Sunday 27 April 2014

Goeree, Chapter IV

transcribed by Lala Ragimov, original spelling kept

An introduction to the general art of drawing

A 1674 English translation of
a drawing treatise by Willem Goeree (1635-1711)

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CHAP. IV. (the entire text below was in italics, LR)
Of those things which in every degree of the Art of Drawing are necessary to be observed.
COming now to the Practick of the Art of Drawing it self: And first, of Drawing after Draughts or Prints, I shall shew in the first place what is to be observed in drawing after a Print, Draught or Picture; and after I will speak of the manner of handling, and likewise of those things which customarily are most in use in the Art of Drawing, and of some particular Properties. What then appertained to Drawing after Prints,
Drawing after Draughts.
of that I will say nothing in particular, for that which is necessary in drawing after a Draught is also necessary in drawing after a Picture; and because not to make a Repetition of one thing twice; I will pass it by here, and speak of it in its place, where I shall speak of drawing after Pictures.
Drawing after a Picture.
How to place a picture.
    Having then a Picture to draw after, put the same in a Place of good light, so that the flickering of the Glass of the Colours doth not hinder you; and for to finde that place, place your self (if possible) so that your eye together with the light of the day, runs to the Picture. Make choice of a reasonable distance, according as the Picture is big or small, at least so far of that with the opening of your eyes you may behold the whole Picture at once, for the greater your Picture is, the further off you must sit to draw after the same.

This image is NOT included in the English translation or in the 1668 Goeree's book, but it appears in later editions, so I thought to post it (from a 1678 German edition digitized here)

Summary translation:
A is the painting to be copied, 
B is the place from where light comes, 
D-C the place of the worst view (because of the reflection)

Put your Principal right before you.
Here it is to be noted, that when you draw after a Draught or Print, you must put the same strait or right before, even as you do a Picture, and you must not lay the same flat down before you, for then you behold the things presently to foreshorten; in the same manner shall your Paper (whereupon you draw) use five or six times double upon a Pannel-board, keeping the same in your lap, and with your knees elevate the same as high as possible; thus shall the thing you draw stand before you upon one end: and after this manner you shall observe the better whether your draught be like unto the Principal, which otherwise (your Draught lying flat before you) you should not see, by the reason aforesaid.
The beginning of a Draught.
This being observed, guess for the first the middle of your Picture, or that which you intend to draw, after having made your guess, shew the same with the point of your coal upon your Paper; then observe your biggest Figures (if there be more then one) touch the same with a light hand in his proper place; and so all that is in the Picture, then it will appear presently whether your guessing and your scetching be true;
You must assure your self of every stroke.
adde hereunto, that you assure your self of every stroke (which you are to draw,) with good reason and observation, taking good heed upon the great and general Parties, omitting the small breakings of Parties to the next scetching or drawing, whereof I shall speak hereafter; and so doing, shall you attain, not only readily, but also judicially, and with pleasure to your purpose; but contrariwise, if you use your self without observation, and as desperate, to begin your drawing, without considering whereunto the same will tend or run, then shall you, having made your draught, draw the same over and over again, and again being drawn over to little or no purpose, be overwhelmed and overcom with melancholy, and extinguish your genius or spirit, or at least cause a great tediousness in the same, and like Ship-Masters which without Compass go to Sea, not knowing where their Landing-place shall be, desperately leave the Rudder, despair of a safe landing, at last miserably perish in the sea;
With patience your must overcome your passions.
therefore I desire that Learners will take diligent heed to their Passions, and to their averse inclinations, for to overcome the same with Patience and Magnanimity, to make a firm purpose, That on that which (otherwise you made account to draw in two or three houres,) you bestow a whole day or two, and so doing, you shall not only proceed slowly and prudently, but you shall sooner then you thought, and better then you should have done otherwise, with great affection and speed finish: When you now rudely, yet with good judgement have made your scetcz, overlook them with a great care whether your Schetz be good, and whether the Actions of the Figure or figures contained in your Principal; you can observe also in your Schetz,
The Actions must appear as first in your scetzing.
for the Actions must shew themselves in the first and the rudest Schetz very apparently, before you can assure your self of any good , in regard that Actions are the life of a Picture, and by consequence of your Drawing. Having this, begin then to correct and amend your Schetz neater and neater, here taking a little away, and adding there a little, for with a Charcoal this is done very conveniently, for easily you may wipe away what is amiss, and may therefore very well be called a good means, attending the Art of Drawing;  you shall also take heed, that when you draw over your Schetz neater and neater, that you do not spoil or take away the first good
To use care, thus in drawing a Schetz neater, that you lost not the action.
Confer your draught with your principal.
Actions of your Schetz, which easily may happen, if you do not consider, (by what bowings or turnings of the several Parts, those or other Actions in a Figure or Figures come to represent themselves, or come again to be worked and spoiled; then pin your Draught upon a Pannel-board fast with a Pin or two; put the same down even with your picture or Draught which you have imitated; set your self down again in your former place, and behold your draught for a time with due observation, comparing the same with your Principal,
Faulss (as soon as seen) to correct.
and you shall easily observe what in your Draught is drawn amiss; be not tedious then, nor unwilling, but amend presently what you see amiss; suffer not a fault to pass by without correction, for such a draught would be a continual trouble of your patience, or by custom of seeing, hinder you to see the faults committed, for reasons as shall be shewn hereafter; take therefore rather Patience to perform all things requisite in this, suffering no faults to escape, that in this manner out of custom you may learn prudently and providently, with much patience to finish your work. Further, it shall profit you more, and a greater Progress you will make in the Art of Drawing,
Better is one good Draught, then 100 without observation
to make one good Draught, then a hundred without observation; you must strive with more pleasure to draw, then to have drawn, that is, rather to desire to be doing then to have done.
You must sometimes behold your work with a fresh eye.
How it comes to pass that we better discern faults.
Reason wherefore.
It is also not impertinent sometimes for one hour or two to lay by his drawing, and to recreate himself in somewhat else, whether it be in reading, or looking upon some good Prints, which doth stir up the spirit for to go on again in his drawing, and to behold the same with eyes unfatigable, and it shall oftentimes come to pass, that you shall espie many faults in your work, which before you could not possibly observe? the reason is that as then we behold our work as if it were another bodies work never by us seen before, and then our eyes easily espies some fault or other, which we take up presently, ex contrario, because we behold our work from the beginning; thereof comes a Custom to the eyes to behold the things of such former shape which hinders that the faults are not easily perceived by our understanding.
    The truth of this you may easily conceive by daily experience, for example, if we see a new fashion of cloathing, which we conceive to be not fashionable, or not becoming, and which many times is contrary to reason it self, then can we presently espie the faults, and disprove what we dislike in the same, but when this fashion begets a custom, so that for a long season we have had this fashion before our eyes, then we, in stead of an exception, take a love to it, and covet for the same, so that the same thing which before we found great fault withal in beholding it with our eye, now with great pleasure as a brave and a fine thing begin to behold the same. Therefore assoon as you shall espie a fault in your Drawing, amend the same presently, and tarry not, until a custom (as is said before) come to your eyes.
This rule you shall observe in all manner of Drawing, be it after Prints, Draughts, Pictures or Plaister-figures, yea, after the life it self, where conveniency and place will allow and permit the same; this then being well observed, then you shall proceed to a sure and judicial circumferent stroke, to shading and finishing of which, (when we come to speak of finishing) I shall shew divers ways and manners.

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