Painting (Oil). - We begin by supposing that you can draw - at least, that you can make a straight line (which, indeed, not everyone can do) - and, that you can, either from a fair knowledge of perspective, or a naturally correct eye, copy any object in the room, as the books on the table, the jar of flowers, or the coal-scuttle; for, though a person may, without being able to draw from nature, produce a highly finished copy of a picture, there would be more labour than pleasure in the task; while an original, if only a wheel-barrow and besom, grouped with taste, would give far more delight in the doing, and you would acquire an artistic freedom of hand by such studies.
In the next place, we suppose that you can see colours according to nature, for many persons 6ee them too blight, or quite the reverse of what they are.
We will now proceed to describe the materials actually required in this art. If our pupil can command a room to himself as a studio, if ever so small, so much the better. This, however, is not at all needful - a moderate-sized table will be all the space he requires to engross.
An easel, palette, palette-knife, brushes, colours, a little oil and varnish, and some prepared mill-board, are all that is necessary, and they are not very expensive.
As a large easel standing on the ground is only fit for a studio, we give a sketch of a "table-casel," which is both simple and portable, and may be made by any carpenter; it will fold up quite flat, and pack at the bottom of a box. It is 18 indies high, 15 wide at the base, 7 wide at the top, 20 long for the leg, 22 for the stand; this is provided with holes, and the leg has an iron point at the end, which fits into the holes, and regulates the inclination of the easel. A loose grooved bar of wood, about 18 inches long, rests on 2 pegs, which are placed in the holes in front of the easel ; this supports the picture.
The palette-knife to mix the colours should be pliant and well-tempered.
The brushes we recommend are, two flat hog's hair brushes in tin, Nos. 2 and 7; two flat sable brushes in tin, Nos. 4 and 8; three round sable brushes, Nos. 1, 4, and 6.
These seven tools will be amply sufficient to begin with, but some camel-hair ones, in quills, the same as those used in water-colour drawing, may be added; they are very cheap. A brush called a "badger softener" is of use in painting skies, but they are expensive, and may be dispensed with at first.
The colours are enclosed in air-tight metal tubes, and the capsule being un- screwed, you squeeze the colour up from the bottom of the tubes. We give a list of the most useful colours, and from which almost any picture may be painted. Of i these, the first six are opaque, and the re mainder transparent; we wish the pupil to bear this in mind.
There are also some extra colours, which are of higher price, and used in finishing; these are, French ultramarine, and madder lake. These are very beautiful, and are chiefly used in sky tints, and in delicate flesh tints.
The price of the tubes of paint is sixpence each, that of the extra colours one and sixpence each; but they last for a long time.
Of oils and varnish, you require some raw linseed oil, some light drying oil, a bottle of mastic varnish, a little spirits of turpentine, and a little olive or eating oil.
The prepared millboards for painting on are of all sizes, from six inches by eight, to 24 by 20, and the prices are from sixpence to three shillings each. Academy boards are similar, but thinner and cheaper, and may easily be cut to what size you like. Oil sketching-paper (which is only drawing-paper covered with two or three coats of paint) is cheaper still, and for first trials is very useful. It must be fastened with drawing-pins to a board when used, or if a very small sketch, it may merely rest on a board or a book. We prefer these boards to canvas, which is dear, and requires to be put on a stretching frame. With the addition of a small tin "dipper," or gallipot, and a few clean rags, our materials are complete ; and we trust in the next chapter to explain to our friends the manner of Using them.