This is the "biggest little thing" in painting that probably has ever been presented to amateur artists. For beauty of arrangement, ease and simplicity in its execution, no branch of art work of a similar nature has ever met with like success. With a fair idea of colors and their application, you may increase the beauty and enhance the value ten fold of any ordinary photograph, by following these instructions. To produce a first-class picture, you must necessarily have a good subject to work on. A photograph that will take a variety of colors, is best adapted for a showy picture.
Before applying the colors to a burnished or finished photograph, soften or cleanse the surface with the tongue until the saliva wets the picture evenly, without crawling; oxide gall is good, but saliva is the best for this purpose.
For a palette on which to mix or dilute colors, the bottom of a plate or saucer will answer. Always have a piece of blotting paper at hand to take up or remove superfluous paint from the picture, and use it after each application of color to the photograph.
It is not necessary to mix paints on a palette, washing one color over another will produce better results. A tint is a color absorbed in the picture, and washing or wetting will not remove it. A surface color remains on top, and water will remove it. You can use colors stronger over the shadows. Use just what liquid you will find on the cork of the bottle, added to about one teaspoonful of water, for flesh; for draperies you can use it stronger, or as you desire.
The liquid colors are mostly used, and consist of twelve one ounce bottles, and are very powerful. Therefore, make your application very weak, a mere tint only is required. Repeat the washing or tinting until the desired shade is produced. The colors used are as follows: Black, Red, Blue, Green, Carmine, Gold, Brown, Violet, Orange, Purple and Lemon, all of which are transparent, soluble in water, and used as tinting colors. White is a surface color, and opaque.
For Flesh - Use first a weak wash or tint of gold; over this a tint of red, a little stronger for the lips.
White - This is always used last for high lights; you can make the white any tint by use of other colors.
Black - Can be used for a natural tint if toned down; valuable for all kinds of shading.
Red - Takes readily, and produces all tints from rose to scarlet; used in flesh.
Carmine - A delicate pink to magenta.
Gold - Takes readily; is a substitute for yellow; used for jewelry, flesh, blonde hair, etc.; use weak, and wash over with red for deeper results.
Brown - Takes readily; darkened by tinting over with violet or black.
Violet - Takes on touch, and is very powerful; first application very weak to insure even coloring; it makes all tints from lilac to purple, etc.
Blue - Takes slowly; repeat the washing for deep results.
Green - Takes easily, lighten by washing over with gold; darken with the blue; always let your first wash or tint be very weak; increase as desired by repeating.
The colors in moist cake form are often used, but the liquids are preferable. Sable brushes, about Nos. 3, 8 and 12, are sufficient for ordinary purposes.