201. Of the varied motions of a retouching-machine an actual drawing by the machines has been made. The annexed cut shows a very much enlarged copy of such a drawing. 1 is the "horizontal;" 2, the "perpendicular;" 3, the "diagno - horizontal;" and 4, the "diagno-perpendicular" motion, all at the highest speed, which, with the fact that these strokes are greatly magnified, accounts for the coarseness of the drawing. If the drawing represented the actual size of the strokes secured by the machine, they would be so fine the eye could not see the difference. In number one the greatest variations are shown purposely, because it must be remembered that, although the negative is moved by the machine to meet the pencil-point whenever it is applied by the hand, the hand controls the size and form of the touch.
202. On what principle is the necessity of retouching based? Notwithstanding skilful lighting, posing, and chemical manipulations, without exception the result obtained is always such that we are forced to reduce the too hard, troublesome contrasts formed by the impurity of the skin, such as freckles, scars, and other unpleasant features, which, by an atives, will do well to gather all the hints he can. In the lunula of a skilled artist, the needle - point, the brush, the gas - flame and smoke will all be found useful appliances. In all cases, however, be merciful in your handling of a negative that is full of good printing qualities, before you proceed to - make it worse.
Retouching is misunderstood entirely. A negative being made, when the proof is pro-duced it shows wrinkles, it shows spots, it shows lights too strong, or shades too deep. Well, we are going to retouch the negative properly. Now, here is a little line or mark that shows you the place of a bone; those little lines, if the person does not understand anything about bones, he will destroy, and the bone is gone. Here is a little mark, a little light which forms a dimple in the cheeks or in the hand, he will destroy that. Suppose it is a little strong and ought to be subdued, he destroys it entirely, and that little dimple is gone, which is one of the beauties of the face. Well, the same of the nose. I have photographs brought to me of which the nose is entirely destroyed. There is no bridge to it; there is no bone in it; it is entirely destroyed; it is a person without a bridge to his nose, an empty line without any significance. - D. C. Fabronius.
In conclusion, I would remark that none but those who have received and benefited by an artistic education, improved by constant practice, can hope to emulate the masterly examples to be found in the works of Reutlinger, etc.; such perfection can only be achieved by the experienced miniature painter, who, more than any other, should possess a keen appreciation of the value of every touch. There is still this to be borne in mind, that however unskilled a person may be in the use of either brush or pencil, if he but bring to his task an earnest and careful desire, he cannot fail to be both surprised and gratified with the amount of improvement he will be enabled to effect. Let it always be remembered, however, that the object of touching should be to remove such defects as are incident to the limited capacity of photography in rendering color, or such as are merely temporary blemishes in the sitter; and in no case to smooth away the truth of nature. - William Mayland.
Two common errors with beginners must be particularly guarded against, that of marking the eyelashes too strongly and that of obliterating them completely, making the eye look as if it had been singed. The upper edge of the lash must be softened into the lid, and the lower edge must melt imperceptibly into the shadows which it casts upon the orb beneath it. Under the outward extremity of the lash the thickness of the lid is perceptible; this must be represented as it is seen, that is, distinct from the lash and tender in tone. The form assumed by the pupil of the eye is, of course, governed by the relative position of the head - round in full-face portraits and oval in profile, intermediate forms with half profile, three-quarter face, etc. These positions in turn control the lighting of the eye. - J. P. Ourdan.