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The numerous applications which the Author has received during the last few years, and is still receiving, to give instructions in Flower Painting, have induced him more than anything else to accede to a request of the publishers, to write this manual. It is at present quite impossible for him to communicate the required information in any other way, and it is hoped that the object thus sought may, to some extent, be obtained. The suggestions he has ventured to offer are the outcome of his own personal practice, together with a long intercourse with Art students.
From the earliest times, and in the various countries where Art has flourished, painting flowers, as well as the study of them, has always formed a favourite occupation. All civilized communities appear to have vied with each other in their desire to attach deep significance to flowers.
In Egypt, the lily of the Nile — the lotus — was a sacred symbol of the priest, and this flower, with the palm and papyrus, was interwoven with much of their religious worship, in the form of figurative decoration.
The public buildings of the Egyptians were also richly adorned with these objects in a conventional manner, and at all times they seemed to be amongst the first materials in the minds of the Egyptian artist, or the priest, whether for the decoration of the palace, the Temple, or the tomb.
Flowers also formed some of the chief materials mentioned in Biblical records, for the enrichment of the Temple and the shrines of worship.
In China and Japan, flowers have been the insignia of power and dominion for many centuries past, and they were also emblematical of deity, and Buddhistic symbolisms.
In Persia, the storehouse for the painter and decorative artist was to be found mainly in the kingdom of flowers. And in the East generally, flowers themselves, as well as their representations, were chosen as a means for secret intercommunication ; and many a tale has been told, and many a verse measured in record of their own loveliness, and inherent significance, as well as descriptive of their charmed media for intercourse.
" In Eastern lands they talk in Flowers,
They tell in a garland their loves and cares Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers, On its leaves a mystic language wears ! "
Flowers have been employed symbolically, conventionally, and in a decorative form, in Europe more especially, from a remote period.
In the ancient legends of France is recorded the mysterious origin of the use of the iris, or the fleurde-lys, with which the sword, the sceptre, and the shield were adorned.
In Sweden, the lily, the violet, and the amaranthe, have their historic relations. In our own country flowers take a very prominent place. The five-petalled rose of York and Lancaster now blossoms in the British arms, and both the natural and the heraldic
thistle and the shamrock are acknowledged with affectionate remembrance, by the inhabitants of a great part of this realm. With the Greeks, flowers had an undying significance. They were the ornament of the altars of their gods. Youth and beauty were adorned with them at their fetes. The priests wove them into their religious service, and they were also constant emblems of rejoicings at their festive boards.
Floral crowns were wrought for their poets, their philosophers, and their heroes. Flowers were also present at birth ; they were introduced in profusion at the nuptial ceremonies; and while they accompanied every occasion of mirth and happiness throughout life, they were also brought in the saddest hour as fitting emblems to adorn the tomb.
In some of the records which have come down to us respecting the fine arts of ancient Greece are particulars relating to the painting of flowers by Greek artists, and much attention appears to have been paid to this branch of art by them.
In ancient Rome, and in Pompeii and Herculaneum, we have also discovered that flower painting had a marked purpose to perform ; but this was more especially in the hands of the ornamentists of those countries, in the enrichment of architecture, in the decoration of dresses, and in the ornamentation of objects of luxury, as well as those of common use.
It is, therefore, no wonder that in modern times the
subject should have received increased consideration and new life, flowers and foliage forming, as they do, the principal source for enrichment from which the ornamentist may derive his information.
In the present day the flower painter, the flower draughtsman, and the decorative artist have received a special call in almost endless directions.
Apart from the exercise of skill in pictorial art, and natural imitation, the study of flowers and foliage, with a view to conventional adaptation, may always be appropriately and profitably employed in every kind of manufacture, where an ornamental expression is desirable.
It will be seen, therefore, that the study of flowers and foliage for industrial purposes alone has a very wide and important bearing. It may not only supply a means of livelihood to a large number of art workers of both sexes ; but it may also largely contribute to the usefulness, the refinement, the enjoyment, and the wealth of a nation.
In the preparation of this manual it is the writer's desire to be of practical use to the earnest worker. He therefore suggests that before any attempts are made, either to sketch or paint from Nature, a short course of elementary study be pursued. Indeed, it is absolutely necessary that this be done, or the result cannot be satisfactory, but will only end in mere amusement and childish pastime.
If the student has not had practice in the elements of art, he should now commence by making a few good outlines in lead pencil from flat copies, such as are supplied to the Government Art Schools of the kingdom. They should be of a simple nature at first, and from good ornamental scrolls and details. They may not be very interesting, but with or without the aid of a teacher they will suggest all that is necessary, provided they are executed in a painstaking manner.
Studies should afterwards be made either in chalk or lead pencil, from shaded lithographed copies of any well-drawn object, so long as it is not very difficult, and will not take too long a time to execute.
It may here be remarked that hurry of any kind that may be felt at this stage must be persistently repressed, for on careful and painstaking work will depend all subsequent success. After a few studies of the kind alluded to have been made, practice with water-colour may be attempted from f^at copies : these should be as simple as possible, and w ithout any background whatever. The studies should be imitated with scrupulous care, and without the least attempt at sketchyness or " show off.^^ After a little practice of this kind has been pursued, the student must turn to work perhaps a little less attractive, but none the less essential, namely outlining from a plaster cast. It may consist of a small ornament, or group of foliage. Two or three good drawings will be sufficient, so long as they are well executed.
The next stage is the most important of all the rest, namely, shading in lead pencil or chalk, from the cast from which the outline drawings have previously been made. Several very careful studies of this kind must be executed, until a fairly correct representation of the cast has been obtained. It is not difficult to accomplish this; it only requires steady, patient, and persistent work for a few hours a day, and for about three months ; and the student who succeeds in passing through this short course of study satisfactorily, will certainly be able in a little time, to draw well in outline from Nature. In order to offer legitimate encouragement to the learner, the writer may here state, that amongst the numerous students who have come under his charge, and who passed through the routine recommended, he has never found one to fail, in carrying forward his work successfully. The most patient and persistent have of course been the most successful in the end.
Before commencing to work from the cast, it should be placed near to a window^ on the north side of the room, and with the light falling on it from the left. This position will ensure good and well-defined shadows, which may be imitated easily.
When it is intended to outline from casts, they should be placed so that the shadows on them are not too wide, or they will obscure the smaller forms and more delicate details.
DRAWING IN OUTLINE FROM NATURE
The short course of work thus advised having been duly accomplished, an effort to draw in outline from Nature may be made. A small spray of leaves may be taken, and placed in a convenient left-hand light, and a sheet of white paper should be placed behind it to form a background. Commencement must be
made by first drawing the stems of the foliage and then the middle fibres of the leaves, after which the forms of the leaves themselves must be completed with a thin and accurate line. When this has been done, some of the larger lateral fibres of the leaves may be added, but the smallest should not be copied.
Sufficient practice having been obtained, a larger spray of leaves may be attempted, and the student may complete this stage of his training by making two or three careful outlines, and shaded studies from flowers and foliage in combination. The flowers selected at first should be simple in form, such as the fuchsia, the convolvulus, the wild rose, the dog daisy, and many others furnishing beautiful, easy, and instructive forms for study.
A few drawings from nature, made in light and shade, with chalk, pencil, or sepia, should follow. Practice of this kind employed in obtaining memoranda and sketches of plants, &c., will be found most valuable during the whole of the career of the flower painter; and it should not only be pursued while in the study of art, but also when in the full practice of it.
PAINTING IN MONOCHROME FROM CASTS
The course of study just detailed would be all the more complete if Paintings in Monochrome were made in imitation of a cast of fruit and foliage, or some portion of it. This would tend to confirm the previous
practice, and would be a fitting introduction to the use of colour.
Suitable casts may readily be procured from any good plaster figure maker, and they are inexpensive.
Studies^ either from casts, or from Nature, may be made in oil colour, on the usual prepared oil paper block supplied by the artists' colourman.
The colours best suited for Painting from Casts are
Blue and Ivory Black. Yellow Ochre.
Raw Umber. Light Red.
These five colours, broken into tints with Flake White, will produce every gradation necessary for the imitation either of a w^hite or stone-coloured cast.
For the sake of initiating practice in colour, it may be desirable to place a coloured drapery background, of some broken hue, behind the cast for imitation, in which case other colours must be added to the list.
THE IMITATION OF OBJECTS OF STILL LIFE.
To proceed in due order, and presuming that good studies have already been made from casts, the student is nearly ready to begin to paint directly from Nature. But before commencing to paint either flowers or foliage, it is still better to spend a little time in painting a few stationary objects. This
is best done from shells, pottery, a group of books, stuffed animals, drapery, &c., &c. These objects should be imitated in the most minute manner possible, not for their own sake so much as to gain experience before going to Nature. The eye and the hand being thus trained, success must result in any future work of the kind that may be undertaken.
THE HABIT OF CONTINUOUS WORK.
In carrying out the advice offered, the habit of close and continuous application for several hours together must be formed ; and, consistent with thoroughness in the work, the utmost speed should be aimed at. This experience will be found most valuable when copying Nature ; indeed, without sufficient speed, all work from natural flowers will be defective.
To paint a rose properly often takes from seven to nine hours' continuous work, and no idea must be entertained of beginning a flower on one day, and finishing it the next. Flower Painting, in this respect, is unlike every other branch of pictorial art. The objects are constantly moving, and cannot be re-arranged.
Mere sketches or translations, or impressions of Nature may be executed in a very short time ; but works of this character ought not to find favour with the student, or influence him at first.
In order to obtain the likeness of a flower before it
changes its position, it is best to mix the required tints in imitation of the object before commencing to paint. The White should be duly thinned with poppy oil and oil of lavender ; copal varnish may be added to the slowly drying colours.
THE MATERIALS NECESSARY FOR PAINTING IN OIL.
The requisite materials for flower painting in oil colours may be now conveniently enumerated.
A small easel and mahl stick, with a palette of lightcoloured w^ood, and of medium size, must be procured. On the palette at the far side, and near the left hand, three or four dippers must be placed. They should contain raw linseed and poppy oil, copal varnish, and oil of lavender. The linseed and poppy oil are for the purpose of thinning colours when required, but which should always be employed thickly, rather than otherwise. The . copal varnish is necessary to assist the colours to dry when needed, and must be diluted occasionallv with the oil of lavender when it becomes too thick for use. The oil of lavender may also be used to thin colours in combination with either linseed or poppy oil.
The brushes, for the most part, should be round red sable, especially for the edges of leaves and flow^ers ; but an effort must be made to cultivate the general use of the hog tool, so that ultimately it may as much as possible take the place of the sable brush.
HOW TO SET THE PALETTE.— LIST OF COLOURS.
The brightest and warmest colours must be placed at the top of the palette, and gradually descending to the bottom with the colder and darkest colours, in the following order. Yellow^s, bright and dull, bright and dull Oranges, bright and dull Reds, including the Madders, Blues, light and dark, Browns, and Blacks.
All colours must be arranged on the outer edge of the palette, with the exception of White, which must occupy the middle.
When expense is of no consideration, the ordinary oil-Golour box, with its usual contents, should be procured from the artists' colourman, with the colours specially selected as follows. The list is a full one, and will serve all purposes for future work.
Flake White. Zinc White.
YELLOWS AND ORANGES.
Cadmium Yellow (to glaze over
Zinc White). Cadmium Orange. Yellow Carmine.^ Yellow Ochre.
Orient Yellow (for studies which will not be exposed to light).
Raw Sienna. Aureolin.
Burnt Sienna (to glaze over
Flake White.) Orange Vermilion. Yellow Carmine and Rose
Madder in combination.
^ Yellow Carmine is frequently called Yellow Madder, and sold as such.
LIST OF COLOURS.
Chinese Vermilion. Vermilion.
Field's Extract of Vermilion. Scarlet Vermilion. Light Red.
Indian Red. Rose Madder. Pink xMadder.
Extract of Madder Carmine. Crimson Lake (for studies only).
Genuine Ultramarine (in powder). Prussian Blue, used in combination with other colours for Dark Green (for studies only). Cerulean Blue.
Ultramarine Ash. French Ultramarine. Cobalt.
Opaque Green Oxide of
Chromium. Terre Verte.
Transparent Green Oxide of
With the Greens named, all shades and varieties may be made by combining with them, Yellows, Blues, and some of the Yellow Browns, according to the hue required. Tints of green are formed in endless variety, by adding White to the above combinations. Very useful varieties of green may also be formed by the lighter Cadmiums and Blue Black, broken with Zinc White into the required tints.
Purples. Purple Madder.
Rose Madder in combination with either Genuine Ultramarine, French Ultramarine, or Cobalt Blue.
The above colours glazed over Zinc White, will produce fine purples, varying from pink to bluish
hues. Opaque purple tints may be made by adding Zinc White to the colours named.
Browns and Blacks.
Vandyke Brown. Raw Umber. Burnt Umber. Sepia.
Brown Pink for studies, and when kept from a powerful light.
Burnt Sienna, this colour is valuable when used with other Browns, Blacks, Blues, or Greens, but it imparts an opaque quality to transparent colours.
The colours which have been indicated are not only sufficient for all purposes of painting, but they are, moreover, permanent, with the exceptions pointed out.
MIXTURE OF TINTS
All tints should be composed of the fewest colours possible. No bright colours should enter into dull tints ; but they should be produced either from Blue or Ivory Black, and the permanent metallic oxides described in the Author's Handbook on Colours, and' reduced by Flake or Zinc White, according to the depth required.
PRELIMINARY PRACTICE IN FOLIAGE.
The studio having been duly chosen, with a light from a small window on the north side, preparations may be made to paint directly from natural foliage. A small bunch of rhododendron leaves will make a good subject, because it will be little liable to move for several hours together. It should be placed in a vase or glass vessel, of pleasant shape and colour, as this also may form apart of the study for imitation. If the leaves be of young growth, the tints must be mixed as follows, and before beginning to work : —
Opaque Green Oxide of Cobalt Blue.
Chromium. Blue Black.
Cadmium Yellow. Yellow Ochre.
These colours must be broken into tints more or less with Zinc White, beginning with the Yellow Greens, both light and dark, and ending in tints composed of Blue Black and White.
A little Raw Umber may be mixed with Viridian, for the darkest shadows. Most likely the White will be too thick for use when squeezed from the tube, a little poppy oil may then be added. In winter time oil of spike lavender should be mixed with the oil.
Should the leaves be old, the same colours may be used, with more Cobalt Blue and Blue Black added. Any accident or decayed part in the leaves which may be present must also be copied ; and Light Red and some of the Yellows will usually be found sufficient to do this, with an addition of some of the colours already referred to.
The study should be made on a dark grey ground, and must be carefully drawn before beginning to paint.
ORANGE AND BROWN FLOWERS
Grey millboard is an excellent material to make studies upon. When a canvas or any other material is used, the grey ground should be prepared upon it beforehand, and it must be quite dry previously to being worked on. A ground of the same colour must also be placed behind the foliage itself, so that the true colour of the leaves may be the better ascertained.
The common wall-flower with its foliage may next form the subject for imitation ; as it will remain without moving for many hours together, and may be easily obtained w^hen in season. The background should be the same as before. Yellow and Orange Cadmiums will serve for the yellows in the lighter parts of the flower ; and the darker parts can be imitated with Rose Madder, Brown Madder, Vandyke Brown, Yellow Ochre, Blue Black, and Burnt Sienna. The addition of Zinc White will sometimes be necessary in the formation of greys.
The foliage may be copied with the two Oxides of Chromium, Raw Sienna, Blue Black, Cobalt Blue, and White, w^ith perhaps a little of the lighter Cadmiums. Here, again, the vase which contains the flower should be carefully copied, and the object on which it may stand must also be intelligently suggested as to colour and effect.
PINK FLOWERS — THE PRIMULA
A pink primula growing in a pot should next be procured for another study, as this plant is also stationary for a long time together. But the colour of the flower will require more careful consideration than was necessary with the wallflower. The ground on which it is intended to be painted must be perfectly white.
The forms of the flowers must be carefully sketched with Rose Madder^ and, inasmuch as the tints of the plant cannot be imitated with opaque colour, a combination of Pink Madder and Cobalt should be used for the purpose. This must be glazed on the top of the white ground, making the tints redder or purpler, in accordance with the colour required. In some parts of the flower opaque colour maybe employed, and the two colours alluded to, with Zinc White, will supply this. A little copal varnish should be mixed with the transparent colour ; and, when it becomes sticky, and too thick for pleasant work, it should be thinned with oil of lavender. The yellow centres of the flower will be matched with the paler Cadmium.
No doubt, it will be found impossible to give the true colour of the primula, at this stage of experience ; but good practice will have been acquired by the effort; and when the natural flower is removed from comparison with the painting, the latter will not
look disagreeable. The leaves of the plant may be imitated with the Greens already enumerated, with more or less Yellow and White added as required. The over-lapping of the leaves will now present new difficulties for imitation, and the darkest shadows must not be made too green — of this there is ahvays danger at first with the student. The greens in dark situations nearly always partake of a brown hue.
The pot in which the plant may be growing, should also be copied ; as the discolorations and grey green markings, which most likely will be present, will serve as a good lesson in imitation. Additional experience having been acquired in the last study, the student may now go a step further in his work by taking the gentian as the next object for imitation.
BLUE FLOWERS.— THE GENTIAN.
The ground for the gentian must be pure White, and the local colour of the flower must be glazed over it, using Ultramarine and Cobalt Blues, in combination and separately, the white underground showing through to give brilliancy.
When expense is of no consequence, the real Ultramarine Blue — Lapis Lazuli — is preferable to the Factitious, being brighter and purer in colour. The deep shadows of the flower may be made by exhausting the full strength of the Ultramarine, adding Purple Madder,
and sometimes a little Ivory Black. The lighter parts of the flower, as well as the transmitted lights, will be best imitated by glazing over the White ground with the pure Blue colour. Any points of detail in the flower will now be easily imitated, after the foregone experience. White in combination with Blue must be avoided, when a pure colour is required, as the quality of the Blue entirely changes by the addition of White. When Blue Greys are needed. White may then be mixed with one of the Blues named. A greenish tint will often be seen near the centre of the flower, and which may be produced by Opaque Green Oxide of Chromium, and White.
The foliage will easily be imitated with the Oxides of Chromium, one of the Yellows, and White ; and in the deep shadows. Ultramarine Blue, and Yellow Carmine will be found useful.
In the deepest recesses of the foliage of most plants, Vandyke Brown should be used. For the shadow parts of deep red flowers, it is of much value ; and as a glazing colour for backgrounds, and employed in combination with Yellow Carmine^ and Transparent Green Oxide of Chromium, no colour can approach it.
It may here be remarked that Vandyke Brown must never be used with opaque colour, much less in combination with White. It must be employed either alone, in full body, or as a glazing colour in admixture with other transparent colours. For the
purpose of giving richness and depth to the deepest parts of a dark background it is, in intelligent hands, a perfect pigment, and is quite durable.
When Blue Flowers verge more or less into purple, Rose Madder may be added, according to the tint required.
The larkspur, the iris, the wild hyacinth, as well as the cultivated varieties, may all be imitated with the colours named. Some of the turquoise blue flowers, such as the forget-me-not, the pale larkspur, and the corncockle, are best imitated with Cerulean Blue. The tints in the larkspur vary much ; and while some are of the purest blue colour, others in the same flower are of a dull rose pink, and may be easily imitated, either with Vermilion and White, or Rose Madder and White.
All Blues lose their richness by the addition of White. Indeed they are no longer blues, but partake more or less of the nature of greys. Therefore, in order to obtain a full bright blue colour, either light or dark, it is always necessary to glaze the pure blue pigment over a very white ground.
RED FLOWERS.— THE SCARLET POPPY.
A scarlet poppy may furnish the next object for study. This flower changes rapidly as soon as it is gathered. It is therefore desirable to make preparations as to materials, &c., before the flower is brought into the painting room.
The following colours for the imitation of the poppy will be found necessary, and should be mixed in various combinations before sitting down to paint.
Orange Vermilion. Rose Madder
Extract of Vermilion. Purple Madder.
Chinese Vermilion. Madder Carmine,
Zinc White must be used to lighten certain colours with, and the Orange Cadmium may also be employed to give reflected and transmitted lights.
The dark patches of colour often found at the bottom of the petals of the poppy, and the stamens, can be imitated with Purple Madder and Cobalt, or French Blue in combination; sometimes a little White and Blue Black may be added. The light sheeny gloss may be produced with Blue Black, Rose Madder, or ordinary Vermilion, and White. The stamens should be made as much of as possible, w^ithout contradicting truth ; as they give an excellent contrasting effect to the surrounding red petals of the flower.
The red poppy brought into opposition with white flowers, produces a very beautiful and harmonious effect.
The foliage of the poppy is quite as attractive as the flower itself, while their harmony and contrast with each other are perfection. It is exceedingly difficult to paint, for immediately it is cut, it not only begins to change in its smaller parts, but in a much shorter time than is necessary to copy it, it sometimes fades altogether^ and cannot be revived. When, therefore, it is intended to paint the poppy and its foliage together, the plant should be grown in a large pot, and in that condition brought into the studio, after its growth is sufficiently developed.
All other red flowers near in colour to red poppies may be imitated by the pigments recommended, with the necessary modifications by other colours suggested by Nature.
YELLOW FLOWEKS.— THE DAFFODIL. The following colours are necessary for painting the daffodil with its foliage : —
Lemon Cadmium, used pure. Raw Umber.
Cadmium Yellow. Blue Black.
Orange and Deep Orange CadOpaque and Transparent Green
mium. Oxide of Chromium.
Yellow Ochre. Cobalt Blue.
Yellow Carmine. Zinc White.
Light Red. Flake White.
After the bloom is fully opened, the daffodil will remain without moving for twelve or fifteen hours together. This will allow of its being outlined carefully, which must be done with Pale Cadmium, before beginning to paint it. The ground must be quite white and dense. The outer petals of the flower should be imitated with Yellow Cadmium, glazed thinly over the ground.
No pigment will match the brightest lights but Lemon Cadmium, this is, however, somewhat unsafe as to permanency, and should be used quite pure and very sparingly. The rest of the bright tints of the daffodil can be imitated with the deeper Cadmiums, which are all permanent when well prepared, Lemon Cadmium alone being uncertain even when used pure. The shadows of the flower will be produced with Yellow Ochre, Yellow Carmine, Raw Umber, and Blue Black, all combined with Zinc White for the tints required. The deepest recesses should be touched in with the darkest Cadmiums and Light Red. The foliage may be painted with combinations of Greens, produced with Opaque and Transparent Green Oxides of Chromium, Blue Black, and Cobalt Blue, with some of the Yellows named, and broken into tints with Flake White. The darkest shadows of the leaves must be painted with Transparent Oxide of Chromium, Yellow Carmine, and Vandyke Brown combined.
The daffodil should be put into a light blue root glass, three parts filled with water ; and the wild hyacinth may be placed with it, for the sake of contrast, and the whole painted together.
Although the ground immediately under the flowers must be pure white, a dark ground in imitation of some object should be picked in between, as the work progresses. All other yellow flowers may be represented with the colours indicated.
RED AND PINK ROSES
The following colours are necessary for painting a red or pink rose : —
Rose Madder. Cadmium Yellow.
Pink Madder. Blue Black.
Madder Carmine. Cobalt Blue.
Purple Madder. Yellow Ochre.
Brown Madder. Zinc White.
The ground must be pure white, and the Madders being mixed with copal varnish, must be glazed over it of the thickness necessary to obtain the brightest hues.
Tints should also be formed by the admixture of Zinc White with the brightest Madders. But on no account should Flake White be used with them ; and whenever the necessary tint can be obtained by glazing the pure colour over the white ground, this should be done ; as all the Madders have a tendency to change when in combination with an opaque pigment. The purest Madders will change in a day, when mixed with Flake White ; and Crimson Lake, when combined with Flake White, soon loses its colour altogether. It is felt desirable to remark at some length on the use of Lake and the Madders, as they are much required in painting flowers ; they are also more difficult in their application than any other colours, as well as being more liable to change under certain conditions. Sometimes the pink tints of a rose can be nearly obtained with the deepest \'ermilion and Flake or Zinc White, and when this can be done, it is better than using the Madders in combination with White for the purpose. The tints produced by Vermilion and White may not be altogether satisfactory, but they will be found permanent ; while those produced from Madders and Zinc White, will most likely have changed so much in a little time after having been used, that their resemblance to Nature w411 probably be more distant than tints produced by Vermilion and White.
For the greys of a pink rose, Blue Black and White will usually be found sufficient. An addition of Cobalt Blue, to the Vermilion referred to, may occasionally be necessary.
To imitate the deeper coloured roses, the Vermilions and the Madders should be used without White. It is often best, first to colour the underground with Vermilion and White, in accordance with the depth of the flowers intended to be painted. This should be done soon enough to be quite dry before beginning the painting of the rose upon it.
Yellow, and even green tints will be found in many red and pink roses, which may be made by the Yellow Cadmium, Cobalt Blue, and White. Ultramarine Blue
may also be used with the darker Madders for the shadows of the deeper flowers alluded to. To imitate yellow roses, such as the Gloire de Dijon, and the Marshal Neil, does not require the use of the Madders. The Vermilions, with the Cadmiums, Yellow Ochre and Zinc White, are sufficient for the Gloire de Dijon, and the same colours, with the Vermilion absent ; will serve for the imitation of the Marshal Neil. The green tints to be seen in these flowers may be matched by the addition of Cobalt Blue and Blue Black. Opaque Green Oxide of Chromium, with Flake White added, will also be found useful in the formation of light green tints. With regard to the colour of the leaves of most flowers, the use of both the Opaque and Transparent Green Oxides of Chromium is indispensable. These two pigments employed in combination with the Cadmiums, Yellow Ochre, Raw and Burnt Sienna, and some of the Browns, with the addition of Flake White for the lighter greens, will supply a great variety of valuable hues.
Viridian and Cerulean Blue are also very useful in obtaining the brighter and bluer greens; and combined with Yellow Carmine they furnish charming qualities of green hues, and are fairly permanent.
For the glossy surface of leaves, a mixture of Blue Black and White is nearly sufficient. An addition of the Greens mixed for the local colour of the leaves may sometimes be requisite. Blue Black, White^ and
Opaque Green Oxide of Chromium, varying the quantity of each colour, give a beautiful variety of hues for foliage, which are not only true to Nature, but perfectly permanent.
WHITE ROSES. For painting white roses the following colours are necessary : —
Flake White. Raw Umber.
Yellow Ochre. Blue Black.
Cadmium Yellow. Ivory Black.
After the Flake White has been brought to a proper consistency with poppy oil, the tints should be formed as follows : —
Three tints varying in depth, made with Raw Umber, Blue Black, and White. Three tints made with Yellow Ochre, Blue Black, and White. Three very light tints made with Ivory Black, Cadmium Yellow and White. One tint for the brightest lights^ made with Zinc White slightly tinted with Cadmium Yellow.
When mixing these tints^ the palette knife must be held near to the parts of the flower intended to be imitated, in order to see if the tint produced is like the flower : any alteration that may be necessary can then be easily ascertained. Two roses should be placed together in a vase or glass goblet, one in light and the other in shadow, and with sufficient foliage to support and contrast the flowers. A white ground should be adopted. The centre of the flower in
light, if seen in front, should be first outlined with one of the light grey tints. The outline, and the painting of the rose should proceed together, as it is likely the flower may move rapidly. Every part must be finished as the work progresses, until the outer edge of the rose is reached. The work should then be looked over, when perhaps corrections can be made before the flower entirely changes its position. This will be sufficient for one day's work. The next day the rose in shadow must be painted with the darkest tints alluded to, making what changes in them may be necessary in imitation of the flower. It is always desirable to mix fresh tints for each day's work, for it is no real economy to work with colours mixed the day previous, as they would probably be half dry.
The foliage must now be added to the flowers, and this will most likely occupy another day to finish properly. The background must be painted in between the forms, as in the previous studies, and of a colour and depth suited to the subject.
Instructions to paint single flower studies having been given, suggestions will now be offered for the arrangement and painting of groups of flowers, and the production of complete pictures. But before going further, it is advisable to remark on the kind of grounds to be adopted for flower paintings.
BEST GROUNDS FOR FLOWER PAINTINGS.
Grounds made with Flake White in full body are the best for flower pictures.
All the works by the old masters which are now in the most perfect state of preservation, were painted either on white or very light grounds.
Those by Van Huysum, and V'^an Oss, were on grounds of this description, as well as some of the best by Daniel Segers.
The works by J. M. Baptiste^ Gasper Verbrugen^ Rachael Ruysch, Michael Angelo Campidoglio, and David de Heem, were executed on dark grounds ; and most of them have become so obscure in consequence, that much of the work is scarcely visible.
It is best to have the grounds prepared by the artists' colourmen^ with three or four coats of whitelead on the top of the usual preparation for canvasses, so that the surface may be perfectly white and dense, and capable of the utmost reflecting power. On this ground alone the full value of any colour that may be laid upon it will be obtained, and there will be less danger of that change which must take [>lace, when the canvas is imperfectly prepared.
The white lead used in the preparation of the grounds should be mixed with a little slow-drying copal varnish ; this will give elasticity to the white lead, and no discoloration need be feared. If a ground be prepared with gold size alone, which is sometimes done, in a few years it will become brittle^ and cracks will show themselves. The slightest bending of the surface of the canvas will result in cracks and small fissures, whenever the elasticity has left the paint which may cover it. When, however, a picture is upon panel, this objection will not be so likely to present itself.*
A CHARCOAL SKETCH RECOMMENDED.
The character of a flower picture as to composition and effect should much depend upon the nature and size of the flowers intended to form the group, and it is always better to realize the work in advance as far as possible beforehand.
To do this, a charcoal sketch must be made on a sheet of either hand-made dark grey crayon paper, or the French grey stumping paper, giving the whole of the general effect for the proposed picture.
The charcoal must be laid on the paper with a broad point in all the darkest parts, and afterwards rubbed flat with the finger. Any part of the charcoal may be removed with a piece of soft stale bread. White chalk may be employed where the lightest flowers are intended to be placed. No more detail must appear in this sketch than that necessary to give the idea of the proposed painting as a whole, and without much regard to Nature. The front and lighter objects may,
* See the writer's Manual on the Use of Colours," in which the advantage of panels over canvas is pointed out.
perhaps, be rudely sketched in from flowers similar to those intended to be painted in the picture.
It is sometimes an advantage to make the outline of the flower intended to be painted on the canvas with water-colour. In this case Raw Umber^ to which a little gall has been added, will be found suited to the purpose.
OPPOSITION OF LIGHT AND DARK.
It is often desirable to bring the brightest lights in a painting in opposition to the greatest dark, but the dark need not necessarily be large. No work in which this treatment is duly observed, can be either insipid or weak. At the same time it requires caution and experience to do this with proper efi^ect, or the result will be hardness and artificiality. One side of a white or light flower in the front of a picture, may be immediately opposed to a dark one, or it may be contrasted by a dark part of the background. But it should be observed that a small portion only, on one side of the chief light, maybe treated in the manner described, or the effect will be a spot.
In matters of this kind, a correct eye and judgment, arising from the necessary experience^ will alone indicate what may be desirable on this head ; but great facility will be afforded by the study of good pictures of any kind.
COMPOSITION OF LINES, &c.
After a sufficiently large mass of light has been arranged in a flower picture, its form and direction should be assisted by pleasantly composed lines, to which the stems of the flowers and their foliage will often contribute. In flower paintings, as in all other subjects, the chief lines of the composition should be visible, and contrasted by others less conspicuous.
A degree of elegance should always be sought in composing a painting of flowers, but ornamental conventionality should be carefully avoided ; it is, however, an error of the commonest occurrence. Composition of line is of the first importance, but immediately it becomes too manifest and obtrusive, to the same extent it is objectionable.
The ordinary flower groups in vases are of the type of arrangements to be avoided. They are usually very weak^ as well as worn out by repetition ; and it is, therefore, desirable that other kinds of composition should be more generally adopted by the flower painter.
THE STUDY OF THE CHARACTER OF PLANTS, BOTH IN FLOWERS AND THEIR FOLIAGE.
Great pains must be taken to give the true character of flowers in combination with their foliage.
Careful drawings in black and white chalk should be constantly made on tinted paper, showing the
peculiar growth and structure of plants. By such efforts alone will the student become imbued with a true feeling for the natural forms of flowers and foliage. And when it is found necessary to make certain changes in the positions of stems, as is occasionally required, their true character is not so likely to be affected.
It is not alone sufficient to paint an imitation of a flower and its foliage piecemeal, as the whole of the natural growth, and characteristics of the plant generally should be brought out, and well expressed, whenever it is possible to do this.
The flower of a poppy, for example, may have been represented very truthfully in a picture, but if the general growth and character of the plant is absent, its chief beauty and charm will be wanting.
No doubt, it will sometimes be found difficult to accomplish this when painting a group of mixed flowers. In such a case it will be best to make out the secondary masses of light with well-developed stems and leaves of the principal flower or flowers composing the group, and the same kind of foliage may also be repeated in the background of the work.
GARISHNESS IN A FLOWER PAINTING
Garishness and commonness must be avoided at any sacrifice in a flower picture ; and should these features present themselves in any degree in the course of the work, they must be removed at once, for no other qualities can either redeem them or atone for them. Too many bright coloured flowers in light will produce these effects, when not supported by sufficient half tint and shadow.
The same kind of flowers which are painted in light, should be repeated in half tint, and sometimes in shadow. When due sacrifice is made in a work by the introduction of a proper amount of half tint, the result, in skilful hands, will be refinement and interest, instead of the qualities above alluded to.
The front flowers in a picture, which must always be very light in colour, when not white, ought not to be too much cut out from the surrounding parts, so as to form a spot of light. Many of the old flower painters were not in the habit of duly regarding this particular, and the defect has also been followed in modern times. The general breadth of a work must ever be considered from first to last.
To add light to light, and dark to dark, is a golden rule in painting, and its effects are seen in good pictures of any subject.
SHAPES OF FLOWERS
The shapes of natural flowers are more or less imperfect, and it is the function of the painter to select those which are the best suited to his wants, and to remove imperfections whenever they may occur. The petals of a rose may be unduly ragged, or too long on the outside, or too short and regular in places, or the addition or removal of petals may be an improvement. A judicious alteration in this respect is always necessary on the part of the painter.
The arrangement of leaves also needs careful discrimination, and the disposition of the stems of flowers is of importance. Nature rarely ever supplies all that is wanted in one plant. A stem maybe rather too straight, or too curved, for the situation intended in a picture. It may be too thin, or too thick, and it is often difficult to make the requisite alterations in a plant consistent with the composition, without interfering with the truth of its growth. Such changes are often attempted, but frequently only lameness and unnatural curvature are exchanged for natural truth.
All the petals of a flower which are pleasantly disposed by Nature, however numerous, must be painted as correctly as possible, and unless they are properly imitated no mere generalization wull suffice.
CAREFUL IMITATION OF NATURE.
Generalization should never be attempted, unless the painter is, or has been, capable of actual imitation, or most likely the result will be emptiness.
Suggestive work by the student usually betrays ignorance and inability to those who are properly informed. With the imperfectly educated, however, work of this description is usually very captivating; and the empty and impertinent manner in which a rose, a dahlia, or a chrysanthemum has sometimes been scrambled through, so to speak, is looked upon by them as the refinement of breadth and treatment ; while, in reality, it only indicates impatience, incapacity, and sham.
When it is intended to paint a flower having many petals, a part of it only should be outlined before commencing the painting. In some instances a flower will move so rapidly that it w^ould be useless to outline the whole of it before beginning to paint. Every part must be flnished at once, and even then considerable skill is required in order to unite the parts properly, which may have moved during the progress of the work. It is only after much experience that difficulties of this kind can be overcome in a satisfactory manner.
Flower painting by many has been looked upon as easy of acquisition. This is certainly a mistake, and we have only to turn to the work of an exhibition room for proof to the contrary. Numerous works of this class are no doubt produced yearly, but it is to be feared that very few indeed are even of a second rate character. They rather show a want of art education on the part of the producer, with a very imperfect power of imitation ; or, at best, they are mere imitative studies, indicating no knowledge of art beyond this. Doubtless imitative skill is of the first importance in paintings of this description, but this is only one of the qualifications which ought to be possessed by the flow^er painter. Composition, light and shade, and colour, are all quite as essential for a true and complete work of art; and whichever of these qualities is absent from a flower picture, it is, at least in that particular, imperfect.
The flower painter should acquire vases^ and glass vessels of pleasant shape and colour for future usefulness. Pieces of old drapery, old cabinets, and carved panels are especially desirable. But the introduction of such objects ought to be a matter of much discrimination, or their effect in a painting will be to encumber it.
A panel or a piece of drapery thrust at the back, or placed in the foreground of a picture, is often so much lumber, and ought not to find a place in it.
There ought always to be consistency, and fitness in the selection of accessories in a work, and objects should never appear in it, unless warranted by common sense, and a raison d'etre."
No part of a background should be painted by the mere rubbing in of colour in an uncertain manner.
Definiteness of purpose ought to be carried out in a background, with as much certainty as in any other part of the work, for upon the proper treatment of it may depend the success of the picture. Whatever may be the materials employed for a dark background, it must be painted rather thinly, and the brush marks should show through more or less to the surface on w^hich it is painted. This method of working gives a transparency which it is nearly impossible to obtain in any other way. A background may be painted over thinly several times, but the underground should never be lost.
The small figure pictures of the Dutch school are recommended for study, as exponents of technical difficulties, and as showing proper systems of working. Those by David Teniers the younger, in our National Gallery, are painted in the manner described, and all Art students, irrespective of their particular bent, may examine them to advantage.
Backgrounds may be formed from portions of furniture, or carved wood panels, which, if applied with discrimination, always look satisfactory and natural. For the beginner, they furnish excellent practice. When the panel is carved, it should always be carefully drawn, before any attempt is made to paint it, and all hurry or slovenliness in carrying this out must be avoided. Of course, the markings will not be made out so distinctly as when dealing with an object in the foreground, and the student should try to see the subject and the background at the same time, as this will enable him to obtain the due relations of both in his picture. Very good effect may be obtained by the introduction of architectural details into backgrounds, but they require much skill in arrangement. A part of a pilaster, or a well-selected ornamental moulding, is w^ell suited for a background. It may be treated either as light, or dark, whichever the natural colour of the stone or marble may suggest. Parts of a building may also be introduced, and as it recedes from the foreground, more and more of it will come into view. This treatment not only gives increased interest to a work, but it much enriches it.
SKY BACKGROUNDS. A sky, with distant landscape dimly defined, forms a . telling background for a flower picture. This arrangement in a triangular form would constitute a part of the general light in the painting, and the lower portion would tell as dark, and middle tint. !t is best to have a triangular composition, when a sky background is adopted. The treatment of the subject as to focus and light, with their due support, must be worked out as in other compositions. Care should be taken to introduce light and dark flowers or foliage against the sky, with some parts shown beyond those in the immediate foreground, which may form the front of the group ; or the subject will appear to be cut out too much against the sky, and look ^'made-up" and unnatural. The darkest parts of the picture in such compositions will be near the bottom of the canvas.
When painting a flower from Nature, whether a mere study, or a part of a group, the background that is intended to appear in the painting, or the general colour of it, should be placed behind the object itself. This practice should always be observed.
A background must progress with the work generally, and should neither be prepared in advance of it, nor should it be added after the work is finished.
Whatever object is intended to appear in the immediate foreground, apart from those which form the subject itself, should be very carefully placed and imitated. Any mistake or carelessness in regard to this practice, may be detrimental to the picture.
VEHICLES OR MEDIUMS TO BE EMPLOYED IN OIL PAINTING
Copal, or a combination of Copal and Amber Varnish, is the best basis for mediums for oil painting. With colours which dry slowly, such as the Lakes or the Madders, pure Copal Varnish should be used. It should also be employed combined with Amber Varnish, and a little raw linseed oil, with all other colours that do not require much assistance in drying.
The Copal Varnish medium will become too thick in hot weather during a day's painting, for working freely. This is in consequence of evaporation, when Oil of Spike Lavender must be added. A little inconvenience at first may be experienced in the use of this medium, but practice will soon overcome it. No other vehicles are at all comparable with Copal and Amber Varnish. Flake White only requires thinning, being a dryer in itself.
The writer has discontinued the use of Turpentine for many years past, having found it injurious as a diluent to certain colours^ Oil of Spike Lavender in its place, being preferable in all respects, and its odour is not disagreeable, which cannot be said of Turpentine.
GROUPS OF FLOW^ERS IN VASES. It is often difficult to paint flowers in vases without giving the whole of the picture a commonplace appearance. And even the productions of Van Huysum, and Van Oss, in which vases have been employed, are not free from this charge. By skilful treatment^ no doubt this expression may be avoided, but it is seldom done.
A well-selected vase of glass or porcelain will sometimes assist the effect of a flower picture ; but it should never be placed in a work for its own sake, apart from its proper and fitting relation to the picture as a whole.
The introduction of beautiful drapery or other artistic properties isequally reprehensible, unless theirpresence may be reasonably accounted for. The flower painter will probably find it difficult at times to vary his productions ; nevertheless, inconsistencies and eccentricities of all kinds should be avoided as much as possible.
Three illustrations have been given in this manual, showing to some extent the method of proceeding, when it is intended to paint a complete picture.
The introduction of more might perhaps have been advantageous, but this would have increased the cost of the book beyond what was felt to be desirable.
The picture is small which the plates represent. This was a necessity in a work of the present dimensions, in order that as little diminution as possible might take place in the reproduction.
Each illustration may be considered as one-third the size of the original painting.
Plate I, indicates the commencement of a picture. It may be looked upon as the work of two consecutive days ; each part finished at one painting.
A few faint touches, as shown in this plate, may now be made, indicating the position of the flower, &c., for the next day's work ; but which must be removed to the ground before beginning to paint.
Plate 2, represents the picture in a more advanced state, and with two more days' work added.
The background and the remainder of the foreground will now be carried forward together, the general effect being suggested by the charcoal sketch, which will have been prepared in accordance with the directions already given.
Plate 3, represents the picture completed, four more days' w^ork having been spent upon it.
A tinted background has been adopted for the two incomplete studies for the sake of contrast, but a white ground must be used to paint upon.
As a work approaches completion, the hand mirror should be used, and the picture being viewed in reverse, any shortcomings will all the more readily present themselves. The mirror must not be employed too frequently, or its aid will be ineffective.
It is also well to put a work aside for a few days after completion, keeping it from view, and at the end of that time to re-examine it critically, when certain alterations will no doubt suggest themselves. All good pictures, and more especially those by the old masters, appear to have received the repeated consideration and corrections now recommended.
Water-colour painting at the present time has two distinct phases. The one is in the application of colour without the admixture of Chinese White, and the other is in the employment of colours combined more or less with that material.
The early school of water-colour painting had not the opportunity of using Chinese White, as it is a preparation of comparatively recent manufacture. Experiments had been made by the first painters in water colours, by mixing white lead with their pigments to give them body, and this of course proved disastrous to the works in which it was employed.
The impropriety of using white lead was, however, soon discovered, and the practice was immediately abandoned. White chalk was also mixed with w^ater colours for the purpose of giving body to them, and examples of its use are to be seen in some of the w^orks by Paul Sandby, and a few^ other contemporary watercolour painters of this country. But w^hite chalk being so difficult to manage w^ith proper effect, soon fell into disuse ; and pure water-colour was again resorted to by the painters of the middle period of the art ; amongst the chief of whom were Varley, Cox, Dewint, Nicholson, Robson, Cotman, Proui, and Turner of Oxford.
INTRODUCTION OF CHINESE WHITE.
After the discovery of the fitness of Chinese White to enter into combination with water-colour, it was readily adopted by several of the best English painters, and from that time to the present, it has constantly been employed.
Some use it sparingly and with apparent timidity, while others have employed it without restraint ; notably William Hunt, Frederick Walker, Burne Jones, and John F. Lewis. In the hands of some painters of repute it appears to be exceedingly difficult to manage well, while with others it has been applied with due effect, and with great facility. When skilfully used, there can be no doubt whatever as to its value, and the works into which it enters will probably be more enduring than those painted with pure water-colour alone. Chinese White in flower painting is especially valuable, and by its aid the painter can proceed with the rapidity of oil painting. It is doubtful whether the true likeness of either flowers or foliage can be obtained so well without it. Painting in pure water-colour occupies so much more time to obtain the desired eftect, than if Chinese White be used in combination with it.
In the former process, all lights must be left, the white paper alone having to supply whatever light may be required in the work.
It is probable that delicacy maybe more easily given by water-colour only, but this frequently degenerates into sketchiness and weakness.
No material is so well adapted to represent light in any class of subject as Chinese White : in this respect it excels the Flake White used in oil painting ; its particles being more compact and dense. It may be used in a pure state, as an underground for the light parts of a flower picture. It may also be mixed with colours employed in all the lights and half tints^ or it may be used as a ground, and glazed over, in the manner of oil painting. It should not be mixed with colours intended for dark shadows^ as this would immediately produce muddiness ; and even when added to the darker half tints, it requires skill to manage properly. For the smaller lights of flowers and foliage, and their stems, it is exceedingly valuable ; and with its aid more work can be done in an hour, than could be accomplished in a day, with pure watercolour only.
When painting flowers into a picture direct from nature, Chinese White is of the greatest importance ; as it enables the painter to imitate them in the readiest manner possible, and before they change their position.
Mediums of various kinds are used by water-colour painters, and most have their own peculiar formula for the composition of these mediums. The ordinary water-colour megilp, made from tragacanth gum, is to be recommended, so long as it is confined to the lights and light half-tints ; but it should never be used in dark shadows, as the turbid nature of this substance gives them an opaque appearance. A solution of gum arabic, as supplied by the colourman, is usually sufficient for water-colour painting, provided it is pure. It is, however, best to dissolve the gum in water at the time it is required for use. By keeping, it becomes acid, and is then detrimental to most animal and vegetable colours. Glass mediums are also objectionable, as there is always a free acid present.
PAPER AND PANEL STRETCHERS.
The paper to be used in water-colour painting should not be hot-pressed," as it often tends to give work a weak and insipid appearance, and it is not pleasant to paint upon.
For mere studies of flowers from Nature, double elephant paper is the best, and the ordinary sketchingblock is to be recommended for the sake of convenience.
For pictures, the paper should be strained on panel stretchers, unless they are very small, when stout paper boards will be sufficient to keep it flat. It is often difficult to strain paper on a stretcher, particularly if it be of large dimensions, and it is sometimes desirable to have the work done by the colour man. Nevertheless it may be performed satisfactorily by the painter, after a few experiments.
A large work should rarely be commenced on a panel stretcher as indicated ; but on a drawing-board, with the paper strained in the ordinary way, and of larger dimensions than the work is ultimately intended to be. This practice will enable the painter to arrange and deal with the composition generally when desirable. More or less space may then be given to either side, or the top or bottom of the work, as already alluded to in the fore-gone remarks on painting in oil colour. After these points have been duly considered and adjusted, the work may be removed from the drawing-board and placed on the panel stretcher. But it will be seen that this undertaking is attended with some risk, as the picture will have to be sufficiently wetted at the back after it has been removed from the board, before it can be finally secured to the stretcher. Nevertheless, any inconvenience or difficulty which may present itself at first, will soon be removed by experience.
BRUSHES FOR WATER-COLOUR PAINTING, &c.
Sables in quills, or the ordinary round red sable brushes which are employed for painting in oil, are well suited for water colour painting.
Even hog tools are often advantageous, especially when painting backgrounds. They should always be freed from colour after use, and carefully drawn to a point before being allowed to dry.
The brush must never be put in the mouth to free it from excess of colour or water ; but should be drawn along a wad of blotting paper kept in readiness for the purpose.
A papier mache palette with a white japanned surface, and of the size usually employed in oil painting, is much the best for water colours. It affords more space than the ordinary pottery palette, is very light, and is not easily injured.
The order to observe when setting the palette for water colours, is the same as that advised for oil painting.
When not in use, the palette should be kept from dust, the colours may then remain on it for a long time, and until they are used up. Neither Chinese White nor gum should be allowed to dry on a papier mache palette^ or the surface may be injured by them.
Of all the preparations of water colours now offered by the colourman, those in tubes are perhaps
the best, as they furnish a ready means of obtaining a supply of colour for the palette ; they may be a little more costly to purchase at first, but a great saving of time is effected by the use of them. For the amateur, however^ who does not pursue painting daily, the colours in pans may be better suited.
When it is intended to leave the white paper to represent light, instead of using Chinese White, care must be taken not to injure the surface of it by too much rubbing or washing.
For studies of flowers, or small pictures, a soft lead pencil may be used in outlining ; but for larger works charcoal is preferable, so long as it is not allowed to damage the surface of the paper. An outline must not be too dark, or it may be difficult to obliterate it.
Most of the colours employed in oil painting are equally eligible for water-colour painting. Whitelead must, however, be replaced by Chinese White. At the present time a number of very bright and beautiful water-colour pigments are prepared for industrial purposes by French makers, which are well suited for the work intended, and are of considerable value. But on no account should they be employed by the flower painter, as they are not
only fleeting in themselves, but they damage all colours with which they come in contact.
Lemon Cadmium^ which is very uncertain in oil colour, will last a long time unchanged when mixed with Chinese White, or when glazed over it. For flowers of a full yellow colour it may be used in preference to any other pigment, being more lasting than the ordinary Lemon Yellows.* When Lemon Cadmium is used it is well to protect it at once with glass from the air.
Most of the remarks which have been made with reference to the conduct of a picture in oil colour, also apply to painting in water-colours, and the latter are so simple and easy in their use, that but little more is necessary to be said on the subject.
The only drawback in the application of Chinese White, is in the change which takes place after drying, as it becomes somewhat lighter. Still, by practice the necessary calculation will be attained, almost intuitively, and all difficulties in its proper management will pass away.
A bright deep purple flower is best imitated in
* Messrs. Winsor & Newton have prepared a Lemon Yellow from Barium, which is not only full in colour, but it resists the usual chemical tests, and used in water-colour, it is neither affected by light nor foul air. Should this pigment not suffer when in combination with Flake or Zinc White in oil-colour, its value cannot be overrated, as it must then take the place of all other yellows of this description.
water colour by using Ultramarine, and Rose Madder, separately, and in an unmixed state ; laying the blue on first, and when dry, washing the Madder on the top of it, without disturbing the Blue. When Chinese White is used as a ground to paint upon, instead of the paper, care must be taken that it is not washed up ; this requires quickness and lightness of handling.
Chinese White should be laid on the paper thinly when intended as a ground, or it will be liable to scale off.
Bright blue flowers are best represented by glazing Cobalt, or Ultramarine Blue, over Chinese White, and a tolerably bright effect may be obtained when white paper alone is substituted as a ground.
As in oil colour, pure Ultramarine is the only pigment that will produce a true blue in water-colour, and being glazed over Cobalt, a fine rich effect is obtained.
The shadows of a blue flower may be imitated by using Purple Madder and Ivory Black, either in combination with Ultramarine, or glazed over it, varying the quantities of each in accordance with the hue required.
The colour of roses, whether light or dark, will be obtained for the most part by the Madders.
Rose Madder and Carmine, glazed over a white ground, whether of paper or Chinese White, will give
the nearest approach to the more delicate pink flowers. Cobalt Blue, may be more or less added to the above colours to give the necessary purple hues, and some of the deeper and duller Madders should be used for the shadows.
The light grey tints to be seen on some of the more delicate roses are best imitated with Cobalt Blue : Payne's Grey will also be found useful.
For some of the deeper and richer roses, Vermilion, with the darker Madders will be best, and the addition of Ultramarine Blue may also be necessary.
Studies of foliage, which are intended to be kept from light, may be made with the Oxides of Chromium, the Cadmiums, and Gamboge ; or with any of the Blues named, Brown Pink being added for the richer parts and the dark shadows.
Brow^n Pink, with Viridian, or French Blue, produces beautiful green hues, but in the presence of sunlight they are not stable, and may only be used for studies kept in the folio.
The Brow^ns in dark backgrounds are best given with Bistre, Sepia, or Vandyke Brown.
Both Brown and Purple Madder, with the Umbers, are also useful.
In the darkest parts of backgrounds, gum-water may be mixed with the colours to give depth. Very dark backgrounds require repeatedly touching over, in order to obtain a sufficient body of colour on the surface ; or in a little time they are likely to become lighter, and rotten in appearance.
Flower painters of all times have but seldom realized that their works should be conducted on the same principles as those acknowledged by figure and landscape painters. Unity, feeling, composition, light and shade, and colour, with other technical qualities, ought always to be present in a painting of flowers.
With students of flower painting, the basis of information, hitherto, appears to have been too limited. They seem to have looked too much at the works of each other, without adequate acquaintance with the general rules of art ; as well as to have lacked a sound, practical training in elementary work. Apart from the course recommended in these pages, it is therefore suggested that the best works of any kind, both by ancient and modern masters, should be carefully studied. Students should lose no opportunity of making coloured memoranda from them — sufficient to convey an idea of those qualities which may be best transferred to their own pictures. By this practice they will soon discover that the character of flower paintings generally may be raised, and it will also serve as an unfailing help to them in the production of works of this description.