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16th January 2012

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At 3 out of the 5 companies I previously worked for I started out as the only female in the studio. Design, and POS in particular, was very much a male dominated profession. But, I did learn the offside rule and some very effective curses!

I’m pleased to say that design studios these days are much more integrated. But, I fear this was never the case in Mr James Steuart’s days. Mr Steuart was the author of “Sketching in Water Colours – a book for amateurs by an amateur“. The copy of the book I have was presented to my grandfather in 1926 as a school prize for excelling in geography.

The book is a real gem written by a seemingly pompous misogynist. I’m slowly working my way through it but a few pearls of wisdom from Mr Steuart are as follows:

As part of the Introduction: “These pages are not addressed to the young lady “who does not play but who paints a little, but to those who paint as much as they can and wish they could paint more”.

Apparatus: “You also, of course require an H.B. or B. pencil, a knife, and piece of india-ruber. It is a mistake to say a woman cannot sharpen a pencil. She can if you give her plenty of time and plenty of pencils. Her chief difficulty is that her knife is generally as blunt as a stick. I can keep my knife sufficiently sharp for all purposes by rubbing it on a scythe stone or the window sill”.

Figures & Animals: “If you seek to draw animals, note that they have periods of resting. Cows, after wandering about a field grazing, lie down in groups to chew the cud. After the have finished that interesting occupation you will find that one by one they rise and stand about, sometimes for a considerable time, before they start off again to seek pastures new. That is the time to catch them – some lying down and others standing”.

And in Concluding Remarks: “In conclusion, if you have read these pages without deriving profit, read them again. The End”.



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