we learn everything from the past--everything that it is
best to know. In engraving also, we learn from the past the best way to
interpret colour into line, but in drawing for the processes there is
practically no "past" to refer to; at the same time the advance of the
photographer into the domain of illustration renders it of vital
importance to artists to put forth their best work in black and white,
and it throws great responsibility upon art teachers to give a good
groundwork of education to the illustrator of the future. In all this,
education--_general education_--will take a wider part.

The ILLUSTRATIONS have been selected to show the possibilities of
"process" work in educated, capable hands, rather than any _tours de
force_ in drawing, or exploits of genius. They are all of modern work,
and are printed on the same sheets as the letterpress.

_All the Illustrations in this book have been reproduced by mechanical
processes, excepting nine_ (marked on the list), which are engraved on
wood.

Acknowledgments are due to the Council of the Society of Arts for
permission to reprint a portion of the Cantor Lectures on "Illustration"
from their Journal; to the Editors of the _National Review_ and the
_Nineteenth Century_, for permission to reprint several pages from
articles in those reviews; to the Editors and Publishers who have lent
illustrations; and above all, to the artists whose works adorn these
pages.

     H. B.

  123, VICTORIA STREET, WESTMINSTER.

     _May, 1894._



CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE
  CHAPTER I.--INTRODUCTORY                                             1

  CHAPTER II.--ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATION                                15

    Diagrams--Daily Illustrated Newspapers--Pictorial _v._ Verbal
      Description.

  CHAPTER III.--ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS                                40

    Education of the Illustrator--Line Drawing for
      Process--Sketching from Life--Examples of Line Drawing.

  CHAPTER IV.--THE PROCESSES                                         102

    "Photo zinco"--Gelatine Process--Grained Papers--Mechanical
      Dots--"Half-tone" Process--Wash Drawing--Illustrations from
      Photographs--_Sketch_, _Graphic_, &c.--Daniel Vierge.

  CHAPTER V.--WOOD ENGRAVING                                         182

  CHAPTER VI.--THE DECORATIVE PAGE                                   197

  CHAPTER VII.--AUTHOR, ILLUSTRATOR, & PUBLISHER                     211

  STUDENTS' DRAWINGS                                                 223

  APPENDIX                                                           233



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


[_The copyright of all pictures sketched in this book is strictly
reserved._]

                                                                    PAGE
  "The Trumpeter." Sir John Gilbert, R.A.              (_Process_)    vi
  Swans. Charles Collins                                    "         ix
  "Ashes of Roses." G. H. Boughton, A.R.A.                  "          5
  "Badminton in the Studio." R. W. Macbeth, A.R.A.          "          6
  "A Son of Pan." William Padgett                           "         11
  "Home by the Ferry." Edward Stott                         "         12
  Man in Chain Armour. Lancelot Speed                       "         14
  "Greeting." The Hon. Mrs. Boyle                           "         15
  Diagrams (5)                                              "      19-32
  View above Blankenburg                                 (_Wood_)     38
  The Curvature of the World's Surface                      "         39
  "Tiresome Dog." E. K. Johnson                        (_Process_)    43
  "Frustrated." Walter Hunt                                 "         44
  "On the Riviera." Ellen Montalba                          "         46
  "Landscape with Trees." M. R. Corbet                      "         47
  "An Odd Volume." H. S. Marks, R.A.                        "         49
  "A Select Committee." H. S. Marks, R.A.                   "         50
  "The Rose Queen." G. D. Leslie, R.A.                      "         52
  "Finding of the Infant St. George." C. M. Gere            "         56
  "A Ploughboy." G. Clausen                                 "     59, 61
  "Blowing Bubbles." C. E. Wilson                           "         65
  "Cathedral, from Ox Body Lane." H. Railton                "         69
  "By Unfrequented Ways." W. H. Gore                        "     70, 71
  "Adversity." Fred. Hall                                   "     73, 75
  "A Willowy Stream." Maud Naftel                           "         76
  "Twins." Stanley Berkeley                                 "         79
  "The Dark Island." Alfred East                            "         80
  "A Portrait." T. C. Gotch                                 "         83
  Sir John Tenniel. Edwin Ward                              "         87
  The Rt. Hon. John Morley. Edwin Ward                      "         90
  "Nothing venture, nothing have." E. P. Sanguinetti        "     92, 93
  "On the Terrace." E. A. Rowe                              "         94
  "For the Squire." Sir John Millais, Bart., R.A.           "         97
  "The Stopped Key." H. S. Marks, R.A.                      "        100
  Nymph and Cupid. Henry Holiday                            "        101
  Illustration to "_The Blue Poetry Book_." L. Speed        "        102
  A Portrait. T. Blake Wirgman.                             "        103
  "Forget Me Not." Henry Ryland                             "        105
  "Baby's Own." G. Hillyard Swinstead                       "        107
  "A Silent Pool." E. W. Waite                              "        108
  "The Miller's Daughter." E. K. Johnson                    "        111
  "The End of the Chapter." W. Rainey.                      "        112
  "In the Pas de Calais." J. P. Beadle                      "        113
  "Golden Days." F. Stuart Richardson                       "        114
  "Twilight." Hume Nisbet                                   "        115
  "Le Dent du Géant." E. T. Compton                         "   116, 117
  Landscape. A. M. Lindstrom                                "        119
  Volendam. C. J. Watson                                    "        123
  "Old Woman and Grandchild." Hugh Cameron                  "        125
  "An Arrest." Melton Prior                                 "        127
  "Sunrise in the Severn Valley." M. R. Corbet              "        129
  "The Adjutant's Love Story." H. R. Millar                 "        131
  Illustrations from "_The Blue Poetry Book_." L. Speed     "  134, 5, 7
  "Seine Boats." Louis Grier                                "        138
  "There is the Priory." W. H. Wollen                       "        139
  From "_Andersen's Fairy Tales_." J. R. Weguelin           "   141, 143
  "Two's company, three's none." H. J. Walker               "        147
  Illustration from "_Black and White_." C. G. Manton       "        149
  "A Sunny Land." George Wetherbee                          "        150
  Decorative Design. The late Randolph Caldecott            "        151
  Sketch in wash (part of picture) from "_Sketch_           "        155
  "The Brook." Arnold Helcké                                "        157
  From a Photograph from Life. By Mr. H. S.
       Mendelssohn ("_Sketch_")                             "        161
  From a Photograph from Life. By Messrs.
       Cameron & Smith ("_Studio_")                         "        165
  From a Photograph from Life ("_Graphic_")             (_Wood_)     169
  "Proud Maisie." Lancelot Speed                       (_Process_)   173
  From "_Pablo de Segovia_." Daniel Vierge                  "        177
  Drinking Horn from "_Eric Bright Eyes_." L. Speed         "        181
  Heading from "_Grimm's Household Stories_." W. Crane  (_Wood_)     182
  Photograph from Life. "_The Century Magazine_"            "        187
  "Driving Home the Pigs." John Pedder                 (_Process_)   193
  Joan of Arc's House at Rouen. Samuel Prout            (_Wood_)     195
  Heading from "_Grimm's Household Stories_." W. Crane      "        197
  Decorative Page. A. J. Gaskin                        (_Process_)   199
  Decorative Page from "_The Six Swans_." W. Crane      (_Wood_)     201
  Title Page of "_The Hobby Horse_." Selwyn Image           "        205
  Viking Ship from "_Eric Bright Eyes_." L. Speed      (_Process_)   208
  "Scarlet Poppies." W. J. Muckley                          "        209
  "Take Care." W. B. Baird                                  "        222
  Spanish Woman. Ina Bidder                                 "        225
  Children Reading. Estelle d'Avigdor                       "        227
  Sketch from Life. G. C. Marks                             "        229
  Bough of Common Furze. William French                     "        231



  [Illustration]

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTORY.


There are, broadly speaking, two kinds of engraving for illustration in
books, which are widely distinct--1. _intaglio_; 2. _relievo_. The first
comprises all engravings, etchings, and photogravures in which the lines
are cut or indented by acid or other means, into a steel or copper
plate--a system employed, with many variations of method, from the time
of Mantegna, Albert Dürer, Holbein and Rembrandt, to the French and
English etchers of the present day. Engravings thus produced are little
used in modern book illustration, as they cannot be printed easily on
the same page as the letterpress; these _planches à part_, as the French
term them, are costly to print and are suitable only for limited
editions.

In the second, or ordinary form of illustration, the lines or pictures
to be printed are left in relief; the design being generally made on
wood with a pencil, and the parts not drawn upon cut away. This was the
rudimentary and almost universal form of book-illustration, as practised
in the fifteenth century, as revived in England by Bewick in the
eighteenth, and continued to the present day. The blocks thus prepared
can be printed rapidly on ordinary printing-presses, and on _the same
page as the text_.

During the past few years so many processes have been put forward for
producing drawings in relief, for printing with the type, that it has
become a business in itself to test and understand them. The best known
process is still wood engraving, at least it is the best for the
fac-simile reproduction of drawings, as at present understood in
England, whether they be drawn direct upon the wood or transmitted by
photography. There is no process in relief which has the same certainty,
which gives the same colour and brightness, and by which gradation of
tone can be more truly rendered.

As to the relative value of the different photographic relief processes,
that can only be decided by experts. Speaking generally, I may say that
there are six or seven now in use, each of which is, I am informed, the
best, and all of which are adapted for printing in the same manner as a
wood-block.[1] Improvements in these processes are being made so rapidly
that what was best yesterday will not be the best to-morrow, and it is a
subject which is still little understood.

In the present book it is proposed to speak principally of the more
popular form of illustration (_relievo_); but the changes which are
taking place in all forms of engraving and illustration render it
necessary to say a few words first upon _intaglio_. We have heard much
of the "painter-etchers," and of the claims of the etchers to
recognition as original artists; and at the annual exhibition of the
Society of Painter-Etchers in London, we have seen examples in which the
effects produced in black and white seemed more allied to the painter's
art than to the engraver's. But we are considering engraving as a means
of interpreting the work of others, rather than as an original art.

The influence of photography is felt in nearly every department of
illustration. The new photo-mechanical methods of engraving, _without
the aid of the engraver_, have rendered drawing for fac-simile
reproduction of more importance than ever; and the wonderful invention
called _photogravure_, in which an engraving is made direct from an oil
painting, is almost superseding handwork.[2]

  [Illustration: No. II.

  "_Ashes of Roses_," by G. H. BOUGHTON, A.R.A.

  This careful drawing, from the painting by Mr. Boughton, in the Royal
  Academy, reproduced by the Dawson process, is interesting for variety
  of treatment and indication of textures in pen and ink. It is like the
  picture, but it has also the individuality of the draughtsman, as in
  line engraving.

   Size of drawing about 6-1/2 x 3-1/2 in.]

  [Illustration: "BADMINTON IN THE STUDIO." (FROM THE PAINTING BY R. W.
  MACBETH, A.R.A.)

  (_Royal Academy, 1891._)]

The art of line-engraving is disappearing in England, giving way to the
"painter-etchers," the "dry-point" etchers and the "mezzotint
engravers," and, finally, to _photogravure_, a method of engraving which
is so extraordinary, and so little understood (although it has been in
constant use for more than ten years), that it may be worth while to
explain, in a few words, the method as practised by Messrs. Boussod,
Valadon & Co., successors to Goupil, of Paris.

In the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1882, Sir Frederick Leighton's
picture called "Wedded" will be remembered by many visitors. This
picture was purchased for Australia, and had to be sent from England
within a few weeks of the closing of the exhibition. There was no time
to make an engraving, or even an etching satisfactorily, and so the
picture was sent to Messrs. Goupil, who in a few weeks produced the
_photogravure_, as it is called, which we see in the printsellers'
windows to this day. The operation is roughly as follows:--First, a
photograph is taken direct from the picture; then a carbon print is
taken from the negative upon glass, which rests upon the surface in
delicate relief. From this print a cast is taken in reverse in copper,
by placing the glass in a galvanic bath, the deposit of copper upon the
glass taking the impression of the picture as certainly as snow takes
the pattern of the ground upon which it falls. Thus--omitting details,
and certain "secrets" of the process--it may be seen how modern science
has superseded much of the engraver's work, and how a mechanical process
can produce in a few days that which formerly took years.

What the permanent art-estimate of "photo-engraving" may be, as a
substitute for hand-work, is a question for the collectors of engravings
and etchings. In the meantime, it is well that the public should know
what a _photogravure_ is, as distinct from an engraving. The system of
mechanical engraving, in the reproduction of pictures, is spreading
rapidly over the world; but it should be observed that these
reproductions are not uniformly successful. One painter's method of
handling lends itself more readily than that of another to mechanical
engraving. Thus the work of the President of the Royal Academy would
reproduce better than that of Mr. G. F. Watts or Mr. Orchardson. That
the actual marks of the brush, the very texture of the painting, can be
transferred to copper and steel, and multiplied _ad infinitum_ by this
beautiful process, is a fact to which many English artists are keenly
alive. The process has its limits, of course, and _photogravure_ has at
present to be assisted to a considerable extent by the engraver. But
enough has been done in the last few years to prove that photography
will henceforth take up the painter's handiwork as he leaves it, and
thus the importance of thoroughness and completeness on the part of the
painter has to be more than ever insisted upon by the publishers of
"engravings."

A word may be useful here to explain that the coloured "photogravures,"
reproducing the washes of colour in a painting or water-colour drawing,
of which we see so many in Paris, are not coloured by hand in the
ordinary way, but are produced complete, at one impression, from the
printing-press. The colours are laid upon the plate, one by one, by the
printer, by a system of stencilling; and thus an almost perfect
fac-simile of a picture can be reproduced in pure colour, if the
original is simple and broad in treatment.

  [Illustration: No. III.

  "_A Son of Pan_," by WILLIAM PADGETT.

  Example of outline drawing, put in solidly with a brush. If this had
  been done with pencil or autographic chalk, much of the feeling and
  expression of the original would have been lost. The drawing has
  suffered slightly in reproduction, where (as in the shadows on the
  neck and hands) the lines were pale in the original.

   Size of drawing 11-1/2 × 6-1/2 in. Zinc process.]

  [Illustration: "HOME BY THE FERRY." (FROM THE PAINTING BY EDWARD
  STOTT.)

   (_Royal Academy, 1891._)]

One other point of interest and importance to collectors of engravings
and etchings should be mentioned. Within the last few years, an
invention for coating the surface of engraved plates with a film of
steel (which can be renewed as often as necessary) renders the surface
practically indestructible; and it is now possible to print a thousand
impressions from a copper plate without injury or loss of quality. These
modern inventions are no secrets, they have been described repeatedly in
technical journals and in lectures, notably in those delivered during
the past few years at the Society of Arts, and published in the
_Journal_. But the majority of the public, and even many collectors of
prints and etchings, are ignorant of the number of copies which can now
be taken without deterioration from one plate.

It is necessary to the art amateur that he should know something of
these things, if only to explain why it is that scratching on a copper
plate has come so much into vogue in England lately, and why there has
been such a remarkable revival of the art of Dürer at the end of this
century. The reason for the movement will be better understood when it
is explained that by the process just referred to, of "steeling" the
surface of plates, the "burr," as it is called, and the most delicate
lines of the engraver are preserved intact for a much larger number of
impressions than formerly. The taste for etchings and the higher forms
of the reproductive arts is still spreading rapidly, but the fact
remains that etchings and _éditions de luxe_ do not reach one person in
a thousand in any civilised community. It is only by means of wood
engravings, and the cheaper and simpler forms of process illustration,
that the public is appealed to pictorially through the press.

  [Illustration: LINE PROCESS BLOCK.]


FOOTNOTES:

  [1] All the illustrations in this book are produced by mechanical
    processes excepting those marked in the List of Illustrations; and
    all are printed simultaneously with the letterpress. For description
    of processes, see _Appendix_.

  [2] One of the last and best examples of pure line-engraving was by
    M. Joubert, from a painting by E. J. Poynter, R.A., called
    "Atalanta's Race," exhibited in the Royal Academy, 1876. The
    engraving of this picture was nearly three years in M. Joubert's
    hands--a tardy process in these days.



  [Illustration: "GREETING." (BY THE HON. MRS. BOYLE.)]

CHAPTER II.

ELEMENTARY ILLUSTRATION.


The first object of an illustration, the practical part, is obviously,
_to illustrate and elucidate the text_--a matter often lost sight of.
The second is to be artistic, and includes works of the imagination,
decoration, ornament, style. In this chapter we shall consider the
first, the practical part.

Nearly twenty years ago, at a meeting of the Society of Arts in London,
the general question was discussed, whether in the matter of
illustrating books and newspapers we are really keeping pace with the
times; whether those whose business it is to provide the illustrations
which are tossed from steam presses at the rate of several thousand
copies an hour, are doing the best work they can.

In illustrated newspapers, it was argued, "there should be a clearer
distinction between fact and fiction, between news and pictures." The
exact words may be thought worth repeating now.[3]

  "In the production of illustrations we have arrived at great
  proficiency, and from London are issued the best illustrated
  newspapers in the world. But our artistic skill has led us into
  temptation, and by degrees engendered a habit of making pictures when
  we ought to be recording facts. We have thus, through our cleverness,
  created a fashion and a demand from the public for something which is
  often elaborately untrue.

  Would it, then, be too much to ask those who cater for (and really
  create) the public taste, that they should give us one of two things,
  or rather _two things_, in our illustrated papers, the real and the
  ideal--

  1st. Pictorial records of events in the simplest and truest manner
  possible;

  2nd. Pictures of the highest class that can be printed in a newspaper?

  Here are two methods of illustration which only require to be kept
  distinct, each in its proper place, and our interest in them would be
  doubled. We ask first for a record of news and then for a picture
  gallery; and to know, to use a common phrase, _which is which_."

At the time referred to, drawing on the wood-block and engraving were
almost universal--instantaneous photography was in its infancy, "process
blocks," that is to say, mechanical engraving, was very seldom employed,
and (for popular purposes) American engraving and printing was
considered the best.

The system of producing illustrations in direct fac-simile of an artist's
drawing, suitable for printing at a type press without the aid of the
wood engraver, is of such value for cheap and simple forms of
illustration, and is, moreover, in such constant use, that it seems
wonderful at first sight that it should not be better understood in
England. But the cause is not far to seek. We have not yet acquired the
art of pictorial expression in black and white, nor do many of our
artists excel in "illustration" in the true sense of the word.

It has often been pointed out that through the pictorial system the mind
receives impressions with the least effort and in the quickest way, and
that the graphic method is the true way of imparting knowledge. Are we
then, in the matter of giving information or in imparting knowledge
through the medium of illustrations, adopting the truest and simplest
methods? I venture to say that in the majority of cases we are doing
nothing of the kind. We have pictures in abundance which delight the
eye, which are artistically drawn and skilfully engraved, but in which,
in nine cases out of ten, there is more thought given to effect as a
picture than to illustrating the text.

It has often been suggested that the art of printing is, after all, but
a questionable blessing on account of the error and the evil
disseminated by it. Without going into that question, I think that we
may find that the art of printing with movable type has led to some
neglect of the art of expressing ourselves pictorially, and that the
apparently inexorable necessity of running every word and thought into
uniform lines, has cramped and limited our powers of expression, and of
communicating ideas to each other.

Let us begin at the lowest step of the artistic ladder, and consider
some forms of illustration which are within the reach of nearly every
writer for the press. With the means now at command for reproducing any
lines drawn or written, in perfect fac-simile, mounted on square blocks
to range with the type, and giving little or no trouble to the printer,
there is no question that we should more frequently see the hand work of
the writer as well as of the artist appearing on the page. For example:
it happens sometimes in a work of fiction, or in the record of some
accident or event, that it is important to the clear understanding of
the text, to know the exact position of a house, say at a street corner,
and also (as in the case of a late trial for arson) which way the wind
blew on a particular evening. Words are powerless to explain the
position beyond the possibility of doubt or misconstruction; and yet
words are, and have been, used for such purposes for hundreds of years,
because it is "the custom."

  [Illustration]

But if it were made plain that where words fail to express a meaning
easily, a few lines, such as those above, drawn in ink on ordinary
paper, may be substituted (and, if sent to the printer with the
manuscript, will appear in fac-simile on the proof with the printed
page), I think a new light may dawn on many minds, and new methods of
expression come into vogue.

This illustration (which was written on the sheet of MS.) is one
example, out of a hundred that might be given, where a diagram should
come to the aid of the verbal description, now that the reproduction of
lines for the press is no longer costly, and the blocks can be printed,
if necessary, on rapidly revolving cylinders, which (by duplicating) can
produce in a night 100,000 copies of a newspaper.

Before exploring some of the possibilities of illustration, it may be
interesting to glance at what has been done in this direction since the
invention of producing blocks rapidly to print at the type press and the
improvements in machinery.

In the spring of 1873 a Canadian company started a daily illustrated
evening newspaper in New York, called _The Daily Graphic_, which was to
eclipse all previous publications by the rapidity and excellence of its
illustrations. It started with an attempt to give a daily record of
news, and its conductors made every effort to bring about a system of
rapid sketching and drawing in line. But the public of New York in 1873
(as of London, apparently, in 1893) cared more for "pictures," and so by
degrees the paper degenerated into a picture-sheet, reproducing (without
leave) engravings from the _Illustrated London News_, the _Graphic_,
and other papers, as they arrived from England. The paper was
lithographed, and survived until 1889.

The report of the first year's working of the first daily illustrated
newspaper in the world is worth recording. The proprietors stated that
although the paper was started "in a year of great financial depression,
they have abundant reason to be satisfied with their success," and
further, that they attribute it to "an absence of all sensational
news."(!)

The report ended with the following interesting paragraph:

  "Pictorial records of crime, executions, scenes involving misery, and
  the more unwholesome phases of social life, are a positive detriment
  to a daily illustrated newspaper. In fact, the higher the tone and the
  better the taste appealed to, the larger we have found our circulation
  to be."

The great art, it would seem, of conducting a daily illustrated
newspaper is to know _what to leave out_--when, in fact, to have no
illustrations at all!

In England the first systematic attempt at illustration in a daily
newspaper was the insertion of a little map or weather chart in the
_Times_ in 1875, and the _Pall Mall Gazette_ followed suit with a dial
showing the direction of the wind, and afterwards with other explanatory
diagrams and sketches.

But, in June, 1875, the _Times_ and all other newspapers in England were
far distanced by the _New York Tribune_ in reporting the result of a
shooting match in Dublin between an American Rifle Corps and some of our
volunteers. On the morning after the contest there were long verbal
reports in the English papers, describing the shooting and the results;
but in the pages of the _New York Tribune_ there appeared a series of
targets with the shots of the successful competitors marked upon them,
communicated by telegraph and printed in the paper in America on the
following morning.[4]

After this period we seem to have moved slowly, only some very important
geographical discovery, or event, extorting from the daily newspapers an
explanatory plan or diagram. But during the "Transit of Venus," on the
6th of December, 1882, a gleam of light was vouchsafed to the readers of
the _Daily Telegraph_ (and possibly to other papers), and that exciting
astronomical event from which "mankind was to obtain a clearer
knowledge of the scale of the universe," was understood and remembered
better, by three or four lines in the form of a diagram (showing,
roughly, the track of Venus and its comparative size and distance from
the sun) printed in the newspaper on the day of the event.

Maps and plans have appeared from time to time in all the daily
newspapers, but not systematically, or their interest and usefulness
would have been much greater. Many instances might be given of the use
of diagrams in newspapers; a little dial showing the direction of the
wind, is obviously better than words and figures, but it is only lately
that printing difficulties have been overcome, and that the system can
be widely extended.

It remains to be seen how far the _Daily Graphic_, with experience and
capital at command, will aid in a system of illustration which is one
day to become general. Thus far it would seem that the production of a
large number of pictures (more or less _à-propos_) is the popular thing
to do. We may be excused if we are disappointed in the result from a
practical point of view; for as the functions of a daily newspaper are
_primâ facie_ to record facts, it follows that if words fail to
communicate the right meaning, pictorial expression should come to the
aid of the verbal, no matter how crude or inartistic the result might
appear.

Let me give one or two examples, out of many which come to mind.

1. The transmission of form by telegraph. To realise the importance of
this system in conveying news, we have only to consider (going back
nearly forty years) what interest would have been added to Dr. Russell's
letters from the Crimea in the _Times_ newspaper, if it had been
considered possible, then, to have inserted, here and there, with the
type, a line or two pictorially giving (_e.g._) the outline of a
hillside, and the position of troops upon it. It _was_ possible to do
this in 1855, but it is much more feasible now. The transmission of form
by telegraph is of the utmost importance to journalists and scientific
men, and, as our electricians have not yet determined the best methods,
it may be interesting to point out the simplest and most rudimentary
means at hand. The method is well known in the army and is used for
field purposes, but hitherto newspapers have been strangely slow to
avail themselves of it. The diagram on the opposite page will explain a
system which is capable of much development with and without the aid of
photography.

If the reader will imagine this series of squares to represent a
portable piece of open trellis-work, which might be set up at a window
or in the open field, between the spectator and any object of interest
at a distance--each square representing a number corresponding with a
code in universal use--it will be obvious, that by noticing the squares
which the outline of a hill would cover, and _telegraphing the numbers
of the squares_, something in the way of form and outline may be quickly
communicated from the other side of the world.

  [Illustration: CODE FOR TRANSMITTING FORM BY TELEGRAPH.]

This is for rough-and-ready use in time of war, when rapidity of
communication is of the first importance; but in time of peace a
correspondent's letter continually requires elucidation.

Next is an example, which, for want of better words, I will call "the
shorthand of pictorial art." A newspaper correspondent is in a boat on
one of the Italian lakes, and wishes to describe the scene on a calm
summer day. This is how he proceeds--

  [Illustration]

"We are shut in by mountains," he says, "but the blue lake seems as wide
as the sea. On a rocky promontory on the left hand the trees grow down
to the water's edge and the banks are precipitous, indicating the great
depth of this part of the lake. The water is as smooth as glass; on its
surface is one vessel, a heavily-laden market boat with drooping sails,
floating slowly down" (and so on)--there is no need to repeat it all;
but when half a column of word-painting had been written (and
well-written) the correspondent failed to present the picture clearly to
the eye without these _four_ explanatory lines (no more) which should
of course have been sent with his letter.

This method of description requires certain aptitude and training; but
not much, not more than many a journalist could acquire for himself with
a little practice. The director of the _Daily Graphic_ is reported to
have said that "the ideal correspondent, who can sketch as well as
write, is not yet born." He takes perhaps a higher view of the artistic
functions of a daily newspaper than we should be disposed to grant him;
by "we" I mean, of course, "the public," expecting _news_ in the most
graphic manner. There are, and will be, many moments when we want
information, simply and solely, and care little how, or in what shape,
it comes.

This kind of information, given pictorially, has no pretension to be
artistic, but it is "illustration" in the true sense of the word, and
its value when rightly applied is great. When the alterations at Hyde
Park Corner (one of the most important of the London improvements of our
day) were first debated in Parliament, a daily newspaper, as if moved by
some sudden flash of intelligence, printed a ground-plan of the proposed
alterations with descriptive text; and once or twice only, during
Stanley's long absence in Africa, did we have sketches or plans printed
with the letters to elucidate the text, such as a sketch of the floating
islands with their weird inhabitants, at Stanley's Station on the Congo
river, which appeared in a daily newspaper--instances of news presented
to the reader in a better form than words. "The very thing that was
wanted!" was the general exclamation, as if there were some new
discovery of the powers of description.

As the war correspondent's occupation does not appear likely to cease in
our time, it would seem worth while to make sure that he is fully
equipped.

The method of writing employed by correspondents on the field of battle
seems unnecessarily clumsy and prolix; we hear of letters written
actually under fire, on a drum-head, or in the saddle, and on opening
the packet as it arrives by the post we may find, if we take the trouble
to measure it, that the point of the pen or pencil, has travelled over a
distance of a hundred feet! This is the actual ascertained measurement,
taking into account all the ups and downs, crosses and dashes, as it
arrives from abroad. No wonder the typewriter is resorted to in
journalism wherever possible.

A newspaper correspondent is sent suddenly to the seat of war, or is
stationed in some remote country to give the readers of a newspaper the
benefit of his observations. What is he doing in 1894? In the imperfect,
clumsy language which he possesses in common with every minister of
state and public schoolboy, he proceeds to describe what he sees in a
hundred lines, when with two or three strokes of the pen he might have
expressed his meaning better pictorially. I have used these words
before, but they apply with redoubled force at the present time. The
fact is, that with the means now at command for reproducing any lines
drawn or written, the correspondent is not thoroughly equipped if he
cannot send them as suggested, by telegraph or by letter. It is all a
matter of education, and the newspaper reporter of the future will not
be considered complete unless he is able to express himself, to some
extent, pictorially as well as verbally. Then, and not till then, will
our complicated language be rescued from many obscurities, by the aid of
lines other than verbal.[5]

In nearly every city, town, or place there is some feature,
architectural or natural, which gives character to it, and it would add
greatly to the interest of letters from abroad if they were headed with
a little outline sketch, or indication of the principal objects. This is
seldom done, because the art of looking at things, and the power of
putting them down simply in a few lines, has not been cultivated and is
not given to many.

Two things are principally necessary to attain this end--

  [Illustration: A STUDY IN PERSPECTIVE. (HUME NISBET.)

  A. Standpoint. B. Point of Sight. C. Horizontal line. D. Vanishing
  lines. E. Point of distance. F. Vanishing lines of distance. G. Line
  of sight.]

1. The education of hand and eye and a knowledge of perspective, to be
imparted to every schoolboy, no matter what his profession or occupation
is likely to be.

2. The education of the public to read aright this new language (new to
most people), the "shorthand of pictorial art."

The popular theory amongst editors and publishers is that the public
would not care for information presented to them in this way--that they
"would not understand it and would not buy it." Sketches of the kind
indicated have never been fairly tried in England; but they are
increasing in number every day, and the time is not far distant when we
shall look back upon the present system with considerable amusement and
on a book or a newspaper which is not illustrated as an incomplete
production. The number of illustrations produced and consumed daily in
the printing press is enormous; but they are too much of one pattern,
and, as a rule, too elaborate.

In the illustration of books of all kinds there should be a more general
use of diagrams and plans to elucidate the text. No new building of
importance should be described anywhere without an indication of the
elevation, if not also of the ground plan; and, as a rule, no picture
should be described without a sketch to indicate the composition. In
history words so often fail to give the correct _locale_ that it seems
wonderful we have no better method in common use. The following rough
plan will illustrate one of the simplest ways of making a description
clear to the reader. Take the verbal one first:--

"The young Bretonne stood under the doorway of the house, sheltered from
the rain which came with the soft west wind. From her point of vantage
on the 'Place' she commanded a view of the whole village, and could see
down the four streets of which it was principally composed."

  [Illustration]

In this instance a writer was at some pains to describe (and failed to
describe in three pages) the exact position of the streets near where
the girl stood; and it was a situation in which photography could hardly
help him.

It may seem strange at first sight to occupy the pages of a book on art
with diagrams and elementary outlines, but it must be remembered that
plans and diagrams are at the basis of a system of illustration which
will one day become general. The reason, as already pointed out, for
drawing attention to the subject now, is that it is only lately that
systems have been perfected for reproducing lines on the printed page
almost as rapidly as setting up the type. Thus a new era, so to speak,
in the art of expressing ourselves pictorially as well as verbally has
commenced: the means of reproduction are to hand; the blocks can be
made, if necessary, in less than three hours, and copies can be printed
on revolving cylinders at the rate of 10,000 an hour.

The advance in scientific discovery by means of subtle instruments
brings the surgeon sometimes to the knowledge of facts which, in the
interests of science, he requires to demonstrate graphically, objects
which it would often be impossible to have photographed. With a
rudimentary knowledge of drawing and perspective, the surgeon and the
astronomer would both be better equipped. At the University of
Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where the majority of students are
intended for the medical profession, this subject is considered of high
importance, and the student in America is learning to express himself in
a language that can be understood.

In architecture it is often necessary, in order to understand the
description of a building, to indicate in a few lines not only the
general plan and elevation, but also its position in perspective in a
landscape or street. Few architects can do this if called upon at a
moment's notice in a Parliamentary committee room. And yet it is a
necessary part of the language of an architect.[6]

These remarks apply with great force to books of travel, where an author
should be able to take part in the drawing of his illustrations, at
least to the extent of being able to explain his meaning and ensure
topographical accuracy.

A curious experiment was made lately with some students in an Art
school, to prove the fallacy of the accepted system of describing
landscapes, buildings, and the like in words. A page or two from one of
the Waverley novels (a description of a castle and the heights of
mountainous land, with a river winding in the valley towards the sea,
and clusters of houses and trees on the right hand) was read slowly and
repeated before a number of students, three of whom, standing apart from
each other by pre-arrangement, proceeded to indicate on blackboards
before an audience the leading lines of the picture as the words had
presented it to their minds. It is needless to say that the results,
highly skilful in one case, were all different, and _all wrong_; and
that in particular the horizon line of the sea (so easy to indicate with
any clue, and so important to the composition) was hopelessly out of
place. Thus we describe day by day, and the pictures formed in the mind
are erroneous, for the imagination of the reader is at work at once, and
requires simple guidance. The exhibition was, I need hardly say, highly
stimulating and suggestive.

Many arguments might be used for the substitution of pictorial for
verbal methods of expression, which apply to books as well as
periodicals. Two may be mentioned of a purely topical kind.

1. In June, 1893, when the strife of political parties ran high in
England, and anything like a _rapprochement_ between their leaders
seemed impossible, Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Balfour were seen in apparently
friendly conversation behind the Speaker's chair in the House of
Commons. A newspaper reporter in one of the galleries, observing the
interesting situation, does not say in so many words, that "Mr. G. was
seen talking to Mr. B.," but makes, or has made for him, a sketch
(without caricature) of the two figures standing talking together, and
writes under it, "_Amenities behind the Speaker's chair_." Here it will
be seen that the subject is approached with more delicacy, and the
position indicated with greater force through the pictorial method.

2. The second modern instance of the power--the eloquence, so to speak,
of the pictorial method--appeared in the pages of _Punch_ on the
occasion of the visit of the Russian sailors to Paris in October, 1893.
A rollicking, dancing Russian bear, with the words "_Vive la République_"
wound round his head, hit the situation as no words could have done,
especially when exposed for sale in the kiosques of the Paris
boulevards. The picture required no translation into the languages of
Europe.

It may be said that there is nothing new here--that the political
cartoon is everywhere--that it has existed always, that it flourished in
Athens and Rome, that all history teems with it, that it comes down to
us on English soil through Gillray, Rowlandson, Hogarth, Blake, and many
distinguished names. I draw attention to these things because the town
is laden with newspapers and illustrated sheets. The tendency of the
time seems to be to read less and less, and to depend more upon
pictorial records of events. There are underlying reasons for this on
which we must not dwell; the point of importance to illustrators is the
fact that there is an insatiable demand for "pictures" which tell us
something quickly and accurately, in a language which every nation can
understand.

Another example of the use of pictorial expression to aid the verbal. A
traveller in the Harz Mountains finds himself on the Zeigenkop, near
Blankenberg, on a clear summer's day, and thus describes it in words:--

  "We are now on the heights above Blankenberg, a promontory 1,360 feet
  above the plains, with an almost uninterrupted view of distant country
  looking northward and eastward. The plateau of mountains on which we
  have been travelling here ends abruptly. It is the end of the upper
  world, but the plains seem illimitable. There is nothing between us
  and our homes in Berlin--nothing to impede the view which it is almost
  impossible to describe in words. The setting sun has pierced the veil
  of mist, and a map of Northern Germany seems unrolled before us,
  distant cities coming into view one by one. First, we see Halberstadt
  with its spires, then Magdeburg, then another city, and another.

  "We have been so occupied with the distant prospect, and with the
  objects of interest which give character to it, that we had almost
  overlooked the charming composition and suggestive lines of this
  wonderful view. There is an ancient castle on the heights, the town of
  Blankenberg at our feet, a strange wall of perpendicular rocks in the
  middle distance; there are the curves of the valleys, flat pastures,
  undulating woods, and roads winding away across the plains. The
  central point of interest is the church spire with its cluster of
  houses spreading upwards towards the château, with its massive
  terraces fringed with trees, &c., &c."



This was all very well in word-painting, but what a veil is lifted from
the reader's eyes by some such sketch as the one below.

  [Illustration: VIEW ABOVE BLANKENBERG, HARZ MOUNTAINS.]

It should be mentioned that three photographic prints joined together
would hardly have given the picture, owing to the vast extent of this
inland view, and the varying atmospheric effects.

The last instance I can give here is an engraving from _Cassell's
Popular Educator_, where a picture is used to demonstrate the curvature
of the world's surface; thus imprinting, for once, and for always, on
the young reader's mind a fact which words fail to describe adequately.

  [Illustration: THE CURVATURE OF THE WORLDS SURFACE.]

This is "The Art of Illustration" in the true sense of the word.


FOOTNOTES:

  [3] The quotations are from a paper by the present writer, read
    before the Society of Arts in March, 1875.

  [4] This system of reporting rifle contests is now almost universal
    in England.

  [5] It seems strange that enterprising newspapers, with capital at
    command, such as the _New York Herald_, _Daily Telegraph_, and _Pall
    Mall Gazette_, should not have developed so obvious a method of
    transmitting information. The _Pall Mall Gazette_ has been the most
    active in this direction, but might do much more.

  [6] It has been well said that if a building can be described in
    words, it is not worth describing at all!



CHAPTER III.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS.


In referring now to more artistic illustrations, we should notice first,
some of the changes which have taken place (since the meeting referred
to in the last chapter), and, bridging over a distance of nearly twenty
years, consider the work of the illustrator, the photographer, and the
maker of process blocks, as presented in books and newspapers in 1894;
speaking principally of topical illustrations, on which so many thousand
people are now engaged.

It may seem strange at first sight to include "newspapers" in a chapter
on art illustrations, but the fact is that the weekly newspapers, with
their new appliances for printing, and in consequence of the cheapness
of good paper, are now competing with books and magazines in the
production of illustrations which a few years ago were only to be found
in books. The illustrated newspaper is one of the great employers of
labour in this field and distributor of the work of the artist in black
and white, and in this connection must by no means be ignored. The
Post-office carries a volume of 164 pages (each 22 by 16 inches),
weighing from two to three pounds, for a half-penny. It is called a
"weekly newspaper," but it contains, sometimes, 100 illustrations, and
competes seriously with the production of illustrated books.

Further on we shall see how the illustrations of one number of a weekly
newspaper are produced--what part the original artist has in it, what
part the engraver and the photographer. These are things with which all
students should be acquainted.

The first stage of illustration, where little more than a plan or
elevation of a building is aimed at (as suggested in the last chapter),
and where an author, with little artistic knowledge, is yet enabled to
explain himself, is comparatively easy; it is when we approach the
hazardous domain of art that the real difficulties begin.

As matters stand at present, it is scarcely too much to say that the
majority of art students and the younger school of draughtsmen in this
country are "all abroad" in the matter of drawing for the press,
lacking, not industry, not capacity, but method. That they do good work
in abundance is not denied, but it is not exactly the kind of work
required--in short, they are not taught at the outset the _value of a
line_. That greater skill and certainty of drawing can be attained by
our younger draughtsmen is unquestionable, and, bearing in mind that
_nearly every book and newspaper in the future will be illustrated_, the
importance of study in this direction is much greater than may appear at
first sight.

  [Illustration: No. IV.

  "_Tiresome Dog_," by E. K. JOHNSON.

  This example of pen-and-ink work has been reproduced by the gelatine
  relief process. The drawing, which has been greatly reduced in
  reproduction, was made by Mr. Johnson for an Illustrated Catalogue of
  the Royal Water-Colour Society, of which he is a member.

  It is instructive as showing the possibilities and limitations of
  relief process-work in good hands. The gradation of tone is all
  obtained in pure black, or dotted lines. Mr. Dawson has aided the
  effect by "rouletting" on the block on the more delicate parts; but
  most of the examples in this book are untouched by the engraver.

  (_See Appendix._)]

  [Illustration: "FRUSTRATED." (FROM THE PAINTING BY WALTER HUNT.)

  (_Royal Academy_, 1891.)]

Referring to the evident want of training amongst our younger
draughtsmen, the question was put very bluntly in the _Athenæum_ some
years ago, thus:--

  Why is not drawing in line with pen and ink taught in our own
  Government schools of art? The present system in schools seems to
  render the art of drawing of as little use to the student as possible,
  for he has no sooner mastered the preliminary stage of drawing in
  outline from the flat with a lead pencil, than he has chalk put into
  his hand, a material which he will seldom or never use in turning his
  knowledge of drawing to practical account. The readier method of pen
  and ink would be of great service as a preparatory stage to wood
  drawing, but unfortunately drawing is taught in most cases as though
  the student intended only to become a painter.

Since these lines were written, efforts have been made in some schools
of art to give special training for illustrators, and instruction is
also given in wood engraving, which every draughtsman should learn; but
up to the present time there has been no systematic teaching in drawing
applicable to the various processes, for the reason that _the majority
of art masters do not understand them_.

  [Illustration: "ON THE RIVIERA." (ELLEN MONTALBA.)]

The art of expression in line, or of expressing the effect of a picture
or a landscape from Nature in a few leading lines (not necessarily
outline) is little understood in this country; and if such study, as the
_Athenæum_ pointed out, is important for the wood draughtsman, how much
more so in drawing for reproduction by photo-mechanical means? A few
artists have the gift of expressing themselves in line, but the majority
are strangely ignorant of the principles of this art and of the simple
fac-simile processes by which drawing can now be reproduced. In the
course of twenty years of editing the _Academy Notes_, some strange
facts have come to the writer's notice as to the powerlessness of some
painters to express the _motif_ of a picture in a few lines; also as to
how far we are behind our continental neighbours in this respect.

  [Illustration: "A LIGHT OF LAUGHING FLOWERS ALONG THE GRASS IS
  SPREAD." (M. RIDLEY CORBET.)]

  [Illustration: No. V.

  H. S. MARKS.

  An example of line drawing and "the art of leaving out," by the
  well-known Royal Academician.

  Mr. Marks and Sir John Gilbert (_see frontispiece_) were the first
  painters to explain the composition and leading lines of their
  pictures in the _Academy Notes_ in 1876. Mr. Marks suggests light and
  shade and the character of his picture in a few skilful lines. Sir
  John Gilbert's pen-and-ink drawing is also full of force and
  individuality. These drawings reproduce well by any of the processes.]

  [Illustration: "A SELECT COMMITTEE." (FROM THE PAINTING BY H. S.
  MARKS, R.A.)

  (_Royal Academy, 1891._)]

It is interesting to note here the firmness of line and clearness of
reproduction by the common process block; the result being more
satisfactory than many drawings by professional illustrators. The reason
is not far to seek; the painter knows his picture and how to give the
effect of it in black and white, in a few lines; and, in the case of Mr.
Corbet and Miss Montalba, they have made themselves acquainted with the
best way of drawing for the Press. There are many other methods than
pen-and-ink which draughtsmen use,--pencil, chalk, wash, grained paper,
&c, but first as to line drawing, because _it is the only means by which
certain results can be obtained_, and it is the one which, for practical
reasons, should be first mastered. Line drawings are now reproduced on
zinc blocks fitted for the type press at a cost of less than sixpence
the square inch for large blocks; the processes of reproduction will be
explained further on.

It cannot be sufficiently borne in mind--I am speaking now to students
who are not intimate with the subject--that to produce with pure black
lines the quality and effect of lines in which there is some gradation
of tone, is no easy matter, especially to those accustomed to the wood
engraver as the interpreter of their work. Sir John Tenniel, M. du
Maurier, and Mr. Sambourne, not to mention others on the _Punch_ staff,
have been accustomed to draw for wood engraving, and would probably
still prefer this method to any other.

  [Illustration: "THE ROSE QUEEN." (G. D. LESLIE, R.A.) (_From "Academy
  Notes," 1893._)]

But the young illustrator has to learn the newer methods, and how to get
his effects through direct photo-engraving. What may be done by process
is demonstrated in the line drawings interspersed through these pages,
also in the illustrations which are appearing every day in our
newspapers, magazines, and books--especially those which are well
printed and on good paper. Mr. George Leslie's pretty line drawing from
his picture, on the opposite page, is full of suggestion for
illustrative purposes.

But let us glance first at the ordinary hand-book teaching, and see how
far it is useful to the illustrator of to-day. The rules laid down as to
the methods of line work, the direction of lines for the expression of
certain textures, "cross-hatching," &c., are, if followed too closely,
apt to lead to hardness and mannerism in the young artist, which he will
with difficulty shake off. On these points, Mr. Robertson, the
well-known painter and etcher, writing seven years ago, says well:--

  "The mental properties of every line drawn with pen and ink should be
  original and personal ... this strong point is sure to be attained
  unconsciously, if an artist's work is simple and sincere, and _not the
  imitation of another man's style_."[7]

When the question arises as to what examples a beginner should copy who
wishes to practise the art of pen-and-ink drawing, the difficulty will
be to select from the great and varied stores of material that are
everywhere to his hand. All steel and copper-plate engravings that have
been executed in line, and all wood engravings, are within the possible
range of pen-and-ink drawing. I hold, however, that much time should not
be occupied in the imitatative copying of prints: only, indeed, so much
as enables the student to learn with what arrangement of lines the
different textures and qualities of objects may be best rendered.

There are, roughly, two methods of obtaining effect with a pen--one by
few lines, laid slowly, and the other by many lines, drawn with
rapidity. If the intention is to see what effect may be obtained with
comparatively few lines deliberately drawn, we may refer to the woodcuts
after Albert Dürer and Holbein, and the line engraving of Marc Antonio.
The engraved plates by Dürer furnish excellent examples of work, with
more and finer lines than his woodcuts [but many of the latter were not
done by his hand]. "Some of the etchings of Rembrandt are examples of
what may be fairly reproduced in pen and ink, but in them we find the
effect to depend upon innumerable lines in all directions. In the matter
of landscape the etched plates by Claude and Ruysdael are good examples
for study, and in animal life the work of Paul Potter and Dujardin."

Thus, for style, for mastery of effect and management of line, we must
go back to the old masters; to work produced generally in a reposeful
life, to which the younger generation are strangers. But the mere
copying of other men's lines is of little avail without mastering the
principles of the art of line drawing. The skilful copies, the
fac-similes of engravings and etchings drawn in pen and ink, which are
the admiration of the young artist's friends, are of little or no value
in deciding the aptitude of the student. The following words are worth
placing on the walls of every art school:--

"Proficiency in copying engravings in fac-simile, far from suggesting
promise of distinction in the profession of art, plainly _marks a
tendency to mechanical pursuits_, and is not likely to be acquired by
anyone with much instinctive feeling for the arts of design." There is
much truth and insight in this remark.

  [Illustration: "THE FINDING OF THE INFANT ST. GEORGE." (CHARLES M.
  GERE.) (_From his painting in the New Gallery, 1893._)]

In line work, as now understood, we are going back, in a measure, to the
point of view of the missal writer and the illuminator, who, with no
thought of the possibilities of reproduction, produced many of his
decorative pages by management of line alone (I refer to the parts of
his work in which the effect was produced by black and white). No amount
of patience, thought, and labour was spared for this one copy. What
would he have said if told that in centuries to come this line work
would be revived in its integrity, with the possibility of the artist's
own lines being reproduced 100,000 times, at the rate of several
thousand an hour. And what would he have thought if told that, out of
thousands of students in centuries to come, a few, a very few only,
could produce a decorative page; and that few could be brought to
realise that a work which was to be repeated, say a thousand times, was
worthy of as much attention as his ancestors gave to a single copy!

On the principle that "everything worth doing is worth doing well," and
on the assumption that the processes in common use--[I purposely omit
mention here of the older systems of drawing on transfer paper, and
drawing on waxed plates, without the aid of photography, which have been
dealt with in previous books]--are worth all the care and artistic
knowledge which can be bestowed upon them, we would press, upon young
artists especially, the importance of study and experiment in this
direction. As there is no question that "the handwork of the artist" can
be seen more clearly through mechanical engraving than through wood
engraving, it behoves him to do his best. And as we are substituting
process blocks for wood engraving in every direction, so we should take
over some of the patience and care which were formerly given to book
illustrations.

We cannot live, easily, in the "cloistered silence of the past," but we
can emulate the deliberate and thoughtful work of Mantegna, of Holbein,
of Albert Dürer, and the great men of the past, who, if they were alive
to-day, would undoubtedly have preferred drawing for process to the
labour of etching and engraving; and, if their work were to be
reproduced by others, they would have perceived, what it does not
require much insight in us to realise, that the individuality of the
artist is better preserved, by making his own lines.

To do this successfully in these days, the artist must give his best and
most deliberate (instead of his hurried and careless) drawings to the
processes; founding his style, to a limited extent it may be, on old
work, but preserving his own individuality.

But we must not slavishly copy sketches by the old masters, _which were
never intended for reproduction_. We may learn from the study of them
the power of line to express character, action, and effect, we may
learn composition sometimes, but not often from a sketch.

  [Illustration: "A PLOUGHBOY." (G. CLAUSEN.)]

As to copying the work of living artists, it should be remembered that
the manner and the method of a line drawing is each artist's property,
and the repetition of it by others is injurious to him. It would be an
easy method indeed if the young artist, fresh from the schools, could,
in a few weeks, imitate the mannerism, say of Sir John Gilbert, whose
style is founded upon the labour of 50 years. There is no such royal
road.

  [Illustration: No. VI.

  "_A Ploughboy_," by GEORGE CLAUSEN.

  An excellent example of sketching in line. The original drawing was
  7-3/4 × 5-3/4 in. I have reproduced Mr. Clausen's artistic sketch of
  his picture in two sizes in order to compare results. The small block
  on page 59 (printed in _Grosvenor Notes_, 1888) appears to be the most
  suitable reduction for this drawing. The results are worth comparing
  by anyone studying process work. The first block was made by the
  gelatine process; the one opposite by the ordinary zinc process. (_See
  Appendix._)

To return to illustration. The education of the illustrator in these
days means much more than mere art training. The tendency of editors of
magazines and newspapers is to employ those who can write as well as
draw. This may not be a very hopeful sign from an art point of view, but
it is a condition of things which we have to face. Much as we may desire
to see a good artist and a good _raconteur_ in one man, the combination
will always be rare; those editors who seek for it are often tempted to
accept inferior art for the sake of the story. I mention this as one of
the influences affecting the quality of illustrations of an ephemeral or
topical kind, which should not be overlooked.

In sketches of society the education and standing of the artist has much
to do with his success. M. du Maurier's work in _Punch_ may be taken as
an example of what I mean, combining excellent art with knowledge of
society. His clever followers and imitators lack something which cannot
be learned in an art school.

It should be understood that, in drawing for reproduction by any of the
mechanical processes (either in wash or in line, but especially the
latter), there is more strain on the artist than when his work was
engraved on wood, and the knowledge of this has left drawing for process
principally in the hands of the younger men. They will be older by the
end of the century, but not as old then as some of our best and
experienced illustrators who keep to wood engraving.

  [Illustration: No. VII.

  "_Blowing Bubbles_," by C. E. WILSON.

This is an excellent example of drawing--and of treatment of textures
and surfaces--for process reproduction. The few pen touches on the
drapery have come out with great fidelity, the double lines marking the
paving stones being the only part giving any trouble to the maker of the
gelatine relief block. The skilful management of the parts in light
shows again "the art of leaving out."]

I am touching now upon a difficult and delicate part of the subject,
and must endeavour to make my meaning clear. The illustrations in
_Punch_ have, until lately, all been engraved on wood (the elder artists
on the staff not taking kindly to the processes), and the style and
manner of line we see in its pages is due in great measure to the
influence of the wood engraver.[8]

This refers to fac-simile work, but the engraver, as we know, also
interprets wash into clean lines, helps out the timid and often unsteady
draughtsman, and in little matters puts his drawing right.

The wood engraver was apprenticed to his art, and after long and
laborious teaching, mastered the mechanical difficulties. If he had the
artistic sense he soon developed into a master-engraver and illustrator,
and from crude and often weak and inartistic drawings produced
illustrations full of tone, quality, and beauty. From very slight
material handed to him by the publisher, the wood engraver would evolve
(from his inner consciousness, so to speak) an elaborate and graceful
series of illustrations, drawn on the wood block by artists in his own
employ, who had special training, and knew exactly how to produce the
effects required. The system often involved much care and research for
details of costume, architecture, and the like, and, if not very high
art, was at least well paid for, and appreciated by the public. I am
speaking of the average illustrated book, say of twenty years ago, when
it was not an uncommon thing to spend £500 or £600 on the engravings.
Let us hope that the highest kind of wood engraving will always find a
home in England.

Nobody knows--nobody ever will know--how much the engraver has done for
the artist in years past. "For good or evil,"--it may be said; but I am
thinking now only of the good, of occasions when the engraver has had to
interpret the artist's meaning, and sometimes, it must be confessed, to
come to the rescue and perfect imperfect work.

  [Illustration: No. VIII.

  Illustration to "_Dreamland in History_," by Dr. Gloucester. (London:
  Isbister & Co.) Drawn by HERBERT RAILTON.

  Example of brilliancy and simplicity of treatment in line drawing for
  process. There is no illustration in this book which shows better the
  scope and variety of common process work. Mr. Railton has studied his
  process, and brought to it a knowledge of architecture and sense of
  the picturesque. This illustration is reduced considerably from the
  original drawing.]

  The artist who draws for reproduction by chemical and mechanical
  means is thrown upon his own resources. He cannot say to the acid,
  "Make these lines a little sharper," or to the sun's rays, "Give a
  little more light"; and so--as we cannot often have good wood
  engraving, as it is not always cheap enough or rapid enough for our
  needs--we draw on paper what we want reproduced, and resort to one of
  the photographic processes described in this book.

  [Illustration: "BY UNFREQUENTED WAYS." (W. H. GORE.)]

I do not think the modern illustrator realises how much depends upon him
in taking the place, so to speak, of the wood engraver. The
interpretation of tone into line fitted for the type press, to which
the wood engraver gave a lifetime, will devolve more and more upon him.
We cannot keep this too continually in mind, for in spite of the
limitations in mechanically-produced blocks (as compared with wood
engraving) in obtaining delicate effects of tone in line, much can be
done in which the engraver has no part.

  [Illustration: "THE LOWING HERD WINDS SLOWLY O'ER THE LEA." (W H.
  GORE.)]

I purposely place these two pen-and-ink drawings by Mr. Gore side by
side, to show what delicacy of line and tone may be obtained on a relief
block by proper treatment. One could hardly point to better examples of
pure line. They were drawn on ordinary cardboard (the one above, 4-1/4 ×
9-3/4 in.) and reproduced by the gelatine relief process.

All this, it will be observed, points to a more delicate and
intelligent use of the process block than is generally allowed, to
something, in short very different to the thin sketchy outlines and
scribbles which are considered the proper style for the "pen-and-ink
artist."

But "the values" are scarcely ever considered in this connection. Mr.
Hamerton makes a curious error in his _Graphic Arts_, where he advocates
the use of the "black blot in pen drawing," arguing that as we use
liberally white paper to express air and various degrees of light, so we
may use masses of solid black to represent many gradations of darkness.
A little reflection will convince anyone that this is no argument at
all.

Mr. Ruskin's advice in his _Elements of Drawing_, as to how to lay flat
tints by means of pure black lines (although written many years ago, and
before mechanical processes of reproduction were in vogue) is singularly
applicable and useful to the student of to-day; especially where he
reminds him that, "if you cannot gradate well with pure black lines, you
will never do so with pale ones."

To "gradate well with pure black lines" is, so to speak, the whole art
and mystery of drawing for the photo-zinc process, of which one London
firm alone turns out more than a thousand blocks a week.

As to the amount of reduction that a drawing will bear in reproduction,
it cannot be sufficiently widely known, that in spite of rules laid
down, there is no rule about it.

  [Illustration: "ADVERSITY." (FRED. HALL.)]

It is interesting to compare this reproduction with the larger one
overleaf. There is no limit to the experiments which may be made in
reduction, if pursued on scientific principles.

  [Illustration: No. IX.

  "_Adversity_," by FRED. HALL.

  This fine drawing was made in pen and ink by Mr. Hall, from his
  picture in the Royal Academy, 1889. Size of original 14-1/2 × 11-1/2
  in. Reproduced by gelatine blocks.

  The feeling in line is conspicuous in both blocks, but many painters
  might prefer the smaller.]

  [Illustration: "A WILLOWY STREAM." (FROM THE PAINTING BY MAUD NAFTEL.)

  (_New Gallery, 1889._)]

Mr. Emery Walker, of the firm of Walker and Boutall, who has had great
experience in the reproduction of illustrations and designs from old
books and manuscripts, will tell you that very often there is no
reduction of the original; and he will show reproductions in
photo-relief of engravings and drawings of the same size as the
originals, the character of the paper, and the colour of the printing
also, so closely imitated that experts can hardly distinguish one from
the other. On the other hand, the value of reduction, for certain styles
of drawing especially, can hardly be over-estimated. The last drawing
was reduced to less than half the length of the original, and is, I
think, one of the best results yet attained by the Dawson relief
process.

Again, I say, "there is no rule about it." In the course of years, and
in the reduction to various scales of thousands of drawings by different
artists, to print at the type press, my experience is that _every
drawing has its scale, to which it is best reduced_.

In these pages will be found examples of drawings reduced to
_one-sixtieth_ the area of the original, whilst others have not been
reduced at all.

  [Illustration: No. X.

  "_Twins_," by STANLEY BERKLEY.

  Sketch in pen and ink (size 8-1/4 × 5-1/2 in.) from Mr. Berkley's
  picture in the Grosvenor Gallery in 1884.

  A good example of breadth and expression in line, the values being
  well indicated. Mr. Berkley, knowing animal life well, and _knowing
  his picture_, is able to give expression to almost every touch. Here
  the common zinc process answers well.]

  [Illustration: "THE DARK ISLAND." (FROM THE PAINTING BY ALFRED EAST.)

  (_Royal Academy, 1885._)]

There is much instruction in these drawings by painters, instruction of
a kind, not to be obtained elsewhere. The broad distinction between a
"sketch" from Nature and _a drawing made in a sketchy manner_ cannot be
too often pointed out, and such drawings as those by Mr. G. Clausen (p.
59), Fred. Hall (p. 73), Stanley Berkley (p. 79), T. C. Gotch (p. 83),
and others, help to explain the difference. These are all reproduced
easily on process blocks.[9]

As to sketching in line from life, ready for reproduction on a process
block, it is necessary to say a few words here. The system is, I know,
followed by a few illustrators for newspapers (and by a few geniuses
like Mr. Joseph Pennell, Raven Hill, and Phil. May, who have their own
methods), and who, by incessant practice, have become proficient. They
have special ability for this kind of work, and their manner and style
is their capital and attraction.

  [Illustration: No. XI.

  _A Portrait_, by T. C. GOTCH.

  Pen-and-ink drawing (size 7-1/2 × 6-1/2 in.); from his picture in the
  Exhibition of the New English Art Club, 1889.

  Mr. Gotch is well known for his painting of children; but he has also
  the instinct for line drawing, and a touch which reproduces well
  without any help from the maker of the zinc block.

  The absence of outline, and the modelling suggested by vertical lines,
  also the treatment of background, should be noticed. This background
  lights up when opposed to white and _vice-versa_.]

But to attempt to _teach_ rapid sketching in pen and ink is beginning at
the wrong end, and is fatal to good art; it is like teaching the
principles of pyrotechnics whilst fireworks are going off. And yet we
hear of prizes given for rapid sketches to be reproduced by the
processes. Indeed, I believe this is the wrong road; the baneful result
of living in high-pressure times. It is difficult to imagine any artist
of the past consenting to such a system of education.

Sketching from life is, of course, necessary to the student (especially
when making illustrations by wash drawings, of which I shall speak
presently), but for line work it should be done first in pencil, or
whatever medium is easiest at the moment. The lines for reproduction
require thinking about, thinking what to leave out, how to interpret the
grey of a pencil, or the tints of a brush sketch in the fewest lines.
Thus, and thus only, the student learns "the art of leaving out," "the
value of a line."

The tendency of modern illustrators is to imitate somebody; and in line
drawing for the processes, where the artist, and not the engraver, has
to make the lines, imitation of some man's method is almost inevitable.

  [Illustration: No. XII.

  "_Sir John Tenniel_," by EDWIN WARD.

  Example of another style of line drawing. Mr. Ward is a master of
  line, as well as a skilful portrait painter. He has lost nothing of
  the force and character of the original here, by treating it in line.

  Mr. Ward has painted a series of small portraits of public men, of
  which there is an example on p. 90.

  Size of pen-and-ink drawing 8-1/2 × 5-1/2 in., reproduced by common
  process.]

Let me quote an instance. The style of the late Charles Keene is
imitated in more than one journal at the present time, the artists
catching his method of line more easily than the higher qualities of his
art, his _chiaroscuro_, his sense of values and atmospheric effect. I
say nothing of his pictorial sense and humour, for they are beyond
imitation. It is the husk only we have presented to us.

As a matter of education and outlook for the younger generation of
illustrators, this imitation of other men's lines deserves our special
consideration. Nothing is easier in line work than to copy from the
daily press. Nothing is more prejudicial to good art, or more fatal to
progress.

And yet it is the habit of some instructors to hold up the methods (and
the tricks) of one draughtsman to the admiration of students. I read in
an art periodical the other day, a suggestion for the better
understanding of the way to draw topical illustrations in pen and ink,
viz.: that examples of the work of Daniel Vierge, Rico, Abbey, Raven
Hill, and other noted pen draughtsmen, should be "set as an exercise to
students;" of course with explanation by a lecturer or teacher. But this
is a dangerous road for the average student to travel. Of all branches
of art none leads so quickly to mannerism as line work, and a particular
manner when thus acquired is difficult to shake off.

  [Illustration: THE RT. HON. JOHN MORLEY, M.P. (EDWIN WARD.)]

Think of the consequences--Vierge with his garish lights, his trick of
black spots, his mechanical shadows and neglect of _chiaroscuro_--all
redeemed and tolerated in a genius for the dash and spirit and beauty of
his lines--lines, be it observed, that reproduce with difficulty on
relief blocks--imitated by countless students; Mr. E. A. Abbey, the
refined, and delicate American draughtsman, imitated for his
method--the style and _chic_ of it being his own, and inimitable. Think
of the crowd coming on--imitators of the imitators of Rico--imitators of
the imitators of Charles Keene!

It may be said generally, that in order to obtain work as an
illustrator--the practical point--there must be originality of thought
and design. _There must be originality_, as well as care and thought
bestowed on every drawing for the Press.

The drawing of portraits in line from photographs gives employment to
some illustrators, as line blocks will print in newspapers much better
than photographs. But for newspaper printing they must be done with
something of the precision of this portrait, in which the whites are cut
deep and where there are few broken lines.

It is the exception to get good printing in England, under present
conditions of haste and cheapening of production, and therefore the best
drawings for rapid reproduction are those that require the least
touching on the part of the engraver, as _a touched-up process block is
troublesome to the printer_; but it is difficult to impress this on the
artistic mind.

  [Illustration: No. XIII.

  "_Nothing venture, nothing have_," by E. P. SANGUINETTI.

  Pen-and-ink drawing from the picture by E. P. Sanguinetti, exhibited
  at the Nineteenth Century Art Society's Gallery, 1888.

  The large block is suitable for printing on common paper, and by fast
  machines. The little block is best adapted for bookwork, and is
  interesting as showing the quality obtained by reduction. It is an
  excellent example of drawing for process, showing much ingenuity of
  line. The tone and shadows on the ground equal the best fac-simile
  engraving. (Size of original drawing, from which both blocks were
  made, 15 × 10 in.)]

  [Illustration: "ON THE TERRACE." (E. A. ROWE.) _From his water-colour
  in the New Gallery, 1894._

  Size of Pen Drawing, 5-3/4 x 7-1/2 in.]

Some people cannot draw firm clean lines at all, and _should not attempt
them_. Few allow sufficiently for the result of reduction, and the
necessary thickening of some lines. The results are often a matter of
touch and temperament. Some artists are naturally unfitted for line
work; the rules which would apply to one are almost useless to another.
Again, there is great inequality in the making of these cheap zinc
blocks, however well the drawings may be made; they require more care
and experience in developing than is generally supposed.

As line drawing is the basis of the best drawing for the press, I have
interspersed through these pages examples and achievements in this
direction; examples which in nearly every case are the result of
knowledge and consideration of the requirements of process, as an
antidote to the sketchy, careless methods so much in vogue. Here we may
see--as has probably never been seen before in one volume--what
harmonies and discords may be played on this instrument with one string.
One string--no "messing about," if the phrase may be excused--pure black
lines on Bristol board (or paper of the same surface), photographed on
to a zinc plate, the white parts etched away and the drawing made to
stand in relief, ready to print with the letterpress of a book; every
line and touch coming out a black one, or rejected altogether by the
process.

  [Illustration: No. XIV.

  "_For the Squire_," by SIR JOHN MILLAIS, BART., R. A.

  This is an example of drawing for process for rapid printing. The
  accents of the picture are expressed firmly and in the fewest lines,
  to give the effect of the picture in the simplest way. Sir John
  Millais' picture, which was exhibited in the Grosvenor Gallery in
  1883, was engraved in mezzotint, and published by Messrs. Thos. Agnew
  & Sons. (Size of pen-and-ink drawing, 7-1/4 × 5-1/2 in.) It is
  suitable for much greater reduction.]

Drawings thus made, upon Bristol board or paper of similar surface, with
lamp black, Indian ink, or any of the numerous inks now in use, which
dry with a dull, not shiny, surface, will always reproduce well. The pen
should be of medium point, or a brush may be used as a pen. The lines
should be clear and sharp, and are capable of much variation in style
and treatment, as we see in these pages. I purposely do not dwell here
upon some special surfaces and papers by which different tones and
effects may be produced by the line processes; there is too much
tendency already with the artist to be interested in the mechanical
side. I have not recommended the use of "clay board," for instance, for
the line draughtsman, although it is much used for giving a crisp line
to process work, and has a useful surface for scraping out lights, &c.
The results are nearly always mechanical looking.[10]

On the next page are two simple, straightforward drawings, which, it
will be observed, are well suited to the method of reproduction for the
type press. The first is by Mr. H. S. Marks, R. A. (which I take from
the pages of _Academy Notes_), skilfully drawn upon Bristol board, about
7 × 5 in.

Here every line tells, and none are superfluous; the figure of the monk,
the texture of his dress, the old stone doorway, the creeper growing on
the wall, and the basket of provisions, all form a picture, the lines of
which harmonise well with the type of a book.

  [Illustration: "THE STOPPED KEY." (H. S. MARKS, R. A.)]

In this deliberate, careful drawing, in which white paper plays by far
the principal part, the background and lighting of the picture are
considered, also the general balance of a decorative page.[11]

  [Illustration: "NYMPH AND CUPID." SMALL BAS-RELIEF. (H. HOLIDAY.)

  (_From "Academy Notes."_)]


FOOTNOTES:

  [7] No one artist can teach drawing in line without a tendency to
    mannerism, especially in art classes.

  [8] One of the most accomplished of English painters told me the
    other day that when he first drew for illustration, the wood engraver
    dictated the angle and style of cross-hatching, &c., so as to fit the
    engraver's tools.

  [9] Special interest attaches to the examples in this book from the
    fact that they have nearly all been _drawn on different kinds of
    paper_, and _with different materials_; and yet nearly all, as will
    be seen, have come out successfully, and give the spirit of the
    original.

  [10] For description of the various grained papers, &c., see page
    113, also _Appendix_.

  [11] The young "pen-and-ink artist" of to-day generally avoids
    backgrounds, or renders them by a series of unmeaning scratches; he
    does not consider enough the true "lighting of a picture," as we
    shall see further on. The tendency of much modern black-and-white
    teaching is to ignore backgrounds.



CHAPTER IV.

PHOTO-ZINC PROCESS.[12]


In order to turn any of these drawings into blocks for the type press,
the first process is to have it photographed to the size required, and
to transfer a print of it on to a sensitized zinc plate. This print, or
photographic image of the drawing lying upon the zinc plate, is of
greasy substance (bichromate of potash and gelatine), and is afterwards
inked up with a roller; the plate is then immersed in a bath of nitric
acid and ether, which cuts away the parts which were left white upon
the paper, and leaves the lines of the drawing in relief. This "biting
in," as it is called, requires considerable experience and attention,
according to the nature of the drawing. Thus, the lines are turned into
metal in a few hours, and the plate when mounted on wood to the height
of type-letters, is ready to be printed from, if necessary, at the rate
of several thousands an hour.

  [Illustration: PORTRAIT. (T. BLAKE WIRGMAN.)

  (_From "Academy Notes."_)]

  [This portrait was exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1880. I reproduce
  Mr. Wirgman's sketch for the sake of his powerful treatment of line.]


  [Illustration: No. XV.

  "_Forget-Me-Not_," by HENRY RYLAND.

  (_From the "English Illustrated Magazine."_)

An unusually fine example of reproduction in line, by zinc process, from
a large pen-and-ink drawing. It serves to show how clearly writing can
be reproduced if done by a trained hand. Students should notice the
variety of "colour" and delicacy of line, also the brightness and
evenness of the process block throughout.

This illustration suggests possibilities in producing decorative pages
in modern books without the aid of printers' type, which is worth
consideration in art schools. It requires, of course, knowledge of the
figure and of design, and a trained hand for process. One obvious
preparation for such work, is an examination of decorative pages in the
Manuscript Department of the British Museum. (_See Appendix._)

It would be difficult, I think, to show more clearly the scope and
variety of line work by process than in the contrast between this and
the two preceding illustrations. Each artist is an expert in black and
white in his own way.]

  [Illustration: "BABY'S OWN." (G. HILLYARD SWINSTEAD.)

  (_From "Academy Notes," 1890._)]

A wonderful and startling invention is here, worthy of a land of
enchantment, which, without labour, with little more than a wave of the
hand, transfixes the artist's touch, and turns it into concrete; by
which the most delicate and hasty strokes of the pen are not merely
recorded in fac-simile for the eye to decipher, but are brought out in
sharp relief, as bold and strong as if hewn out of a rock! Here is an
argument for doing "the best and truest work we can," a process that
renders indestructible--so indestructible that nothing short of
cremation would get rid of it--every line that we put upon paper; an
argument for learning for purposes of illustration the touch and method
best adapted for reproduction by the press.[13]

  [Illustration: "A SILENT POOL." (ED. W. WAITE.) (_From "Academy
  Notes," 1891._)]


GELATINE PROCESS.

By this process a more delicate and sensitive method has been used to
obtain a relief block.

The drawing is photographed to the required size (as before), and the
_negative_ laid upon a glass plate (previously coated with a mixture of
gelatine and bichromate of potash). The part of this thin, sensitive
film not exposed to the light, is absorbent, and when immersed in water
swells up. The part exposed to the light (_i.e._, the lines of the
drawing) remains near the surface of the glass. Thus we have a sunk
mould from which a metal cast can be taken, leaving the lines in relief
as in the zinc process. In skilful hands this process admits of more
delicate gradations, and pale, uncertain lines can be reproduced with
tolerable fidelity. The blocks take longer to make, and are double the
price of the photo-zinc process first described. There is no process yet
invented which gives better results from a pen-and-ink drawing for the
type-press. These blocks when completed have a copper surface. The
reproductions of pencil, chalk, or charcoal drawings by the zinc, or
"biting-in" processes are nearly always failures, as we may see in some
of the best artistic books and magazines to-day.

  [Illustration: No. XVI.

  "_The Miller's Daughter_," by E. K. JOHNSON.

  Another very interesting example of Mr. E. K. Johnson's drawing in pen
  and ink. Nearly every line has the value intended by the artist.

  The drawing has been largely reduced, and reproduced by the gelatine
  relief process.]

  [Illustration: "THE END OF THE CHAPTER." (FROM THE PAINTING BY W.
  RAINEY.)

  [_Royal Academy, 1886._]

  (_Reproduced by the old Dawson process._)]

  [Illustration: "IN THE PAS DE CALAIS." (JAS. PRINSEP BEADLE.)[14]]


GRAINED PAPERS.

For those who cannot draw easily with the pen, there are several kinds
of grained papers which render drawings suitable for reproduction. The
first is a paper with _black lines_ imprinted upon it on a material
suitable for scraping out to get lights, and strengthening with pen or
pencil to get solid blacks. On some of these papers black lines are
imprinted horizontally, some vertically, some diagonally, some in dots,
and some with lines of several kinds, one under the other, so that the
artist can get the tint required by scraping out. Drawings thus made can
be reproduced in relief like line drawings, taking care not to reduce a
fine black grain too much or it will become "spotty" in reproduction.

  [Illustration: "GOLDEN DAYS." (F. STUART RICHARDSON.)

  (_Black-grained paper._)]

This drawing and the one opposite by Mr. Hume Nisbet show the skilful
use of paper with vertical and horizontal black lines; also, in the
latter drawing, the different qualities of strength in the sky, and the
method of working over the grained paper in pen and ink.

  [Illustration: No. XVII.

  "TWILIGHT." (SPECIMEN OF BLACK-GRAINED PAPER.)

  (_From "Lessons in Art," by Hume Nisbet, published by Chatto &
  Windus._)]

  [Illustration: No. XVIII.]

  "_Le Dent du Géant_," by E. T. COMPTON.

  Another skilful use of the black-grained paper to represent snow,
  glacier, and drifting clouds. The original tone of the paper may be
  seen in the sky and foreground.

  The effect is obtained by scraping out the lighter parts on the paper
  and strengthening the dark with pen and pencil.

  It is interesting to compare the two blocks made from the same
  drawing. (Size of drawing 7-3/4 × 4 in.)]

  [Illustration: No. XIX.

  _Landscape_, by A. M. LINDSTROM.

  Example of bold effect by scraping out on the black-lined paper, and
  free use of autographic chalk.

  This drawing shows, I think, the artistic limitations of this process
  in the hands of an experienced draughtsman.

  The original drawing by Mr. Lindstrom (from his painting in the Royal
  Academy) was the same size as the reproduction.]

Other papers largely used for illustration in the type press have a
_white grain_, a good specimen of which is on page 123; and there are
variations of these white-grained papers, of which what is known in
France as _allongé_ paper is one of the best for rough sketches in books
and newspapers.

The question may arise in many minds, are these contrivances with their
mechanical lines for producing effect, worthy of the time and attention
which has been bestowed upon them? I think it is very doubtful if much
work ought to be produced by means of the black-grained papers;
certainly, in the hands of the unskilled, the results would prove
disastrous. A painter may use them for sketches, especially for
landscape. Mr. Compton (as on p. 116) can express very rapidly and
effectively, by scraping out the lights and strengthening the darks, a
snowdrift or the surface of a glacier. In the drawing on page 123, Mr.
C. J. Watson has shown us how the grained paper can be played with, in
artistic hands, to give the effect of a picture.

The difference, artistically speaking, between sketches made on
black-grained and white-grained papers seems to me much in favour of the
latter.

  [Illustration: No. XX.

  "_Volendam_," by C. J. WATSON.

  Example of white-lined paper, treated very skilfully and
  effectively--only the painter of the picture could have given so much
  breadth and truth of effect.

  This _white_ paper has a strong vertical grain which when drawn upon
  with autographic chalk has the same appearance as black-lined paper;
  and is often taken for it.

  (Size of drawing 6 × 4-1/2 in.)]

But at the best, blocks made from drawings on these papers are apt to be
unequal, and do not print with the ease and certainty of pure line work;
they require good paper and careful printing, which is not always to be
obtained. The artist who draws for the processes in this country must
not expect (excepting in very exceptional cases) to have his work
reproduced and printed as in America, or even as well as in this book.

  [Illustration: "AND WEE PEERIE WINKIE PAYED FOR A'." (FROM THE
  PAINTING BY HUGH CAMERON.)

  _Example of a good chalk drawing too largely reduced._]

  [Illustration: No. XXI.

  "_An Arrest_," by MELTON PRIOR.

  This is a remarkable example of the reproduction of a pencil drawing.
  It is seldom that the soft grey effect of a pencil drawing can be
  obtained on a "half-tone" relief block, or the lights so successfully
  preserved.

  This is only a portion of a picture by Mr. Melton Prior, the
  well-known special artist, for which I am indebted to the proprietors
  of _Sketch_.

  The reproduction is by Carl Hentschel.]

The reproduction on the previous page owes its success not only to good
process, paper, and printing, but also to _the firm, decisive touch of
an experienced illustrator_ like Mr. Melton Prior. A pencil drawing in
less skilful hands is apt to "go to pieces" on the press.

Mr. C. G. Harper, in his excellent book on _English Pen Artists_, has
treated of other ways in which drawings on prepared papers may be
manipulated for the type press; but not always with success. In that
interesting publication, _The Studio_, there have appeared during the
past year many valuable papers on this subject, but in which the
_mechanism_ of illustration is perhaps too much insisted on. Some of the
examples of "mixed drawings," and of chalk-and-pencil reproductions,
might well deter any artist from adopting such aids to illustration.

The fact is, that the use of grained papers is, at the best, a makeshift
and a degradation of the art of illustration, if judged by the old
standards. It will be a bad day for the art of England when these
mechanical appliances are put into the hands of young students in art
schools.

For the purposes of ordinary illustrations we should keep to the simpler
method of line. All these contrivances require great care in printing,
and the blocks have often to be worked up by an engraver. _The material
of the process blocks is unsuited to the purpose._ In a handbook to
students of illustration this requires repeating on nearly every page.

As a contrast to the foregoing, let us look at a sketch in pure line by
the landscape painter, Mr. M. R. Corbet, who, with little more than a
scribble of the pen, can express the feeling of sunrise and the still
air amongst the trees.

  [Illustration: "SUNRISE IN THE SEVERN VALLEY." (MATTHEW R. CORBET.)]


MECHANICAL DOTS.

Amongst the modern inventions for helping the hurried or feeble
illustrator, is the system of laying on mechanical dots to give shadow
and colour to a pure line drawing, by process. It is a practice always
to be regretted; whether applied to a necessarily hasty newspaper
sketch, or to one of Daniel Vierge's elaborately printed illustrations
in the _Pablo de Segovia_. One cannot condemn too strongly this system,
so freely used in continental illustrated sheets, but which, in the most
skilful hands, seems a degradation of the art of illustration. These
dots and lines, used for shadow, or tone, are laid upon the plate by the
maker of the block, the artist indicating, by a blue pencil mark, the
parts of a drawing to be so manipulated; and as the illustrator _has not
seen the effect on his own line drawing_, the results are often a
surprise to everyone concerned. I wish these ingenious contrivances were
more worthy of an artist's attention.

On the opposite page is an example taken from an English magazine, by
which it may be seen that all daylight has been taken ruthlessly from
the principal figure, and that it is no longer in tone with the rest of
the picture, as an open air sketch. The system is tempting to the
hurried illustrator; he has only to draw in line (or outline, which is
worse) and then mark where the tint is to appear, and the dots are laid
on by the maker of the blocks.

  [Illustration: "THE ADJUTANT'S LOVE STORY." (H. R. MILLAR.)

  (_Example of mechanical grain._)

  No. XXII.]

In the illustration on the last page (I have chosen an example of
fine-grain dots; those used in newspapers and common prints are much
more unsightly, as everyone knows), it is obvious that the artist's
sketch is injured by this treatment, that, in fact, the result is not
artistic at all. Nothing but high pressure or incompetence on the part
of the illustrator can excuse this mechanical addition to an incomplete
drawing; and it must be remembered that these inartistic results are not
the fault of the process, or of the "process man." But the system is
growing in every direction, to save time and trouble, and is lowering
the standard of topical illustrations. And it is this system (_inter
alia_) which is taught in technical schools, where the knowledge of
process is taking the place of wood engraving.

The question is again uppermost in the mind, are such mechanical
appliances ("dodges," I venture to call them) worthy the serious
attention of artists; and can any good arise by imparting such knowledge
to youthful illustrators in technical schools? Wood engraving was a
craft to be learned, with a career for the apprentice. _There is no
similar career for a lad by learning the "processes;" and nothing but
disappointment before him if he learns the mechanism before he is an
educated and qualified artist._

Mention should be made here (although I do not wish to dwell upon it) of
drawing in line on prepared transfer paper with autographic ink, which
is transferred to zinc without the aid of photography, a process very
useful for rapid and common work; but it is seldom used for good book
illustration, as it is irksome to the artist and not capable of very
good results; moreover, the drawing has often to be minute, as the
reproduction will be the same size as the original. It is one of the
processes which I think the student of art had better not know much
about.[15]

That it is possible, by the common processes, to obtain strong effects
almost equal to engraving, may be seen in some process illustrations by
Mr. Lancelot Speed, in which many technical experiments have been made,
including the free use of white lining.

Mr. Speed is very daring in his experiments, and students may well
puzzle over the means by which he obtains his effects by the line
processes.

  [Illustration]

The illustration opposite from Andrew Lang's _Blue Poetry Book_, shows a
very ingenious treatment of the black-lined papers. Technically it is
one of the best examples I know of,--the result of much study and
experiment.

  [Illustration: _From Andrew Lang's "Blue Poetry Book."_ (LANCELOT
  SPEED.)

  No. XXIII.]

  [Illustration: No. XXIV.

  "_The Armada_," by LANCELOT SPEED.

  This extraordinary example of line drawing for process was taken from
  Andrew Lang's _Blue Poetry Book_, published by Messrs. Longmans.

  In this illustration no wash has been used, nor has there been any
  "screening" or engraving on the block. The methods of lining are, of
  course, to a great extent the artist's own invention. This
  illustration and the two preceding lead to the conclusion that there
  is yet much to learn in _drawing for process_ by those who will study
  it. The achievements of the makers of the blocks, with difficult
  drawings to reproduce, is quite another matter. Here all is easy for
  the reproducer, the common zinc process only being employed, and the
  required effects obtained without much worrying of the printer, or of
  the maker of the blocks.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Thus far all the illustrations in this book have been produced by the
  common line process.]

  [Illustration: "SEINE BOATS." (FROM THE PAINTING BY LOUIS GRIER.)]


"HALF-TONE" PROCESS.

The next process to consider is the method of reproducing wash drawings
and photographs on blocks suitable for printing at the type press,
commonly known as the Meisenbach or "half-tone process;" a most
ingenious and valuable invention, which, in clever hands, is capable of
artistic results, but which in common use has cast a gloom over
illustrations in books and newspapers.

First, as to the method of making the blocks. As there are no lines in a
wash drawing or in a photograph from nature, it is necessary to obtain
some kind of grain, or interstices of white, on the zinc plate, as in a
mezzotint; so between the drawing or photograph to be reproduced and the
camera, glass screens, covered with lines or dots, are interposed,
varying in strength according to the light and shade required; thus
turning the image of the wash drawing practically into "line," with
sufficient interstices of white for printing purposes.

  [Illustration: "THERE IS THE PRIORY!"]

Thus, all drawings in wash, chalk, pencil, etc., that will not reproduce
by the direct line processes, already referred to, are treated for
printing at the type press; and thus the uniform, monotonous dulness,
with which we are all familiar, pervades the page.

The conditions of drawing for this process have to be carefully studied,
to prevent the meaningless smears and blotches (the result generally of
making too hasty sketches in wash) which disfigure nearly every magazine
and newspaper we take up. There is no necessity for this degradation of
illustration.

The artist who draws in wash with body colour, or paints in oils in
monochrome, for this process, soon learns that his high lights will be
lost and his strongest effects neutralised, under this effect of gauze;
and so for pictorial purposes he has to _force his effect_ and
exaggerate lights and shades; avoiding too delicate gradations, and in
his different tones keeping, so to speak, to one octave instead of two.
Thus, also for this process, to obtain brightness and cheap effect, the
illustrator of to-day often avoids backgrounds altogether.

In spite of the uncertainty of this system of reproduction, it has great
attractions for the skilful or the hurried illustrator.

  [Illustration: No. XXV.

  "Helga rode without a saddle as if she had grown to her horse--at full
  speed."

  ("_Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales._")]

  [Illustration: No. XXVI.

  "_The Storks_," by J. R. WEGUELIN.

    "And high through the air came the first stork and the second stork;
    a pretty child sat on the back of each."

  Example of half-tone process applied to a slight wash drawing. The
  illustration is much relieved by vignetting and _leaving out_: almost
  the only chance for effect that the artist has by the screened
  process. It suggests, as so many of the illustrations in this book do,
  not the limits but the scope and possibilities of process work for
  books.

  This and the preceding illustration by Mr. Weguelin are taken from
  _Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales_ (Lawrence & Bullen, 1893).]

That this "half-tone" process is susceptible of a variety of effects and
results, good and bad, every reader must be aware.

The illustrations in this book, from pages 138 to 165, are all
practically by the same process of "screening," a slight difference only
in the grain being discernible.

The wash drawing on page 139 suffers by the coarse grain on it, but the
values, it will be seen, are fairly well preserved. The lights which are
out of tone appear to have been taken out on the plate by the maker of
the block, a dangerous proceeding with figures on a small scale. Mr.
Louis Grier's clever sketch of his picture in wash, at the head of this
chapter, gives the effect well.

Mr. Weguelin's illustrations to _Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales_ have been,
I understand, a great success, the public caring more for the spirit of
poetry that breathes through them than for more finished drawings. This
is delightful, and as it should be, although, technically, the artist
has not considered his process enough, and from the educational point of
view it has its dangers. The "process" has been blamed roundly, in one
or two criticisms of Mr. Weguelin's illustrations, whereas _the process
used is the same as on pages 149 and 157_.

However, the effect on a wash drawing is not satisfactory in the best
hands. So uncertain and gloomy are the results that several well-known
illustrators decline to use it as a substitute for wood engraving. We
shall have to improve considerably before wood engraving is abandoned.
We _are_ improving every day, and by this half-tone process numberless
wash drawings and photographs from nature are now presented to the
public in our daily prints.

Great advances have been made lately in the "screening" of pencil
drawings, and in taking out the lights of a sketch (as pointed out on
page 127), and results have been obtained by careful draughtsmen during
the last six months which a year ago would have been considered
impossible. These results have been obtained principally by good
printing and paper--allowing of a fine grain on the block--but where the
illustration has to be prepared for printing, say 5,000 an hour, off
rotary machines, a coarser grain has to be used, producing the "Berlin
wool pattern" effect on the page, with which we are all familiar in
newspapers.

Let us now look at two examples of wash drawing by process, lent by the
proprietors of _Black and White_.

  [Illustration: No. XXVII.

  This is a good average example of what to expect by the half-tone
  process from a wash drawing. That the result is tame and monotonous is
  no fault of the artist, whose work could have been more brightly
  rendered by wood engraving.

  That "it is better to have this process than bad wood engraving" is
  the opinion of nearly all illustrators of to-day. The artist _sees his
  own work_, at any rate, if through a veil of fog and gloom which is
  meant for sunshine!

  But the time is coming when the public will hardly rest content with
  such results as these.]

  [Illustration: No. XXVIII.

  _Illustration from_ "_Black and White_," by G. G. MANTON.

  This is a good example of wash drawing for process; that is to say, a
  good example from the "process man's" point of view.

  Here the artist has used his utmost endeavours to meet the process
  half-way; he has been careful to use broad, clear, firm washes, and
  has done them with certainty of hand, the result of experience. If, in
  the endeavour to get strength, and the _best results out of a few
  tones_, the work lacks some artistic qualities, it is almost a
  necessity.

  Mr. Manton has a peculiar method of lining, or stippling, over his
  wash work, which lends itself admirably for reproduction; but the
  practice can hardly be recommended to the attention of students. It is
  as difficult to achieve artistic results by these means, as in the
  combination of line and chalk in one drawing, advocated by some
  experts.

  At the same time, Mr. Manton's indication of surfaces and textures by
  process are both interesting and valuable.]

  [Illustration: "A SUNNY LAND." (FROM THE PAINTING BY GEORGE WETHERBEE.)

  (_New Gallery, 1891._)]

  [Illustration: DECORATIVE DESIGN BY RANDOLPH CALDECOTT.]

  (The above design, from the _Memoir of R. Caldecott_, is lent by
  Messrs. Sampson Low & Co.)

One of the many uses which artists may make of the half-tone process is
suggested by the reproduction of one of Mr. Caldecott's decorative
designs, drawn freely with a brush full of white, on brown paper on a
large scale (sometimes two or even three feet long), and reduced as
above; the reduction refining and improving the design.

This is a most legitimate and practical use of "process" for
illustrating books, architectural and others, which in artistic hands
might well be further developed.

Of the illustrators who use this process in a more free-and-easy way we
will now take an example, cut out of the pages of _Sketch_ (_see_
overleaf, p. 155).

Here truths of light and shade are disregarded, the figure stands out in
unnatural darkness against white paper, and flat mechanical shadows are
cast upon nothing. Only sheer ability on the part of a few modern
illustrators has saved these coarse ungainly sketches from universal
condemnation. But the splashes, and spots, and stains, which are taking
the place of more serious work in illustration, have become a vogue in
1894. The sketch is made in two or three hours, instead of a week; the
process is also much cheaper to the publisher than wood engraving, and
the public seems satisfied with a sketch where formerly a finished
illustration was required, if the subject be treated dramatically and in
a lively manner. If the sketch comes out an unsightly smear on the page,
it at least answers the purpose of topical illustration, and apparently
suits the times. It is little short of a revolution in illustration, of
which we do not yet see the end.[16]

The bookstalls are laden with the daring achievements of Phil May, Raven
Hill, Dudley Hardy, and others, but it is not the object of this book to
exhibit the works of genius, either for emulation or imitation. It is
rather to suggest to the average student what he may legitimately
attempt, and to show him the possibilities of the process block in
different hands. It may be said, without disparagement of the numerous
clever and experienced illustrators of the day, that they are only
adapting themselves to the circumstances of the time. There is a
theory--the truth of which I do not question--that the reproductions of
rapid sketches from the living model by the half-tone process have more
vitality and freedom, more feeling and artistic qualities than can be
obtained by any other means. But the young illustrator should hesitate
before adapting these methods, and should _never have anything
reproduced for publication which was "drawn to time" in art classes_.

One thing cannot be repeated too often in this connection: that the
hastily produced blotches called "illustrations," which disfigure the
pages of so many books and magazines, are generally the result of want
of care on the part of the artist rather than of the maker of the
blocks.

  [Illustration: No. XXIX.

  This is part of a page illustration lent by the proprietors of
  _Sketch_. It does not do justice to the talent (or the taste, we will
  hope), of the illustrator, and is only inserted here to record the
  kind of work which is popular in 1894. (Perhaps in a second edition we
  may have other exploits of genius to record.)

  It should be noted that this and the illustration on p. 149 are both
  reproduced by the same hal-ftone process, the difference of result
  being altogether in the handling of the brush. This sketch would have
  been intolerable in less artistic hands. Artists will doubtless find
  more feeling and expression in the broad washes and splashes before
  us, than in the most careful stippling of Mr. Manton.

  Students of wash drawing for process may take a middle course.]

A word here on the influence of

  PROCESS-BLOCK MAKERS

on the young illustrator. The "process man," the teacher and inciter to
achievements by this or that process, is not usually an "artist" in the
true sense of the word. He knows better than anyone else what lines he
can reproduce, and especially what kind of drawing is best adapted for
his own process. He will probably tell the young draughtsman what
materials to use, what amount of reduction his drawings will bear, and
other things of a purely technical not to say businesslike character.
Let me not be understood to disparage the work of photo-engravers and
others engaged on these processes; on the contrary, the amount of
patience, industry, activity, and anxious care bestowed upon the
reproduction of drawings and paintings is astonishing, and deserves our
gratitude.[17] This work is a new industry of an important kind, in
which art and craft are bound up together. The day has past when
"process work" is to be looked down upon as only fit for the cheapest,
most inferior, and inartistic results.

  [Illustration: "THE BROOK." (FROM A PAINTING BY ARNOLD HELCKÉ.)]


PHOTOGRAPHIC ILLUSTRATIONS.

One result of hasty work in making drawings, and the uncertainty of
reproduction, promises to be a very serious one to the illustrator, as
far as we can see ahead, viz.: the gradual substitution of photographs
from life for other forms of illustration. The "Meisenbach" reproduction
of a photograph from life, say a full length figure of an actress in
some elaborate costume, seems to answer the purpose of the editor of a
newspaper to fill a page, where formerly artists and engravers would
have been employed. One reason for this is that the details of the dress
are so well rendered by photography on the block as to answer the
purpose of a fashion plate, an important matter in some weekly
newspapers. The result is generally unsatisfactory from an artist's
point of view, but the picture is often most skilfully composed and the
values wonderfully rendered, direct from the original.

In the case of the reproduction of photographs, which we are now
considering, much may be done by working up a platinotype print before
giving it out to be made into a block. Much depends here upon the
artistic knowledge of editors and publishers, who have it in their power
to have produced good or bad illustrations from the same original. The
makers of the blocks being confined to time and price, are practically
powerless, and seldom have an opportunity of obtaining the best results.
It should be mentioned that blocks made from wash drawings, being
shallower than those made from line drawings, suffer more from bad
printing and paper.

A good silver print (whether from a photograph from life or from a
picture), full of delicate gradations and strong effects, appears on the
plate through the film of gauze, dull, flat, and comparatively
uninteresting; but _the expression of the original is given with more
fidelity_ than could be done by any ordinary wood engraving. This is
the best that can be said for it, it is a dull, mechanical process,
requiring help from the maker of the blocks; and so a system of touching
on the negative (before making the block) to bring out the lights and
accents of the picture is the common practice. This is a hazardous
business at the best, especially when dealing with the copy of a
painting. I mention it to show where "handwork" in the half-tone process
first comes in. The block, when made, is also often touched up by an
engraver in places, especially where spotty or too dark; and on this
work many who were formerly wood-engravers now find employment.

There is no doubt that the makers of process blocks are the best
instructors as to the results to be obtained by certain lines and
combinations of lines; but in the majority of cases they will tell the
artist too much, and lead him to take too much interest in the
mechanical side of the business. The illustrator's best protection
against this tendency, his whole armour and coat of mail, is to be _an
artist first and an illustrator afterwards_.

This is the sum of the matter. Perhaps some of the examples in this book
may help us, and lead to a more thorough testing of results by capable
men.


"SKETCH."

It will be interesting here to consider the material of which one number
of an illustrated paper (_Sketch_) is made up, and how far the artist
and wood engraver have part in it. From an economic point of view it
will be instructive. I take this "newspaper" as an example, because it
is a typical and quite "up-to-date" publication, vieing, in circulation
and importance, with the _Illustrated London News_, both published by
the same proprietors. In one number there are upwards of 30 pages, 10
being advertisements. There are in all 151 illustrations, of which 63
appear in the text part, and 88 in the advertisement pages. Out of the
text illustrations, 24 only are from original drawings or sketches. Next
are 26 _photographs from life_ (several being full pages), and 13
reproductions from engravings, etc., reproduced by mechanical
processes--in all 63. Some of the pages reproduced from photographs are
undeniably good, and interesting to the public, as is evidenced by the
popularity of this paper alone. In the advertisement portion are 88
illustrations (including many small ones), 85 of which have been
engraved on wood; a number of them are electrotypes from old blocks, but
there are many new ones every week. The reason for using wood engraving
largely for advertisements is, that wood blocks print more easily than
"process," when mixed with the type, and print better (being cut deeper
on the block) where inferior paper and ink are employed. But this class
of wood engraving may be summed up in the words of one of the craft to
me lately:--"It is not worth _£_2 a week to anybody."

  [Illustration: No. XXX.

  MISS KATE RORKE. (FROM "SKETCH.")

  (_Photographed from life by H. S. Mendelssohn_. _Reproduced by
  half-tone process_)]

Thus it will be seen that in the "text" part of this newspaper
two-thirds of the illustrations are produced without the aid of artist
or wood engraver!

To turn to one of the latest instances where the photographer is the
illustrator. A photographer, Mr. Burrows, of Camborne, goes down a lead
mine in Cornwall with his apparatus, and takes a series of views of the
workings, which could probably have been done by no other means. Under
most difficult conditions he sets his camera, and by the aid of the
magnesium "flash-light," gives us groups of figures at work amidst
gloomy and weird surroundings. The results are exceptionally valuable as
"illustrations" in the true meaning of the word, on account of the clear
and accurate definition of details. The remarkable part, artistically,
is the good colour and grouping of the figures.[18]

Another instance of the use of photography in illustration. Mr.
Villiers, the special artist of _Black and White_, made a startling
statement lately. He said that out of some 150 subjects which he took at
the Chicago Exhibition, not more than half-a-dozen were drawn by him;
all the rest being "snap-shot" photographs. Some were very good, could
hardly be better, the result of many hours' waiting for the favourable
grouping of figures. That he would re-draw some of them with his clever
pencil for a newspaper is possible, but observe the part photography
plays in the matter.

In America novels have been thus illustrated both in figure and
landscape; the weak point being the _backgrounds_ to the figure
subjects. I draw attention to this movement because the neglect of
composition, of appropriate backgrounds, and of the true lighting of the
figures by so many young artists, is throwing illustrations more and
more into the hands of the photographer. Thus the rapid "pen-and-ink
artist," and the sketcher in wash from an artificially lighted model in
a crowded art school, is hastening to his end.

  [Illustration: No. XXXI.

  (_A Photograph from life, by Messrs. Cameron & Smith. Reproduced by
  half-tone process._)]

The time is coming fast when cheap editions of popular novels will be
illustrated--and many in the following way. The artist, instead of being
called upon to draw, will occupy himself in setting and composing
pictures through the aid of models trained for the purpose, and the
ever-ready photographer. The "process man" and the clever manipulator on
the plates, will do the rest, producing pictures vignetted, if desired,
as overleaf. Much more the makers of blocks can do--and will do--with
the photographs now produced, for they are earnest, untiring, ready to
make sacrifices of time and money.

The cheap dramatic illustrations, just referred to, which artists'
models in America know so well how to pose for, may be found suitable
from the commercial point of view for novels of the butterfly kind; but
they will seldom be of real artistic interest. And here, for the
present, we may draw the line between the illustrator and the
photographer. But the "black and white man" will obviously have to do
his best in every branch of illustration to hold his own in the future.
It may be thought by some artists that these things are hardly worth
consideration; but we have only to watch the illustrations appearing
week by week to see whither we are tending.[19]

The last example of the photographer as illustrator, which can be given
here, is where a photograph from life engraved on wood is published as a
vignette illustration.[20] It is worth observing, because it has been
turned into line by the wood engraver, and serves for printing purposes
as a popular illustration. The original might have been more
artistically posed, but it is pretty as a vignette, and pleases the
public. (_See_ opposite page.)

There are hundreds of such subjects now produced by the joint aid of the
photographer and the process engraver. It is not the artist and the wood
engraver who are really "working hand-in-hand" in these days in the
production of illustrations, but _the photographer and the maker of
process blocks_. This is significant. Happily for us there is much that
the photographer cannot do pictorially. But the photographer is, as I
said, marching on and on, and the line of demarcation between handwork
and photographic illustrations becomes less marked every day.

The photographer's daughter goes to an art school, and her influence is
shown annually in the exhibitions of the photographic societies.

  [Illustration: No. XXXII.

  (_A Photograph from life, engraved on wood._)]

This influence and this movement is so strong--and vital to the
artist--that it cannot be emphasised too much. The photographer is ever
in our midst, correcting our drawing with facts and details which no
human eye can see, and no one mind can take in at once.

On the obligations of artists to photographers a book might be written.
The benefits are not, as a rule, unacknowledged; nor are the bad
influences of photography always noticed. That is to say, that before
the days of photography, the artist made himself acquainted with many
things necessary to his art, for which he now depends upon the
photographic lens; in short, he uses his powers of observation less than
he did a few years ago. That the photographer leads him astray sometimes
is another thing to remember.

The future of the illustrator being uppermost in our thoughts, let us
consider further the influences with which he is surrounded. As to
photography, Mr. William Small, the well-known illustrator (who always
draws for wood engraving), says:--"it will never take good work out of a
good artist's hands." He speaks as an artist who has taken to
illustration seriously and most successfully, having devoted the best
years of his life to its development. The moral of it is, that in
whatever material or style newspaper illustrations are done, to hold
their own they must be of the best. Let them be as slight as you please,
if they be original and good. In line work (the best and surest for the
processes) photography can only be the servant of the artist, not the
competitor--and in this direction there is much employment to be looked
for. At present the influence is very much the other way; we are casting
off--ungratefully it would seem--the experience of the lifetime of the
wood engraver, and are setting in its place an art half developed, half
studied, full of crudities and discords. The illustrations which succeed
in books and newspapers, succeed for the most part from sheer ability on
the part of the artist; _they are full of ability_, but, as a rule, are
bad examples for students to copy. "Time is money" with these brilliant
executants; they have no time to study the value of a line, nor the
requirements of the processes, and so a number of drawings are handed to
the photo-engravers--which are often quite unfitted for mechanical
reproduction--to be produced literally in a few hours. It is an age of
vivacity, daring originality, and reckless achievement in illustration.
"Take it up, look at it, and throw it down," is the order of the day.
There is no reason but an economic one why the work done "to look at"
should not be as good as the artist can afford to make it. The
manufacturer of paperhangings or printed cottons will produce only a
limited quantity of one design, no matter how beautiful, and then go on
to another. So much the better for the designer, who would not keep
employment if he did not do his best, no matter whether his work was to
last for a day or for a year. The life of a single number of an
illustrated newspaper is a week, and of an illustrated book about a
year.

The young illustrators on the _Daily Graphic_--notably Mr. Reginald
Cleaver--obtain the maximum of effect with the minimum of lines. Thus
Caldecott worked, spending hours sometimes studying the art of leaving
out. Charles Keene's example may well be followed, making drawing after
drawing, no matter how trivial the subject, until he was satisfied that
it was right. "Either right or wrong," he used to say; "'right enough'
will not do for me."

  [Illustration: No. XXXIII.

  "PROUD MAIRIE." (LANCELOT SPEED.)

  (_From "The Blue Poetry Book." London: Longmans._)

  Pen-and-ink drawing by line process.]

Another influence on modern illustration--for good or bad--is the
electric light. It enables the photographic operator to be independent
of dark and foggy days, and to put a search-light upon objects which
otherwise could not be utilised. So far good. To the illustrator this
aid is often a doubtful advantage. The late Charles Keene (with whom I
have had many conversations on this subject) predicted a general
deterioration in the quality of illustrations from what he called
"unnatural and impossible effects," and he made one or two illustrations
in _Punch_ of figures seen under the then--(10 or 15 years ago)--novel
conditions of electric street lighting, one of which represented a man
who has been "dining" returning home through a street lighted up by
electric lamps, tucking up his trowsers to cross a black shadow which he
takes for a stream. Charles Keene's predictions have come true, we see
the glare of the magnesium light on many a page, and the unthinking
public is dazzled every week in the illustrated sheets with these
"unnatural and impossible effects."

Thus it has come about that what was looked upon by Charles Keene as
garish, exaggerated, and untrue in effect, is accepted to-day by the
majority of people as a lively and legitimate method of illustration.


DANIEL VIERGE.

One of the influences on the modern illustrator--a decidedly adverse
influence on the unlearned--is the prominence which has lately been
given to the art of Daniel Vierge.

There is probably no illustrator of to-day who has more originality,
style, and versatility--in short more genius--than Vierge, and none
whose work, for practical reasons, is more misleading to students.

As to his illustrations, from the purely literary and imaginative side,
they are as attractive to the scholar as drawings by Holbein or Menzell
are to the artist. Let us turn to the illustration on the next page,
from the _Pablo de Segovia_ by Quevedo; an example selected by the
editor, or publisher, of the book as a specimen page.

First, as to the art of it. Nothing in its own way could be more
fascinating in humour, vivacity, and character than this grotesque duel
with long ladles at the entrance to an old Spanish posada. The sparkle
and vivacity of the scene are inimitable; the bounding figure haunts the
memory with its diaphanous grace, touched in by a master of expression
in line. In short, we are in the presence of genius.

  [Illustration: No. XXXIV.

  Example of DANIEL VIERGE'S illustrations to _Pablo de Segovia_, the
  Spanish Sharper, by Francisco de Quevedo-Villegas, first published in
  Paris, in 1882; afterwards translated into English (with an Essay on
  Quevedo, by H. E. Watts, and comments on Vierge's work by Joseph
  Pennell), and published by Mr. T. Fisher Unwin, in 1892.

  Vierge was born in 1851, and educated in Madrid, where he spent the
  early years of his life. Since 1869 he has lived in Paris, and
  produced numerous illustrations for _Le Monde Illustré_ and _La Vie
  Moderne_, and other works. His fame was made in 1882 by Quevedo's
  _Pablo de Segovia_, the illustrations to which he was unable to
  complete owing to illness and paralysis. About twenty of these
  illustrations were drawn with the left hand, owing to paralysis of the
  right side. His career, full of romantic interest, suggests the future
  illustrator of _Don Quixote_.

  These drawings were made upon white paper--Bristol board or drawing
  paper--with a pen and Indian ink; but Vierge now uses a glass pen,
  like an old stylus. The drawings were then given to Gillot, the
  photo-engraver of Paris, who, by means of photography and _handwork_,
  produced metal blocks to be printed with the type.]

But the whole effect is obviously untrue to nature, and the tricks--of
black spots, of exaggerated shadows on the ground, of scratchings (and
of carelessness, which might be excused in a hasty sketch for _La Vie
Moderne_)--are only too apparent.

In nearly every illustration in the _Pablo de Segovia_ (of which there
are upwards of one hundred), the artist has relied for brilliancy and
effect on patches of black (sometimes ludicrously exaggerated) and other
mannerisms, which we accept from a genius, but which the student had
better not attempt to imitate. To quote a criticism from the
_Spectator_, "There is almost no light and shade in Vierge. There is an
ingenious effect of dazzle, but there is no approach attempted to truth
of tone, shadows being quite capriciously used for decoration and
supplied to figures that tell as light objects against the sky which
throws the shadows." And yet in these handsome pages there are gems of
draughtsmanship and extraordinary _tours de force_ in illustration.

In the reproduction of these drawings, I think the maker of the blocks,
M. Gillot, of Paris, would seem to have had a difficult task to perform.
The fact is, that Vierge's wonderful line drawings are sometimes as
difficult to reproduce for the type press as those of Holbein or
Menzell, and could only be done satisfactorily by one of the intaglio
processes, such as that employed by the Autotype Company in _éditions de
luxe_. That Vierge's drawings were worthy of this anyone who saw the
originals when exhibited at Barnard's Inn would, I think, agree.

It is the duty of any writer or instructor in illustration, to point out
these things, once for all. That Vierge could adapt himself to almost
any process if he pleased, is demonstrated repeatedly in the _Pablo de
Segovia_, where (as on pages 63 and 67 of that book) the brilliancy and
"colour" of pure line by process has hardly ever been equalled. That
some of his illustrations are impossible to reproduce well, and have
been degraded in the process is also demonstrated on page 199 of the
same book, where a mechanical grain has been used to help out the
drawing, and the lines have had to be cut up and "rouletted" on the
block to make them possible to print.

Of the clever band of illustrators of to-day who owe much of their
inspiration (and some of their tricks of method) to Vierge, it is not
necessary to speak here; we are in an atmosphere of genius in this
chapter, and geniuses are seldom safe guides to students of art.

Speaking generally (and these remarks refer to editors and publishers as
well as draughtsmen), the art of illustration as practised in England is
far from satisfactory; we are too much given to imitating the tricks and
prettinesses of other nations, and it is quite the exception to find
either originality or individuality on the pages which are hurled from
the modern printing press; individuality as seen in the work of Adolphe
Menzell, and, in a different spirit, in that of Gustave Doré and Vierge.

  [Illustration]


FOOTNOTES:

  [12] The heading to this chapter was drawn in line and reproduced by
    photo-zinc process. (See page 134.)

  [13] The mechanical processes, neglected and despised by the majority
    of illustrators for many years, have, by a sudden freak of fashion,
    apparently become so universal that, it is estimated, several
    thousand blocks are made in London alone every week.

  [14] This excellent drawing was made on rough white paper with
    autographic chalk; the print being much reduced in size. It is seldom
    that such a good grey block can be obtained by this means.

  [15] The young artist would be much better occupied in learning
    _drawing on stone_ direct, a branch of art which does not come into
    the scope of this book, as it is seldom used in book illustration,
    and cannot be printed at the type press. Drawing on stone is well
    worthy of study now, for the art is being revived in England on
    account of the greater facilities for printing than formerly.

  [16] The evil of it is that _we are becoming used to black blots_ in
    the pages of books and newspapers, and take them as a matter of
    course; just as we submit to the deformity of the outward man in the
    matter of clothing.

  [17] On the opposite page is an excellent reproduction of a painting
    from a photograph by the half-tone process.

  [18] "_'Mongst Mines and Miners_," by J. C. Burrows and W. Thomas.
    (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co.)

  [19] Both Mr. Cameron's and Mr. Mendelssohn's photographs have had to
    be slightly cut down to fit these pages. But as illustrations they
    are, I think, remarkable examples of the photographer's and the
    photo-engraver's art.

   [20] From the _Graphic_ newspaper, 28th October, 1893.



  [Illustration: FROM "GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES." (WALTER CRANE.)]

CHAPTER V.

WOOD ENGRAVINGS.


To turn to a more practical side of book illustration. The first
principle of illustration is to _illustrate_, and yet it is a fact that
few illustrations in books or magazines are to be found in their proper
places in the text.

It is seldom that the illustration (so called) is in artistic harmony
with the rest of the page, as it is found in old books. One of the great
charms of Bewick's work is its individuality and expressive character.
Here the artist and engraver were one, and a system of illustration was
founded in England a hundred years ago which we should do well not to
forget.[21]

We are fast losing sight of first principles and aiming rather at
catching the eye and the public purse with a pretty page; and in doing
this we are but imitators. In the English magazines it is strange to
find a slavish, almost childish imitation of the American system of
illustration; adopting, for instance, the plan of pictures turned over
at the corners or overlapping each other with exaggerated black borders
and other devices of the album of the last generation. This is what we
have come to in England in 1894 (with excellent wood engravers still),
and the kind of art by which we shall be remembered at the end of the
nineteenth century! I am speaking of magazines like _Good Words_ and
_Cassell's Magazine_, where wood engraving is still largely employed.

It may be as well to explain here that the reasons for employing the
medium of wood engraving for elaborate illustrations which, such as we
see in American magazines, were formerly only engraved on copper or
steel, are--(1) rapidity of production, and (2) the almost illimitable
number of copies that can be produced from casts from wood blocks. The
broad distinction between the old and new methods of wood engraving is,
that in early days the lines were drawn clearly on the wood block and
the part not drawn cut away by the engraver, who endeavoured to make a
perfect fac-simile of the artist's lines. It is now a common custom to
transfer a photograph from life on to the wood block (_see p. 167_),
also to draw on the wood with a brush in tint, and even to photograph a
water-colour drawing on to the wood, leaving the engraver to turn the
tints into lines in his own way.

In the very earliest days of book illustration, before movable
type-letters were invented, the illustration and the letters of the text
were all engraved on the wood together, and thus, of necessity (as in
the old block books produced in Holland and Belgium in the fifteenth
century), there was character and individuality in every page; the
picture, rough as it often was, harmonising with the text in an
unmistakable manner. From an artistic point of view, there was a better
balance of parts and more harmony of effect than in the more elaborate
illustrations of the present day. The illustration was an illustration
in the true sense of the word. It interpreted something to the reader
that words were incapable of doing; and even when movable type was first
introduced, the simple character of the engravings harmonised well with
the letters. There is a broad line of demarcation, indeed, between
these early wood engravings (such, for instance, as the "Ars Moriendi,"
purchased for the British Museum in 1872, from the Weigel collection at
Leipsic, and recently reproduced by the Holbein Society) and the last
development of the art in the American magazines. The movement is
important, because the Americans, with an energy and _naïveté_ peculiar
to them, have set themselves the task of outstripping all nations in the
beauty and quality of magazine illustrations. That they have succeeded
in obtaining delicate effects, and what painters call colour, through
the medium of wood-engraving, is well known, and it is common to meet
people in England asking, "Have you seen the last number of _Harper's_
or the _Century Magazine_?" The fashion is to admire them, and English
publishers are easily found to devote time and capital to distributing
American magazines (which come to England free of duty), to the
prejudice of native productions. The reason for the excellence (which is
freely admitted) of American wood-engraving and printing is that, in the
first place, more capital is employed upon the work. The American
wood-engraver is an artist in every sense of the word, and his education
is not considered complete without years of foreign study. The American
engraver is always _en rapport_ with the artist--an important
matter--working often, as I have seen them at _Harper's_, the _Century
Magazine_, and _Scribner's_ in New York, in the same studio, side by
side. In England the artist, as a rule, does not have any direct
communication with the wood engraver. In America the publisher, having a
very large circulation for his works, is able to bring the culture of
Europe and the capital of his own country to the aid of the
wood-engraver, spending sometimes five or six hundred pounds on the
illustrations of a single number of a monthly magazine. The result is
_an engraver's success_ of a very remarkable kind.

  [Illustration: XXXV.

  _A Portrait_ engraved on wood at the Office of the CENTURY MAGAZINE.

  Example of portraiture from the _Century Magazine_. It is interesting
  to note the achievements of the American engravers at a time when wood
  engraving in England is under a cloud.

  This portrait was photographed from life and afterwards worked up by
  hand and most skilfully engraved in New York.

  (_Photograph from life, engraved on wood. From the Century
  Magazine._)]

A discussion of the merits of the various styles of wood engraving, and
of the different methods of drawing on wood, such as that initiated by
the late Frederick Walker, A. R. A.; the styles of Mr. William Small, E.
A. Abbey, Alfred Parsons, etc.--does not come into the scope of this
publication, but it will be useful to refer to one or two opinions on
the American system.

  "Book illustration as an art," as Mr. Comyns Carr pointed out in his
  lectures at the Society of Arts ten years ago, "is founded upon wood
  engraving, and it is to wood engraving that we must look if we are to
  have any revival of the kind of beauty which early-printed books
  possess. In the mass of work now produced, there is very little trace
  of the principles upon which Holbein laboured. Instead of proceeding
  by the simplest means, our modern artist seems rather by preference to
  take the most difficult and complex way of expressing himself. A wood
  engraving, it is not unjust to say, has become scarcely
  distinguishable from a steel engraving excepting by its inferiority."

Mr. Hubert Herkomer, R. A., who has had a very wide experience in the
graphic arts, says:--

  "In modern times a body of engravers has been raised up who have
  brought the art of engraving on wood to such a degree of perfection,
  that the most modern work, especially that of the Americans, is done
  to show _the skill of the engraver_ rather than the art of the
  draughtsman. This, I do not hesitate to say, is a sign of decadence.
  Take up any number of the _Century_ or _Harper's_ magazines, and you
  will see that effect is the one aim. You marvel at the handling of the
  engraver, and forget the artist. Correct, or honest, drawing is no
  longer wanted. This kind of illustration is most pernicious to the
  student, and _will not last_....

  "America is a child full of promise in art--a child that is destined
  to be a great master; so let us not imitate its youthful efforts or
  errors. Americans were the first to foster this style of art, and they
  will be the first to correct it."

Mr. W. J. Linton, the well-known wood engraver, expresses himself thus
strongly on the modern system, and his words come with great force from
the other side of the Atlantic:--

  "Talent is misapplied when it is spent on endeavours to rival
  steel-line engraving or etching, in following brush-marks, in
  pretending to imitate crayon-work, charcoal, or lithography, and in
  striving who shall scratch the greatest number of lines on a given
  space without thought of whether such multiplicity of lines adds
  anything to the expression of the picture or the beauty of the
  engraving. How much of talent is here thrown away! How much of force
  that should have helped towards growth is wasted in this slave's play
  for a prize not worth having--the fame of having well done the lowest
  thing in the engraver's art, and having for that neglected the study
  of the highest! For it is the lowest and the last thing about which an
  artist should concern himself, this excessive fineness and minuteness
  of work.... In engraving, as in other branches of art, _the first
  thing is drawing, the second drawing, the third drawing_."

This is the professional view, ably expressed, of a matter which has
been exercising many minds of late; and is worth quoting, if only to
show the folly of imitating a system acknowledged by experts to be
founded on false principles.

But there is another view of the matter which should not be lost sight
of. Whatever the opinion of the American system of illustration may be,
there is, on the other side of the Atlantic, an amount of energy,
enterprise, cultivation of hand and eye, delicacy of manipulation, and
individual industry, cleverly organised to provide a wide continent with
a better art than anything yet attempted in any country. Some fine
engravings, which the Americans have lately been distributing amongst
the people, such, for instance, as the portraits (engraved from
photographs from life) which have appeared in _Harper's_ and the
_Century_ magazines, only reach the cultivated few in Europe in
expensive books. It is worth considering what the ultimate art effect of
this widespread distribution will be. The "prairie flower" holds in her
hand a better magazine, as regards illustrations, than anything
published in England at the same price; and a taste for delicate and
refined illustration is being fostered amongst a variety of people on
the western continent, learned and unlearned. That there is a want of
sincerity in the movement, that "things are not exactly what they seem,"
that something much better might be done, may be admitted; but it will
be well for our illustrators and art providers to remember that the
Americans are advancing upon us with the power of capital and
ever-increasing knowledge and cultivation. In the _Century_ magazine,
ten years ago, there was an article on "The Pupils of Bewick," with
illustrations admirably reproduced from proofs of early wood engravings,
by "photo-engraving."

This is noteworthy, as showing that the knowledge of styles is
disseminated everywhere in America; and also, how easy it is to
reproduce engravings by "process," and how _important to have a clear
copyright law on this subject_.

Of the English wood engravers, and of the present state of the
profession in England much has been written. I believe the fact remains
that commercial wood engraving is still relied on by many editors and
publishers, as it prints with more ease and certainty than any of the
process blocks.

That there are those in England (like Mr. Biscombe Gardner and others,
whose work I am unable to reproduce here), that believe in wood
engraving still as a vital art, capable of the highest results, I am
also well aware. But at the moment of writing it is difficult to get
many publishers to expend capital upon it for ordinary illustrations.

On the next page is an example of good wood engraving.

  [Illustration: "DRIVING HOME THE PIGS." (JOHN PEDDER.)

  (_Academy Notes, 1891._)]

  [Illustration: No. XXXVI.

  _Joan of Arc's House at Rouen_, by the late SAMUEL PROUT.

  Engraved on wood by Mr. J. D. Cooper, from a water-colour drawing by
  Samuel Prout.

  The original drawing, made with a reed pen and flat washes of colour,
  was photographed on to the wood block, and the engraver interpreted
  the various tints into line. The method is interesting, and the tones
  obtained in line show the resources of the engraver's art, an art
  rather carelessly set aside in these days.

  This engraving is from _Normandy Picturesque_. (London: Sampson Low &
  Co.)]


FOOTNOTE:

  [21] In _The Life and Works of Thomas Bewick_, by D. C. Thomson; in
    _The Portfolio_, _The Art Journal_, _The Magazine of Art_, and in
    _Good Words_, Bewick's merits as artist and engraver have been
    exhaustively discussed.



  [Illustration: DESIGN BY WALTER CRANE.]

CHAPTER VI.

THE DECORATIVE PAGE.


To turn next to the more decorative side of modern illustration, where
design and the _ensemble_ of a printed page are more considered, it is
pleasant to be able to draw attention to the work of an art school,
where an educated and intelligent mind seems to have been the presiding
genius; where the illustrators, whilst they are fully imbued with the
spirit of the past, have taken pains to adapt their methods to modern
requirements. I refer to the Birmingham Municipal School of Art.

   [Illustration: No. XXXVII.

   _Decorative Page_, by A. J. GASKIN.

   (From Hans Andersen's _Fairy Tales_. London: George Allen.)

   This is a good example of the appropriate decoration of a page
   without any illustration in the ordinary sense of the word. The
   treatment of ornament harmonises well with old-faced type letter.

   The original was drawn in pen and ink, about _the same size_ as the
   reproduction. The ground is excellent in colour, almost equal to a
   wood engraving.

   This is another example of the possibilities of process, rightly
   handled, and also of effect produced _without reduction_ of the
   drawing.]

Whilst using wood engraving freely, the illustrators of Birmingham
(notably Mr. Gaskin), are showing what can be done in line drawing by
the relief processes, to produce colour and ornament which harmonise
well with the letterpress of a book. This seems an important step in the
right direction, and if the work emanating from this school were less,
apparently, confined to an archaic style, to heavy outline and mediæval
ornament (I speak from what I see, not knowing the school personally),
there are possibilities for an extended popularity for those who have
worked under its influence.[22]

The examples of decorative pages by experienced illustrators like Mr.
Walter Crane and others, will serve to remind us of what some artists
are doing. But the band of illustrators who consider design is much
smaller than it should be, and than it will be in the near future. A
study of the past, if it be only in the pages of mediæval books, will
greatly aid the student of design. In the Appendix I have mentioned a
few fine examples of decorative pages, with and without illustrations,
which may be usefully studied at the British Museum.

  [Illustration: No. XXXVIII.]

In all these pages, it will be observed, what is called "colour" in
black and white is preserved throughout; showing that a page can be
thoroughly decorative without illustrations to the text. Closely
criticised, some of the old block designs may appear crude and capable
of more skilful treatment, but the pages, as a rule, show the artistic
sense--unmistakably, mysteriously, wonderfully.

In these and similar pages, such, for instance, as _Le Mer des
Histoires_, produced in Paris by Pierre le Rouge in 1488 (also in the
British Museum), the harmony of line drawing with the printed letters is
interesting and instructive. (_See Appendix._)

It is in the production of the decorative page that wood engraving
asserts its supremacy still in some quarters, as may be seen in the
beautiful books produced in England during the past few years by Mr.
William Morris, where artist, wood engraver, typefounder, papermaker,
printer, and bookbinder work under the guiding spirit (when not the
actual handwork) of the author. They are interesting to us rather as
exotics; an attempt to reproduce the exact work of the past under modern
conditions, conditions which render the price within reach only of a
few, but they are at least a protest against the modern shams with which
we are all familiar.

The nineteenth-century author's love for the literature of his past has
led him to imitate not only the style, but the outward aspect of old
books; and by a series of frauds (to which his publisher has lent
himself only too readily) to produce something which appears to be what
it is not.

The genuine outcome of mediæval thought and style--of patience and
leisure--seems to be treated at the end of the nineteenth century as a
fashion to be imitated in books, such as are to be seen under glass
cases in the British Museum. It is to be feared that the
twentieth-century reader, looking back, will see few traces worth
preserving, either of originality or of individuality in the work of the
present.

What are the facts? The typefounder of to-day takes down a Venetian
writing-master's copybook of the fifteenth century, and, imitating
exactly the thick downward strokes of the reed pen, forms a set of
movable type, called in printer's language "old face"; a style of letter
much in vogue in 1894, but the style and character of which belongs
altogether to the past. Thus, with such aids, the man of letters of
to-day--living in a whirl of movement and discovery--clothes himself in
the handwriting of the Venetian scholar as deliberately as the
Norwegian dons a bear-skin.

  [Illustration: No. XXXIX.

  DESIGN FOR THE TITLE PAGE OF THE "HOBBY-HORSE." (SELWYN IMAGE.)

  (_This is a reduction by process from a large quarto wood
  engraving_.)]

The next step is to present in his book a series of so-called
"engravings," which are not engravings but reproductions by process of
old prints. The "advance of science" in producing photo-relief blocks
from steel and other _intaglio_ plates for the type printing press, at a
small cost per square inch, is not only taking from the artistic value
of the modern _édition de luxe_, but also from its interest and
genuineness.

The next step is to manufacture rough-edged, coarse-textured paper,
purporting to be carefully "hand-made." The rough edge, which was a
necessity when every sheet of paper was finished by hand labour, is now
imitated successfully by machinery, and is handled lovingly by the
bookworm of to-day, regardless of the fact that these roughened sheets
can be bought by the pound in Drury-lane. The worst, and last fraud (I
can call it no less) that can be referred to here is, that the
clothing--the "skin of vellum"--that appropriately encloses our modern
_édition de luxe_ is made from pulp, rags, and other _débris_. That the
gold illuminations on the cover are no longer real gold, and that the
handsomely bound book, with its fair margins, cracks in half with a
"bang," when first opened, are other matters connected with the
discoveries of science, and the substitution of machinery for hand
labour, which we owe to modern enterprise and invention.[23]

Looking at the "decorative pages" in most books, and remembering the
achievements of the past, one is inclined to ask--Is the "setting-out of
a page" one of the lost arts, like the designing of a coin? What harmony
of style do we see in an ordinary book? How many authors or illustrators
of books show that they care for the "look" of a printed page? The fact
is, that the modern author shirks his responsibilities, following the
practice of the greatest writers of our day. There are so many
"facilities"--as they are called--for producing books that the author
takes little interest in the matter. Mr. Ruskin, delicate draughtsman as
he is known to be, has contributed little to the _ensemble_ or
appearance of the pages that flow from the printing press of Mr. Allen,
at Orpington. His books are well printed in the modern manner, but
judged by examples of the past, a deadly monotony pervades the page;
the master's noblest thoughts are printed exactly like his weakest, and
are all drawn out in lines together as in the making of macaroni! Mr.
Hamerton, artist as well as author, is content to describe the beauty of
forest trees, ferns and flowers, the variety of underwood and the like
(nearly every word, in an article in the _Portfolio_, referring to some
picturesque form or graceful line), without indicating the varieties
pictorially on the printed page. The late Lord Tennyson and other poets
have been content for years to sell their song by the line, little
heeding, apparently, in what guise it was given to the world.

In these days the monotony of uniformity seems to pervade the pages,
alike of great and small, and a letter from a friend is now often
printed by a machine!

  [Illustration]

  [Illustration: No. XL.

  "SCARLET POPPIES." (W. J. MUCKLEY.)

  This beautiful piece of pen work by Mr. Muckley (from his picture in
  the Royal Academy, 1885) was too delicate in the finer passages to
  reproduce well by any relief process (the pale lines having come out
  black); but as an example of breadth, and indication of surfaces in
  pen and ink, it could hardly be surpassed.]


FOOTNOTES:

  [22] I mention this school as a representative one; there are many
    others where design and wood engraving are studied under the same
    roof with success in 1894.

  [23] Mr. Cobden Sanderson's lecture on BOOKBINDING, read before the
    "Arts and Crafts Society," is well worth the attention of book
    lovers.



CHAPTER VII.

AUTHOR, ILLUSTRATOR, AND PUBLISHER.


Let us now consider shortly the Author, the Illustrator, and the
Publisher, and their influence on the appearance and production of a
book. If it be impossible in these days (and, in spite of the efforts of
Mr. William Morris and others, it seems to be impossible) to produce a
genuine book in all its details, it seems worth considering in what way
the author can stamp it with his own individuality; also to what extent
he is justified in making use of modern appliances.

How far, then, may the author be said to be responsible for the state of
things just quoted? Theoretically, he is the man of taste and culture
_par excellence_; he is, or should be, in most cases, the arbiter, the
dictator to his publisher, the chooser of style. The book is his, and it
is his business to decide in what form his ideas should become
concrete; the publisher aiding his judgment with experience, governing
the finance, and carrying out details. How comes it then that, with the
present facilities for reproducing anything that the hand can put upon
paper, the latter-day nineteenth-century author is so much in the hands
of others as to the appearance of his book? It is because the so-called
educated man has not been taught to use his hands as the missal-writers
and authors of mediæval times taught themselves to use theirs. The
modern author, who is, say, fifty years old, was born in an age of
"advanced civilisation," when the only method of expression for the
young was one--"pothooks and hangers." The child of ten years old, whose
eye was mentally forming pictures, taking in unconsciously the facts of
perspective and the like, had a pencil tied with string to his two first
fingers until he had mastered the ups and downs, crosses and dashes, of
modern handwriting, which has been accepted by the great, as well as the
little, ones of the earth, as the best medium of communication between
intelligent beings; and so, regardless of style, character, or
picturesqueness, he scribbles away! So much for our generally straggling
style of penmanship.

There is no doubt that the author of the future will have to come more
into personal contact with the artist than he has been in the habit of
doing, and that the distinction I referred to in the first chapter,
between illustrations which are to be (1) records of facts, and (2)
works of art, will have to be more clearly drawn.

Amongst the needs in the community of book producers is one that I only
touch upon because it affects the illustrator:--That there should be an
expert in every publishing house to determine (1) whether a drawing is
suitable for publication; and (2) by what means it should be reproduced.
The resources of an establishment will not always admit of such an
arrangement; but the editors and publishers who are informed on these
matters can easily be distinguished by the quality of their
publications. By the substitution of process blocks for wood engravings
in books, publishers are deprived to a great extent of the fostering
care of the master wood engraver, to which they have been accustomed.

Amongst the influences affecting the illustrator, none, I venture to
say, are more prejudicial than the acceptance by editors and publishers
of inartistic drawings.

It would be difficult, I think, to point to a period when so much bad
work was produced as at present. The causes have already been pointed
out, the beautiful processes for the reproduction of drawings are
scarcely understood by the majority of artists, publishers, authors, or
critics. It is the _misuse_ of the processes in these hurrying days,
which is dragging our national reputation in the mire and perplexing the
student.

The modern publisher, it may be said without offence, understands the
manufacture and the commerce of a book better than the art in it. And
how should it be otherwise? The best books that were ever produced, from
an artistic point of view, were inspired and designed by students of art
and letters, men removed from the commercial scramble of life, and to
whom an advertisement was a thing unknown! The ordinary art education of
a publisher, and the multitude of affairs requiring his attention, unfit
him generally, for the task of deciding whether an illustration is good
or bad, or how far--when he cheapens the production of his book by using
photographic illustrations ("snap-shots" from nature)--he is justified
in calling them "art." The deterioration in the character of book
illustration in England is a serious matter, and public attention may
well be drawn to it.

Here we look for the active co-operation of the author. The far-reaching
spread of education--especially technical art education--is tending to
bring together, as they were never brought before in this century, the
author and the illustrator. The author of a book will give more
attention to the appearance of his pages, to the decorative character of
type and ornament, whilst the average artist will be better educated
from a literary point of view; and, to use a French word for which there
is no equivalent, will be more _en rapport_ with both author and
publisher.

For the illustrator by profession there seems no artistic leisure; no
time to do anything properly in this connection.

"It is a poor career, Blackburn," said a well-known newspaper
illustrator to me lately (an artist of distinction and success in his
profession who has practised it for twenty years), "you seldom give
satisfaction--not even to yourself."

"It is an _ideal career_," says another, a younger man, who is content
with the more slap-dash methods in vogue to-day--and with the income he
receives for them.

Referring again to the question in the _Athenæum_, "Why is not drawing
for the press taught in our Government schools of art?" I think the
principal reasons why the art of illustration by the processes is not
generally taught in art schools are--

(1) drawing for reproduction requires more personal teaching than is
possible in art classes in public schools; (2) the art masters
throughout the country, with very few exceptions, _do not understand the
new processes_--which is not to be wondered at.

It is not the fault of the masters in our schools of art that students
are taught in most cases as if they were to become painters, when the
only possible career for the majority is that of illustration, or
design. The masters are, for the most part, well and worthily occupied
in giving a good groundwork of knowledge to every student, as to drawing
for the press. There is no question that the best preparation for this
work is the _best general art teaching that can be obtained_. The
student must have drawn from the antique and from life; he must have
learned composition and design; have studied from nature the relative
values of light and shade, aërial perspective and the like; in short,
have followed the routine study for a painter whose first aim should be
to be a master of monochrome.

In the more technical parts, which the young illustrator by process will
require to know, he needs personal help. He will have a multitude of
questions to ask "somebody" as to the reasons for what he is doing; _for
what style of process work he is by touch and temperament best fitted_,
and so on. All this has to be considered if we are to keep a good
standard of art teaching for illustration.

The fact that _a pen-and-ink drawing which looks well scarcely ever
reproduces well_, must always be remembered. Many drawings for process,
commended in art schools for good draughtsmanship or design, will not
reproduce as expected, for want of exact knowledge of the requirements
of process; whereas a drawing by a trained hand will often _look better
in the reproduction_. These remarks refer especially to ornament and
design, to architectural drawings and the like.

The topical illustrator and sketcher in weekly prints has, of course,
more licence, and it matters less what becomes of his lines in their
rapid transit through the press. Still the illustrator, of whatever rank
or style, has a right to complain if his drawing is reproduced on a
scale not intended by him, or by a process for which it is not fitted,
or if printed badly, and with bad materials.

But the sketchy style of illustration seems to be a little overdone at
present, and--being tolerable only when allied to great ability--remains
consequently in the hands of a few. There is plenty of talent in this
country which is wasted for want of control. It plays about us like
summer lightning when we want the precision and accuracy of the
telegraph.

The art of colour printing (whether it be by the intaglio processes, or
by chromo-lithography, or on relief blocks) has arrived at such
proficiency and has become such an important industry that it should be
mentioned here. By its means, a beautiful child-face, by Millais, is
scattered over the world by hundreds of thousands; and the reputation of
a young artist, like Kate Greenaway, made and established. The latter
owes much of her prestige and success to the colour-printer. Admitting
the grace, taste, and invention of Kate Greenaway as an illustrator,
there is little doubt that, without the wood engraver and the example
and sympathetic aid of such artists as H. S. Marks, R.A., Walter Crane,
and the late Randolph Caldecott, she would never have received the
praise bestowed upon her by M. Ernest Chesneau, or Mr. Ruskin. These
things show how intimately the arts of reproduction affect reputations,
and how important it is that more sympathy and communication should
exist between all producers. In the mass of illustrated publications
issuing from the press the expert can discern clearly where this
sympathy and knowledge exist, and where ability, on the part of the
artist, has been allied to practical knowledge of the requirements of
illustration.

The business of many will be to contribute, in some form, to the making
of pictures and designs to be multiplied in the press; and, in order to
learn the technique and obtain employment, some of the most promising
pupils have to fall into the ways of the producers of cheap
illustrations, Christmas cards, and the like. On the other hand, a
knowledge of the mechanical processes for reproducing drawings (as it is
being pressed forward in technical schools) is leading to disastrous
consequences, as may be seen on every railway bookstall in the kingdom.

In the "book of the future" we hope to see less of the "lath and
plaster" style of illustration, produced from careless wash drawings by
the cheap processes; fewer of the blots upon the page, which the modern
reader seems to take as a matter of course. In books, as in periodicals,
the illustrator by process will have to divest himself, as far as
possible, of that tendency to scratchiness and exaggeration that
injures so many process illustrations. In short, he must be more
careful, and give more thought to the meaning of his lines and washes,
and to the adequate expression of textures.

There is a great deal yet to learn, for neither artists nor writers have
mastered the subject. Few of our best illustrators have the time or the
inclination to take to the new methods, and, as regards criticism, it is
hardly to be expected that a reviewer who has a pile of illustrated
books to pronounce upon, should know the reason of the failures that he
sees before him. Thus the public is often misled by those who should be
its guides as to the value and importance of the new systems of
illustration.[24]

In conclusion, let us remember that everyone who cultivates a taste for
artistic beauty in books, be he author, artist, or artificer, may do
something towards relieving the monotony and confusion in style, which
pervades the outward aspect of so many books. It is a far cry from the
work of the missal writer in a monastery to the pages of a modern book,
but the taste and feeling which was shown in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries in the production of books, exists in the nineteenth, under
difficult conditions.

In the "book of the future" the author will help personally, more than
he has ever done, as I have already suggested. The subject is not
half-ventilated yet, nor can I touch upon it further, but the day is not
far distant when the power of the hand of the author will be tested to
the utmost, and lines of all kinds will appear in the text. There is
really no limit to what may be done with modern appliances, if only the
idea is seized with intelligence.

Two questions, however, remain unanswered--(1) Whether, as a matter of
language and history, we are communicating information to each other
much better than the ancients did in cuneiform inscriptions, on stones
and monuments. (2) Whether, as a matter of illustrative art, we are
making the best use of modern appliances.

Let us, then, cultivate more systematically the art of drawing for the
press, and treat it as a worthy profession. Let it not be said again,
as it was to me lately by one who has devoted half a lifetime to these
things, "The processes of reproduction are to hand, but where are our
artists?" Let it not be said that the chariot-wheels of the press move
too fast for us--that chemistry and the sun's rays have been utilised
too soon--that, in short, the processes of reproduction have been
perfected before their time! I think not, and that an art--the art of
pictorial expression--which has existed for ages and is now best
understood by the Japanese, may be cultivated amongst us to a more
practical end.

  [Illustration: "TAKE CARE." (W. B. BAIRD.)

  (_Royal Academy, 1891._)]


FOOTNOTE:

  [24] There seems but one rule of criticism in this connection. If a
    book illustration comes out coarsely and (as is often the case) a
    mere smudge, the process is blamed, when the drawing or photograph
    may have been quite unsuitable for the process employed.



STUDENTS' DRAWINGS.


The following four examples of drawing from life, by students at
Victoria Street, fresh from art schools, are interesting as tentative
work. The object has been to test their powers and _adaptability for
line work_; avoiding outline in the experiment as much as possible.

Nos. 1, 3, and 4, it will be observed, evade backgrounds altogether--the
too ready solution of a difficult problem in line.

These drawings were made direct from life, in line; a system not to be
recommended, excepting as an experiment of powers.

Examples of students' wash drawings, &c., will appear in future editions
of this book.

  [Illustration: No. XLI.

  "_Spanish Woman_." A Study from Life.

  By INA BIDDER.

  This is a clever sketch with pen and ink and brush, and drawn with a
  bold free hand, reproduced on an (untouched) process block. It shows
  originality of treatment and courage on the part of the student; also
  the value of great reduction to give strength and effect.

  (Size of drawing, 16 × 11-1/2 in.)]

  [Illustration: No. XLII.

  "_Sketch from Life_," by ESTELLE D'AVIGDOR.

  This student was the winner in a prize competition lately in _The
  Studio_. She has undoubted ability, but not clearly in the direction
  of line drawing. After considerable success in painting, this student
  writes: "I still find the pen a difficult instrument to wield."

  In this sketch we see the influence of Aubrey Beardsley and others of
  the dense-black, reckless school of modern illustrators.

  (Size of drawing, 10 × 6-3/4 in.) Zinc process.]

  [Illustration: No. XLIII.

  _Sketch from Life_, by G. C. MARKS.

  This pen-and-ink drawing is interesting for colour, especially in the
  hair; it would have been better modelled if drawn first in pencil or
  chalk.

  This student has an obvious aptitude for line work; the touch is very
  good for a beginner.

  (Size of drawing, 10-1/2 × 8 in.) Zinc process.]

  [Illustration: No. XLIV.

  _Bough of Common Furze_, by WILLIAM FRENCH.

  A most careful study from nature in pen and ink. (Size of original
  drawing, 14 × 11-1/2 in.) Reproduced by zinc process.

  This artist learned the method of line work for process in a month.]



CANTOR LECTURES.


The ILLUSTRATIONS in this Volume are, for the most part, reproductions
of drawings which--for purposes of study and comparison--are shown by
Mr. Blackburn at his Lectures in Art Schools, enlarged to a scale of 15
to 20 ft.

Students who may be unable to attend these lectures can see some of the
original drawings on application (by letter) to "The Secretary, at Mr.
HENRY BLACKBURN'S STUDIO, 123, Victoria Street, Westminster."



APPENDIX.

  1. PHOTO-ZINC PROCESS.--2. GELATINE PROCESS.--3. HALF-TONE.--4.
  INTAGLIO PROCESSES.--5. DRAWING MATERIALS.--6. BOOKS FOR STUDENTS.--7.
  DECORATIVE PAGES.--8. LIST OF PHOTO-ENGRAVERS.


PHOTO-ZINC PROCESS.

FOR THE REPRODUCTION OF LINE DRAWINGS IN RELIEF, SUITABLE FOR PRINTING
AT THE TYPE PRESS.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCESS.--The first stage is to have the drawing
photographed to the size required, and to transfer a print of it on to a
sensitized zinc plate. This print, or photographic image of the drawing
lying upon the zinc plate, is of greasy substance (bichromate of potash
and gelatine), and is afterwards inked up with a roller; the plate is
then immersed in a bath of nitric acid and ether, which cuts away the
parts which were left white upon the paper, and leaves the lines of the
drawing in relief. This "biting in," as it is called, requires
considerable experience and attention, according to the nature of the
drawing. Thus, the lines are turned into metal in a few hours, and the
plate, when mounted on wood to the height of type-letters, is ready to
be printed from, if necessary, at the rate of several thousands an hour.

THE COST of these blocks averages 6d. the square inch where a number are
made at one time, the minimum price being 5/-.

Small book illustrations by this process, by firms who make a specialty
of producing single illustrations, are often charged 9d. the square
inch, with a minimum of 7/6; but the cost should never be more than this
for a single block by the zinc process.


GELATINE PROCESS.

FOR THE REPRODUCTION OF DRAWINGS IN LINE IN RELIEF, SUITABLE FOR
PRINTING AT THE TYPE PRESS.

This is a more delicate and sensitive method of obtaining a relief
block. It is called the "gelatine," or "Gillot" process.

The drawing is photographed to the required size (as before), and the
_negative_ laid upon a glass plate (previously coated with a mixture of
gelatine and bichromate of potash). The part of this thin, sensitive
film not exposed to the light is absorbent, and when immersed in water
swells up. The part exposed to the light, _i.e._, the lines of the
drawing, remains near the surface of the glass. Thus we have a sunk
mould from which a metal cast can be taken, leaving the lines in relief
as in the zinc process. In skilful hands this process admits of more
delicate gradations, and pale, uncertain lines can be reproduced with
tolerable fidelity. There is no process yet invented which gives better
results from a pen-and-ink drawing for the type press.

Reproductions of pencil, chalk, and charcoal are also possible by this
process; but _they are not suited for it_, and there is generally too
much working up by hand on the block to suit rapid printing. These
blocks when completed have a copper surface. The blocks take longer to
make, and are about double the price of the photo-zinc process. THE COST
varies from 9d. to 1/6 the square inch.

M. Gillot, in Paris, may be said to be the inventor or perfector of this
process, now used by many photo engravers in London, notably by Mr.
Alfred Dawson, of Hogarth Works, Chiswick.


HALF-TONE PROCESS.

FOR THE REPRODUCTION OF WASH DRAWINGS, PHOTOGRAPHS, ETC., BY THE
SCREENED PHOTO-ZINC RELIEF PROCESS.

This method of making the blocks is more complicated. As there are no
lines in a wash drawing, or in a photograph from nature, or in a
painting, it is necessary to obtain some kind of grain, or interstices
of white, on the zinc plate, as in a mezzotint; so between the drawing
or photograph to be reproduced and the camera, glass screens covered
with lines or dots, are interposed, varying in strength according to the
light and shade required; thus turning the image of the wash drawing or
photograph practically into "line," with sufficient interstices of white
for printing purposes.

The coarseness or fineness of grain on these blocks varies according to
circumstances. Thus, for rapid printing on cylinder machines, with
inferior paper and ink, a wider grain and a deeper cut block is
necessary.

The examples in this book may be said to show these process blocks at
their best, with good average printing. The results from wash drawings,
as already pointed out, are uncertain, and generally gloomy and
mechanical-looking.

The reproductions of pencil, chalk, or charcoal drawings by this process
are generally unsatisfactory, even when printed under good conditions.
The blocks are shallow as compared with the zinc line process, and are
double the cost.


INTAGLIO PROCESSES.

PHOTOGRAVURE, AUTOTYPE, DALLASTYPE, ETC.

PHOTOGRAVURE.--First, a photographic negative is taken direct from the
picture to be reproduced, and from this an autotype carbon print is
taken and transferred on to glass or silvered copper, instead of on the
paper used in making carbon prints for sale. This picture is in delicate
relief, and forms the mould, upon which copper is electrically
deposited. After being made "conductive," the carbon mould is placed in
a galvanic bath, the deposit of copper upon it taking the impression
perfectly.

Another method is to transfer the same mould upon pure, clean copper,
and then operate with a powerful biting solution, which is resisted more
or less according to the varying thickness of carbon mould to be
penetrated. Thus the parts to be left smoothest are thick of carbon, and
the parts to be dark are bare, so that the mordant may act unresisted.
This, it will be perceived, is the opposite way to the process above
given, and is therefore worked from a "transparency," or photographic
"positive," instead of a negative. This is the Klick and Fox Talbot
method, and is very commonly in use at present.

The process of "photogravure" is well known, as employed by Messrs.
Boussod, Valadon, & Co. (Goupil), of Paris, and is adapted for the
reproduction of wash drawings, paintings, also drawings where the lines
are pale and uncertain, pencil, chalk, etc.; the greys and gradations of
pencil being wonderfully interpreted. In London the intaglio processes
are used by many of the firms mentioned on page 240. They are now much
used for the reproduction of photographic portraits in books, taking
place of the copperplate engraving.

THE COST of these plates is, roughly, 5/- the square inch. The makers of
these plates generally supply paper, and print, charging by the 100
copies. But engravings thus produced are comparatively little used in
modern book illustration, as they cannot be printed simultaneously with
the letter-press of a book; they are suitable only for limited editions
and "_éditions de luxe_."


DRAWING MATERIALS FOR REPRODUCTION.

  1.--FOR DRAWINGS IN LINE.--For general use, liquid Indian ink and
    Bristol board; or hard paper of similar surface. "Clay board," the
    surface of which can easily be removed with a scraper, is useful for
    some purposes, but the pen touch on clay board is apt to become
    mechanical.

  2.--FOR DRAWINGS IN PENCIL AND CHALK, grained papers are used (see p.
    113 and following). These papers are made of various textures, with
    black or white lines and dots vertical, horizontal, and diagonal. As
    a matter of fact, grained papers are little used in book and
    newspaper illustration in this country, and unless artistically
    treated the results are very unsatisfactory. They are most suitable
    for landscape work and sketches of effect.

  3.--FOR WASH DRAWINGS.--Prepared boards for wash drawings, varying in
    surface and texture according to the scale of the drawing, the brush
    handling of the artist, and the nature of the work to be reproduced.
    These must be decided by the teacher. Lamp black and opaque white are
    commonly used. A combination of line and wash is generally to be
    avoided.

The materials for drawing for reproduction are to be obtained from the
following amongst other artists' colourmen.

  A. ACKERMAN, 191, Regent Street, W.

  J. BARNARD & SON, 19, Berners Street, W.

  CORNELISSEN & SON, 22, Great Queen Street, W.C.

  LECHERTIER, BARBE, & Co., 60, Regent Street, W.

  JAS. NEWMAN, 24, Soho Square, W.

  REEVES & SONS, 113, Cheapside, E.C.

  CHAS. ROBERSON & CO., 99, Long Acre, W.C.

  GEO. ROWNEY & CO., 64, Oxford Street, W.

  WINSOR & NEWTON, 37, Rathbone Place, W.

  PERCY YOUNG, 137, Gower Street, W.C.


BOOKS FOR STUDENTS.

The following will be found useful:--

  1.--"_The Graphic Arts_," by P. G. HAMERTON (London: Macmillan &
    Co.).

  2.--"_Pen and Pencil Artists_," by JOSEPH PENNELL (London: Macmillan
    & Co.).

  3.--"_English Pen Artists of To-Day_," by J. G. HARPER (London:
    Rivington, Percival & Co.).

The value and comprehensive character of Mr. Hamerton's book is well
known, but it reaches into branches of the art of illustration far
beyond the scope of this book. Of the second it may be said that Mr.
Joseph Pennell's book is most valuable to students of "black and white,"
with the caution that many of the illustrations in it were _not drawn
for reproduction_, and would not reproduce well by the processes we have
been considering. The third volume seems more practical for elementary
and technical teaching. It is to be regretted that these books are so
costly as to be out of the reach of most of us; but they can be seen in
the library of the South Kensington Museum.

Mr. Hamerton's "Drawing and Engraving, a Brief Exposition of Technical
Principles and Practice" (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1892), "The
Photographic Reproduction of Drawings," by Col. J. Waterhouse (Kegan,
Paul, & Co., 1890), "Lessons in Art," by Hume Nisbet (Chatto & Windus,
1891), are portable and useful books, full of technical information. Sir
Henry Trueman Wood's "Modern Methods of Illustrating Books," and Mr. H.
R. Robertson's "Pen and Ink Drawing" (Winsor & Newton) are both
excellent little manuals, but their dates are 1886.


DECORATIVE PAGES.

  (FROM OLD MSS. AND BOOKS TO BE SEEN IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM.)

  (_Reprinted from the Cantor Lectures_.)

1. "Example of early Venetian writing, from a copybook of the 15th
century, written with a reed pen. Note the clearness and picturesqueness
of the page; also the similarity to the type letters used to-day--what
are called 'old face,' and of much (good and bad) letter in modern
books."

2. "A beautiful example of Gothic writing and ornament, from a French
illuminated manuscript in the British Museum; date 1480. Here the
decorative character and general balance of the page is delightful to
modern eyes."

3. "_Fac-simile_ of a printed page, from Polydore Vergil's "History of
England," produced in Basle, in 1556. The style of type is again
familiar to us in books published in 1894; but the setting out of the
page, the treatment of ornament (with little figures introduced, but
subservient to the general effect), is not familiar, because it is
seldom that we see a modern decorative page. The printer of the past had
a sense of beauty, and of the fitness of things apparently denied to all
but a few to-day."

4. "An illuminated printed page, 1521, with engraved borders, after
designs by Holbein; figures again subordinate to the general effect."

5. "Examples of Italian, 14th century; ornament, initial, and letters
forming a brilliant and harmonious combination."

ILLUSTRATIONS of the above and other decorative pages (which could not
be reproduced in this book) are shown at the lectures on a large scale.

Of the many modern books on decoration and ornament, the handbooks by
Mr. Lewis Foreman Day (London: Batsford) are recommended to students of
"the decorative page"; also "_English Book Plates_," by Egerton Castle
(G. Bell & Sons).


LIST OF PROCESS BLOCK MAKERS.

From a long list of photo-engravers, the following are mentioned from
personal knowledge of their work:--

RELIEF BLOCKS.

  ANDRÉ & SLEIGH, Bushey, Herts.

  THE ART REPRODUCTION COMPANY, Clairville Grove, South Kensington.

  MR. DALLAS, 5, Furnival Street, E.C.

  A. & C. DAWSON, Hogarth Works, Chiswick.

  DELLAGANA & CO., Gayton Road, Hampstead, N.W.

  DIRECT PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY, 38, Farringdon Street, E.C.

  HARE & SONS, LTD., Bride Court, Fleet Street.

  CARL HENTSCHEL, 182, Fleet Street, E.C.

  CHAS. GEARD (Agent for Krakow), MacLean's Bldgs., New St. Sq., E.C.

  MEISENBACH CO., Ltd., Wolfington Road, West Norwood, S.E.

  JOHN SWAIN & SON, 58, Farringdon Street, E.C.

  SWAN ELECTRIC LIGHT CO., 114, Charing Cross Road, W.C.

  TYPOGRAPHIC ETCHING CO., 3, Ludgate Circus Buildings, E.C.

  WALKER & BOUTALL, Clifford's Inn, Fleet Street, E.C.

  WATERLOW & SONS, Ltd., London Wall, E.C.

  VINCENT & HAHN, 34, Barbican, E.C.

INTAGLIO.

Several of the firms mentioned above are makers of "Intaglio" plates;
some are also wood-engravers, photo-lithographers, etc.; and agents for
French, German, and Austrian photo-engravers.

Amongst leading firms who make "Intaglio" plates are Messrs. Boussod,
Valadon, & Co. (London and Paris); and Messrs. Angerer & Göschl, of
Vienna.

The Autotype Company's admirable reproductions of photographs and
drawings should also be mentioned in this connection.



"Black and White."

NOTICE.--MR. HENRY BLACKBURN'S STUDIO is open five days a week for the
Study and Practice of DRAWING FOR THE PRESS with Technical Assistants.
Students join at any time.

       *       *       *       *       *

  _Private Instruction and by Correspondence._

  123, VICTORIA STREET, WESTMINSTER (_near Army & Navy stores_).



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS

On the First Edition.


"'The Art of Illustration' is a brightly written account, by a man who
has had large experience of the ways in which books and newspapers are
illustrated nowadays.... As a collection of typical illustrations by
artists of the day, Mr. Blackburn's book is very attractive."--_The
Times._

"Mr. Blackburn explains the processes--line, half-tone, and so
forth--exemplifying each by the drawings of artists more or less skilled
in the modern work of illustration. They are well chosen as a whole, to
show the possibilities of process work in trained hands."--_Saturday
Review._

"We thoroughly commend this book to all whom it may
concern."--_Athenæum._

"Mr. Henry Blackburn, perhaps our greatest expert on the subject of the
book illustrator's art, has written a most interesting volume, which no
young black-and-white artist can very well afford to do without. Nearly
a hundred splendid and instructive illustrations."--_Black and White._

"The author's purpose in this book is to show how drawing for the press
may be best adapted to its purpose.... Many of Mr. Blackburn's
instructions are technical, but all are beautifully illustrated by
choice reproductions from some of the best black-and-white work of the
time."--_Daily News._

"Mr. Blackburn's interesting and practical manual is designed, in the
first instance, for the guidance of students who intend to become
illustrators in black-and-white, but for the general reader it contains
a large quantity of readable and attractive matter."--_The Literary
World._

"We must express our admiration for the contents of 'The Art of
Illustration,' and its fund of technical information."--_Bookseller._

"The book is full of interest, containing close upon a hundred varied
examples of illustrations of the day. A work of unquestionable
value."--_Publishers' Circular._

"Mr. Blackburn knows from experience what is best for the processes; his
volume is illustrated with nearly one hundred drawings, most of them
good examples of what is being done. 'The Art of Illustration' is an
entirely safe guide."--_Art Journal._

"Mr. Henry Blackburn has written an able book on 'The Art of
Illustration,' which, it is not overpraise to say, should be in the
hands of every artist who draws for reproduction."--_The Gentlewoman._

"'The Art of Illustration' is perhaps the most satisfactory work of art
of its kind that has yet been published."--_Sunday Times._

"A very clear exposition of the various methods of
reproduction."--_Guardian._

"Mr. Blackburn sails his book under the flag of Sir John Gilbert, and
justly expounds the all-importance of line."--_National Observer._

"'The Art of Illustration' contains a vast amount of valuable artistic
information, and should be on every student's bookshelf."--_Court
Circular._

"Mr. Henry Blackburn is a well-known authority on the technical aspects
of painting and design, and this circumstance lends value to his
exposition of 'The Art of Illustration.'... He writes with admirable
clearness and force."--_Leeds Mercury._

"The excellent series of reproductions in this book show (_inter alia_)
the variety of effects to be obtained by the common zinc process. Mr.
Blackburn's book will prove of great value to the student and interest
to the general reader."--_Manchester Guardian._

"This volume is full of good criticism, and takes a survey of the many
processes by which books may be beautified.... A charming and
instructive volume."--_Birmingham Gazette._

"'The Art of Illustration' will have the deepest interest for artists
and others concerned in the illustration of books."--_Yorkshire Post._

"A very interesting quarto, worth having for its typical
illustrations."--_British Architect._

"Mr. Blackburn's volume should be very welcome to artists, editors, and
publishers."--_The Artist._

"A most useful book."--_Studio._





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