Painting On Velvet. Among the various accomplishments of the present day, no fancy-work is perhaps more elegant, produces a better effect, and is. at the same time, more easily and quickly performed, than painting on velvet. Possessing all the beauty of colour of a piece of wool-work, it is in every way superior, as the tints used in this style of painting do not fade; and an article which it would take a month, at least, to manufacture with the needle, may be completed in four or six hours on white velvet, with the softest and most finished effect imaginable.
The first thing necessary to be done, after obtaining the colours and the velvet (which should be cotton, or more properly velveteen, as most common cotton velvets are not sufficiently thick, and silk velvet, besides the expense, is not found to answer), is to prepare the formula for the group intended to be painted. Get a piece of tracing or silver-paper the size of the cushion, mat, or screen you wish to paint, then lay it carefully upon the group you wish to copy and trace through. Should the paper slip, the formula will be incorrect; it will be therefore well to use weights to keep all flat. Having traced your flowers, remove the thin paper, and laying it on a piece of cartridge paper the same size, go over the pencil-marks by pricking them out with a fine needle, inserted in a cedar stick. Now that you have your whole pattern pricked out clearly upon a stiff paper, take eight or nine more pieces of cartridge paper, of the same size as the first, and laying them, one by one, in turn, under the pricked pattern. shake a little powdered indigo over, and then rub with a roll of list or any soft material. The indigo, falling through the punctures, will leave the pattern in blue spots on the sheet of paper beneath; then proceed in like manner with the remaining formulas until you have the self-same pattern neatly traced, in blue dots, on them all. Next, with a sharp penknife, you must cut out the leaves, petals, and calices of the group, taking care to form only a few on each formula, and those not too near together, lest there should not be sufficient room to rub between the spaces, and that, for instance, the green tint intended for the leaf should intrude on the azure or crimson of the nearest convolvulus ; for in this sort of work erasure is impossible.
The following diagrams will show how the formulas should be cut, so as to leave proper spaces, as above-mentioned. The shading denotes the parts cut out.
Some leaves may be cut out in two halves, as the large ones in the pattern ; others all in one, as the small leaf: but it is chiefly a matter of taste. The large leaves should, however, generally be divided. In each formula there should be two guides - one on the top of the left-hand side, the other at the bottom of the right-hand corner - to enable the formulas always to be placed on the same spot in the velvet. For instance, as in Formula 2, A and B are the two guides, and are parts cut out, in Formula 2, of leaves, the whole of which were cut out in No. 1 ; and therefore, alter No. 1 is painted, and No. 2 applied, the ends of the painted leaves will show through, if No. 2 be put on straight; if, when once right, the formula is kept down with weights at the corners, it cannot fail to match at all points. Care should, however, be taken never to put paint on the guides, as it would necessarily cave an abrupt line in the centre of the leaf. "While cutting out the formulas, it is a good plan to mark with a cross or dot those leaves which you have already cut out on the formulas preceding, so that there
will be no confusion. When your formulas are all cut, wash them over with a preparation made in this manner : put into a wide-mouthed bottle some resin and shell-lac - about two ounces of each are sufficient; on this pour enough spirits of wine or naphtha to cover it, and let it stand to dissolve, shaking it every now and then. If it is not quite dissolved as you wish it, add rather more spirits of wine; then wash the formulas all over on both sides with the preparation, and let them dry. Now taking Formula No. 1, lay it on the white velvet, and place weights on each corner to keep it steady; now pour into a little saucer a small quantity of the colour called Saxon green, shaking the bottle first, as there is apt to be a sediment; then take the smallest quantity possible on your brush (for if too much be taken, it runs, and flattens the pile of the velvet; the brush should have thick short bristles, not camel-hair, and there ought to be a separate brush for each tint: they are sold with the colours). Now begin on the darkest part of the leaf, and work lightly round and round in a circular motion, taking care to hold the brush upright, and to work more as it were on the formula than on the velvet. Should you find the velvet getting crushed down and rough, from having the brush too damp, continue to work lightly till it is drier, then brush the pile the right way of it, and it will be as smooth as before. Do all the green in each formula in the same manner, unless there be any blue-greens, when they should be grounded instead with the tint called grass green. Next, if any of the leaves are to be tinted red, brown, or yellow, as autumn leaves, add the colour over the
Saxon green before you shade with full n, which will be the next thing to be done; blue-green to be shaded also with full green Now, while the green is yet damp, with small camel hair pencil vein the leaves with ultramarine The tendrils and stalks are also to be dona with the small brush. You can now begin the flowers; take, for instance, the convolvulus in the pattern. It should be grounded with r, and shaded with ultramaurine (which colour, wherever used, should always he mixed with water, and rubbed on a palette with a knife); the stripes in it are rose-colour, and should be tinted from the rose saucer. White roses and camellias, lilies,
are only lightly shaded with white shading ; and it surrounded by dark flowers and leaves so as to stand out well, will have a very good effect.
flowers can easily be taken from nature in the following manner. - A A, D D, is a frame of deal, made light, and about two feet long, and eight or ten inches in width. The part D D is made to slide in a groove in A A, so that the frame may be lengthened or shortened at pleasure. A vertical frame, C, is fixed to the part D, and two grooved Upright pieces, B B, fixed to the other part, uprights should be about nine inches high, and C half that height. There is also a piece of wood at the end A of the frame, marked E, with a small hole for the eye, and there is a hole in the top C oppoto it. S is a piece of glass, sliding in the grooves in B B. In the hole H is placed the dower or flowers to be copied. If a group is wished, more holes should he made, and the flowers carefully arranged. The being directed to this through the hole in E, it can be sketched on the glass by means of a pencil of Lithographic chalk. It afterwards copied through by slipping the glass out, laying it on a table, and placing over it a piece of tracing-paper. When traced on the paper, proceed as before to make the formulas.
Of course, so delicate a thing as white velvet will he found at length to soil. When this is the case, it can be dyed without in any wav injuring the painting. for this a dye is prepared by the manufacturer of the colours, and can be procured with them.
Dye thus: - Get an old slate-frame, or make a wire frame; add to it a handle, as in annexed figure; then tie over it a network of packthread; next cut a piece of cardboard the exact size of your group, so as to completely cover it, the hedges of the cardboard being cut into all the ins and outs of the outer line of the group ; then placing it carefully over the painting, so as to fit exactly, lay a weight on it to keep it in place. Then dip a large brush into the dye, hold the flame over the velvet (which should stretched out flat - to nail the corners to a drawing-board is best), and by brushing across the net-work, a rain of dye will fall on the velvet beneath, Do not let the frame touch the velvet; it should be held some little way up. Then just brush the velvet itself with the brush of dye, to make all smooth, and leave the velvet nailed to the hoard till it is dry. Groups, whethrr freshly done, or dyed, are greatly improved, when perfectly dry, by being brushed all over with a clean and rather soft hat-brush, as it renders any little roughness, caused by putting on the paint too wet, completely smooth and oven as before. Music-stools, the front of pianos, ottomans, banner-screens, pole-screens, and borders for tablecloths look very handsome done in this manner.