Water-Colours

Choose the single sort, and for a first study arrange loosely, say, two or three, with a leaf and a bud or so, against an upright sheet of paper as a background. Draw all the details accurately - stems and bud and leaf. Then record the grey shadows which they cast upon the paper back of them. See if it is all grey, or if, perhaps, it has yellow or green or purple in it; but decide about that before you put brush to paper, for the mixing and stirring is better clone in the saucer than after the tint has been placed upon the paper, where it is well to leave it undisturbed.

Flowers

Wash over the petals of each blossom with a lavender made of rose madder and cobalt blue, judging of the proportions of each by your model. There may be edges where one petal looks so light against another that a tiny rim of white should be left on its edge; and where the violet grows white in colour towards its centre omit, of course, the lavender tint. The white in the centre has probably a shadow in it. The model must be consulted as to whether it is a lavender-tinted grey or a green-grey shadow. And at the very heart is a yellow spot. Put all the colours on sufficiently wet to flow easily; and if too much colour floods a small space, take it up with the tip of the brush. The shadows on the petals of the violets before the present writer are a redder lavender or a deeper lavender than the lighted portions. One petal has a few lines of a deep purple or black upon it. One blossom is turned away. Its rounded spur and the green sepals are touched with light and shadow, as is also the green stem, where shines a high light so glistening that we will leave it untouched when we tint the lighted side a light green, and draw the dark green of the shadowed side. The stem is green but a little way. Lower down it is nearly white, with a streak of pale burnt sienna or of light red down its side.

Leaves

These are to be washed over with the light green colour you see in its lightest parts, except where the high light glistens. Leave that white, or tint it a very light blue if it appears to incline to that colour. When this colour is dry enough for the next tint not to run where you do not wish it to go, draw the shadows which the veins cause and those which the curves and the curl of the leaf occasion. The green of the leaf has many tints - yellow green where the light shines through it; blue green where the light strikes it; brown green sometimes in the deepest shadows. These colours will blend into each other softly if they are each put in their proper locality while all are damp. Several separate tints placed over each other after each is dry are apt to look a little dead and flat. You cannot put a lighter tint over a darker to any good effect, but you can wash out the too dark tint with a small sponge or the wet brush and blotting-paper. Study the little leaf before you and see all the varieties of colour that it offers and put it down in your painting. All through, let the forms of the flowers be clearly and decidedly shown by the shapes of the shadows, and do not be afraid to put the colours on and leave them just as you have placed them. It does not matter that they are abrupt or that they do not bear microscopic examination. But, on the other hand, do not imitate a free carelessness that means nothing.

Backgrounds

For a pink-grey tone wash in with rose madder, sepia, and a very little yellow ochre. For a light stone-grey, sepia, a little cobalt, and light red. For a blue-grey tint, cobalt, a little rose madder, yellow ochre, and lampblack. A deep crimson or reddish-brown tint may be made with madder lake, or deep rose madder with sepia, and a very little lampblack to grey the effect. A fine, pale yellow is obtained by mixing a light wash of cadmium with a little sepia and a touch of vermilion. If lampblack is added, the tone becomes greener. A deep orange yellow - very effective with violets - is made by mixing yellow ochre, cadmium, a very little rose madder, and either sepia or lampblack, according to the quality of colour desired. A tone of old gold is produced by adding more yellow ochre and sepia to the above combination, with very little cadmium. Where shadows are cast upon the background they should be made from the local colour of the ground selected, to which may be added more sepia and lampblack. (To be continued.)