The crayons used are much harder than the soft kind required in portraits; they are manufac-tured expressly for landscapes, and resemble firm chalk. The following is a list of the most useful crayons: White, Italian chalk; straw colors and light yellow, blue, grey, vermilion and Indian reds; blacks, conte crayons Nos. 1, 2 and 3. The white Italian chalk is used both for light touches and blending all the other crayons into which it may be worked.
The black conte chalks are also of the utmost importance; Nos. 1 and 2, the harder degrees, are used for outlining, and the softest degree, No. 3, may be blended with many colors to reduce their tones.
The Paper. The paper must be a good quality of drawing paper, such as will take the crayon, and it must supply a good middle tint, as the color of the paper appears through almost every passage of the finished work. A soft paper of a low-toned olive tint, which has been found by long experience to be better adapted than any other for landscape drawing, as affording an agreeable neutral, upon which warm or cold tones, lights or shadows, may be placed with the best effect.
Arranging the Paper. Attach the paper to a drawing-board with thumb tacks, in order that it may be kept smooth and level while the fiat tints are rubbed in. It is well to select paper some larger than your design, so as to give the picture a margin.
The Drawing. With conte crayon No. 1 the design must be outlined, showing enough of the objects to guide you in the flat tints of the sky and distances.
The difference in the crayons used in portrait and those in landscape painting is, that the latter is much harder, which is essential, as will be seen when applied to the paper. The breadths of the composition are not laid by working with the point of the crayon, but a part of the crayon, sufficient for the purpose required, is broken off and applied flat to the paper. Work it lightly over those parts of the draw ing that it is desired to tint, and the lightness of the tint is derived from the hardness of the crayon, which is "bitten" by the surface of the paper, and eaves on it a quantity of the color. This tint is rubbed vigorously with the fingers, so as to work the colors well with the texture of the paper; as the operation leaves but little color these tintings are repeated until the necessary strength of tone is obtained, varying and blending the colors by working them into each other from different directions with the fingers, as the subject may require; draw the remote forms with pieces of crayon, held flat or lengthwise. Blend the tints in and repeat where necessary. The distant ridges of the mountains being made out, the middle distance and the nearer objects are approached by the nearer tints; still drawing with broken pieces of crayon, working obliquely or otherwise. The black conte Nos. 1 and 2, are used in the near parts of the picture; all the striking features of the foreground, such as trees, rocks and buildings, are drawn, and the material used in the manner described. When any fine lines are necessary, they are not made with the crayon cut to a point, but by the sharp edges of the fracture of the crayon.
Using the Colors. Each object having been drawn in with the conte, it is now tinted or colored by working over the black markings with the necessary colors. It is like the operation of glazing in oil painting, as under the light lines of the tracing of the colored crayon the conte drawing is still visible. By blending and again drawing with conte, and again glazing as often as may be necessary, we approach the finish of the picture, which is completed by sharp touches of light put in with sharp points of the broken ends of colored crayon. The color should be used sparingly, and the black chalk should appear prominent in the drawing. Do not rub in the colors in finishing or you destroy the effect. The beauty of the work depends upon the paper being perceptible through the final finish. Any markings too sharp, may be worked down by the finger or blender. These retouchings are repeated until the desired effect be obtained.
As crayon painting is liable to become changed or removed, even by blowing upon it, we must present some method whereby it can be fixed permanent.
Fixing the Drawing. Infuse an ounce and a half of isinglass in five ounces distilled vinegar twenty-four hours; add to this one quart of hot water, keep at a light heat, stir often until the is in-glass is dissolved, when you filter it through paper; pour it into a bottle with the same quantity spirits of wine, shake a few minutes and you have the fixatif ready.
Place the picture face down (avoid having the colors touch anything), and apply the liquid to the back with a brush until it has penetrated through to the crayon and all the colors become moistened and bright. The first application will penetrate very quick. After this apply another with great care and evenness, and not so plentiful as at first. When done lay it with face up until dry. The picture is now completed. After this process of fixing the colors, they can be cleaned any time without injury to the painting.