The Practice and Science of Drawing (Dover Art Instruction)

The Practice and Science of Drawing (Dover Art Instruction)

Harold Speed

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 0486228703

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Much of the learning to practice as well as to appreciate art is concerned with understanding the basic principles. One of these principles is what Harold Speed calls "dither," the freedom that allows realism and the artistic vision to play against each other. Very important to any artist or work of art, this quality separates the scientifically accurate from the artistically accurate. Speed's approach to this problem is now considered a classic, one of the few books from the early years of this century that has continued to be read and recommended by those in the graphic arts.
In this work, Harold Speed approaches this dynamic aspect of drawing and painting from many different points of view. He plays the historical against the scientific, theory against precise artistic definition. He begins with a study of line drawing and mass drawing, the two basic approaches the artist needs to learn. Further sections carry the artistic vision through unity and variety of line and mass, balance, proportion, portrait drawing, the visual memory, materials, and procedures. Throughout, Speed combines historical backgrounds, dynamic aspects which each technique brings to a work of art, and specific exercises through which the young draughtsman may begin his training. Although not a technique book in the strict sense of the terms, The Practice and Science of Drawing brings to the beginner a clear statement of the principles that he will have to develop and their importance in creating a work of art. Ninety-three plates and diagrams, masterfully selected, reinforce Speed's always clear presentation.
Harold Speed, master of the art of drawing and brilliant teacher, has long been cited for this important work. For the beginner, Speed will develop a sense for the many different aspects which go into an artistic education. For the person who enjoys looking at drawings and paintings, Speed will aid developing the ability to see a work of art as the artist meant it to be seen.

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Outlines can only be said to exist in appearances as the boundaries of masses. But even here a line seems a poor thing from the visual point of view; as the boundaries are not always clearly defined, but are continually merging into the surrounding mass and losing themselves to be caught up again later on and defined once more. Its relationship with visual appearances is not sufficient to justify the instinct for line drawing. It comes, I think, as has already been said, from the sense of touch.

highly-finished work, imperfectly perfect, that has won the prize in many a school competition. Flaubert says “a form deadens,” and it does seem as if the necessary formality of a school course had some deadening influence on students; and that there was some important part of the artist’s development which it has failed to recognise and encourage. The freer system of the French schools has been in many cases more successful. But each school was presided over by an artist of distinction, and

it is quite dry rub a little poppy oil thinned with turpentine over the work, as little as will serve to cover the surface. If it is found difficult to get it to cover, breathe on the canvas, the slightest moisture will help it to bite. When this is done, wipe it off with the palm of your hand or an old piece of clean linen. Now paint a middle tone right over the part you wish to retouch, being careful about joining it up to the surrounding work, and proceed as before, drawing in the light and

finer thing than would have been the case had you come to it with your eye unprepared in any way. Reproductions are now so good and cheap that the best drawings in the world can be had for a few pence, and every student should begin collecting reproductions of the things that interest him. This is not the place to discuss questions of health, but perhaps it will not be thought grandmotherly to mention the extreme importance of nervous vitality in a fine draughtsman, and how his life should be

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