IN choosiNg flowers for painting, get the largest of each kind, not only because they are the finest, but because they are the easiest to paint. One is also likely to make up for having small and poor flowers by putting many in a group, which increases the difficulties greatly. Large flowers, too, conduce to largeness of effect. The amateur will do well to begin his painting with the more broken tones and the shadows, trying to match them first on his palette, or a separate piece of paper, and leaving the more brilliant local tones for the last. In the case of flowers much freaked or variegated, like tulips, zinnias and some azaleas, the varied local tones should be laid in and modelled as much as possible while wet. Otherwise the stripes and markings will appear too harsh.

Casting in Plaster: A Demonstration.   Draining the Superfluous Plaster.

Casting in Plaster: A Demonstration. - Draining the Superfluous Plaster.

A dark or Claude Lorraine mirror should be a part of every artist's paraphernalia. It reveals superb effects of tone and colour, and is an infallible corrector of incompatibilities in the colour of your work. Look from your picture to the subject as it is reflected in the dark glass, and if there are any discordant or inharmonious notes the silent monitor will point them out to you. A profitable study of tone can be carried on by any amateur or student who will paint from the picture in the mirror, instead of from nature itself. The glass condenses the picture into the shape nearest that in which it would figure in a reproduction, and concentrates the attention which would otherwise be diverted to objects apart from those specially under study.

There is no better practice in water-colours than jotting down the sky as seen from your window at sunset. Try to fix the prevailing impression of colour as it strikes your eye, by the simplest and swiftest means. You will fail at first, and many times, but in the end acquire a mastery of your materials that will stand you in good stead, in your out-door work, especially.

Contemplate every picture you look at from a critical standpoint first. This will impress its general value on you. Then investigate it analytically. When you have done this, you will know something about it that will be of value to you. Mere general survey of it, without definite inquiry into its quality and methods, will leave so slight an impression of it that you will remember little or nothing of what you have seen when once it has passed out of your sight.