The instructions here given are for the beginner. Others will follow their accustomed methods. In our introduction we make the claim that any earnest Christian worker, who is capable of addressing an audience or a Sunday school class can, by the aid of this book, give a helpful chalk talk.
Your response may be, "But, I can't draw." Listen! The following instructions will teach you how to do the work without a technical or practical knowledge of drawing. L
THE FIRST STEP—Before the time comes to give your talk, attach half a dozen sheets of your drawing paper to your drawing board, making a smooth drawing surface. It is well to use thumb tacks for this purpose. Open the book to page 19, for we will prepare to give the chalk talk entitled "The Two Faces." The upper picture. Fig. 7, shows the picture partly finished; the lower picture, Fig. 8, shows how the picture will look when completed. You will note that the lower picture is cut up into squares measuring one-fourth of an inch each way.
THE SECOND STEP—By the use of a yardstick and lead pencil, draw pencil lines on the large sheets of drawing paper, so as to separate the drawing paper into the same number of squares as there are on the picture in the book. Your paper is much larger than the page of the book; therefore the squares on your drawing paper must be made much larger than the squares in the book. It is easy to calculate the size of the squares you should draw on the paper. Measure the width of the paper in inches and divide by sixteen (the number of squares across the picture in the book), and this will give you the figure representing the size of the squares you are to draw on the paper. If your drawing paper is thirty-two inches wide, your squares will measure two inches each way.
THE THIRD STEP—Select one of the squares in Fig. 8 as a starting point, and then find the corresponding square on your drawing paper. Having done this, draw a pencil line on your drawing paper, which will cross your enlarged squares in just the same places that the line crosses the small squares in the book. Continue the process until both faces have been outlined on your paper in the enlarged form. Then, with a piece of soft rubber, erase all of the straight pencil lines which form the squares, and the remaining outlines of the two faces will stand out clear and distinct. Already you will have found that you are more of an artist than you thought you were! This sheet of paper, with its dim pencil outlines of the picture, is now ready to be brought before your audience. You must, however, be sure of one thing: the pencil outlines must be just plain enough for you to see them without difficulty, but they must be dimmed with the eraser to such an extent that your audience cannot see them. Thus you have before you a complete outline of the picture you are to draw, and, as you speak, you merely trace over these dim pencil outlines with your chalk. Isn't it simple?
THE FOURTH STEP—All of the preparations up to this time have been done in the quietude of your own room. You are now ready to place your drawing board before your audience. After a smile of greeting you begin your talk. "Let us," you say, "talk for a little while about our thoughts," and then you proceed until you reach the reference to the sour-faced man. "Here, for instance," you continue, "is a man with a face something like this:" and you begin your drawing, starting anywhere you choose. Take your time, and when you have finished the sour face, the audience will show its appreciation with a heartily responsive smile. This completes Fig. 7. Proceed then with the talk until you reach the reference to the man with the sunny face. "Here comes a man who looks something like this:" Draw the second face, and you will have completed Fig. 8 and reached the climax of the drawing. As you make the application of the lesson, you will feel that your effort has already repaid you for the work you have undertaken, and each succeeding attempt will make the work easier until it becomes a pleasing habit.
In Fig. 5 and Fig. 6 are shown a section of each of the faces of the talk just referred to. Here they are enlarged four times. A-A shows the preliminary pencil lines forming the one-inch squares, B-B indicates the pencil outlines of the faces, and C-C illustrates the tracing of the pencil lines with the chalk. In this instance black chalk only is required.
In some of the talks in the book, the dotted squares cover the upper picture; in others, they are drawn over the lower picture. In either case, the one containing the squares is the one to be outlined on your drawing paper.
There should be no hesitation on your part to trace with chalk the pencil lines which you have placed on your drawing paper. Remember, always, that you are posing as a humble teacher of God's Word and not as an artist. Your pencil outline holds the same relation to your chalk talk that the minister's notes hold to his sermon. Both are prepared in advance to enable the speaker to best present his message. Do not try to conceal your method. There is nothing about it of which you need be ashamed.
Now that the process has been explained in detail, a thorough understanding of the suggestion under the heading, "Important to Beginners," seems most essential as a still easier way to do the work. Finishing part of the work in advance still leaves the speaker something to do, and the audience will always be interested in finding out what that "something" is to be.
It is well for the beginner to cultivate an individual style of speaking. Substitute your own methods of expression in place of the language of the book. The more you do it, the larger will be the feeling that the message is a personal one from you to your hearers. Whenever you can do so, substitute a "home" illustration for the one in the book. As you become more accustomed to the work you will doubtless use pictures and subjects entirely outside of the book. Remember that any outline picture may be enlarged after the method here shown. Cut your picture into squares with drawn lines, and enlarge it in the same manner. Many Bible scenes may be shown in this way.
The book has been provided with two indexes. One directs you to fitting talks for special days. The other serves as a guide to talks and illustrations suitable to the application of any lesson. Determine the central thought of the lesson and consult the Subject Index. It will help you choose a talk appropriate for the day. The talk may need a little revision to enable you to give it the proper application, but the main thought will be readily apparent.
The index for suitable talks for special days includes some which are not yet generally observed but which are of growing importance. Introducing some of these into your school or church as novelties, they may become as permanent as Easter, Children's Day, Rally Day and others.
No matter how little preparation you may need for your talk, remember that the words you speak are of greatest importance. It is to your words that you must give careful study, or your audience may lose the force of your thought while centering their attention upon the developing picture.
Never apologize for the appearance of your drawing or of your ability as an artist. Strive to present truth only. Truth needs no apology.
Do not draw in a sketchy manner. Determine on the place to begin your drawing and then use a continuous, easy line, without lifting the chalk from the paper, except when necessary to start in a new place.
The design of this book has been to present brief, impressive talks which hold attention for from ten to twelve minutes. It is advisable never to speak longer than this, especially when children form a part of your audience and are the special object of your words. If you cease speaking just when the audience wants to hear more, you will always be assured of a hearing the next time. If you leave one single wholesome thought with your audience you will have accomplished the greatest good.
Avoid mannerisms. Cultivate an easy style of speaking and working. Don't become discouraged if everything doesn't go to suit you. Your audience is not a critical but a sympathetic one. All are striving to do the Master's work, and the field you have undertaken will bring you the interest and the kindliest co-operation of all who are working with but one great object in view.
It is suggested that each talk, as you give it, be so marked in the book as to indicate the time and place of its use, so you will avoid possible repetition before the same audience months or years later.
The same general principles of procedure as those here given are suggested as the best method of using this book in the home. For the very little children, the parent will find it well to enlarge the outlines upon paper and tell the stories in such a way as can be understood best, but for the boys or girls who are in the younger grades at school the book describes a method of drawing which will delight and instruct them. Of course, the parent will have to teach the method to the children, as they will be incapable of understanding it from the printed description. With this instruction will come the unfolding of the stories of the book and their application. A child, when he sees a picture of a face or a house or any other object, wants to know all about it—whose it is, what it is or what it is for. This is true especially if it be a picture which he is asked to draw for himself or which he sees drawn. This enables the parent to give into expectant and waiting ears the great truths of Christ as expressed in pictures which the child understands.
It is best, we believe; in instructing those who are old enough to do the drawing themselves or watch the parent do it, to select paper of such a size as can be used on a desk or table. Ordinary letter-size unruled tablet paper is convenient to get and easily handled. Let the child square off the page, under the parent's directions, and then let him do his part in tracing the picture from the book. Doubtless, some of the enlarged pictures will be "fearfully and wonderfully made," but it is a start in a splendid direction—a start which may have its ending in the happiness for which every parent longs and which cannot come unless the children begin in childhood to become the companions of their parents—companions who cannot be separated in later years by distance or the disturbances of the earthly life.
Do not forget that there is no earthly or heavenly reason why a minister should not have a blackboard or an easel on the pulpit platform or in the prayer meeting room to help him keep his audiences awake while he tries to drive truth home to heart and mind. It is every preacher's duty to be interesting, and if this book and the blackboard, or the equipment for chalk talk work, will help him to be so, then it is his plain duty to buy the book and secure the chalk and easel and "get busy" being interesting!
And there is one more thing: Don't forget you can do it—if you try!
And now, with these general instructions and observations, the book is commended to the use of all who have the love of Christ in their hearts and who, as faithful workers, may wish to add one more working tool to those they have used so well.