John Ruskin The Elements of Drawing

ISBN 13: 9780713682939

The Elements of Drawing

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9780713682939: The Elements of Drawing

Ruskin's The Elements of Drawing, first published in 1857, remains one of the most sensible and useful books on how to draw and paint, both for the amateur and the professional artist. Ruskin reduces the art of drawing to its simplest elements - the making of marks, the perception of shapes and silhouettes before going on to more complex exercises and the use of colour. He emphasizes the importance of observation of natural forms, and of graduated study; and much of his method has strong links with recent methods of teaching.
John Dunstan, well known internationally both as a painter and an experienced author of practical books on painting has provided an introduction, commentary on the text and drawings and colour exercises to illustrate more fully Ruskin's method and instruction. Where Ruskin refers to the work of other artists such as Dürer, Titian and Turner, a reproduction of the work, or a drawing after the origianl, has been included.

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From the Back Cover:

Can drawing—sound, honest representation of the world as the eye sees it, not tricks with the pencil or a few "effects"—be learned from a book? One of the most gifted draftsmen, who is also one of the greatest art critics and theorists of all time, answers that question with a decided "Yes." He is John Ruskin, the author of this book, a classic in art education as well as a highly effective text for the student and amateur today.
The work is in three parts, cast in the form of letters to a student, successively covering "First Practice," "Sketching from Nature," and "Colour and Composition." Starting with the bare fundamentals (what kind of drawing pen to buy; shading a square evenly), and using the extremely practical method of exercises which the student performs from the very first, Ruskin instructs, advises, guides, counsels, and anticipates problems with sensitivity. The exercises become more difficult, developing greater and greater skills until Ruskin feels his reader is ready for watercolors and finally composition, which he treats in detail as to the laws of principality, repetition, continuity, curvature, radiation, contrast, interchange, consistency, and harmony. All along the way, Ruskin explains, in plain, clear language, the artistic and craftsmanlike reasons behind his practical advice—underlying which, of course, is Ruskin's brilliant philosophy of honest, naturally observed art which has so much affected our aesthetic.
Three full-page plates and 48 woodcuts and diagrams (the latter from drawings by the author) show the student what the text describes. An appendix devotes many pages to the art works which may be studied with profit.
Unabridged republication of the text from the Library edition of The Works of John Ruskin, 1904. 

About the Author:

From his early youth John Ruskin drew obsessively, a discipline
that he not only kept up right through the production of his great
literary works, but which was essential to them. This book is the
result of quite considerable teaching experience - Ruskin had been
giving informal lessons by letter to friends for some time, for he
could never resist giving advice; and he also taught more formal
classes at the Working Men's college, a duty he shared with Rossetti.
It was as a sort of distillation of all this experience that The Elements of Drawing was born; and also from his development as a draughtsman.

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