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Conclusion








While it is thought that all essential instructions on the topics
treated of have been given in the foregoing pages, and that if
faithfully followed they will lead the pupil to attain satisfactory
results, it is hoped that my readers who have accompanied me thus far
will not be content to continue to use a photograph as the basis of
their work, but will advance to the pursuit of art in a broader and
more scientific manner. As a step in this direction the study of form,
and light and shade, by drawing from the cast should be taken up; and
to this work the directions as to light and shade given in the
foregoing pages fully apply, that requiring the object to be placed in
such a position that the light will strike it at an angle of ninety
degrees being always borne in mind.

The student will do well to gain all he can from the published works of
the leaders in the profession, whose writings, both theoretical and
practical, are invaluable. Three essays by John Burnet I can very
heartily recommend. They are "Practical Hints on Light and Shade,"
"Practical Hints on Composition," and "The Education of the Eye." These
are published in a single volume, which is illustrated with examples
from the great masters of the Italian, Flemish and Dutch schools, and
should be in the hands of every amateur. They will all repay perusal
and study until their principles are mastered. An English edition of
these books is published by James Carpenter, London, and in this
country they have been reproduced by Edward L. Wilson, editor of the
Philadelphia Photographer. Another book which abounds in valuable and
practical information for the amateur and can be highly commended, is
"Art Recreations, a Guide to Decorative Art," by Marion Kemble,
published by S. W. Tilton & Co., Boston; also J. Bacon's "Theory of
Coloring," issued by Geo. Rowney & Co., England.

Those who are disposed to treat disdainfully the work of finishing
photographs in crayon and color as not demanding truly artistic
qualities, should not forget that success here has still a real value
in awakening in many who undertake it a feeling for art of a higher
kind, and in developing a natural talent which otherwise might have
been undiscovered. Many an artist now looks back with pleasure and
gratitude to this sort of work, in which he received the first impetus
toward higher effort.

In answer to the assertion which is sometimes made that transparent
water colors are not permanent, I claim that in the sense in which the
word is ordinarily used in connection with photography they may
properly be called so. In this sense the lasting qualities which
characterize the materials used by the old masters are not looked for,
but where photographs have been thus colored, finished in the form of
French crystals, and properly sealed from the atmosphere, they are
practically permanent. I have some in my possession that were made
years ago, and they are as bright and fresh to-day as when first
colored. It can be truly said that photographs colored in this way make
very beautiful and pleasing pictures, obtainable with but little work
and expense, and having practical permanency of color.

As a final word to those who intend to follow art as a profession, I
urge the earnest study and mastery of drawing at the outset as the
foundation of all art; then take up work in body water colors, and when
the theory of coloring is fully understood, do not neglect the careful
reading of books of acknowledged merit bearing on your work. The more
notes you take in the course of your reading the more fully you will
assimilate the author's thought, while, at the same time, you furnish
the easiest means of rapid review. After all, your soundest basis for
work will be your deep and continuing love for it, and your willingness
to labor long and conscientiously to attain excellence. Do not imagine
that the profession of an artist is that of an idler. On the contrary,
of all occupations it is perhaps the most active, for one is constantly
engaged, if not with art itself, at least with its materials.

Every artist will confess that were it not for the charm with which it
rewards the votaries who follow it from love, the pursuit would be a
painful one, such vigilant precaution does it require, such constant
foresight, such calculation and preparation against possible difficulty
on every hand; but the true artist, happy in the daily gain of
knowledge which his experience brings him, and delighted with the
gradual mastery of his work, as a rule lives along enjoyably, retaining
more than most men the freshness of youth while he gains in power as he
advances in years. So pleasant a fate as this for each of his readers
is the closing wish of the author.





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