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Studio








The amateur is not to consider the selection of his studio or work-room
of minor importance; the perspective, coloring, and the effect of the
portrait will all depend, in a great measure, upon the situation and
dimensions of the studio. It may be said in a general way that the
larger the apartment the better. To secure the effect which it is
essential to produce, there should be space enough left behind the
artist to permit him to step back from six to ten or twelve feet to
accurately view and see the effect of the portrait. I cannot urge too
strongly upon the amateur the usefulness of frequently viewing his work
from a distance. I would gladly save him the disappointment and chagrin
which I have myself experienced, when having neglected this precaution,
I have quite finished a portrait only to find it thoroughly
unsatisfactory when looked at from a greater distance than that at
which I had worked.

You should choose a room with a north light if possible; if that is not
available then one with a south light, and the room should be as near
the top of the house as possible. Let the light be arranged so as to
strike the easel at an angle of 90 degrees, and if it is a side light
darken the lower half of the window. Do not have the side walls white,
they should be a neutral shade; reddish is the best. For work with
water colors or India ink you need a stand, and be sure and set it so
that the light will be at your left when you work. Keep the studio as
free from dust as possible, and when you have finished working for the
day wash your brushes and place the corks in the water color bottles,
so as to exclude the dust from them. For crayon work also set the easel
so that the light is at the left hand.

A word in regard to selecting materials. I have already spoken in
regard to the selection of photographs for coloring. As to
brushes--camel's hair will cost only about a third as much as sable,
and will answer every purpose for beginners; the fine sable should be
procured after the pupil has advanced sufficiently. In choosing a brush
for water colors, dip it in a cup of water and draw it over the edge of
the cup; if it has a little spring to it, and comes to a point readily
without any of the hair straggling, it is all right; if not, reject it.
Winsor and Newton's Chinese White is the best white paint. For mixing
the colors you can get a slant with eight divisions, or a nest of
saucers. In selecting glass for mounting pictures choose that which is
free from blisters.





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