DIBDIN's PROGRESSIVE LESSONS
THE intention of the Artist, in publishing this series, is to supply a Drawing-book fitted for the early student in the use of Colour — a work which was much required, and the production of which has never been attempted, except in so expensive a form that its obtainment has been confined to the few. A Lesson-book exemplifying the various stages of a water-colour drawing, by means of dividing it into separate and distinct colours, must undoubtedly facilitate the pursuit of the study; and as it is now published at a cost not greater than that hitherto charged for works which treated solely of the lead pencil, its advantages are obvious. This object has been attained by the Messrs. Hanhart’s recent improvements in lithographic colour-printing, which have been successfully brought to bear upon landscape subjects.
The combination of colour obtained by printing each tint over its contrasting one has been found to produce a fac-simile of a finished work of art, the copying of which is rendered more easy of execution by the exposition of each succeeding stage. It being, however, necessary to add some explanation to the plates in order to facilitate their use, I do so as an artist, not as an author; and hope my readers will not be disappointed at finding only plain directions.
Having said thus much by way of introduction, I now direct attention to the use of such materials as are generally found sufficient for water-colour treatment, premising that there is no royal road; nor am I about to point out any thing new or different from what is practised by every other artist: success does not lie in the instruments employed, but in the mental qualifications and persevering industry of the student, and if these are wanting, no instruction, however well-directed, can enable any one to become even a tolerable amateur.
Let one or two boards of well-seasoned deal be provided, sixteen inches long by twelve inches broad, and half an inch thick, on which to stretch the paper (these and all other of the materials may be obtained of any respectable artists’ colourman); the most agreeable kind of which is that called Middle Imperial, a half sheet of which will cover one of the boards: first, wet it thoroughly on both sides with a sponge, lay the board in the centre of the paper, and with a sharp knife cut out the four corners, in the same way that boys at school cover their books; the paper must fold over each side and be fixed to the back of the board with a little thin glue, and allowed to dry slowly. If the operation be neatly performed, a delightful surface for drawing on will be produced. Care must be taken to keep the paper wet till the gluing is concluded, and when the drawing is finished it can easily be detached by passing a knife round the edge of the board.