The same dull spirit that makes it possible for people to speak of “duty calls” has made of study from the cast, instead of the enchanted garden that it might be, a perfunctory and stupid purgatory. Snobbishness and competitive arrivisme are fostered by treating work from the cast as an anteroom to the real entrée en jouissance, which promotion only to “the life” is supposed, by the big babies that students are, to confer.
Propter vivendum vitai perdere caussas.
For study by daylight, students should not work on the same drawings on sunny and on grey days. The effect of light and shade, on a grey day, is simplified, and is valuable for that reason. The light on a sunny day, which rifles the form with greater intimacy, is complex, and valuable for that reason. Where the sun falls on the casts, and a room with a south light is the best of all, students should work on a series of drawings for about twenty-five minutes at a time, and take the same drawings up in the same succession on the next sunny day. When the weather gives alternations of sunshine and grey weather, students should pass from their sunshine studies of the casts, backwards and forwards to their grey-day studies, as the sky changes.
© Estate of Walter R. Sickert