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Drawings and sketches

We already talked about the birth of the engraving as a combination of the requests and tastes of customers or gunmakers and the creative contributions by the engraver. Creative art usually makes roughs or sketches or drawings of how the work might appear or only some details and the general arrangement. These works will then be submitted to the customer for approval or for additional modifications. Even for traditional engravings, such as ornamental patterns and English scrolls, new solutions were pursued both, as already seen, through the intensive use of the burin and as far as the style and compositions of the ornamental patterns are concerned.

One of the engraver's most important tasks, apart from this creativity and technical skills in using the tools, is to respect and enhance the value of the gun's lines. That's why the "arrangement" of the engraving's subject becomes an important factor, whether it's an ornamental pattern or a figure. To respect the lines of the gun means following its contours, not "breaking up" the various parts with truncated or poorly balanced developments and inserting the subjects with good proportions as if the perimeter of the action were itself a "frame" for the entire piece.