When purchasing any burlaps to paint the scenery on, confine the selection to a good article, which should not be too thick, and should be of a close texture, evenly woven and light. The stoutness should, however, be increased for very large scenes or drops. In place of burlaps, stout unbleached muslin is frequently employed, but it does not by any means answer so well.
With respect to the width of the canvas, that which is manufactured two yards wide is the most preferable, as the scene will not require so many seams. For ordinary scenery these seams should always run horizontally, but for a moving panorama they must assume a perpendicular direction, since the canvas on which it is represented has to be unrolled from a cylinder placed vertically on the stage at the time of exhibition.
These are the most needful articles to begin with: A common iron or tin kettle, in shape resembling a fish kettle, to melt the size in and a ladle to pour it out when required for use; an earthenware pan, about fifteen or eighteen inches in diametei, to contain the whiting that has been moistened and made fit for use; about four dozen earthenware paint pots, from the smallest to the largest; a grindstone and muller, or what would do still better, a grinding color mill; a large palette knife; a good sized sponge; a plumb line; some chalk and a couple of chalk lines; some common charcoal, of which only the softest and finest pieces are to be selected; some drawing charcoal, the large French is the best; a couple of pounce bags. These can be made in the following manner: Take a piece, about eight inches square, of very open canvas, of an old stocking, or of any other material that will just allow the pounce powder to pass freely through the surface of the bag. Pulverize some charcoal, chalk, or whatever other substance may be considered best adapted to the purpose, to as fine a powder as possible. Place a sufficient quantity of it on the middle part of the canvas.
Then draw up the four corners and fie them together with a piece of string so as to form a round pad which is to be rubbed over the pounce to be transferred to the canvas.
These are used chiefly in fairy scenes, for the purpose of imitating gold, silver and jewels of every shade and color. They can be purchased at any theatrical wardrobe and ornament maker's, as well as at oil and color shops.
A couple of wooden palettes, one three feet by one and a half, the other four feet by two, which any carpenter can make. They should have a ledge three inches high at each end, and one at the back to prevent the colors from flowing off. They may be made with a separate division for each color if preferred. Before making use of the palettes they must have three or four coats of white lead laid over them and afterwards be rubbed down with sandpaper to get them as smooth as possible.
A Flogger. This implement is employed for clearing away the charcoal after the sketching in is completed. To make one, cut off a piece, about two feet long, from a broomstick, and round one end of it nail about a dozen strips of canvas or calico, each strip being two feet in length.
Of these, three or four will be required, one being exactly two yards long and four inches wide and marked off in feet, to serve as a measure. They should be made of thin deal and have a flange at each edge. One of them should be thin and pliable enough to bear being bent whenever drawing curves or arches.
The mode of proceeding will then be as follows: Grasp the handle with the left hand and press the lower edge of the straightedge against the canvas, keeping the upper edge away from it. Now, resting the brush on the upper edge, draw it along the canvas and a line is ruled. It would be advisable to practice ruling lines in this way as it will be found to present a little difficulty at first.
Of these you will require:
Two each flat hog tools, Nos 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 24.
One each sash tools, Nos. 1 and 12.
Two each sash tools, Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.
One 4-inch flat camel hair brush.
Two each quilled tools, Nos. 2, 4 and 6.
Six each quilled tools, No. 1.
Two 9-oz. ground distemper brushes.
Two No. 8-0 oval ground brushes.
One No 4-0 over ground brush.
One No 1 oval ground brush.
One No, 3 oval ground brush.