[Illustration: FIG. 3 MAXIME LALANNE]
[Illustration: FIG. 4 FROM A PHOTOGRAPH]
[Illustration: FIG. 5 JOSEPH PENNELL]
[Side note: A Word of Advice]
Between these two extremes of method there is a wide latitude for individual choice. Contrast with the foregoing the accompanying pen drawing by Mr. Pennell, Fig. 5, which gives a fair idea of the manner of this admirable stylist. Compared with the sketches by Lalanne it has more richness of color, but there is the same fine restraint, the same nice regard for the instrument. The student will find it most profitable to study the work of this masterly penman. By way of warning, however, let me remind him here, that in studying the work of any accomplished draughtsman he is selecting a style for the study of principles, not that he may learn to mimic somebody, however excellent the somebody may be; that he must, therefore, do a little thinking himself; that he has an individuality of his own which he does not confess if his work looks like some one’s else; and, finally, that he has no more right to consciously appropriate the peculiarities of another’s style than he has to appropriate his more tangible property, and no more reason to do so than he has to walk or talk like him.
Every illustrator has his special predilections in the matter of materials, just as he has in the matter of methods. The purpose of this chapter is, therefore, rather to assist the choice of the student by limiting it than to choose for him. It would be advisable for him to become acquainted with the various materials that I may have occasion to mention (all of them are more or less employed by the prominent penmen), and a partiality for particular ones will soon develop itself. He is reminded, however, that it is easily possible to exaggerate the intrinsic values of pens and papers; in fact the beginner invariably expects too much from them. Of course, he should not use any but the best,—even Vierge could not make a good drawing with a bad pen,—but the artistic virtues of a particular instrument are not likely to disclose themselves in the rude scratchings of the beginner. He has to master it, to “break it in,” ere he can discover of what excellent service it is capable.
[Side note: Pens]
The student will find that most of the steel pens made for artists have but a short period of usefulness. When new they are even more unresponsive than when they are old. At first they are disposed to give a hard, wiry line, then they grow sympathetic, and, finally, lose their temper, when they must be immediately thrown away. As a general rule, the more delicate points are better suited to the smooth surfaces, where they are not likely to get tripped up and “shaken” by the roughness in the paper.