Indian Ambush- sketch by Andrew Wyeth
Such instruction was typically general such as describing "the quality of folds in a drapery and the way light comes across it. But once young Andy was drawing an Indian ambush (see above) and his father showed him what was wrong: the [natives] had taken over the entire picture, obscuring the mounted soldier whose danger was the point of the drawing. In a quick pencil sketch (see below) the elder Wyeth brought the imperilled rider more to the foreground and hid his attackers behind the trees.
Revised Indian Ambush sketch by N.C. Wyeth
Of his father N.C, Andrew said "we had a remarkable friendship, of course he was my only teacher, and he was a wonderful, remarkable person. When he died, I was just a clever watercolorist- lots of swish and swash. When he died- well- now I was really on the spot and had this terrific urge to prove that what he started in me was not in vain."It is evident in this rough sketch the level of skill N.C. possessed as he so easily corrected the flawed composition. The fact that the drawing survived is proof of this lesson's impact on his son. Andrew learned well and, I think through him and grandson Jamie, the Wyeth tradition turned out just fine .