The Principle

The study of painting as an art is based on three considerations, form,

light and shade, and color. I will now treat of color--the form, and

light and shade being furnished for us in the photograph. Photography

as a means of art education in its influence on the public is salutary.

In spite of all its falsity it is the best teacher of the first

elements of criticism and knowledge of the facts of form and light and

. Photography does not produce color, so that we will add the one

link to the chain that is wanting. As we are dealing with pictures

finished in light and shade, it is well that we should have rules to

aid in choosing good ones to work on.

In selecting a photograph to color we want as perfect a print as it is

possible to procure. A light one is preferable. Notice in particular if

it is well defined, that the shadows and middle shades are clear, the

lights pure, and that it is free from defects and spots. Many think

that they can take a poor photograph, and, by coloring it, cover up the

defects, but they are wrong in this, for the transparent colors will

not conceal defects. The best rule is that the better the photograph

the better will be the picture when finished. The Soule Photograph

Company, No. 338 Washington Street, Boston, Mass., furnish photographic

reproductions, mounted and unmounted, of all the best paintings in the

world, in both public and private art galleries, and their photographs

are the best to color. Therefore, to begin with, have a perfect picture

to color. Scholars in commencing to use the brush will not be able to

produce bold effects of color, and will only acquire that power by use

and practice. By bold effects I do not mean that one part is to be more

prominently rendered than any other portion of the work, but merely the

brilliancy of coloring which distinguishes professional from amateur

work. In any kind of painting it must be borne in mind, that there are

no decided lines forming the edges of any object. The point insisted on

is that the boundaries of objects must be of that color that will

harmonize and subdue the picture, producing a soft, delicate effect.

I would advise all who begin to paint to commence with water colors, as

they are the easiest to manipulate, the liquid water colors being

easier than the body colors, and their use the simplest of all kinds of

painting. The photograph being a fac-simile of a subject as it appears

to the eye in form and light and shade, furnishes a picture perfect

except in color, while the liquids supply the color in the form best

adapted to teaching the first steps in its use. It is hoped, though,

that after the student has thoroughly mastered this course of study, he

will attempt something higher and more difficult in the study of art.