Art of aracer.mobi Anis Zamir. UC-NRLF mmnf -- B 3 TEi 3Qc^ ENRY Blackburn. 4HIIUU aracer.mobi University of California. (;i Ki- OK Received. iqa. Illustration, many of the world's leading In this book you'll discover the secrets The Artist's Guide to Illustration is your professional artists reveal the techniques of. please support this site by downloading some nice books:), thanx (in association with aracer.mobi). Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis. aracer.mobi jpg.
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materials and techniques used by seven different artists. By Mary M. Erbach. The visual power of an illustration lies in the combina- tion of its lines, colors, and. May I express here my appreciation of and gratitude for the valuable help given me in the preparation of this vol- ume by my beloved wife, Ethel O. Loomis. The art of illustration. byBlackburn, Henry, Publication date Topics Illustration of books. PublisherLondon: W. H. Allen. Collectionamericana.
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.
An example of line drawing and " the art of leaving out," by the well-known Royal Academician. Marks and Sir John Gilbert see frontispiece were the first painters to explain the composition and leading lines of their pictures in the Acadetny Notes in 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. It is interesting to note here the firmness of hne 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 IVIontalba, they have made themselves acquainted with the best way of drawing for the Press. Line drawings are now reproduced on zinc blocks fitted for the type press at a cost of less than six- pence the square inch for large blocks ; the pro- cesses 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 lines jf 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. Tenniel, M. 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.
But the young illustrator has to learn the newer methods, and how to get his effects through direct photo-engraving. 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 illustra- tor of to-day.
The rules laid down as to the methods of line work, the direction of lines for the expression of certain te. Robertson, the well-known painter and etcher, writing seven years ago, says well: 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 imita- tative copying of prints: 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 Dtirer and Holbein, and the line engraving of Marc Antonio.
The engraved plates by Dtirer furnish excellent examples of work, with more and finer lines than his woodcuts [but many of the latter were not done by his hand]. 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 manage- ment 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: 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 , 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 ujjon them, we would press, upon young artists especially, the importance of study and experiment in this direction.
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 Diirer, 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. It would be an easy nK! There is no sucli royal road. An excellent example of sketching in line. 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, 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. 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 intluences 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. His clever followers and imitators lack something which cannot be learned in an art school. This is an excellent example of drawing — and of treatment of textures and surfaces — for process re- production. 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. 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. I am touching now upon a difficult and delicate part of the subject, and must endeavour to make niv meaning clear.
The wood engraver was apprenticed to his art, and after long and laborious teaching, mastered the mechanical difficulties. 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. Nobody knows — nobody ever will know — how much the engraver has done for the artist in years past.
The artist who draws for reproduction by chemical and mechanical means is thrown upon his own re- sources. 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.
Railton has studied his process, and brought to it a knowledge of architecture and sense of the jiicturesque. VI II. I do not think the modern illustrator realises how niucli depends upon him in taking the place, so to speak, of the wood engraver. 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.
Gore side by side, to. One could hardly point to better examples of pure line. They were drawn on ordinary cardboard the one above, 4;[X9j in. A little reflection will convince anyone that this is no argument at all. Ruskin's advice in his Elements of Drawing, as to how to lay tkit 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.
As to the amount of reduction th;it a drawini; will bear in reproduction, it cannot be sutliciently widely known, that in spite of rules laid down, there is no rule about it. It is interesting to compare this reproduction with the larger one overleaf. There is no limit to the e. This fine drawing was made in [len and ink by Mr. Hall, from his picture in llie Royal Academy, 18S9.
Size of original 14,'. Reproduced by gelatine blocks. The feeling in line is conspicuous in both blocks, butmany painters might prefer the smaller. Vew Gallcrv, 1SS9. Emery Walker, of the firm of Walker and Boutall, who has had great experience in the re- production ol 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 Migravings and drawings of the same size as the originals, the character of the paper, and the colour of the printing also, so closely imitatetl that experts can hardlv distinguish one from the other.
On the other hand, the value ot reduction, for certain styles of drawing especially, can hardly be over-estimated. Again, I say, " there is no rule about it. In these pages will be found cxanniles of drawings reduced to one-sixtieth the area of the original, whilst others have not been reduced at all.
Sketch in pen and ink. Berkley's picture in the Grosvenor Gallery in 1S A good example of breadth and expression in line, the values being well indicated. 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. Clausen p. Hall [.
Gotch p. S3 , and others, help to ex[ lain the difference. These are all reproduced easily on process blocks. The s -stem is, 1 know, followed by a lew illustrators for ncwsjaapcrs 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 pro- ficient. They have special ability for this kind of work, and their manner and st le is their capital and attraction.
A Portrait, by T. 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 sug- gested by vertical lines, also the treatment of background, should be noticed. This background lights up when opposed to white and vice-versa. S5 pyrotechnics wliilsc fireworks are goini; dIT. And yet we hear of prizes given lor ra[ id sketches to l e reproduced by the processes. Indeed, I Ijeheve this is the wrong road ; the baneful result of hving in high-pressure times. It is cHfhcult to imagine any artist of the past consenting to such a system of education.
Sketching from life is, of course, neces. 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 onl -, the student learns "the art of leaving out," "the value of a line. Let me juute an instance. Example of another style of line drawing. 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.
Ward has painted a series of small portraits of public men, of which there is an example on p. I say nothing of his pictorial sense and humour, for they are beyond imitation. It is the husk only we have jiresented 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. 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 ilithcult to shake oft. JOHN MOR and beauty of his lines — lines, be it observed, that reproduce with difficulty on relief blocks — imitated by countless students; Mr.
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 photo- graphs 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 arc 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.
Some people cannot draw firm clean lines at all, and should not attempt them. Pen-and-ink drawing from the picture by E. 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 x 10 in. 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.
This is an example of drawing for process for rapid printing. The accents of the picture are e. Kpressed 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 , was engraved in mezzotint, and published by Messrs. Size of pen-and-ink drawing, 7] x 5! It is suitable for much CTeater reduction. 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. The results are nearly always mechanical looking.
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 STOrPF. D KEY. The tendency of much modern black-and-white teaching is to ignore backgrounds. Academy Notes. 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. I reproduce Mr. Wirgman's sketch for the sake of his [lowerful treatment of line.
From the "English Illustrated Magazine. 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 th2 figure and of design, and a trained hand for process. 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. Jo txirig hoUh. From "Academy Kotcs,'' By this process a more delicate ami 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 mi.
The part of this thin, sensi- tive film not exposed to the light, is absorbent, and when immersed in water swells up. Thus we have a sunk mould from which a metal cast can be taken, leaving the lines in relief as in the zinc process. The blocks take longer to make, and are double the jjrice 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 draw- ings 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. Another very interesting example of Mr.
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. For tho. SC 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.
It is seldom that such a good grey block can be obtained by this means. 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. 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 draw- ing, the different qualities of strength in the sky, and the method of working over the grained paper in pen and ink.
XV IT. 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 74X4 in. Landscape, by A. 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. I2t Other papers largely used ior illustration in the type press have a ivhite grain, a good specimen of which is on page ; and there are variations of these white-grained papers, of which what is known in France as allonge 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 pro- ducing effect, worthy of the time and attention which has been bestowed upon them? A painter may use them for sketches, especially for landscape. Compton as on p. In the drawing on page , Mr. 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. 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 2vhiie pai er has a strong vertical grain which when drawn upon with autographic chalk has the same appearance as black-lined pa[ er; and is often taken for it. This is a remarkable example of the reproduction of a pencil drawing.
It is seldom that the soft grey efifecl 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. The reproduction is by Carl Hentschcl. 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 " on the pieces press. 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 Sttidio, 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. In a liandbook 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. Corbet, who, with little more than a scribble of the pen, can express the feeling of sunrise and the still air amonorst the trees.
Amongst the modern inventions for helping the hurried or feeble iUustrator, 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 newsjxiper 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 skill ul 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 lias not seen the effect on his oivn 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 ihustrator; he has only to draw in Hne 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.
In the illustration on the last page I have chosen an example of fine-grain dots ; those used in news- papers 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 jjart 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.
It is one of the processes which I think the student of art had better not know much about. Drawing on stone is well worthy of study now, for the irt is being revived in England on account of the greater facilities for printing than formerly.
Lancelot Speed, in whicli many technical experiments have been made, including the free use ot white lining. The illustration opposite from Andrew Lang's Blue Poetry Book, shows a very ingenious treat- ment of the black-lined papers.
Technically it is one of the best e. Ait,ir,w Land's "Blue Poetry Book. This extraordinary example of line drawing for process was taken from Andrew Lang's Blue Poetry Book, published by Messrs. Li 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 jireceding lead to the con- clusion that there is yet much to learn in drawuig for process by those who will study it. The achievements of the makeri 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 wiihout much worrjiiig of the printer, or of the maker of the blocks. Thus far a'l the illustrations in this book have been produced by the common line process. The next process to consider is the method of reproducing wash drawings and photographs on blocks suitable for printing at the type press, com- monly 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. Thus, all drawings in wash, chalk, pencil, etc. The conditions of drawing for this process have to be caret ully 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 X.
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. 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 [ircccding illustration by Mr. 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 jjages to , are all practically by the same process of "screening," a slight difference only in the grain being discernible. The wash drawing on page 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.
Louis Grier's clever sketch of his picture in wash, at the head of this chapter, gives the effect well. Weguelin's illustrations to Hans Aiidcrscii s Fairy Talcs have been, I understand, a great success, the public caring more lor the spirit of poetry that breathes through them than for more finished drawings.
This is delightful, and as it should be, although, technicalh', the artist has not considered his process enough, and trom the educational point of view it has its dangers.
The "process" has been blamed roundly, in one or two criticisms of Mr. 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 inii rove 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 , and results have been obtained by carelul draughtsmen during the last si. These results have been obtained principally by gooel printing and jiaper — allowing of a fine grain on the block —but where the illustration has to be prepared for printing, say 5, an hour, off rotary machines, a coarser grain has to be used, producing the " Berlin wool pattern " eftect on the page, with which we are all familiar in newspapers.
This is a good average example of what to expect by the halftone 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 illus- trators of to-day. The artist sdds his on'ii ivork, at any rate, if through a veil of fog and gloom which is meant for sunshine! But the time is coming when the pubUc will hardly rest content with such results as these.
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 arlislic qualities, it is almost a necessity.
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 ex] erts.
At the same time, Mr. Manton's indication of surfaces and textures by process are both interesting and valuable.
I50 'a sunny land. One of the many uses which artists may make of the half-tone process is suggested by the reproduc- tion 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. Tlie above design, from the Memoir of A'. 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. 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 un- gainly 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 If the sketch comes out an un- sightly 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. It is rather to sug-gest 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 disparage- ment 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 ol which I do not cpicstion that the reproductions ol rapid sketches from the living model by the hall-tone process have more vitality and freedom, more feeling and artistic qu. But the young illustrator should hesitate before adapting these methods, and should never have a iything rcprcdiiccd for pJiblication icliich was '" draiun to lime'' in art classes.
One thing cannot be repeated too often in this connection: This is part of a page illustration lent by the pro]irietor3 of Skctih. 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 1S 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.
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 tlie most careful stippling of Mr. Students of wash drawing for process may take a middle course. 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 the. The day has past when "process work" is to be looked down upon as only fit for the cheapest, most inferior, and inartistic results. M'Uic illustkatioxs. One result of hasty work in makintj; ilrawincjs, and the uncertainty of reproduction, promises to be a very serious one to the ilkistrator, as far as we can see ahead, viz.
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, sutler more from bad printing and paper.
This is the best that can be said tor 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 deal- ing 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 muih, ,uk1 lead him to take loo much interest in the mechanical side ol the business. The illustrator's best protection against this tendency, his whole armour and coat cjt mail, is to be an artist first and an illtistrator afterioards.
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 cai able men. 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, vicing, in circulation and importance, with the Illnsfratcd Loudon Ncios, both published by the same proprietors.
In one number there are upwards of 30 pages, 10 being advertisements. There are in all 1 5 1 illustrations, of which 63 appear in the te. Out of the text illustrations, 24 only are from original drawings or sketches. Next are 26 plioto- graphs from life several being full pages , and 13 reproductions from engravings, etc. Some of the pages reproduced from photographs are undeniably good, and interesting to the public, as is evidenced by the popularity of this i aper 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. But this class of wood engraving may be summed up in the words of one of the craft to nn; lately: 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 " tlash-light," gives us groups of figures at work amidst gloomy and weird sur- roundings.
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. Another instance of the use of photography in iUustration.
Villiers, the special artist of Black and White, made a starthng statement lately. He said that out of some 50 subjects which he took at i 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 fivourable grouping of figures. That he would re-draw some of them with his clever pencil for a newspaper is possible, but observe the part photo- graphy 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. The time is coming fast when cheap editions of popular novels will be illustrated — and many in tlie following way. KrtroduccJ by half-tone froctst. The "process man" and the clever manipu- lator 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, un- tiring, ready to make sacritices 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 com- mercial point of view for novels of the butterlly kind ; but they will seldom be of real artistic interest. It may be thought by some artists that these things are hardly worth consideration ; but we have only to watch the illustrations appear- ing week by week to see whither we are tending.
Cameron's and Mr. Mendelssohn's [thotographs have had to be sHghtly cut down to fit these pages. But as illustralions they are, I think, remarkable examples of the photographer's and the [ hoto-engraver's art. 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.
The original might have been more artistically posed, but it is pretty as a vignette, and pleases the pulilic. It is not the artist and the wood engraver who are really "working hand-in-hand" m these days in the production of illustrations, but the photographer and the maker of process blocks. I his is significant. Hajjpily for us there is much that the photographer cannot do pictorially.
The photographer's daughter goes to an art school, and her inlluence is shown annually in the exhibitions of the photographic societies. 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 lacts 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 [jhotngraphy, the artist made himself acquainted with many things necessary to his art. 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. Snicdl, the well-known illustrator who always draws for wood engraving , savs: The moral of it is, that in whatever material or style newspaper illListratii ns are done, to hold llieir 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 lor 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 — ungrate- fully 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 ; titcy are full of ability, but, as a rule, are bad exami les for students to copy. It is an age of vivacity, daring originality, and reckless achievement in illustration.
There is no reason but an economic one why the worls 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 illus- trated book about a year. The young illustrators on the Daily Graphic — notably Mr. Reginald Cleaver — jbtain the maximum of effect with the minimum of lines. Thus Caldecott worked, spending hours sometimes study- insr the art of leavincj out. From " The Blue Poetry Book.
So far good. To the ilkistrator this aid is often a doubtful advantage.
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.
One of the influences on the modern illustrator a decidedly adverse influence on the unlearned — is the pnjininence which has lately been given to the art of Daniel Vierge.
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 dc Segovia by Ouevedo ; 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 po. The sparkle and vivacity of the scene are inimitable; the bounding figure haunts the memory with its diaphanous grace, touched in by a master ot expression in line In sliDrl.
Watts, and comments on Vierge's work by Joseph Pennell , and published by Mr. Fisher Unwin, in 1S Yierge was born in 1, and educated in Madrid, where lie spent the early years of his life. Since he has lived in Paris, and produced numerous illustrations for Le Monde lllustii and La Vie Moderiie, and other works. His fame was made in by Quevedo's. 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 drawdng paper — with a pen and Indian ink ; but Vierge now uses a glass pen, like an old stylus. The drawings were then giren to Gillot, the photo-engraver of Paris, who, by means o photography and Iiandwork, [iroduccd metal blocks to be printed with the tyjie.
In nearly every illustration in the Pablo dc Scgoina 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 accejjt 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.
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. 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 some of his illustrations are impossible to reproduce well, and have been degraded in the process is also demonstrated on page 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 "rou- letted" on the block to make them possible to print.
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