This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The roughness of pastel-paper, worn smooth in places by frequent rubbing, may be restored by rubbing it with soft pumice-stone, cuttle-fish, or very fine sand-paper. If this treatment should wrinkle the paper, apply to the back a sponge dipped in alum-water, and the wrinkles will disappear. The specially prepared pastel-paper cannot be treated this way.
For the training of the student Sir John Collier strongly recommends the use of oil-colours in preference to water-colours. His chief reason is that the former admit of much the greater freedom of alteration, a most important point, as he says' for it is only by a process of continual correction that the learner can hope to advance. Moreover, the superior strength and brilliancy of oil pigments permit of a much closer imitation of nature than is possible with water-colours, to say nothing of the superior power of rendering texture with the former.
Put your loose sketches in a scrap-book. If they are worth keeping at all they are worth preserving in such a shape that they can be readily found when wanted and will be in a decent condition when found. The best plan is to keep together each season's work or each series of sketches. This facilitates their being reached when needed, without unnecessary and tedious searching, and gives you, besides, a means of reviewing your work and comparing your progress.
When you are disposed to criticise your own work adversely, you may safely trust yourself, for it shows that your conception is superior to your execution. When you are disposed to treat yourself to flattering criticisms, it is well to get the honest judgment of some person of practical art knowledge and experience.
Book Cover Decoration Maize Motive by Jessie van Brunt
Canvases should be chosen of a grain corresponding with the dimensions of the proposed picture. For small sketches, panels are recommended. If one gets accustomed to working in two or three sizes, he can have in his studio as many frames, which will give him an opportunity to see his work framed and to finish it in that condition. This is well worth the cost of the frames.
Never give away a sketch because you do not consider it worth keeping. If it is not worth keeping, destroy it; for it will bring you only discredit. A famous painter has spent a good deal of money buying up a lot of his early drawings (sold at an auction by accident), of which he is now ashamed. They were the best he could do at the time, but their existence annoys him now to a degree anyone but an artist might consider absurd.
ThE study of drapery is so useful and so easily prosecuted, that no one is to be excused for neglecting it. Your curtains and portieres, a dress thrown over a chair, the cover dragging from your table, afford excellent opportunities. Drapery, like still life, is always before you; and while the latter is specially useful in promoting proficiency in arrangement, the former affords precious lessons in line and light and shade. For the study of textures and colour there are few better exercises than painting drapery.
The surer you are of what you want to do. the more masterly your work will be. Study your subject well before you begin to develop it. Learn how to draw before you try to paint. Learn how to mix your colours before you put them on the canvas. Not till you have done all this can you pretend to be an artist. For a preliminary study in mixing colours, cover a cardboard with squares of different coloured and shaded silks, satins, calicos, papers and the like - the greater the variety the better. Then try to reproduce on canvas the-whole board, in all its variations of shade and colour. The experiment will teach you a valuable lesson in harmonies, as well as one in the combination of the contents of your colour tubes.
By W. J. Audsley.
A good lay figure is one of the most useful accessories of a studio. But drawings made from the lay figure alone are always formal and lack the movement of nature. Make your sketch from life if possible. Then you can put in your drapery from the lay figure and still have your picture look alive.
In etching, try to make the acid do all the work you want. The less dry point you use the truer an etching will you produce. The essence of etching as an artist's art is the simplicity with which it makes its suggestion of truth. The more mechanical its execution is, therefore, the farther will it be from the ideal of the art.
Wash-drawings for reproduction are usually made with India Ink or Ivory Black. But Charoal Grey is more easily manipulated on the paper than either. It is made of ground charcoal, and is put up in pans and tubes like moist water-colours - by Winsor & Newton, we think.
Object Drawing for Craftsmen.
By Edward Renard, A.R.C.A. (Lond.).