To paint the style of Boucher (Cupids) you begin by transferring your design on the china. Then you sketch with flesh No. 1 the lines of the face, and the fingers and toes. When this sketch is dry, the reflected lights are marked with yellow-brown, mixed with ivory yellow.
The local tint of flesh color is laid on immediately after, the same as in the preceding lesson; the dabbling evens the two colors placed side by side, and blends them one into the other. Let it dry, then heighten by half a tone the extremities of the hands, feet, knees, etc. Sketch in the hair and accessories, the clouds and background, while the local tint is drying.
Retouching. When the first painting has lost nearly all its moisture, return to it again; work the shadows by stippling some brown No, 17, mixed with sepia, yellow ochre, light grey, and a touch of blue-green for the transparent parts. Where the flesh is brown, the reflected lights are made with yellow ochre throughout, and the scale of browns is more used. A touch of violet of iron warms up the shadows, and approaches nearer to Vandyke brown in oils.
Flowers. To paint flowers well it is necessary that the drawing should be exceedingly correct and sober in its lines, for the tints having to be very light and very pure, too many pencil marks would injure the painting. The little details of the petals are done with the brush, without previous tracing. The pencil must only mark the leaf's contour and central vein; the direction of the brush strokes is enough to indicate the smaller veins.
A general rule for the manipulation of the brush in flower painting may be laid down thus: The handling is always done the way of the petals, converging towards the center.
Leaves. Each plant possesses a particular kind of leaf, and even in the rose the leaves of different varieties are not alike. Thus, for the leaves of the Bengal rose, a semi bright tint, a shiny appearance without many veins, the young shoots tinged with carmine, or else purple mixed with silver yellow. The king's rose: the leaves of this rose are of a darker green than the preceding ; they are done with grass green No. 5, the edges of the older leaves become somewhat russet, the young shoots light green. Red rose: the leaves deep green, heightened with brown, the veins dark green No. 7, the serrations carmine red, the fading leaves have a reddish brown hue. Yellow roses: shiny leaves inclining to blue-green, retouched with grey, mixed with grass green; the deeper tints made with dark green No. 7. Do not use this last color too freely.
Leaves have a direction, to paint them properly you must begin them from the top, that is, from the stalk end. Half the leaf is painted at a time, from the principal vein to the edge, making the brush twist in such a manner that the brushmarks and ridges done in the handling may represent the secondary veins. The leaves of bulbs are painted from the top downwards; so are the leaves of heartsease. The leaves of nasturtium are made almost of a flat tint, converging to the center, which is a light spot; their color is a very light blue-green, shaded with grey.
You must not be afraid to mix purple or carmine with green, to shade foliage.
Fruit. This style is done indiscriminately on porcelain, earthenware, enamel, and faience. It is very easy; the essential point is to match well the different shades of color, and to lay them one over the other while they are still wet The softener flattens them and helps the tints to mingle. Leaves are not dabbled, nor are the stalks.
To describe in detail the manner of painting divers fruit would take too long, and would, in truth, have very little interest. We shall limit ourselves to one example.
Painting of a Peach. Flat yellow tints, graduated into green, and mixed with grey in the shadow. Dabble carefully. Be careful to add more oil to the red part, which is softened afterwards very easily with a dabber, and red blending freely with its neighboring color from the effect of the oil.
Birds. On faience birds look very well. They are also done on porcelain to imitate Saxony ware.
There is nothing particular to be said about bird painting. With regard to fancy birds, the merit consists in the servile copy of ancient and exotic types. Good examples of natural birds are not scarce. General information sufficient for the use of the colors will be found in our lessons.
Landscape. Landscape is not traced; it is drawn very lightly, so that the pencil may form no obstacle to the painting.
This is how the painting is proceeded with: On a square ground-glass slab of moderate size set your "palette" with green tints, in the following order: yellow for mixing, yellow ochre, apple green, grass green, chrome green, blue-green, brown-green, dark green, sepia, bitumen, violet of iron, etc. Take care to leave a space of about three-quarters of an inch between each color, in order to be able to mix them, for they ought not to be used pure; the effect would be bad and inharmonious.
Commence by the sky, using sky-blue and excessively light ultramarine; the lighter parts of ivory yellow, also very thin, and the distance blue-green, with the slightest touch of carmine. Skies are to be done with a very large brush, and the mixing of blue and yellow, which would produce impossible green clouds, is to be avoided. Skies are worked from left to right; they are washed in very rapidly, covering also the place for the trees. A dabber may be used after.
The sky being dry, the trees are massed. Inasmuch as light tints would disappear in the firing if they were put beneath dark colors, fresh tints of apple green are commenced first, which are retouched or darkened at once before dabbling. When these tints have been laid and are dry, the foliage is done by manipulating the brush from left to right with little strokes close together, to imitate the leaves. Autumn tints are preferable to greens that are too bright. You obtain them by sepia and the ochres. Trunks of trees, light grey and sepia. Branches, bitumen. For strengthening touches use violet of iron.
Houses, ivory yellow mixed with grey; shadows, violet of iron. Ground, the lights of ivory yellow, and sometimes yellow ochre; shadows, bitumen ; strong tints, brown mixed with black. Water is done with very light blue-green, retouched with grey, and occasionally revived with fresher green to reflect grass or trees.
Strengthening touches are given at the second firing, and a glaze is passed over the tints altered in the first firing.