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book double and single ruling is used in the same copy, that the pupil may learn to make the marks the same size withcut depending upon double lines.
If the exercises and directions up to this have been strictly followed, the hand and eye will be pretty well trained and comparatively little trouble will be experienced in learning to write, because the pupil can guide the pen and make every necessary mark used in the formation of both alphabets. The next thing necessary is that they shall understand the value of the elements in making letters, to explain which we come to
Number Five-This book contains the small alphabet. Three letters are given as a copy, to be done upon two pages. The analysis is first given, showing by what combinations of elements the letters are formed. (This is done by making each element separately and then combining them in the perfect letter.) The analysis has to be practiced by the pupil, after which the three letters occur separately and then connected, between double ruling and upon single lines. The proportions of each letter are given. Printed directions are at the head of each page for making every letter in the alphabet.
Sufficient attention is not generally given to the elements. They are extremely useful; for instance, by the analysis we know that the letter a is formed by the combination of two elements, the oval and straight, with the curve attached. Knowing this, it is a simple thing to discover the imperfect part of the letter by following out the elements. If the oval is not perfect, the letter cannot be. If the straight element cannot be found, it must be badly formed, and this, of course, applies to every letter. The last copies in this book have letters so arranged as to compare their proportions, and the alphabet is divided to show how many are made by the use of the oval element, and in how many the direct and loop occurs.
Number Six-Contains combinations of small letters in the formation of words, 60 arranged that each word shall be more difficult. Each letter commences five different words. Instructions relating to the copy, on each page, as before.
Number Seven-Contains the analysis of capitals. The elements are reduced to two-the line of beauty and oval. I believe this to be entirely original. The exercise in Numbers Two and Three contains them all. This method of analyzing the letters shows the true principle upon which each is formed, and is very simple. It can be better illustrated than verbally described. All that is necessary to discover any imperfection in a letter is to follow out the ovals and to understand what is meant by their being parallel to each other.
One letter is thus analyzed upon each page, giving the number of ovals of which it is composed, with their proportions to each other.
The copy is divided into five spaces, three of which are filled with capital letters, the other two containing words, introduced so that what was learned in the last book may not be forgotten while making the capital alphabet.
Number Eight-Contains five words upon each page, commencing with each capital in the alphabet, that is to say, each capital letter commences five different words. Printed directions, as before, at the head of each page.
Number Nine-Consists of twenty-four copies, each containing one line of writing in a good practical hand. No flourishing is introduced, and but one style of writing is made use of throughout the system. Each of these copies contains some information for the guidance of the pupil in writing. Printed instructions upon each page, as before.
Number Ten-Contaius one, or more, sentences, as a copy, upon each page, sometimes occupying three lines. Capital letters are introduced and each sentence has some advice, or suggestion, concerning writing. The directions contained in the books are so carefully arranged as to form not only a system of copy-books, but a manual on penmanship. It is intended to have these books gotten up as well as it is possible to be done. It is also intended that the paper, the quality of which is of great importance, to insure success, shall be of the very best.
It is necessary to send the manuscript to New York, or Boston, to be advantageously completed, and it will probably take six months before ready for use.
DESCRIPTION OF BURGESS' SYSTEM OF DRAWING. All the elementary books which have come under my observation have been either too complicated for a young pupil to profit by, or, on the other hand, the most important principles have been altogether neglected.
It is utterly impossible to make a drawing correctly without applying some of the rules of perspective. It is just as impossible to make young pupils understand it beyond a certain extent. Many copies are given them to draw which are imperfect, particularly in this respect, no regard being paid to truth of representation, consequently allowing absurd mistakes to be repeated by the pupil under the impression that they are correctly drawn.
The object for which this system has been arranged is, to teach drawing in such a way that it may be practically useful through life. Lessons once learned upon the correct principles will never be forgotten. No printed copies should be used. The study should be entirely from objects. Even should considerable proficiency be acquired in imitating a print, of what real use is it? Of what service is the knowledge when obliged to follow some other person's ideas ? Very few, after years of such study, know anything about sketching from nature. They make dark marks here, or there, without knowing wherefore. They obtain a certain effect, by imitation, but the mind not being necessarily engaged upon the subject, they are ignorant as to the cause.
The true pleasure in being able to draw consists in the ability to make our own pictures. In collecting sketches from nature, as their beauty, peculiarity, or other reasons, may render them valuable. In the occupations of life, the advantages of being able to expriss our ideas upon paper are important.
The Architect, Engineer, Builder--what but this ability has rendered some so famous ; and what would not others give to be possessed of it? Many grand structures would be raised, and vast improvements made, if the unborn ideas of those conceiving them, could by the pencil be brought to life. It is very seldom that one person's thought can be faithfully delineated by another. The originator always sees some part as he did not intend it, and may thereby lose much of its beauty. Hence, the advantage of being able to use the pencil.
The principles, of which it is absolutely indispensable to know something, in order to draw, are these :
First-- The ability to make straight and curved lines.
Fourthly—Some knowledge of the principles of light and shade (aerial perspective).
Composition and effect are only acquired by practice, depending upon refinement of taste and judgment, based upon certain rules.
There are, doubtless, many before me who have attained considerable proficiency in the art. To such I need not dwell upon the undoubted pleasure which they must have felt in having made a drawing, correct in all its details.
Apart from the utility of the study in the ordinary occupations of life; apart from its peculiar adaptability for the unoccupied to pass their time advantageously; let us consider its effect upon the mind, how suited to the refinement of feeling, the correction of erroneous impressions, and, in fact, it opens the great book of nature to a closer inspection, and gradually reveals beauties and wonders which, but for its aid, would have remained undiscovered. In traveling, how often do we see magnificent views, and how gratifying to be able to represent them satisfactorily, that, in after years, when looking over our folios, we may have those pleasant thoughts recalled which were experienced on beholding the same scenes in
nature. Many pleasant reminiscences are brought to mind by looking over old sketches; even those made in childhood, if kept, are a source of gratification,
How truly pleasant to be able when rambling amid the grand scenery of nature, lofty mountains, rugged rocks, and rushing streams, to take out a sketch-book, and by the power of our own hand, so imitate them as to be able to recall the great original views. There is not, in my opinion, a greater pleasure.
The First Book-Will contain elementary exercises, straight lines, curves, squares, triangles, circles, etc. with full directions printed at the head of each page.
Number Two-Will contain simple drawings, leaves, flowers, and a variety of familiar objects. These are given for two reasons; first, to put into practice what they acquire in the first book, and make them familiar with the best way of sketching any thing. The directions embrace all that a practiced Teacher could suggest.
Number Three-Contains the elements of perspective, illustrated by cubes, boxes, tables, houses, etc. and the pupil, by strictly following the directions, must learn how to do them.
I would here remark that it is intended that drawing should be taught by this system in the same manner as writing by the other, that is to say, the Teacher should illustrate it upon the black-board, which is a simple matter, so far at least as the explaining of directions to the pupils is concerned, as they are so explicit. I should not expect a grown person to ask any questions concerning them. As perspective is a very important matter, I will show the method I commence to teach it by. It is necessary, of course, to start at the very beginning and, at least, make them aware that there are such things to be regarded as the point of sight, vanishing points, and the horizontal line.
In drawing objects, the horizontal line should always be used. It is made by holding a pencil'horizontally, on a level with the eye. The line formed by it will either be above, below, or crossing, the object; and as the rules employed in drawing are determined by the position of the eye, the pencil so held giving the elevation of the sight, partly decides how it is to be drawn. The next important thing to be settled is, whether the eye, being above, below, or on a level with, the object, is exactly in front, or on one side, of it; to decide which, we look straight before us, and if we see two sides of a cube, or box, the eye must be in front and on one side of it. If we see the top as well as two sides, the eye must be in front, above, and on one side, of it. Therefore, after making a line across the paper to represent the line which the pencil makes across an object, or landscape, a point is made upon it opposite the eye. If we see the top of the object, the drawing must be made below the line. If we see the top, front, and side, the point must be on one side of the object. This point is called the point of sight. It is always placed upon the horizontal line, immediately opposite the eye. The point of sight is most important; to it all lines (parallel to the horizontal line) which form the receding sides of an object, to be drawn by the rules of parallel perspective, must tend. The horizontal line is most important; all lines parallel to it, which are above, must come down to it; all those below, must go up to it. By merely knowing these facts many common errors would be avoided, for, if the lines above are drawn downward, whether to a correct point, or not, it is something gained. All lines which are parallel will have one common vanishing point, therefore, if the line forming the roof of a building goes to the point of sight, and there should be fifty boards parallel to it, each one would tend to the same spot. In order to draw an object by the rules of parallel perspective, a certain position with reference to it must be maintained. This position is suggested by the term parallel. It is necessary that the artist should be so placed as to be parallel to it. To illustrate this, place a table in such a position upon the floor that the two front legs shall touch the same seam between the boards. As boards in floors are parallel (generally), place yourself in front, or on one side, of it, having both feet upon the same division between the boards; this places the body parallel to the table, house, or any other object. As long as the parallelism is not destroyed, you can place yourself where you please,
and the receding sides of the object (rectangular), must tend to the point of sight. Angular perspective is more complicated and it is useless to explain it to young pupils. The vanishing points are made for them, and by assuming the position described and otherwise following the directions, the result must be that they do not only succeed in drawing the object correctly, but become interested in the study and are naturally desirous of knowing how to make the vanishing points themselves, which by investigation can soon be found out.
I have discovered, in teaching drawing, that great difficulty is always experienced by young pupils before understanding how curves should be represented which run around objects. In order to explain this, it is only necessary to raise a common wooden hoop. (And this further illustrates the necessity of understanding and making use of the horizontal line.) When a hoop is raised so as to be on a level, horizontally, with the eye, no part of the circle can be seen, and in such a position the way to draw it would be by horizontal lines inclosing the width, or thickness of the wood. Raise the hoop, and the circle is visible, in perspective. The furthest edge would be seen below the nearest one, and, consequently, being part of a circle, the nearer edge must curve upward. Raise it still more, and more of the circle is visible, consequently, the line to represent it must curve more, and 80 on until the hoop is entirely above the eye, when the whole circle is visible. We see then, by this, that curves running around objects cannot be represented parallel, but each one is more, or less, curved, according to its elevation above the eye, or horizontal line. If we lower the hoop, we then see the furthest side above the nearer one, consequently the nearer one curves under. The further we lower it the more the line curves, because we see inore of the circle. Curves, then, upon the same object which are parallel to each other, must be represented three different ways, in drawing; if the horizontal line, or level of the eye, crosses that object, namely, the curve on a level, straight; those above it, curved upward ; those below, curved under. This is easily illustrated by raising a tumbler. If it is above the eye, all the curves go one way; if below it, the reverse; if the horizontal line crosses it, the top edge curves one way, the bottom the other.
The same principles apply to circles seen perpendicularly. Take your position before a barrel, so that the eye will be directly over the center hoop. In order to draw it that hoop must be a perpendicular line; all hoops to the right, will curve to the right; and those to the left, to the left ; those furthest from the eye will curve the most, because, if they were separated from the barrel, more of the circle would be seen. Remove to one side, or the other, of the object-if to the right, all the curves go one way, to the right; and if to the left, the reverse. This is what is called “Perspective of the Circle."
Book Number Four-Will contain instructions for shading, illustrated upon various objects presenting different surfaces. The use of shading is to develop the form. Light will be most perceptible upon projecting parts; and shadows will be more, or less, in hollows, according to their depth and inaccessibility to the light. According to the surface, so must shading be done with a pencil to represent it. I say with a pencil because shading with a pencil is done in lines, and lines indicate the kind of surface It would be impossible, upon a flat surface, to make, with a point, such marks as could be made upon a ball, or other round object; and it would be equally impossible to make, upon a ball, the same lines, with a point, as those upon a flat surface; therefore, in shading a flat surface, such as a board, box, etc. no curved lines should be used, not even one mark should be made which could not be scratched upon the original. In shading a ball, each mark should be part of a circle, the same size as the circumference of the ball itself. As it is possible, upon such a surface, to make these curves in any direction, lines in the shadow can be crossed and recrossed, until the shade is dark enough. In shading a cylinder, or any object having such a shape, two kinds of lines can be used; the outline being perpendicular, perpendicular lines must be used to represent that surface-such a line could be scratched upon the object; the curved surface must be represented by lines parallel to it; therefore, it is according to the outline what direction the lines, in the shading, must take. These principles are fully illustrated in the book, applying to mountains, water, trees, etc. ; valuable hints will be printed upon the last page, concerning sketching from nature, composition, light, and shadow, representing distance, etc.
This system will be ready for use at the same time with that upon writing, and will be called “Burgess' System of Drawing."
At half past twelve o'clock, P. M. the Institute adjourned.
STATE EDUCATIONAL CONVENTION. The Convention met at half past two o'clock, P. M. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. Members present, who had not signed the roll, were requested to report themselves to the Secretary.
The following is a list of the appointments, made by the President, upon the various
READING, SPELLING, AND DEFINING. GEORGE TAIT, San Francisco, Mrs. MARY D. PAGE, Amador,
D. K. SWIM, Calaveras.
WRITING AND DRAWING. HUBERT BURGESS, San Francisco, Mrs. C. H. COLE, El Dorado,
SPARROW A. SMITH, Sacramento.
GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION. HENRY B. JANES, San Francisco,
M. I. RYAN, San Joaquin, Mrs. MARIA TOTHILL, Calaveras.
A. P. KNOWLES, Santa Cruz,
W. P. GIBBONS, Alameda, GEORGE H. PECK, San Francisco.
GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY. J. B. THOMAS, Butte,
J. D. LITTLEFIELD, Solano, Miss HANNAH MARKS, San Francisco.
NATURAL SCIENCES. GEORGE W. MINNS, San Francisco, M. A. LYNDE, El Dorado,
FREEMAN GATES, Santa Clara.
MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES. JOSEPH HOLDEN, Calaveras, C. S. MCARTHUR, Contra Costa,
THOMAS S. MYRICK, San Francisco.
MORAL SCIENCE AND MUSIC. E. H. HOLMES, San Francisco, Miss LUCY A. M. GROVE, San Joaquin,
Miss A. S. BARNARD, San Francisco.