DRAWING is the expression of an idea: “Art must come from within, and not from without. This fact has led some to assert that the study of nature is not essential to the student, and that careful training in the study of the representation of the actual appearance is mechanical and harmful. Such persons forget that all art ideas and sentiments must be based upon natural objects, and that a person who cannot represent truly what he sees will be entirely unable to express the simplest ideal conceptions so that others may appreciate them. Study of nature is, then, of the first and greatest importance to the art student.
A drawing may be made in outline, in light and shade, or in color. The value of the drawing artistically does not depend upon the medium used, but upon the individuality of the draughtsman making it. The simplest pencil sketch may have much more merit than an elaborate colored drawing made by one who is unable to represent truly the facts of nature, or who sees, instead of the beauty and poetry, the ugliness and the imperfections of the subject.
OBJECTS FOR STUDY:
We hear a great deal now about the cultivation of the sense of beauty by the choice of drawing models. Many go so far as to say that nothing but the most beautiful forms should be given from the start, and, asserting that the cube, cylinder,and other type forms are not beautiful, they say that they should not be used, but that beautiful variations of these type forms should be provided. More definite information than this is rarely given. We are not told what natural objects are beautiful, and cheap enough to be provided, or how these objects of beauty are to be obtained, if they are not provided by the city. Such advice as to the use of beautiful models must be very pleasant and valuable to the drawing teacher, who so often fails to secure the money necessary to provide the cheap wooden models costing a few cents each ; and we do not wonder that special and regular teachers often regard this subject as one having no standards and no authorities.
Much of all this commotion about beautiful objects of study is raised by those who, suffering from criticism, have in the desire to escape it plunged headlong from one set of mechanical rules for a series of lessons for the public schools, to another set less arbitrary in certain directions, but still mechanical, and if possible, more harmful than before, because attempting more.
The average teacher can readily learn to discover at a glance whether or not the drawing of a cube represents the object as it might appear. She can do this even without seeing the model from the pupil's position; and the student can compare his drawing with the object and discover its errors more easily than he can in the drawing of a cast, a leaf, a figure,or any other object of beauty, in which the beauty depends upon lines which are subtile and which require a trained eye to see at all truly.