PrepaRe your board for bronzing by first coating it over with a strong solution of size, made by dissolving isinglass in hot water; strain it, and coat over with a flat camel's hair brush while the size is warm. When dry, coat it over thinly and evenly with gold size; let it remain until sticky, then apply the powder bronze, with a soft dry brush. You may use a variety of shades of bronze if you wish; pale, blush and white. Blend them together to suit your subject, and allow two days for it to dry before commencing to paint. Make a drawing of your figure on thin white paper, rub some white on the back of it, fit it upon the picture and mark over with the sharp end of a stick, pressing on very lightly; after all is drawn in, remove the sketch, and mark over the outlines with a lead pencil, lightly. If you are copying from an engraving, notice on which part of the building the light rests, and select those parts for gold, coating them over with gold size, and putting on the leaf gold when sufficiently dry. If there are any parts of your figure which you want rich colors, do them with gold at the same time.
The painting must now be wiped with a silk handkerchief, to remove all the particles of gold and dust, and supposing the thimble palette ready, with all the colors, first mix a pale tint of purple, made with Prussian blue and a little crimson lake, and pencil over the mountains of the landscape evenly, then go over the water with a very pale shade of blue. After coating the mountains and water once, it is best not to touch them again until dry. Now paint in the foliage, making the tints with yellow lake and Prussian blue; if you want them bright for the different shades, add burnt sienna and Vandyke brown, or both, as your tints require.
Stems of trees are mostly done with Vandyke brown, and other tints added to suit; faces of figures do with white and a little sienna, mixed together; white drapery coat over with white, scarlet with scarlet, and yellow with chrome yellow; all other parts of the figures with white, except the parts you have already gilded. This will answer for the first painting.
The second shade upon the mountain is made with a neutral, composed of three primative colors, crimson lake, yellow lake, and Prussian blue. The tone you desire must predominate in making all your neutrals. If you want a greenish neutral, the yellow lake must predominate, if you wish a bluish neutral, the blue must predominate, and if reddish neutral, the crimson lake must predominate. Having selected your shade, be sure to have it about the right strength before beginning, as it is difficult to avoid a patched appearance on the mountains with varnish color, especially on the second and third coating, unless you are quick in your work. If the water requires more color, paint it in the darker places, then repeat the shades on the foliage, where it is required.
Your figures now claim some attention. Any part you wish to have crimson, paint over with crimson lake, repeat it when a little dry if you wish it darker, and for the shades add a little blue with your crimson lake. Blue dresses paint with a pale shade of Prussian blue on white or pale gold , for the shades, paint in with a little stronger Prussian blue, and when you wish to make any of these colors paler add varnish, and when you want to thin it use turpentine. Green dress, with yellow lake and Prussian blue on pale gold or white; purple dresses, with crimson lake and a little Prussian blue, on white or pale gold. Any part of the figure you do with scarlet, shade it with crimson lake; yellow, shade with burnt sienna, (pale shade). In faces, paint features in with Vandyke brown, and different tints with yellow lake, crimson lake, and sienna paled down, and repeat to suit the eye.
Parts of mountains may require a third and fourth wash, if so, do it with neutrals mentioned above. Sometimes we heighten the effects of the near foliage by touching the edges with a little opaque color, made of chrome yellow, white, and a little blue. It must be done very carefully, as opaque colors are powerful, compared with transparent ones. If what you do shows too abruptly, you have a remedy by putting on a little more of the transparent color. Parts of the figures may be heightened by touches of opaque color, and the faces also may require retouching. When the painting is completed, a full week should pass before varnishing, and great care should be taken not to touch the bronze, as it will leave a stain, bronze being so delicate.
Varnishing. In varnishing, care must be taken to have a clean brush, and the dust wiped from the painting with a silk handkerchief. Lay the painting flat, and with a one inch camel hair brush coat over with copal varnish, as evenly as possible, l>eing careful to cover every part. Leave it flat down, as it is, for a couple of hours, or more, before removing, or the varnish is liable to run in streaks. Once varnishing is sufficient to preserve the painting, but if you wish to polish it, another coat of varnish must be given, allowing a week between; then after another week, it should be rubbed with pumice sand and water, in the following manner: Take a piece of woolen, put it over cotton to make a rubber of it; wet the rubber pretty thoroughly with water, dip into some fine pumice sand, and rub it backwards and forwards on your varnished picture, carefully. After you have rubbed for a short time, wipe the sand from a part of it, to see the progress. If not sufficiently smooth, rub again, care being taken not to rub through the varnish. When smooth, wash all the sand off, wipe perfectly dry, and give another coat of varnish, allowing the same time for it to dry, then rub again with water and pumice sand. When smooth, wash off the sand and proceed to polish with very fine powdered rottenstone, and rubber made of satin or silk. Saturate this with water, and rub with the rottenstone for a short time, until it shines, then wash all off. You can make it shine by rubbing with your hand, using a little sweet oil and a little more rottenstone.
When wood is used for painting on, choose that which is close grained, and coat over several times with paint, rubbing down with pumice sand and water. After the third coat, give plenty of time between each coat to-get dry and hard.