Four Methods Of Making The Background

The background can be made first, with the crayon sauce and the use of

the large gray stump and rubber eraser; second, with the cotton and

rubber, by using the cotton in applying the crayon sauce to put in the

dark places in the background, and then finishing with the rubber;

third, by the use of the line effect; and fourth, by the stipple

effect, produced by the use of pumice stone. This last I consider far

superior t
any of the others, as it changes the appearance of the

surface of the paper entirely, and produces an effect altogether

different from that ordinarily shown in a background. It is also free

from the mussy, dirty appearance which is produced by the use of the

cotton and crayon sauce alone. I have been repeatedly asked by both

amateurs and professionals what kind of paper I use in free-hand

crayons. The inquiry arose from the fact that treating the paper by the

fourth method changes the appearance of the surface of the paper and

also its color. I have never before, however, given to the public, nor

even to my pupils, the secret of this process. When the pupil has

mastered it so as to once produce the satisfactory effect of which it

is capable, he will find that it has all the advantages I claim for it

and is a secret well worth knowing, in fact, what would be termed one

of the tricks of the profession, and a very valuable one. I must

confess, however, that I discovered it by an accident. I had been

experimenting for years in making backgrounds in order to produce an

effect that was entirely satisfactory to me, and had failed to reach

just what I wanted. One day, however, I was at work on a portrait that

I was very particular with, but the background of which proved quite

unsatisfactory to me. In despair I threw on a handful of pumice stone,

intending to entirely remove the background by its aid, when, to my

surprise and delight, I found I was producing the very effect that I

had been seeking for years, namely, one rendering the background of a

different color from the face and giving it a clear, transparent

appearance, so that the eye seemed to penetrate it, quite different

from the opaque, almost dirty backgrounds, resulting from the use of

other methods.

I will treat each of these methods in separate chapters further on.