Here all color should be more or less broken. Trees of which the foliage may be brilliant green have twigs and stems of leaves which are of a warm reddish brown, the local colors are thus modified and subdued where otherwise they might appear crude. Rocks may appear gray, but lichens, with their yellow or rosy tint, warm some portions of the stone, and thus prevent the appearance of coldness. Buildings with their different materials, some of which may be toned by age and exposure, exhibit broken tints of the greatest variety and beauty.
The great difficulty with an amateur is to fill up the foreground intelligently without undue display of detail. It is most desirable therefore that herbage, heath or foreground plants should be massed as far as may be practicable, and that, in the treatment of stones, rocks or broken ground, excessive light and shade should be avoided, so as not to attract the eye too strongly and prevent it from penetrating further into the scene.
In representing these the local color should be first laid on, a little warmer in the light and deeper and cooler on the shadow side, separating definitely the lights from the shadows, and in them showing detail. When the foliage is massive, deep shadows must be added. The forms of the highest lights must be carefully rendered, and they must not be frittered away by any attempt to represent the innumerable leaves which go to make up the entire foliage.
The trunks of trees may be usually treated with warm color, purple lake or madder, combined if necessary with light red and cobalt. Both trunks and branches should be traced up and marked wherever visible. The warmth of their colors contrasts well with the coolness of the foliage, but care must be exercised that they do not come too forward, or they will destroy the appearance of roundness.
In representing trees great assistance is afforded by the modern plan of taking out. Where high lights are required, water is applied by the brush in the required form, this is removed with blotting-paper, and the color is then sharply wiped out with a handkerchief or wash-leather.
In coloring trees it must be remembered that they rarely appear as a true green. The upper part of the leaves reflect the blue or gray of sky, and the warm tints of earth are reflected on their under sides. Although the local color of trees in the foreground may be fully visible, it is much modified in the middle distance by their remoteness from the spectator, so that the tone becomes more gray than green, and the leafage is quite indistinct. In the extreme distance neither trunk nor branches are visible, and the mass is broken by the shadows occasioned by the varying positions of the trees.
It is most desirable for any one who is anxious to represent rocks with accuracy to be acquainted with the different strata and formations and with their colors when they are first fractured and after they are weathered. Rocks, by their hardness of form, naturally affect the character of the landscape. Too great an exhibition of detail gives the impression of smallnes"s.
However delicate the tints of rocks may be, they should always be painted with more powerful pigments than those employed for the sky and cloud, otherwise they may appear weak and feeble. Variety may be given to the local color by taking up on the point of the brush when charged with the compound tints portions of pure pigment such as madder, lake, blue or gray.
Water is most difficult to represent, and the suggestions given for different tones and tints may be varied indefinitely. The colors which appear in both running and still water are largely the result of the reflections of sky, cloud, and surrounding objects, but they are also produced by the light or shade reflected from its surface, and by the color of the objects over which it flows. . Smooth water should always be treated broadly and be painted as far as possible at the same time, and with the same tints, as the objects which are to be reflected in it. The reflections, if too powerful or too brilliant, may be modified by subsequent glazing.
The surface of smooth water is best represented by working the tints in a horizontal direction, but reflections in water are generally perpendicular. If the water is turbid the shadows will be visible on the surface, but in perfectly pure water they can hardly be recognized.
The first tone should be decidedly gray, as reflecting sky and clouds, and on this may be worked raw sienna and brown madder, while nearer the eye French blue, Prussian blue, or indigo may be employed. For very dark parts brown pink, purple madder, and Vandyke brown are useful. On the sea the blue should increase in depth towards the horizon, possibly, however, with a light streak just where the sky meets the water.
Waves breaking close to the shore will be warm in color, owing to the sand and seaweed underneath.
In the representation of mountains the greatest attention should be paid to accuracy of outline and to the irregularities of form, color, and shade in the general contour. The outlines present themselves at such different angles, and some will be in shade while others will be in brilliant light or half-light.
To produce the effect of ruggedness on distant mountain sides, a brush with dry color may be dragged over the surface.
Mountains may be put in with light red, and this should then be washed over with cobalt. The shadows should be worked with a deeper tint of cobalt.
Mists or Clouds in the landscape greatly assist the artist in producing aerial effects.
In painting clouds bring up the form sharply and decisively with the side of the brush. This operation is of essential importance.
Plenty of color should always be kept in the brush, and care taken to preserve the purity of the tints. When the drawing is commenced cadmium or rose madder may be washed very lightly over the entire paper, omitting very white clouds or snow. Clouds differ very much in form according to the character of the landscape, whether flat, hilly, wooded, or mountainous.
To indicate the direction of the wind, keep the edges of the clouds ragged on one side.
Sharpness of form in painting skies is needed to prevent the appearance of woolliness, and when the use of a brush with water is not sufficient to produce granulation and atmosphere, the paper may be rubbed very carefully with a piece of the finest glass-paper, this removes a little of the surface. Color afterwards applied will flow freely, and the clouds will not appear to have hard edges. The highest lights may be taken out with a sharp knife.
The foregoing directions are of the most practical character, and in the general hints for coloring various objects widely different schemes of color are suggested, but the artist's mind selects, refines, exalts the beautiful features of Nature, moulding the plastic substance to its will, and imbuing it with something of its own spirituality,