Practical Suggestions in Art

The suggestion that faint pencil outline be made on paper, which is invisible to the audience un­til traced with chalk or crayola, is a most excellent idea.

By Fred E. Robert

Past experience has enabled me to realize to some extent the helpless­ness of many of our evangelists in producing the illustrations which are needed in connection with their work, such as charts, pictures, announce­ments, drawings for chalk talks, et cetera. The suggestion which has al­ready appeared in the Ministry, that faint pencil outline be made on paper, which is invisible to the audience un­til traced with chalk or crayola, is a most excellent idea.

In connection with this, it may be well to suggest, for the benefit of those who do not have ability in draughts­manship, that the pantograph could be used to good advantage for enlarg­ing or reducing suitable illustrations found in our books or taken from other sources. The twenty-inch pan­tograph will enlarge or reduce eight times the original size, and with but little practice one may become expert in its use. Sometimes it may be nec­essary to enlarge twice in order to get the desired size,—enlarge from the original onto a sheet two to four times larger, and then enlarge again on the regular chalk talk sheet of paper from the first enlargement. If the limitations of the pantograph make it necessary, the enlargement can cover one section of the picture at a time. But in such a case, some of the enlargement may have to be made upside down or sidewise. The pantograph is not an expensive instru­ment, ranging in price from one dol­lar up.

In preparing to give chalk talks, it may be well to remember that any paper that has a good "bite" gives sat­isfactory results. Some prefer the an­tique white, on which they use the Munsell crayola. Personally, I prefer to use light gray paper, rough enough to "bite." For quick work, the lectur­er's chalk crayons are recommended, which come in two sizes,—1/2 x 1/2 x 3 inches, and 1x 1 x 3 inches, and in twenty-one colors, including white and black. All material needed in making chalk talk illustrations can be ob­tained at art material stores, or office and school supply houses, except prin­ters' inks, which can be obtained at print shops. A small amount of this ink goes a long way. The ink may be thinned with turpentine, and kept in a covered can for future use. But as turpentine causes ink to deteriorate, frequent fresh supplies of ink are nec­essary for good results.

For convenience in giving a chalk talk, an easel on which to place the paper is a decided advantage. But if this is not available, the paper can be fastened on the wall or on a blackboard. An experienced draughtsman might place the drawing directly on the blackboard, instead of using the paper. The general preference, however, is to use the paper, as blackboards are often made of very poor material.

It is a question in the minds of some whether the drawing should be made in connection with the public talk or prepared beforehand. After forty-three years of art experience, I have reached the conclusion that it is an advantage to have the drawings all prepared in advance. The reasons for this conclusion are (1) that it is a saving of time, (2) that it does not detract the attention of the audience from the subject presented, and (3) because it is often desired to make further use of the drawing prepared.

In case it is desired to use the draw­ings repeatedly, the edges of the paper should be re-enforced by placing strips of gummed paper along the back. This gummed paper is used in shipping rooms of factories, to take the place of twine, and serves to excellent pur­pose in protecting the edges of the paper on which the drawing is made, so that it can be carefully rolled up when not in use.

It is stated on good authority that through sight there is retained in the mind seven tenths of all that is heard, while only three tenths is retained by means of the other four senses. Hence we see the importance of connecting il­lustrations with the teaching of, truth.

Charts and Announcements It iS very important that good letter­ing shall be used on charts and an­nouncements, as this is an important factor in making the proper impression. For use on paper, there is a variety of styles of lettering pens, suited to the style of lettering desired. The Rapid One-Stroke Lettering Pen is per­haps in most general use. These pens are furnished in nine sizes, making lines from 1/16 to 7/8 inch in width. The pen is permanently fastened to the holder, and is made of two thin pieces of brass or steel, bent in such a manner as to form a container for the liquid used, whether ink or water color.

For ordinary use, the Rapid One-Stroke Lettering Pen may suffice, but where much lettering is required, time will be saved by using a fountain at­tachment, which can be fitted on any size pen of this kind. With this at­tachment, the pen may be used for hours without dipping. Otherwise, if the pen is a wide one, it becomes nec­essary to dip for every letter made. This attachment also serves to good purpose in making long lines without any break or flaw in the line, as is generally caused by stopping to dip in the ink.

Detachable pens can be obtained to fit any holder, but these do not have such a range of widths as the rapid stroke pen, and are made on a differ­ent order. Each pen has a small ink or liquid container of brass, on top of the steel. The tip ends of the pen are square and straight on some; others are square and bent; some have a round disk which is bent, while oth­ers have ball tips. These different shaped tips provide for various styles of letters. These styles of pens have a range of width from 1/32 inch to 1/4 inch. Fountain attachments are not provided for these detachable pens.

In making a diagram, where lines of varying thickness are desired, the rapid stroke pen is the most practical. The best plan is to make a pencil line first, with a straightedge, then trace it over with the pen free-hand, pro­vided, of course, that the operator has a steady hand. To attempt to use a straightedge in making pen lines, is to run the risk of blots or breaks in the line.

The detachable pen, with the round disk, serves to good advantage in mak­ing heavy outlines of figures or objects used in a picture, and also for making maps. Good judgment must guide in the use of these pens for securing the best results.

By writing to the Newton Automatic Lettering Pen Co., Pontiac, Mich., for Catalogue No. 51, full information con­cerning the Rapid One-Stroke Letter­ing Pens will be available. For the detachable pens, write to the Ester-brook Steel Pen Manufacturing Co., Camden, N. J.

Making Cloth Charts

When cloth maps, charts, or dia­grams are desired, a good quality of sheeting should be selected, which may be obtained in varying widths to suit the size of chart needed.

For marking on cloth, use only printer's ink, thinned with turpentine to the right consistency to flow well from the brush. A flat brush, either red sable or camel's hair, should be used. These brushes are made in vary­ing sizes, but for lines, letters, and fig­ures I select a. brush from 1/4 to 3/4 inch. In making small figures, and even small letters—say, about one-half inch high—the most practical plan is to use printer's type, instead of trying to use the brush. It is usually possi­ble to find a printer who will permit the use of his ink roller and type. But before pressing the type in the proper place, be sure that there is plenty of printer's ink on it. Rubber type may be used, but the printer's type makes a much better letter, and is more wash­ sults:

For making a cloth chart, the fol­lowing directions will bring good re­sults:

First, stretch the cloth on a frame made of strips of wood, so that the back of the cloth will not touch any­thing. The cloth must be stretched tightly, using thumb or carpet tacks at even spaces. Have the brushes in readiness, also the printer's ink mixed with turpentine. With a soft pencil, make all outlines on the cloth, to serve as a guide in the brushwork.

When everything is ready, take a bowl of water and a sponge, and wet the back of the cloth to such a degree that it will remain wet for some time, but not so wet as to go through to the surface. The purpose in wetting the cloth is to give a smooth surface, pressing down all the fuzz, so that the paint will flow on the cloth almost as easily as on paper. In this way the work can be quickly done, and if the paint is just the right consistency, it will not spread. A little practice will give the good results desired. By wet­ting the cloth, the paint will be ab­sorbed, and will dry almost as quickly as the cloth itself. Wetting the cloth is advantageous in every way.

The framed cloth may be leaned against the wall, and when the un­painted sections become dry, the back of such sections may be wet again; but by all means avoid wetting the parts of the chart on which there is wet paint, as this would result in smearing and marring the chart. Be­gin by wetting the whole chart, but in putting on water the second time, touch only the unworked portions.

A chart is made much more effective if a little red paint is used on it. Be careful not to use too much. An ini­tial in red ink, here and there, will serve to catch the eye and hold the attention. A chart made with all black letters is not the most attractive, and red is the most pleasing combination.

If it is desired to make a map and to use various colors to show up differ­ent countries and make a pleasing color separation, use printer's inks or paints in colors, and dilute with coal oil, making a stain. Previous to paint­ing on the chart, make boundary lines with black, in order to stop the flow of the stain, in case there should be a tendency for it to run too far. Great care is needed in using this stain. The back of the cloth should be wet prior to the staining, and the black bound­ary lines should have been drawn in time to dry thoroughly before staining the map.

Nashville, Tenn.

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By Fred E. Robert

February 1931

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