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'Art Education for High Schools'
(c) 1908, The Prang Educational Company
This is a fantastic old book that's available online. (I can't verify sources on mobile, so just Google it. There seem to be several scans by different universities.)
I recently started taking notes from the physical version (*collects this type of canvas book*) & everything is super concise and easy to read. By ch1, I've already learned more than what years of modern HS art classes taught me.
Here's a rough overview -- so you can skip to the chapter you need, if desired:
Chapter one reviews values, composition, and lighting (plus atmospheric effects, like how climate affects the appearance of distant objects). Includes fun discussions of old photography techniques and exercises with viewfinders (use your fingers or make one with paper).
Chapter two reviews freehand and mathematical perspective, including horizon vs skylines, vanishing points, shapes at different angles etc. Has loads of illustrations and exercises to drill them in.
Chapter three is a very thorough overview of human and animal anatomy. Includes proportions, posing, bones, muscles, faces, movements, etc. Both humans and several (commonly drawn) animals have detailed diagrams of each bone/muscle by name and use.
Chapter four reviews geometry in the context of art. It's very mathematical and very long. I think its meant as preparation for mechanical design, like blueprinting, and as a lead in to the next chapter.
Chapter five reviews architectural design: floor planning (and its illustration techniques / expectations), walls / windows / chimneys, roof design, exterior design, interior features (room by room), elevation illustrating, things to consider during the design process (ex: does the town have zoning laws all buildings must abide by? etc), styles of architecture...
Chapter six reviews the principals of design. Has many exercises and reviews each principal in various contexts. Includes color theory and the differences in designing for various materials. Also has some cool "practical" exercises, like making your own notebook cover / etc.
Chapter seven explores the art styles and architectural features of various past civilizations. Includes ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and recent cultures. Fantastic patterning inspirations in here.
Chapter eight is art history. Reviews feats of engineering, famous artists, more architecture-across-cultures (this has more on exterior design than the previous ch), famous murals, and the general history of art / its movements and influences.
(Aside: There's also a primary school version I haven't read, apparently. I imagine it just reviews strokes / early color theory / etc.)
Fair warning: old books get a little racially insensitive at times. I haven't stumbled upon too much of that yet, but I expect ch7 to be a rough / cringy read.
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