This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
For rapid sketching from the model there is nothing better than common carpet paper and black crayon, and white chalk for putting in the lights. You buy the paper by the yard, and cut it to suit yourself. A piece about the size of your magazine would cost less than a 1/4 d."
Mr. Boughton took from a portfolio, for inspection, several such studies made by himself, and began a sketch on a new sheet of carpet paper.
"You see, a great advantage is that you can get to work at once. You know how it is with the average student at the art class; he lounges in with a roll of paper, more or less crinkled, in his hand, looks about with ostentatious deliberation, and at last settles clown in front of the model: then he applies himself with more or less success to the task of smoothing out the wrinkles in his paper, and at last manages to fasten it with thumb-tacks to the drawing board. Finally, he gets to work; but just then the half-hour of the model's pose is up."
"That is no exaggeration," said Mr. Boughton. "I have seen it happen scores of times. Of course, the student should never roll his paper, but should have it already stretched upon the board before he enters the class room, when he should be ready to begin to draw at once. Each of these sketches of mine was done from the living model in from fifteen to twenty minutes."
"You use two chalks, I see."
"Yes, if you can call this white, chalk; it is delightfully soft and easy to work with. Feel how light it is," and he handed the stick for examination.
" Magnesia, isn't it ?" suggested the Scribe.
"Dare say. I get it at Roberson's, In my own studies I put in the lights with the white before using the black crayon at all. If you put the white on over the black, your work is apt to get muddy."
Mr. Boughton with the white pastel - as we may call it - put in the lights of the drapery, and, having got the broad masses to his satisfaction, drew with the black crayon the outline of the woman it was to clothe - all in less time than it has taken to describe the operation.
"Carpet paper should be suitable als for sketches in oil colours," remarked the Scribe.
"It is. Look at that," pointing to a charming study in full colour of a lady dressed tor the street. "That took me less than an hour."
" And it is good for pastel, too, I suppose."
"Yes; but I have hit upon something better than that for pastel. That half-length of a lady you see over the fire-place was done on a thin deal board which came off the back of a frame. Here is another board of the same sort. It needs no preparation of any kind. The rough surface is delightful to work on."
After sketchily indicating the features of a woman, he put in with blue where the eves would be; with a rich red, suggested lips and nostrils; and, alternately, with rapid strokes of the crayon and stumping with the fingers, in a few minutes had laid a very respectable foundation for a picture.
"Delightful medium," he remarked.
"Yes, but it is a pity that with pastel the least jarring is apt to cause the impasto to drop off."
"No reason for anything of the sort," demurred the artist. "All you have to do is to rub in the pastel thoroughly and then beat out the superfluous colour. I do it this way." Mr. Boughton tapped the panel smartly across the edge of the table, and - the brittle wood immediately split in two.
"Too bad," he remarked philosophically; "but accidents, you know, happen also to paper and canvas. Of course, one would use wood like this only for a study. If the study turned out well and you wanted to keep it, it would be easy to glue it to a panel of hard wood, and then of course it would last as long as any other picture in pastel."