This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
There are some things you can learn, just as you learn grammar - general principles; but, after all, you are mostly self-taught, and it shall be my effort never to interfere with your individuality. Your personality is your divine right, and the only thing that will make your work of value.
The relationship between pupil and master is a most delicate one. You don't see with my eyes, nor I with yours. It is not exact imitation of the model that is desirable, but a representation of the model as it appears in your mind; otherwise photography could do all our work for us.
I will tell you sincerely what I believe; but if you disagree with me, do not accept what I think. You have a right to your own way. All I ask of you is to first make a trial of my suggestions.
Everyone who gives his life to art has a bias, either for drawing or for colour. The fact that you are painting shows that you at least have a leaning in the direction of colour. Colour with its infinite possibilities is what we shall devote ourselves to here.
When you look at the child who is [losing for you, think of her as colour. It makes no difference to you what kind of a child she may be elsewhere. Get her characteristics in a few lines if you will: then forget everything in the colour. For instance, do not think of an eyelid as an eyelid, but as one tone next to another. The delight of working in that way is inexpressible.
A simple palette is best for beginners. The simplest means usually bring about the best results.
Some of you paint too much in flat tones, like the Japanese. You should always give a feeling of roundness. Remember the other side.
Get in the habit, if possible, of using large brushes, and following around the form. Afterward you can use smaller brushes for shaping and finishing.
There are certain conventional things in practice that you must know. For instance, in the flesh of an old man it is permissible to use crimson lake and vermilion, while in painting a child's head you would substitute rose madder.
If you can get what you want by using transparent colour in the shadow, do so. If not, add white, but paint as thinly as possible. Load only in the light. Keep everything subordinate to that, and you will acquire a charming technique.
Use but little medium. Oil makes colour yellow.
Scrub in your background as quickly as possible with a large brush. When you begin to paint, mix the colour purely, and lay it on even if somewhat crude. It is better than over-mixing in a desire to be accurate.
Art means interpretation rather than representation of the actual. To exaggerate judiciously shows that you see with an artist's eye.
Always stand at your work, if physically able; for then you can walk back and forth, and see clearly what you are doing.
"What course would you advise one to pursue who would become a student of art, but lives in a remote country town, and has none of the opportunities of instruction open to a resident of a large city ? " asked a young lady.
"Let all such students keep up their courage," replied the master. " They never know what a day may have in store for them. My advice is: keep as much in touch with the art world as is possible. Watch the magazines and follow the work of the strongest artists. Try to procure the illustrated catalogues of exhibitions, and subscribe to an art magazine devoted to the interests of students. Look forward to a possible future. Read the lives of the great artists, and you will see that most of them had a thorny road to travel. Such reading will stimulate you. Remember that it does not follow that you will never be heard of because you are not turning out good work at twenty-five or thirty. Look at all the men who are never heard of until they pass their fiftieth year."