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Flower Piefure5 

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Flora Klickpiann 



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London, 4 Bouverie St. E.C. 



To 



to whose kindl)- interest and help 

she owes so much, this little book 

is gratefully and affectionately 

inscribed by 



Flower Pictures. 



NEW V( 

botanj 





F©2'tll/¥DT£1 




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Jilor of "The Girl's Own Paper and Woman'^ Magazine. 



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TllKSli articles were first published in The Girl's Ouii Paper ami 
Woiiiau's Magazine. They were started with the idea of atisvveriiii; 
under one general heading a number of queries that had come to me 
through the post, from readers who were anxious to know how to paint 
flowers, and )-et were living out of reach of Art Schools and Art 
Teachers. ]^ut the first article proved so exceedingly popular that, 
instead of satisfying the inquiring correspondent, it onh- w hetted her 
appetite for more. Where the reader had sent one quer\' before, she 
now sent half-a-dozen all arising out of her increased interest in the 
subject of flower-painting. 

And matters were further complicated whenever we reproduced 
one of Miss Angell's Mouer Pictures on the cover of the magazine : 
thousands of readers were immediately fired with the ambition to 
paint similarly beautiful groups and flower studies. And of course 
they wrote to the Editor to know how it was to be done ! 

I asked Miss Angell if she could give us another article, and she 
did so. Then we set to, and discussed a third and a fourth, and as 
we went on we saw yet further possibilities. 

Each article found an increasing number of admiring readers, until 
by the time we had got to the end of the series, it seemed advisable 
to issue them in book form, as our back numbers were out of print. 

I think this book will appeal, not only to the amateur artist, but to 



.j:ii 



every flower-lover, irrespective of ability to draw a leaf or paint a petal. 
The mere faculty for reproducing on paper or canvas what is placed 
before us is not everything. The ability to see the beauty that awaits 
discover}' in the wayside weed, to feel the glory of the colour in the 
depth of a rose, to find delight in the severe outline of a blackthorn 
branch or in the grace of the hazel catkins, or the ruggedness of an 
apple bough — these are satisfactions that cannot be measured by an 
ordinary rule, nor defined by ordinary speech. They are worth more 
to us individually than the most faultless technique. 

To love the little things that God has made cannot fail to bring us 
a step nearer to the Creator. And Miss Angell's " talks " help us to 
see these little things — the ground-ivy flower, the jasmine twig, the 
crimson on the back of the rose-leaf, the beauty of the dry dead stalks 
in the November hedgerow — ^just the commonplaces that we might so 
easily pass unnoticed, the commonplaces that become wonderments 
when we do notice them ; the little things that fill us with amazement 
at the immensity of their beauty, once we really look at them. The 
trouble with so many of us is that we simply do not see. 

For those who not only have the seeing eye and the appreciative 
mind, but also the responsive hand, this book will be a mine of delight 
and a storehouse of helpfulness. The little bits and fragmentary 
sketches will suggest .so much, and induce even the most diffident to try 
their powers ; while the finished pictures give us an ideal to strive after, 
and show us how far removed is the flower-painting of to-day from the 
stiff, unnatural, younglady-like productions of our grandmothers' daj'. 

Two pictures by Hayward Young are also included in this volume, 
showing the Flower Garden in Ital}- and in Holland. 





kr" 



<^» 



'Neath cloistered boughs, each floral bell 
that swingeth 
And tolls its perfume on the passing air. 
Makes Sabbath in the fields, and ever 
ringeth 
A call to prayer. 

Your voiceless lips, O Flowers, are living 
preachers. 

Each cup a pulpit, and each leaf a book. 
Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers 

From loneliest nook. 

Were I, O God, in churchless lands re- 
maining, 
Far from all voice of teachers or divines. 
My soul would find, in Flowers of Thy 
ordaining. 
Priests, sermons, shrines ! 

//orace Smith. 




Vi'Icts, sweet vi'lets a penny a market bunch! 



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's 



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long streak oS 



every ma 
quick 
About the (I 
intf square 
thick 
By ashen roots th 
violets blowf. 



nd 






When the Editor asked me to send a little article on 
painting violets, I was very pleased and proud at the 
prospect of writing on so delightful a subject. But now, 
as I sit with a formidable new writing-pad before me, and 
a nicely-pointed pencil ready to begin our talk, I must 
frankly own my pleasant task confronts me with difficulties 
I had totally unforeseen. 

" How I paint violets ! " Must I confess — and thereby 
perhaps earn the scorn of my readers on our very first 
introduction — that /r,i//r I don't know} I simply look at them with 
loving but very critical eyes, try to study the form and construction 
of my charming little models, every line and turn of the dainty 
petals', and then endeavour, honestly and humbl>', to put my impressions 
on paper. 

I remember a girl of my acquaintance running after me in the street 
one day, saying, " Oh, Miss Angell, will you please tell me how to make 
a green for rose leaves ? " And I think her respect for me as a flower 
portrait painter considerably diminished because I had not a formula 
(like a chemist's prescription, or a cooking recipe) to hand over on 
the spot ! 

A green for rose leaves ! .\\e, or for violet leaves either ! An 
earnest and intelligent ob.servation will show us their infinite variety of 



^ V^®l®i lb J 



{ull ol tears; 



Arc they wet, 




Even yet 




With the thoughts o! other years? 




Or with gladness are they lull, 




For the nitiht so beautitui. 




And lonUinti lor those Tar-off sphere 


;s? 


Violet! dear Violet! 




Thy blue eyes are only wet 




With ioy and love of Him who sent thee. 


And for the fulfillinii sense 




Of that islad obedience 




Which made thee all that Nature mt 


!ant 


thee. 





colour, a variety not only in themselves, but also 
largely dependable on the weather, atmosphere, 
their surroundings, and last, but not least, on 
the temperament of the student himself, for we 
do not all see with one pair of eyes, and 
it is well for our individualitj' that this 
should be so. 

Flower- painting is a most delightful 
study, and within the reach of us all. Those who are fortunate 
enough to live in the country can find most charming material for 
their sketches in the hedgerows, while for a few pence the town- 
dweller can purchase beautiful blooms in the street. 

" Oh," I hear some one say, " but I have had no lessons, and 
one must have a few hints from a good master, just to show one how 
to start ! " 

Never forget this, j-ou /laz'c a great teacher — the greatest Art teacher 
of all time — the instructor of the giants of ancient Art, as well as the 
leader and guide of the humblest student of to-day — Nature herself! 
We are all, the highest and the lowest, her pupils, though in different 
classes, according to our capabilities, perseverance, and natural aptitude. 

Although I would not for one moment depreciate the advantage of 
help and criticism from an experienced artist, I repeat emphaticall)' that 
much can be accomplished without any such outside assistance. We 
are even more likely to attain originality by working our way through 
our own observation, and by struggling with our difficulties, than by 
slavishly following the method and style of any particular school. 

No doubt an " easier way " is to call at your local art shop, and, 
after turning over a folio of Studies (some indifferent, some really 
beautiful reproductions of extremely clever work), select one that 
appeals to you, and then, by slavishly copying each petal, and every 
brush-mark, produce a copy that is reallj' very prctt}-, and very like 
the original. 

Relatives as a rule are lenient critics, and the chorus of flattery 
singing the praises of your beautiful " apple blossom," " wild rose," or 
whatever it is, is very pleasant to hear, and urges you to fresh efforts 
in the same direction ; but can you tell 
me you have learnt anj'thing by this ? 
Have you approached the least bit 
nearer to Nature and her moods ? You 
have simply been using the brains of 
other people, and what is that but the 
worst form of piracy ? 

Therefore let us leave our copies 
behind, and go straight to dear Nature 
herself for our inspiration. To do good. 





^ Violiii by 31 





honest work, we must be full of 
enthusiasm for our subject, and who 
would not be enthusiastic on a bright 
March morning, when the joy and 
vitality of awakening spring, the thrill 
of delight at the passing of winter, 
is coursing through our veins ? 

Following the advice of the 
famous cookery book, to " first 
catch your hare," let us start in quest / 

of our little models. Let us don our 
thickest boots and shortest skirts, 

and, armed with a basket, and an ancient pair of leather gloves, 
in which we may grub delightfully in damp earth regardless of 
consequences, brave the muddy lane, with its wild, untrimmcd 
hedgerows, high banks, and deep ditches. 

There, in a tangle of frost-tinted ivy, red-brown beech leaves, 
feathery moss, prickly brambles, and lichen-coated twigs, we shall 
surely find the objects of our search. 

How beautiful they are in their natural environment ! We feel 
a certain sadness in taking them, however tenderly and lovingly, away 
from so much beauty. But the wind is cold and searching, the rain- 
clouds are hurriedly chasing each other over the cold, clear sky, and, 
however anxious we might be to make a study of the dear thino-s as 
they grow, it would hardly be wise to risk the consequences, especially 
as, to be on a level with our subject, our feet would probably have to be 
immersed in the boggy water at the bottom of the ditch. 

What an infinite variety of colour we see in these little denizens of 
the hedge bank, from creamy white through delicate shadings of mauve, 
to deep purply blue ! 

And let us notice, for future reference, the wonderful effect the 

changing sky has on them, perhaps more especially on the leaves. That 

great inky rain-cloud throws a cold grey shadow, and everything reflects 

a sombre hue ; but now the raindrops have fallen, and the bright 

spring sunshine beams forth again, the violet leaves, 

glistening with liquid diamonds, are dancing with delight 

in the breeze, a golden green that would defy the 

brightest mixture of emerald and aureolin our palettes 

could afford. 

Do not be in too great a hurry to make " pictures " ; 
we must walk, or even crawl, before we can run ; and a 
k\v careful drawings in pencil, or studies of single 
flowers in colour, will teach us more in drawing than 
an elaborate group. A musical student would not 
dream of attempting the grand chords of Beethoven, 



A ViLoEet by & 



3^5^ 



or the delicate, intricate harmonies of Chopin, without a pre- 
liminary training in simpler studies ; we must learn our tioffs 
before we can embellish them with expression and tone. 

If we start an ambitious painting, we arc led away by the 
difficulties and delights of colour and composition, and so 
are apt to disregard the drawing, without which our work 
cannot possibly be convincing or true to Nature. The skilled 
artist who can produce a fine stud>- with broad touches of 
colour and wide effects of light and shade, could never have 
attained this apparent ease and " slickness " of execution without 
many and many an hour of patient study. 

But here we are at home again, and if we arc not simply bursting 
with enthusiasm to begin our study, we had better follow Mr. Punch's 
advice- — "Don't" for "without enthusiasm nothing can be accomplished 
in .Art." 

I will premise, at this season of the \-car, when everything is being 
overhauled and " redded up," that our colour boxes have had a careful 
wash and " spring-clean," and that those pans of colour that have taken 
unto themselves a gritt)', grimy surface have been banished for fresh 
ones. The following list might be u.seful to those who contemplate 
restocking their boxes : Rose Madder, Orange Vermilion, Light Red, 
Brown Pink, Cadmium, Aureolin, Lemon Yellow, Indian Yellow, Yellow 
Ochre, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, \'anci\ke Brown, Cobalt Blue, 
Antwerp Blue, Emerald Green, Mauve. 

A fresh china palette is a great delight, but if you do not possess 
one, and the japanned lid of your box presents an aged and " mottled " 
appearance, that defies even salt to remove, borrow an old white plate 
from the kitchen instead. See that your water-pot is freshly filled, for 
the brightness and purit\' of your study depends largely on keeping 
your colours pure and clean. Our outfit must also include some fresh 
white blotting-paper and a small sponge, onl\- to be used in case of 
dire necessitj- ! 

A side light from the window of your ordinary sitting-room will give 
\()U a very nice effect of light and shade ; be 
careful, however, unless, like my.self, \ou are left- 
handed, to let the light fall from the left side, 
so as not to have the shadow of your hand on 
your work. 

Now notice very carefully the construction of 
the flowers. They are composed of five petals, 
two narrow ones standing up at the back, two 
(wing-like) at the sides, and a broad one below, 
curving up at the base to form the cm-ious little 
hood at the back of the flower, surrounded b\' 
delicate sepals of green. If wc Inok deep tiown 



"^^ 




(\ 



I do lovt violets. 
Thi-y ti-n .1 history of .\ woman's low; 
Thcyopi-n with the oArlicst brr.Ath ot sprini<: 
Lc.\d .\ sweet lite ot pertume, dew and liijht. 
And il they perish, perish with a siiih, 
Delicious as that life. 

L. I.. L„n,i,n,. 







into the heart of the flower, the bright little orange 

" e_\-e " gives us a beautiful contrast with the purple 

tones, and we must notice as well how the petals 

pale at the base, and how beautiful)}' they are veined 

with purple. 

ILy^SBSi^' Xow begin, verj- lightly, With a soft pencil to 

A make j'our sketch. First indicate the general pro- 

I I portions and direction of the stems (the latter 

require as careful drawing as the flowers), then draw 

the petals, doing your utmost to portraj' faithfully 

the form and character you see before you. 

For a water-colour, reduce this pencilling with soft rubber, or a bit ot 

household bread, to the faintest possible outline, just for guidance, for 

the contact of water with a strong pencil mark will set the latter into an 

almost indelible line. 

The only colour at all approaching the 
brillianc}' of the flowers is mauve, but as this is *" v.* / 

an aniline colour, and a very strong stain, I must 
warn you against its indiscriminate use. Cobalt "*''-- 

blue and rose madder is a vevy good mixture, 

useful in shadows, which must be kept trans- ' - -< 

parent and warm. 



^ 



To look at our subject occasional!}- with 
half-closed eyes helps us great!}- to a better 
understanding of the relative value of tone ; we 
see the object before us in broad masses of light 
and shade, without being unduly influenced by 
minor detail. 

.-\ ver}- easy pitfall for a beginner, as I 
know from my own e.Kperience, is that, in the 
desire to make our study forcible and strong, we 
get our shadow-s too black and hard, thus pro- 
ducing an artificiality absolutely fatal. Hold 
some black object, such as a penholder or ruler, 
up before our group, and notice the relative 
difference betw-een that and the w-arm deep tones 
of purple and brown in the shadows. 

We must try to put on our colours with 
slow deliberate touches, bright and clean, for 
repeated touching up and "niggling" will produce 
a dirty, muddy effect and a woolly texture. How- 
difficult it is I know full well. We start our 
work w-ith a certain amount of confidence, for 



X:, 




Primroses (*rcw in the lonj* L^rccn grass, 
At the Soot of the chosen tree; 

And the scent of sweet violets filled the ai: 
Like odours from Araby. 




A yio'Je-i "by a 
■Mo^i:.y ' 



^iusia 



the sheet of plain white paper holds infinite 
possibihties, and then, after, perhaps, two hours' 
patient labour, we look at our efforts with 
disappointment and dissatisfaction. " A failure ! " 
we say ; but is it a failure? If our attempt has 
brought us into closer contact with the beautiful works of God, and 
a humbled feeling of our incapacity to reproduce them, is not that a 
lesson in itself? And is it not true that when we are striving our 
hardest, and feeling our limitations most keenly, we are doing our 
best work ? 

I remember long ago saying to a famous artist, " Oh, I wish I 
could jusi once feel pleased and satisfied with my work I " " Well," 
he answered, in blunt but convincing language, " when you do, you 
may just as well 'shut up' at once!" And he explained so kindly 
and encouragingly that, as our powers of execution increase, our 
ideals mount proportionately higher and higher, and that to be satisfied 
would mean, not even standing still, but going back. 

How those words comforted me in fits of despondency I cannot tell 
you, and if I should ever feel particularly delighted with any effort of 
mine, I shall look upon it as a most alarming symptom, and "shut up " 
at once. 

Also, remember that our fits of despondency are sometimes due to 
the fact that we have overworked, or over-concentrated our attention 
on our work, till we are physically incapable of seeing it in the right 
perspective. In such a case, put it away for a few days ; forget about 
it, and then start afresh. 

In conclusion, I will just add these words of Schumann, which, 
though written for students of the sister art, seem to me to be 
particularly applicable to painters as well — 

" By industry and endurance you will always rise higher." 

" Of learning there is no end." 



0^ 











Wc arc violets bin 
For our swcctne 



, fa 



Careless in the mossy shades 

Looking on the ground, 
.ovc's drooped eyelids and a kiss- 
»uch our breath and blucness is. 

Lci^h Hunt. 




Sallow 



*.'/ 



13 




1 n' >. 



14 











3a!fodils that come 
before the swal- 
low dares 



It is a joyous message that comes to us all at 
daffodil time ; a message that, in spite of its 
repetition \-eai- by )'ear, is always delightful, 
always new. It tells us the gladsome tidings of 
passing winter and glorious awakening spring ! We 
hear and see it in all around ; in the twittering of 
the birds ; the tassels on the hazel twigs ; and in 
the bursts of pale, fitful sunshine through the leaden 
cloudy skies. 

The little golden stars of the celandine are peeping 
out in sheltered corners on the hedge-banlcs ; in the gardens the 
snowdrops and winter aconite are showing their faces through the 
And take 'the winds melting of the suow — if, indeed, we have had an\' snow, but it is much 
uty. more likely they awake from their long sleep to a drear}- and bleak 

greyness characteristic of winter in our 
vagarious climate. 

On this bright morning the grc\ness is 
passing away ; the sun is high, and rapidh- 
gaining power in a sk\- of cold, tender blue ; 
and what a joy it is to wander round those 
still somewhat soddened walks in the garden, 
and note our old favourites of happ)- spring- 
time coming into their own once more ! 

Snowdrops and scillas are swinging their 
white and blue bells to the breeze ; tulips and 
hyacinths are bursting through the sod ; in 
these clumps of grey-green spikes of the 
daffodil, a big stout-looking bud shows here 
and there, needing only a little warmth from 
the golden sunshine to burst forth into a 








perxc.l 






[5 



./■% 






glory of gold of its own. There is a 
feeling of joic de vivre, of re-aroused 
energy, in this awakening of Nature 
after her long quiescence. We feel it 
coursing through our veins, and long to 
be up and doing ; and now that our 
spring favourites are disclosing their 
beauty, and inviting us to try and 
reproduce their charms, we must en- 
thusiastically seize and use every 
moment of leisure before their brief 
life is over for another year. 

Perhaps you may feel that, in some 
of our talks on flower-painting, the 
subjects chosen are not easy at all. 
The violet is a very subtle little 
flower to draw even, and still more 
difficult to mass pictorially with good 
effect. The rose, the most delightful 
stud)- of all, is the worst floral sitter 
I know, for she simpl)- won't keep 
her lovely petals still for a moment, 
and this, even to the advanced student, 
is confusing in the extreme. Wild flowers wilt and fade, even before we 
can hope to translate more than a suggestion of their fleeting beauty to 
paper. But with many of the lovely bulbous plants that supply us with 
such a display of springlike beauty, we have the great advantage of 
patient sitters. 

Take a jonquil, a single daffodil, a spray of narcissus, etc. ; put it in 
water, and it is possible to make an elaborate study of it before it has 
appreciably changed. This is of immense value to the student, and I 
have often found even beginners make excellent drawings by carefully 
observing the beautiful lines in these flowers. 

I do not mean for one moment to imply that they do not afford an 
immense amount of scope for the advanced student as well, far from it ; 
he will find fresh difficulties, and therefore fresh delights, every time he 
tries his skilled brush on their pure loveliness ; but the comparative 
simplicity of the form presents greater possibilities of success to the 
novice than a complicated arrangement of petals, as in a rose or 
chrysanthemum, could possibly do. 

The beginner must learn to put in what he sees before him ; the 
advanced student must learn what to leave out. This sounds a parado.x, 
but I believe most artists would tell you 

it is true. We must learn, by long and 

patient experience, y ^ j what is there, and be 




jay tulips bloom 
and sweet mint 
curls around her 
iiardcn bower, 

lut she is sweeter 



tha 



the 



int, 



nd fairer than 
ic flower. 

nititticT. 



i6 



^■''^^'':^-M^^^:^^ ir^^ >T^^ 



'Wh-isi iJiiiiD tills 




able to draw it carefully, before we 

can dare to leave it as a mere 

suggestion, and I want especiall)- to 

impress upon you that we must learn 

it b}- ourselves alone. Each pair of 

e}'es, when they open on this world 

of ours, have their own individual 

way of looking at what they see ; 

the decided preference quite 3.-oung- 

children show for special colours and 

forms will teach you that ; but this 

latent individuality needs training to 

bring it forth, and that rests with 

ourselves. 

W'e all know the story in the old " primers " uf 

" E\-es and No-eyes, or the Art of Seeing." How 

true it is ! Take, for instance, this narcissus. Ask 

"Mr. Xo-eyes " what it is, and he will answer at 

once " A white flower," and perhaps, if we press him 

for details, to supplement this bold description he 

will say, " It has six petals and a yellow middle." Ask him with what 

he would shade the flower, and he will exclaim, " Win-, gre\-, of 

course!" (I heard of a Frenchman once who said, "Black and vite 
makes von good grey!") Ikit while he 
is busy with his dirty, crude, inky 
conception of this pure bloom, let us ask 
the opinion of " Mr. Eyes," who has 
meanwhile been studying the same flower 
with enthusiasm and delight. 

" White ? " he says. " Yes, but just 
hold a bit of white paper near, and see 
what a white ! How pure and delicate are 
the dainty pearly greys in the modelling 
of the petals ; I see cobalt blue, rose 
madder and a lovely pure yellow in this 
grey, but so subtly blended, that I am 
simply longing to make a trial fif the right 
proportions on mj' palette. Then how- 
warm and transparent are the shadows, and 
what a luminous yellow the reflected lights ! 
What wonderful drawing in the edges of 
the flower ! How delightfully they melt 
off indefinitely into the background in the 
shadows, giving immense value to the 
lights on the more prominent parts." 




17 







Now let us look at their respective studies side 
by side. " Mr. No-eyes " has taken great pains with 
his drawing ; even the slight veining in the petals is 
faithfully copied ; the edges are carefully " made out " 
^ against the background to " show up the flower well," 

^■'Jmf making it look as if it had been cut out and pasted 

on the background. Everywhere the evidence of 
painstaking labour, but what a poor dead thing that 
flower is ! He has known by tradition he had a white flower 
before him, and therefore, satisfied by that knowledge, he 
has not used his eyes to see of what it is composed ; he 
has not studied the wonderful difference light and reflection 
can give, and it is quite beyond his comprehension that 
the study of " Mr. Eyes," not nearly so elaborately finished 
and stippled as his own production, should possess a strength 
and an air of conviction entirely lacking in his own. 

But nevertheless he will be obstinate 
about it, and adhere to his traditions 
and ideas with a firmness worthy of a better 
cause. lie has been taught that a HI)- is white, 
that snow is white, a rose is red, etc., and he 
sticks to that teaching. Show him a painting of 
a snow .scene, for instance, when the brilliant 
glow of a winter sunset makes the snowy foreground 
look dark by comparison with the greater light of the 
sky, and he will say it is wrong altogether ; who ever 
saw dark snow ? He makes no allowance for conditions 
of light, the greatest factor in pictorial effect. 

The family of " Mr. No-eyes " is a very large and 
very conservative one ; his descendants will be with us 
for all time, although perhaps with the advancement 
of Art knowledge, and love and study of natural beauty 
among us, they are less numerous than formerh-. 

The habit of training the eyes can be acquired by 
all, but it must be by our own efforts, it cannot be 

taught, although the interchange of ideas with others Beside 

is most helpful. Our impressions must be our very own, otherwise path 
Art would possess no individuality and no originality. Therefore, Puts forth his head 
as I have asked you before, do not value your own perceptive J,"^.*°" **""" "'"'*' 
powers so lowly as to work from copies, however they may appeal to And findsthesnow- 
you as works of art. Study the methods by which a good effect has 
been obtained, note carefully an\'thing that appeals to you in the 
composition and technique, and then, having learnt the lesson it can 
give you — go and do something else ! Something real, and not seen 
through another pair of eyes ! 




liardcr 
crocus 



visitant, 
Mready baskin 
the solar ray. 



I8 







Royal tulips sump- 
tuously dyed, 

Purple and ^old and 
sanguine, striped 
and sn\earcd, 



pur 



the 



keen colour as a 
bride 
s in her u/hiteness. 

Margarc-t L. ll'o,>,/s. 



You have a wonderful opportunity 

-. _ ♦> ~ among these beautiful heralds of the 

m^ floral pageant of the seasons, and 

■ ._ ' what a delight it is to make studies 

f of their fresh spring-like beauty ! 

Snowdrop, crocus, narcissus, daffodil, 

h_\-acinth, tulip, jonquil, follow in quick succession ; it is almost impossible 

to keep pace with them with our brush, however diligent. 

I cannot give you a special formula, or set of rules, for painting each 
and every variety of these beautiful blooms, but here are a few 
generalities we should keep always before us. 

I want you especially to notice there is a great difference- in colour 
in white flowers of various kinds ; some are a much warmer, more 
}-ellowish white than others, as you will observe yourself by comparison 
one with another. 

Then do not forget to notice the consistency of the petals ; most 
bulbous plants are rather fleshy, but in different degrees. 

Again, note the surface texture of the petals ; the smooth satiny 
brightness of the tulip or lily is quite different Irom the duller surface of 
daffodil, narcissus, or jonquil. 



Above all, keep your white bloom as pure and clean as you know 
how ; let your lights be broad and simple, your shadows transparent and 
warm ; look long and earnestly at your group, to ascertain where the 
light falls most strongly, and concentrate on that as your principal point 
of interest, rather than having little fidgety bits of bright light 
scattered about all over the picture, confusing to the eye of the 
spectator, although probably he 
would be unable to tell }'ou what 
is displeasing to him. 

If you wish to study intelligently 
and industriously the wonderful 
varieties of colour in objects we are 
accustomed to call " white," suppose 
you take a white flower — rose, lily, 
chrysanthemum, what you will — put 
it in water in a white glass bowl 
on a fresh damask tablecloth. Now 
bring into your group any other 
so-called white object you see around 
you, a bit of carved ivory, a billiard 
ball, a pearl-handled knife, etc. As 

a pictorial composition this is a meaningless jumble of properties 
with no connection one with another ; but as a study of relative 




Yellow and purple and white. 

Snow-white and lilac and gold 
Crocuses, my crocuses, 

Pccrinii from the mould. 
It was only this morninj! early 

That Sprinj* came by this way. 
And the gifts she leaves for a token 

Were only mine to-day. 

tieorgt' Cotttrei. 



19 







1- 



tone-values, could we but manage to reproduce what we 
see, it would be a perfect tour dc force. 



Tliis leads inc to the subject of backgrounds. Of course, 
for picture-making light flowers undoubtedl)- 
look most effective when arranged against something 
dark and simple. The interest is, after all, in the 
flowers, and if the background is treated elaborately 
with detail and accessories, it will onlv detract from the 
main idea. 

Hut when I say a " plain background," 1 do not 
mean an absolutel}- flat surface devoid of light and 
shade ; this would give a terribly hard effect. The 
shadows falling from the flowers themselves are of great 
value. When you have arranged your group to your 
liking, or allowed the flowers to arrange themselves 
(usually the more satisfactory plan), try the effect oi 
different tones behind to see which harmonises best 
with the prevailing colour ; sometimes a bit of brown 
paper even is most successful, sometimes a bit of 
draper)-. 

I myself have a prized collection of old bits, called, 
most contemptuously, my "' rags " by the family ; most 
precious and useful to me, though I expect any self- 
respecting gentleman of the " old clo' " profession would 
absolutely refuse to entertain the idea of a deal in such 
rubbish. "There ain't one of them fit to make a duster 
on ! " commented a lofty charlady who once got an 
accidental peep at them. Bits of old furniture covering, 
fragments of dresses long worn out, curtains, anything on which Old 
Time has laid his mellow and softening touch. Washed out and 
faded, worn and old, they nevertheless 
possess artistic possibilities that braiul- 
^ ., new silks and velvets never could. 

Sometimes an old book or books will 
blend beautifully with our floral studies. 
I mean those lovely russety-brown calf- 
bound volumes that have descended to 
us from our grandparents, to which wear 
and the passing of \-ears have given an 







O white Wind- 
flower with the 
purple dyes 

Your candour oT 
innocence n%eets 
mine eyes, 

And bids the bowed 
heart in me arise ; 

You arc kin to the 
little ones, hum- 
ble and wise, 



You 



wly-born 
the wild-wood. 



'^Hp^»> added charm, so mellow and dignitied in 
comparison with the gaily-decorated picture 
board-bindings of to-daj-. 

Old mahogany or oak furniture makes 






a fine contrast, too ; onl\-, if the reflections in a polished 
surface are not very accurately realised, the good effect 
is lost entireh'. 






The Over-Elaborated 
Background. 

It is always a great mistake to over-elaborate a 
background ; let it be simple, and let the full significance 
of its name be fully valued. It is a /;^?<;-X'ground, and 
therefore receding behind the main interest of the 
picture. 

Be especially careful to avoid getting a hard tin-like 
effect in the edges of the flowers when working against 
anything dark. Let the edges of the receding flowers 
on the shadow side melt bff indefinitely into the back- 
ground here and there ; this will add strength and 
vigour to your high lights. 

A propos of our talk on tone-values in white, I was 
struck with an example about an hour ago, on this cold 
November morning, when the only prospect outside the 
windows is a thick white mist enveloping everything 
except a few trails of bare Virginia creeper near the 
glass. On the breakfast-table had been placed a bunch 
of white polyanthus narcissus forced into premature 
bloom by the enterprising florist, who seems determined 
of late years not to allow the beauties of the floral 
world ta adhere to their own legitimate seasons. The 
light from the window (what there is of it) is a cold 
but pure one, and shows clear and transparent through 
the petals of the flowers. But where they overlap 
each other, and the rays of light are intercepted and 
obstructed, the flowers look much darker against the 
window-pane than the greyish white mist outside ; while 
the brightest white of the whole is not on the flowers 
at all, but a single spot of brilliant light on the highly- 
glazed surface of the green Bruges pottery vase in which 
they are placed. 

This is just a little example of the eye-training I have been trying 
to impress previously. We can learn a lesson from all we see around 
us, and we are so apt to miss our opportunities in this direction I Why 
need we think it is only possible to study Art when we are, so to speak, 
'■ dressed " for the part, and, in a high-art overall, surrounded by all the 
tools and accessories of our work, stand posed before an easel, brush 
and palette in hand ? 

This is, of course, the practical part of our calling, and very necessar)- 
to its fulfilment ; but the mere translation of our ideas to paper or 




■^' 



~^. 




and violet, 

Pis a little too 
cold for the 
nightin^'alc yet: 

hilomcl. he'll 

not Tail you ! 







canvas is not the only way we ought to be studying Art. We must, 
to be successful, make it a part of our lives, and it is astonishing how 
it engrosses our whole being, and what a joy and delight this mental 
analysis of tone and form will become. 

Not even the busiest of us can say we have no time for it. As we 
pursue our daily work, as we pass on our way through even dull and 
uninteresting surroundings, there is much to see, and the commonest 
objects can become things of interest and beauty. 

Some years ago some very beautiful lunettes by the late Edwin 
Abbey, R.A., were exhibited in London prior to their departure for 
America, to adorn the dome of the Capitol of Pennsylvania. If I 
remember rightly, they were subjects representing the industries of 
the New World ; and one, especially beautiful, represented the Spirits of 
the Earth bringing the riches of the oil wells to the surface of the world. 
The idea was, of course, expressed allegorically. Beautiful female 
forms with brilliant lights in their hands were rising from the ground, 
and the effect of their light, transparent, white draperies, showing a 
lovely, soft, indescribable blue against a clear sunset sky, was masterly 
and wonderful. 

A short time after I was in a smokj- suburban park at the evening 
hour. Near by, one of our big main lines of railwav- passes over a high 
embankment. A northern express rushed past, and there, against the 
luminous sky, those clouds and wreaths of steam from the engine gave 
me just the same effect I have tried to describe above, while the like- 
ness to that beautiful picture was still further enhanced by the flickering 
lights just appearing in the houses and streets near. One could forget 
the prosaic side of the picture: the kindly indefiniteness of the shades 
of approaching night had transformed those sordid-looking and ugly 



Through 


pril 


mrosc 


tufts, ir 


ithe 


green 


bower, 






The PC 


r iwi 


inkle 


t r a i 1 c 


d 


its 


wreath: 


s; 




And 'tis 


my 


faith 


that cv 


cry flower 


Enjoys i 


the 


air it 


breathes. 




II ■ 


en/s-a 


■ortn. 




'Whan T;Hiio£ill£; 



\ 




Long as 
there's a 
sun that 




buildings into a mass of dark simplicity of 
infinite value to the effect as a whole. 

The builder of cities, the necessities 
of modern civilisation, may spoil the natural 
beauty of sylvan scenery, but cannot rob 
us of atmospheric effect ; sometimes the 
very murkiness of the smoky clouds of 
manufacturing towns will give us an effect 
of surprising beauty. 

We have wandered some way from our 
friends the spring bulbs pure and simple ; 
let us return to practicabilit\- and the easel 
and paint-box. 

The Di!!iculty of 
Yellow Pigments. 

So far we have confined our attention 
to white flowers ; suppose we try some 
daffodils by way of a change. We shall 
need to exercise great care in the study, 
for most yellow pigments in water-colour 
are very difficult to manage. In case you 
have not yet found out all their weak- 
nesses for yourselves, I had better put \-ou 

on your guard against some of their little vagaries. Gamboge must 

be shunned, and so must chrome, for, though brilliant in working, they 

have a tendency to turn black with time. Some while ago I came 

across a group of yellow narcissus I had painted and exhibited years 

before. I hardly recognised it again. The flowers wore a dejected 

brown paper hue on their poor little faces that 

surely could not have been there in their early 

days ; that wicked old pigment, chrome, was 

^ responsible for the change. 

Then lemon-yellow (a charming colour, and 
absolutely indispensable for some flowers) has a 
\^'' nasty trick of picking up on the brush if we 

attempt to work another colour over it. There- 
fore I usually find it better, when painting 
< daffodils, primroses, and light yellow flowers generally, 

to wash in lightly the modelling and shading of the petals 
as if they were white ; and then, when dry, to put on the 
yellow colour in a thin wash — lemon-yellow or primrose 
\\ aureolin (according to the depths) — afterwards. This will 

ensure a far fresher appearance than mixing the colours. 
j\ Daffodils make charming studies, both in form and 

I \ colour ; there is something so cheery and buoyant in their 




> 



23 



1»*" 







A spray of Ivy-leaved 
Toad 



Fla 



suniu- \cllo\v, and so decorative in their- arrangement with 
their own delightful bluey grey - green leaves. The 
cockney flower-woman I usually patronise knows my 
partiality for these leaves, for she always calls out 
"Spikes, laidy ? " in a persuasiv^e tone if she thinks I am going by 
without making a purchase. Ihit these self-same " spikes," though 
the most charming and suitable accompaniment to their kindred 
flowers, are very difficult to manage successfully. If you think they 
look simple, just try even to cfrazv one, and you will see. If you look 
straight into the face of a single daffodil, deep down into the depths of 
its long trumpet-shaped heart, you will not find it easy to reproduce 
its depths. Note carefully the reflected lights and quiet tran.sparency 
with which it recedes from our view as it nears the base of the petals. 

The crocus makes a good study, especially if we draw it growing from 
its bulb. • 

The snowdrop, with its delicate blossoming bells, also ; but neither of 
these would appeal to me for the composition of a 
picture, though charming as studies. 



The culli\atcd h}-acinth, except the early Roman 
variety, is somewhat stiff in growth ; but the lovely 
wild bluebells, growing in riotous luxuriance in the 
Maytime copse, make a wonderful study in colour, 
the tender young green of spring-time acting as a 
beautiful contrast to the indescribable blue mistiness 
of the floral carpet at our feet. 

Have \'ou ever noticed that these bluebells are 
rather disappointing and hard in colour if you bring 
them indoors, away from the glamour of green and 
sky? But nevertheless they make a delightful 
study, with plenty of scope for delicate drawing, 
as do also lilies of the valley with their delicate 
leaves. 

Tulips have been vastly imiMovcd of recent 
years ; how different are some of these lovely new 
varieties, with dainty frilled edges, from the striped 
yellow and red monstrosities so fashionable in my 
childish da)'s ! But they are as changeable as a 
rose, and need to be painted very quickly. 



ut the 



■ the 



The 
AvAi 



Is not tc 
he hyac 



ini! shades: 
carpet of the dry lea* 
keep down 
nth blades. 




24 




A study of 
Blackthorn. 



It is SO difficult to tell others how a thing is done, more 
especially, perhaps, in painting than in any other Art ; for so much 
depends on our own sense of beaut}-, and our own individtial 
interpretation of it. If we were bound b)- hard and fast rules, 
that individualit\-, an artist's most cherished possession, would 
be lost. 

Therefore I am endeavouring in these chats of outs, not to be 
dogmatic, or to lay down any law or rule formed from m\- own 
experience, but to impress upon )ou to learn all you can from 
\-our own, and also to see the necessity for the cultivation of 
your own emotions and thoughts, to the true realisation of your 

subject, be it what it ma\-. 

There can be no better teacher than Nature herself; no moie charm- 
ing studies than the gifts she scatters so lavishly around ; we ma\-, of 

course, learn much that is technically useful from a 

group of "models" (cubes, triangles, etc.) set up 

before us in approved School of Art fashion ; and 

perhaps we may feel a certain amount of pleasure 

and interest in bringing our study of them to such 

a pitch of perfection and finish that it looks very 

real and true. We have df)ubtless been training 

eyes and hand with good effect ; but where has 

been the enthusiasm we experienced when trying to 

give our impression of the humblest flower ? Where 

the delight we who love Nature must feel when ,' 

we study the subtleties of colour and form in the 

works of God ? \ v 

This enthusiasm, this stirring, as it were, of our 

very souls, must carry us into higher realms of 

thought, and therefore uplift our taste to higher 

things ; it is the creation of the very essence of true 



ry bee that'; 
nging. 




AD^H'^ ^fiii^:lii:ild 



Art, and once this is understood and felt, technique and craftsmanship 
will follow as a matter of course. 

What a grand, what a great opportunitj- we have before us now 
in the happy spring-time, when everywhere around bud and blossom 
are entrancing us with their beauty ! 

" When proud-pied April dressed in all his trim 
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything.'' 



us be up and doing, and take every possible opportunit\- for 
Every moment is pre- 



Let 
study ! 

cious now ; there is so much to 
do, and the life of the spring 
blossoms is so fleeting, that 
procrastination is fatal to our 
purpose. In meadow and hedge- 
row, wood, garden, and field, we 
find our models in rich and 
glorious profusion. 

Look at this apple branch, 
for instance ; a splendid stud}- 
both in drawing and colour. 
Just lightly sketch in, with faint 
touches of a soft pencil, the 
general form of the spray, its 
direction, and the shape of its 
clusters of flowers. Now look 
at the flowers earnestly and long, 
standing, or sitting well back 
from your subject, and, with 
eyes half closed, study the main 
points of the whole. This will 
enable you to see where the 
light falls strongest, and therefore 
to decide where the principal 
point of interest lies. In every 
picture, every study, there should 

be one such point that attracts us first : just as, when we are looking 
at a landscape in Nature, an interior, a group of people, or anything 
else that comes within our vision, there is bound to be one particular 
spot in the composition that arrests our eyes, and therefore chains our 
attention first. Light is so all-important to our vision that where it 
falls brightest is invariably the spot to which oiu" eyes are drawn. 

Here, then, is our point of interest, but we 
must not, of course, make its presence too 
obvious, or the drawing will look forced and 
unreal. Let us keep it as broad as we can. 






Cowsli 


P» 


ol Spri 


nii 


, 




With • 


cluster; 


i ol joy ye 


liiiht ou 


r lands, 


And . 


we itAthc 


r your 


fr. 


iliran 


cc in our 


ha 


nds 












BCAI 


Jty And 


Ir< 


a(£rAncc 


bl 


ossominii. 




Cowsli 


ps 


of Spri 


nn 






Thoufih the > 




rid tirows 


old u 


rith sorrow 


And CAre, 












There 


's eteri 


lal 


Ireshm 


ess 


. in the air, 


The 

i 


eladnc 


ss 


of God 


to < 


earth 


will clintf. 

■Vti A. /..... 



26 




I\-fjri}!.' ^ Qiaj'iBJil'il 



T h"e y e 1 1 o « 
wallflower, 

Stained witl 
iron broTvn. 

Thomson. 



and avoid " worrying " it by scattering 
it with little meaningless bits of dark 
colour : even its shadows are delicate 
and pure, and how beautiful is the 
almost transparent flimsiness of the 
petals ! The flowers that are fullest out 
are nearly white except for the creamy 
yellowy stamens of their centres : and 
you must notice how fragile is the 
attachment of the petals to the calyx, 
for this is a characteristic too charming 
to be overlooked. If you liked to make' 
some studies of the form of the 
fallen petals, it would teach you much. 

But to return for the present to our spray : 
you will notice, except in the case of a branch 
where the flowers are nearly over, that each cluster 
of blossoms has still some unopened, or partly 
opened, buds. These buds are generally the 
brightest pink of all, and their strong colour is of 
great value in enhancing the delicate purity of 
the more advanced flowers. 

Again, the notched and knotted branch, 
and purplish brown shadows, 
showing here and there through 
the clustered masses of pink and 
white, also gives a note of strength. 
Then the little green calyx at the 
back of the flower, and the }'oung 
unfolding leaves will help with a 
happy suggestion of spring green. 
If you are ambitious, and wish 
to paint a large spray, you will 
doubtless find yourself confronted 
with a difficulty with which all 
flower painters have to contend, 
and that is, the utter impossibility 
of finishing your study before the 
beautiful freshness of the flowers 
has passed away. To work from 
wilted or faded specimens is fatal ; 
so, if you think your drawing is 
likely to take you longer than the 
short span of life your models 
enjoy, I think you will find it a 



ith its grevish lights 




27 








good plan to make a quick sketch of the whole gioiip, much 
as I have suggested above, either in charcoal or in colour, 
the general forms of light and shade roughly blocked in. 
Keeping this before you for reference, begin the finished work 
on a fresh piece of paper, getting fresh flowers to take the 
place of the faded ones, only taking as much at each sitting 
as you feel you can accomplish while the blossoms are fresh, 
doing your utmost with this, adhering meanwhile to the main 
idea of the first sketch. 

This is the only way I know of making 
a really finished study of an)'thing so perish- 
able as apple-blossom, but, of course, it is a 
method full of pitfalls for the unwary, and 
the one I u.sed to find the most dangerous 
was the temptation, when I took up each particular 
group of blooin, to be so led away by the beautj' 
of the cluster before me that I could not resist an 
inclination to give each one equal prominence, and 
ignore its relation to the whole study : a terrible bit 
of patchwork was the result. 

So we must have our first sketch constantlj- before 
■ us, to enable us to keep our first impression fresh, 
and then, when the finished drawing is nearing com- 
pletion, it will want what an artist would call 
" bringing together " ; in other words, simplifying in 
effect to compose well as a whole, to bring back the 
unison of idea of our quick sketch of the whole 
branch. Here a petal, a whole flower, or even a 
cluster of flowers, toned down so as to be almost lost 
in the shadow ; an edge softened here ; a touch of 
broad, bright light there ; this can only be accom- 
plished satisfactorily with great deliberation and care. 
Sometimes a good quick effect can be obtained 
by working in " body " on coarse, dark brown paper, 
such as you would use for wrapping up parcels, using 
the colours and merging them together while wet, 
much as you would if oil, and not water, were the 
medium. The colour must be used as pure as possible, for, if mixed 
with too much water, the effect would be extremely weak and poor. 

When I first took up flower-painting seriously, I made some careful 
studies of single flowers ; then tried two or three together, with a tint 
washed roughly behind them as background ; but when, a little later on, 
fired with an ambition to exhibit my work, I began to try my prentice 
hand at picture-making, I found, for the first time, all the difliculties I 
have tried to describe above. 'ihe temptation to jiaint each flower for 




Arc you lightini! the fairies* gloomy tirots. 

Delicate, fairy chandeliers? 
Where are you shininii, forSet-me-nots 7 

When are you cominti to dry your tears? 



/•• 



: /',.; 



28 




1"^. 



29 



Blue !la(Ss, yellow flails, tlaSs all trcckled, 
Which will you take? yellow, blue, speckled! 
Take which you will, speckled, blue, yellow, 
Each in its way has not a fellow. 

C. Kosidli. 



jA.p:rii^ii 



nd 



itself was strong within mc, although when tlic group was finished 1 
could see there was something very much wanting. 

Oh, those early studies ! I have a few of them still in ni\- folios ; 
and after the lapse of years of practice, how crude, how hard and 
" ed^ry " they seem ! And yet I have a sentimental feeling against 
destroying them, both for the old-time memories they recall, and the 
lessons they have taught. In all of them I can see this fatal tendency to 
make too much of each flower individually, regardless of its true place in 
the scheme of design of the whole. 

I remember, when I came in from the garden with a lovely, freshly 
plucked rose, how I could not resist the temptation to fit it into a space 
in my group, where I could look right into the heart of its unfolding 
petals, although, to take its place properly, it ought to have shown only 
its profile or its back. As you may imagine, a vase filled with roses, all 
pointing their little noses towards me, however carefully painted, did not 
compose very well pictorial 1\-, and I soon began to see, if I wanted my 
work to have any artistic value, I must work on very different lines. 

In the course of business I have sometimes (rather unwillingly and 
under protest) had to return to these earlier methods, when I have 
been asked to undertake commissions for catalogues for well-known 
horticultural firms. You will find your ardent horticulturist cares less 

for pictorial effect than a rather " niggling " drawing of a show flower. 

He may admire an artistic drawing himself, but the public, for 

whom he caters in these books, does 

not always appreciate any subtleties 

of light and shadow composition, 

but insists that each flower shall 

show its own special characteristics 

in the most blatantly insistent way 

it can. 

Well, these things must be done 

sometimes, and done faithfully, with 

knowledge and care ; but \ou can 

understand, after a dose of this kind 

of work, how delightful it is to let 

one's own ideas run riot once more, 

leaving these trammelled paths to get 

back to the less stilted beauties of 

field and garden. 

I hope, when the spray of apple- 
blossom is finished, you have still time 

to make further studies of " The fair 

profusion that o'crspreads the spring " 

in this charming month of sunshine 

and showers. 




30 



Jkp:rli'^ Gi'ilTlaTafI 




^V 



Primroses, anemones, cowslips, oxlips, 
lady's smock, wood sorrel, and many other 
blossoms star copse and field ; little pink- 
tipped daisies peep through the lengthening 
grass ; in our gardens wallflowers, forget- 
me-nots, pol}-anthus, jonquil, and many 
others are greeting us day by day ; while 
just look at that lovely old wall — simply 
glowing with purple and white arabis, 
London pride, stonecrop and a host of other 
humble though beautiful flowers. 

Let us take this little bunch of sweet- 
scented cowslips for our next drawing. I 
would not try to make a completed picture 
of them, for it is very difficult to mass such 
small flowers with good effect ; but what a 
delightful little sketch the}' will make, their 
bright golden cups peering out each from 
its sheltering sheath-like calyx of softest 
pale grey green, a green unlike anything 
else I know. Notice the stems and how 
they differ from the more ethereal and 
downy primrose stalks. On another page 
in this book will be found a talk on 
stems and twigs, giving the subject more 
time and attention, as its importance 
demands. In the meantime observe them 

carefully, and note the difference thej' show in different varieties of 
plants. 

What a favourite the forget-me-not is with us all, with its hue of 
heavenly blue, and its tender romantic name ! We must search the 
realms of legend and fancy to trace the origin of this, for its original 
popular designation was " Mouse-ear," simply a translation from the 
Greek of its botanical name Myosotis, and supposedly derived from 
the shape of its leaves. 

The legends regarding the naming of the little blue flower 
with its present charming name are endless. We all know the story of 
the knight in the old ballad who lost his life when, at the request of 
the " ladye-fa}'re," he plunged in the stream and was drowned while try- 
ing to obtain a bunch of its blossoms of " brilliant hue " to di/nl in her 
" nut-browfi hair" \ But perhaps the prettiest of all is the story told 
to the children, that when the flowers were given their names by the 
Creator of the world, one little flower forgot hers, and when she went 
back, in fear and trembling, to ask it, she was told '' Forget-me-not^ 

There are endless other stories and traditions of this same flower, 



The Buttercup is hkc a 
The Marisjold is lik. 

The Daisy with a sSoldc 
And golden spreads 



jioldcn cup 
a golden f 
\ eye looks 



beside the rill. 



31 



J-Xij^'ii'iJ Gi5i-Jrliiiid 



but as it is our business to paint it, and not merely 
to study it from a sentimental standpoint, let us proceed 
to business. 

The shades of colour in the blossoms present a 
great variety, some, generally those longest in bloom, 
arc quite pink, and so are many of the opening buds. 

I am generally rather averse to the use of Chinese 
white in my floral studies, because, as a rule, it gives 
a dull opaque look when mi.ved with other colours, and 
so loses that transparency of effect which is a great 
thing to aim at in flower-painting. But in the forget- 
me-not I have found a touch of white mixed with the 
blue very helpful in getting this exact tone of colour. 
Cobalt used pure is too dark, and even when diluted 
with water and a slight touch of Antwerp blue added, 
it is not very satisfactory ; the touch of white, used with 
discretion, will give us what we want. Do not forget 
to give full prominence to the lovely little touch of 
white, almost like a halo, surrounding the yellow centre. 
The wallflower is another great spring favourite of 
mine. What is more beautiful to behold than a clump 
of them growing against a crumbling, old grey wall ? 
Or, if we wish for an indoor study, put some blooms, 
in all the glory of their colourings of yellow, orange, red 
and brown, in an old blue china bowl, and note the effect I 

I must plead guilty to a personal preference for these warm, rich, 
russet colourings in the old-fashioned varieties we have seen and 
admired in cottage gardens since our childhood, above the fanciful 
magenta shades introduced of late years by the up-to-date florist. 

Indian yellow, cadmium and rose madder, bright and pure as we can 
'Tct them, give the right tones, with a touch of crimson alizarin here and 
there, and even perhaps a little burnt sienna. Notice the deep purplish 
hue of the sepals enclosing the unopened buds, and do not forget to tr\- 
to reproduce the velvety effect of the petals : a slight touch of cobalt 
delicately washed over the lights will sometimes help to give this " bloom. 
The long leaves clo.sely embracing the sturdy stems are beautiful 
too ; observe the grey reflected lights on their upper surfaces, in con- 
trast to the brilliant green they present wlicn the light is passing througli 
their substance. 

The wallflower is not strictly indigenous to our islands, but it has 
so acclimati.sed and adapted itself since its first coming in medi.x-vai 
times that we almost regard it as a native, especially as it owns a big 
family of cousins who are aborigines, being a member of the same 
order as some of our most useful vegetables, including the cabbage, 
mustard, cress, and even turnijj. 




Oh. thi- ■.» 
Whi-rcthroutfh Ih 
In chain of nKacIc 



Uey of deep t<rass, 

nmcr stream doth pass, 
nd stin pool, 
From misty morn to evening cool ; 
Where the black ivy creeps and twines 
O'er the dark-armed, red-trunked pines. 

U-iliiaiii Morris. 



32 



.^pji'il^ii SasMaiil 



If we pass a brook running through marshy meadows in our quest 
for floral subjects, we shall surely find wonderful patches of gold in the 
masses of marsh marigold, or " king-cup " studding the lush green grass. 
I believe in Italy this flower is called " Bride of the Sun," and certainly 
it seems to reflect some of his golden glory. 

In this study you will want some of your brightest and purest 
yellows, so please be particular to bear in mind what I have said in 
another chapter about the fatal tendency of gamboge and chrome to 
turn black ; \'ou will be safest with aurcolin and Indian yellow as your 
companions. 

The leaves are sturdy, deep green, and glossy, and paler on the 
under sides ; they make a lovely contrast, and are of immense value in 
throwing the gold of the flowers into strong relief. 

The space at my disposal does not allow me to give a detailed study 
of all the floral gems greeting us " Beneath the concave of an April 
sky " ; but you will find them easily for yourselves — something fresh 
each day, if you have the time and inclination to seek it. Do not be 
afraid of attempting anything as too difficult ; do not despise anything 
as too trivial for study. If your studies do not reach an equal standard 
of merit, do not be discouraged, for this is characteristic of the works 
of the greatest artist as well as the beginner. Go on steadily and 
perseveringly, profiting gratefully by the opportunities for study the 
rich store of April's garland of flowers affords, and by the quickened 
energy, this " spirit of youth in everything," the month of smiles and 
tears brings into our lives. It is above all things a time of promise, and 
if we, by earnest endeavour, can show this promise in our work, surely 
the fulfilment will follow in due course, and bear its rich harvest of fair 
fruit in due season ! 




Flffuier Pictures. 



33 










34 












if^^y^ 



ic 



Mavtime ! Beloved of poets, when the beauty of the young 
year is at its gayest and brightest ; when breezes are soft, and 
skies are blue ; and when everywhere around us is the 
sweetness and fragrance of flowering bush and tree. 

Our garden shows glorious masses of colour. Mauve 

and white lilac ; rhododendrons ; azaleas ; the lovely syringa 

throws its perfume around ; the laburnum's yellow tassels 

(or gold rain, as the Germans aptly term it) are mingling 

with the rosy ma\'. 

Tlie lawn, studded with [jink-tipped daisies, is at once the despair of 

the gardener and the delight of ourselves. But even the beauties of the 

garden, alluring as they are, cannot keep us at home on this bright May 

morning, when the voice of wild Nature is calling — 

" When maytlies haunt the willow. 
When may-buds tempt the bee." 

Many of our favourite field paths and grassy lanes, impassable 
during the winter months, are accessible once more ; still rather heavy 
walking, perhaps ; but who thinks of such a trivial incoi:venience when 
one is out " a-maying " .' 

You must, I am afraid, put up with muddy boots if you go for a 
spring ramble with me ! Indeed, it has always been a proverb in our 
family that, if ever I led an excursion, or showed a newly-discovered 
footpath, it was certain to lead the unlucky person who was rash enough 
to follow my guidance, into the muddiest, stickiest spot to be found for 
miles round ; and certainly I must confess the accusation is not entirely 
without foundation ! Do not some of our most beautiful wild plants 
choose the boggiest situations for their homes ? And I was always so 
anxious to seek them out, and show them to my friends, that I fear I 
had very little consideration for the appearance of the latter ! I knew 



35 



many a ditcli, hidden in rank grass, 

where a perfect nursery of exquisite 

little ferns grew, quite unnoticed by 

the casual passer-by ; the spot by 

the brook where the may grew 

thickest ; and where the deepest 

pink wild roses were to be found ; 

and the blackberries, too. 

I generally returned from the 

expeditions in such a woeful state 

of dishevelment that I was quite 

afraid to show myself at home. 

How often have I anxiously 

watched for an opportunity to 

creep in, quietly and unobtrusivel)', 

bj' the back entrance, escaping to 

the shelter of my own room to 

repair (or rather try to repair) the 

ravages my unfortunate wardrobe 

had sustained ! I seemed to have 

a particular talent for tearing my 

clothes, and so getting into dire 

disgrace with my elders. The 

little school chum who was my 

companion on these treasure hunts 

was one of those tidy children who always seemed able to keep trim and 

fresh ; while I, alas ! was a mass of rags and tatters, scratches and mud I 

It was always the pocket of my coat in which the blackberries were 

stored ; always my umbrella, or rather my mother's (borrowed sur- 
reptitiously for the occasion on account of its crooked handle), that 

got torn in endeavours to get those finest specimens that always 
grow out of reach 1 

For our first studj- this month 1 think we ought 

to take its name-sake ; and if we can choose a day 

when the bright clear spring sunshine is showing up 

the hawthorn bushes in all the brillianc\' of their 

warm white blossoms against the cloudless blue sky, 

we have a picture before us that is indeed a joy 

and delight, and typical of the spring. As a study, 

if we determine to paint the whole tree, this must 

be treated boldly ; the lights kept broad, and 

the .shadows warm ; for where can we find 

cold colour anywhere when Nature is 

glowing with warmth and light ? 

It is impossible for inc to give you a list 




The Siitchwort is one of ihe loveliest 
of our spring flowers. 




36 




37 



2j;i iliB Marry 
'M'sythxiB 



of what colours j-ou should use for this ; yuu must rely upon j'our own 
observation, for different conditions of light and atmosphere completcl)' 
change the effect. F'or instance, if the sun is shining full on your 
bush, the flowers are much lighter and brighter in tone than the blue 
sky behind : if, on the other hand, the sun is near the horizon, the 
flowers will show in dark masses against the 
brighter light of the evening sky. Let us take a 
may branch home for further study, and notice 
carefully what a warm ycllounsh white the petals 
are (test this by holding the flowers against a 
bit of white paper), and how pretty are its little 
brown and pinkish stamens. I do not par- 
ticularly care for the double pink ma)- as a 
painting stud\- ; the colour is somewhat crude 
and monotonous ; but there is a single variety 
of rich crimson hue (with white centres) that 
would make a lovely contrast to the white. 

In the copse how many favourites await our 
coming; the young hazels, in their dresses of 
wrinkly unfolding leaves, are charming in them- 
selves ; and then look at the floral carpet at our 
feet ! The lovely hazy blue of a mass of blue- 
bell, " the sapphire queen of mid-May," as Keats 
calls the purple orchis, the " long purples " of 
Shakespeare, the pink campion and stitchwort 
arc showing in the hedgerow, and the primrose is 
still with us, although its later blossoms are longer 
stalked, and its leaves have lost some of their 
crinkled charm since we hailed its advent with 
delight last month. 

The stitchwort is one of the loveliest of our 
spring flowers, and its botanical name of Stdlaria 
seems to suit its starlike blossoms particularly 
well. It takes its English name from the fact 
that the old herbalists had great faith in its 
curative powers " against the paine in the side, 
stitches, and suchlike," as one writer quaintly 
[)uts it. 

As a study in drawing, its perfectly graceful 
form is a delight ; but I should advise you only 
to make a simple pencil sketch of its beauties, for it is so fragile a flower 
that, before you can get out \-our paint-box, it will be faded and gone. 

Take particular care to copy the graceful delicacy of the stems ; the 
lovely modelling of the little starlike flower ; its five petals separating 
into ten points after they leave the corolla ; while the grasslike leaves, 




Do noi forget the little Woodruff 

with its graceful bunches of starry 

while blossoms. 



38 



3il -Lli 



Four ducks on a pond, 
A i*rass bank beyond, 
A blue sky of spring, 
White clouds on the wing ; 
What a little thinj* 
To remember for years — 
To remember urith tears ! 
IViiiiam Allinghavi. 






growing in pairs on either side of the stems of each group of 
flowers, are ver\' beautifully shaped. 

The lovely cow-parsley is now in all its beauty in field 
and hedgerow, and this is another thing to try our skill if we make 
a study of its feathery fleeting beauty. It is a charming foreground for 
a landscape artist, too. 

How delightful its lacclike heads of blossom look overshadowing this 
huge bunch of golden buttercups we plucked in the meadow, which is now 
a harmony of green and gold, a little later to take a still more rich effect 
of colour when the grasses are ripening, and the rich red sorrel comes 
into its own. 

If you make a study of buttercups, it had better be a quick study, 
one you can finish at a single sitting, for the flowers, when plucked and 
put in water, have a funny habit of growing tall. The stems run up 
quite quickly, and in a short time the whole aspect of the group is 
changed. 

Perhaps you will wonder a little at my choice of the humble 
dandelion for a sketch, but to my mind it is a flower never sufficiently 
appreciated. To the designer, whose art it is to study natural forms, and 
then so conventionalise them as to make them suitable for wall-papers, 
textiles, etc., the dandelion possesses endless possibilities. The golden 
petals, toothed at the edges, from which the plant takes its name of Dens 
leonis (lion's tooth) ; the curiously and handsomely serrated leaves ; its 
pointed buds ; and last, but not least, its graceful, gossamerlike puff-ball 
seed, so loved by the country child, are all too decorative to be passed 
by. This "What's o'clock" is rather a difficult customer to introduce in 
a floral design, and is generally best e.xpressed, I find, by wiping out the 
form from the background in a rather smudgy wa}% with a sable hair 
brush, clean water, and a bit of rag ; just lightly touching in, with a very 
fine brush, any little definite bits of detail that strike you most forcibly 
on the light side, never losing sight of its airy lightness and globular 
form. If you were to make out every one of those funny little umbrella- 
like fluffinesses of which it is composed, definitely, the downy effect of 
the whole would be completely lost, and its character entirely gone. 

One bright morning, when you are feeling braced up for conquest, 
and strong enough to grapple with an_\- amount of hard work and 




ndelion, with globe oS d 
The schoolboy's clock in every town 
Which the truant puffs amain 
To conjure lost hours back again. 

Ih.lvitl 



39 







difficulty, let us boldly tackle a branch of that 
lovely lilac in the garden. All studies composed 
of a multitude of small flowers are not easy to 
portray with good effect, for there is always a 
tendency to make out the flowers too definitely, 
without treating the whole as a mass of bloom. 
Lilac varies very much in colour, but, as a general 
rule, the open flowers are more lavender blue than 
the pinkish mauve of the buds and the flowers in 
shadow. Everywhere the shadows must be kept 
ivann ; keep them simple, too, in effect, to give 
greater contract to the more detailed flowers on 
the light side. 

If you are living near a wood, do not forget 
the little woodruff, with its graceful bunches of 
starry white blossoms and rings of dark green 
leaves, at intervals on its slender stems. One of 
our old herbalists tells us this plant " Cheers the 
heart, makes men merry, and helps melancholy," 
truly a delightful character to possess ! And even 
nowadays the fresh young shoots of the ll'tM- 
nieister (as it is called in Germany) are much 
esteemed in the Fatherland for flavouring the 
Maibowle, a favourite spring beverage, to which 
it gives a peculiar scented flavouring unlike 
anything else. 

Somehow I wish very much I could see the 
studies you have made since you began reading 
these talks. I feel I am, in a measure, working in 
the dark, for, although I can discourse on my own 
difficulties and mistakes, I cannot see yours, to 
criticise, counsel you what to avoid or (as I am sure I should be able to 
do) applaud your progress. 

I think every student goes through certain phases, and from time to 
time adopts little mannerisms that, unless (as is often the case) he is 
led away by some new idea, often cramp and spoil his work. 

He may have seen a study or painting that has impressed him 
greatly, and he endeavours to work on the lines of this rather than by 
trying to learn with his eyes and his own brain what Nature has to 
disclose. 

This is wrong. There is a great difference between appicciatioii and 
imitation, and I have a dreadful horror of the latter in all forms. 

I know, when we admire a thing ver_\- much, it has a sort of un- 
conscious influence upon us, and this dominates, to a certain extent, 
our own efforts, even our own vision and conception. \\ c find this in 



How sweetly smells the honeysuckle 
In the hush'd ni^ht, as if the world were one 
Of utter peace, and love, and fientleness. 



40 




Urn. mm I 



other arts besides paintiny;, I think more particularly in 
music. Notice the influence of Haydn, Mozart, and Bach 
in the earlier works of Hecthoven, before he threw aside 
the conventions of his time, and allowed his genius full 
play among the magnificent harmonies that filled the musical 
world of his day with awe, and still, after a century has 
passed, hold us enthralled. 

He had emerged from the influence of others, and we 
have onl)- to listen to his beautiful " Pastoral Symphony " 
to know how trul)- he drew his inspiration from Nature. 

If I go in the country on a May morning, that wonderful 
first movement, with its joyous, insistent, oft-reiterated motive, 
is always singing in my brain ; it seems so exactly to express 
the happiness and brightness of wood, field, and sky. 

It is a great thing to keep our idea of Nature fresh 
before us, and endeavour to create something, with that 
loving help she never withholds from us, something that is 
really our own inception. Am I wearying you with mj' 
own insistence on this ? Forgive me, and bear with me ; 
for I am really anxious you should profit to the utmost by the 
opportunities this golden month of beauty affords. 

Our list of floral studies is a long one, for Nature in her bright 
spring dress is in a most lavish mood. What a chance for careful study 
this perfect riot of beauty and colours affords ! Nature never repeats 
her designs, and it is our pleasure and delight, in drawing flowers and 
plants of any kind, to notice their individual characteristics, the special 
points peculiarly their own, that give distinction and character to one 
and all. And what makes our world all the more interesting and 
absorbing is that, while our pencil or brush is gaining dexterity b}- 
practice, our eye growing more trained and true, we are also learning much 
of the wonders of Nature, and adding to our store of knowledge as well. 

It is not a very scientific method of studying botan}-, but it is 
nevertheless a delightful one ; and, although vi'e may not be able to 
discourse learnedly on this and that order or group, " giving it," as 
Tennyson says, " a clumsy name," yet surely we are learning in the most 
enjoyable manner to distinguish the subtle differences between the 
varieties of plant form ; and the mere fact of translating our observations 
to paper impresses them far more firmly on our memory than any other 
method could do. With this as a basis to start on, surely we should go 
further in our quest for knowledge, and study intelligently the marvels 
and delights Nature has in store for us all. 

For the true lover of Nature, once his interest is awakened, is held so 
closely, yet so willingly in her thraldom that he cannot draw back ; and 
that wonderful interest and reverence he feels in her works pervades his 
whole life, nay, is a part of himself 



And round green roots and y«^Miuw*i>b 
Pale pink convolvulus in tendrils crcc 



yellowing stalks I see 
_j„:i^ creep. 



41 



Thick-set the English Daisies 
grow» 
The close fresh turf between : 
On breezy downs, on meadows 

low, 
In lawns, upon the banked 
hedgerow, 
Star-white, 'mid pastures 
green. 

Out-living all blue violet bands, 

And every early comer. 
Till children thread with sun- 
browned hands 
The Daisy-chains from flow'ring 
lands 
In the sunny days of summer. 
Jilla hinatii. 



ff 




42 




'The meadow Sields 
Are waving in the sunshine like a sea; 
A billowy deep, urhose {lowers are like a foam.' 



v^^ 



What a picture of pastoral beaut\- those lines conjure 
up to our imagination ! A bright, sunny morning in 
June, when skies are cloudless and blue, and the balmy 
summer breeze, gently stirring the wild luxuriance of 
foliage and flower, tempers the heat of the sun. 

The year is at the zenith of its beauty, and the riotous profusion of 
Nature is still in the first blush of young maturity, before the thunder- 
storms of July and the scorching suns of August have caused the leaves 
and flowers to lose somewhat of their fresh beauty, and take a deeper 
note of green, as the season goes on its way. 

The days are now at their longest ; the light is at its best. We have 
the whole long glorious day before us, to feast on its loveliness and to 
learn the lessons it has in store. There is so much to see and so much 
to do that our pencils need not be idle one moment, did we not want 
time also to revel in the beauty we see everywhere around us, and so 
become imbued, to our very souls, with the gladness it brings. If we 
just merely make up our minds to copy slavishly specimen after 
specimen of flower and leaf, never raising our eyes or pausing to 
consider the wider beauty of the great Out of Doors, the " Altogether," 
as one might term it, we shall lose much of the spirit of this lovely 
summer-time. 

I do not mean we are to simply dream away those golden hours, and 
so accomplish nothing tangible at all ; but in a long bright day in June 
there is time to be practical enough to produce good work and also to 
find leisure to look around us and enjoy the gladness of it all We 
cannot feel discontented or disagreeable on a morning like this, no 
matter how irksome our burdens, however uncongenial our daily task. 



43 





Just try (the" effect 
of one day in the 
meadows or woods 
of early June and 
\-ou will find it a 
real tonic to mind 
and brain. 

" In early June when 
the earth laughs 
out, 

When the fresh 
winds make love 
to the flowers, 

And woodlands 
sing, and waters 
shout." 



We grudge every 
moment spent in- 
doors ; and surel\- 
even the most delicate mollycoddle in the world need not fear cold or 
chill. So let us be up betimes, not to lose the freshness and charm 
of the early morning, or to have to do our walking when the sun is 
high in the sky. 

Our sketching "kit" reduced to a minimum weight, a simple 
sandwich luncheon added to our knapsack, a 
camp stool for those who do not appreciate 
the delights of sitting, gipsy- 
like, on the grass, and our 
outfit for a long gladsome 
day is complete. 

Leaving the main road 
and motors far behind, let 
us follow a secluded field- 
path or lane, until we find a 
meadow or cornfield bordered 
with trees and hedgerows, 
affording, not only .some 
welcome shade from the sun 
when at its hottest, but a 
treasury of delightful " bits " 
for study as well. Graceful 
branches of wild roses wave 
above us, scattering their 
pink petals at our feet if we 
pick but one tiny bud. 





44 






x-'.^v 






. -s*^ 



/ 



The coin is already high, though it is still green, and the glories of 
the scarlet poppies peer out from its depths — a joy to the artistic soul, 
though the farmer Io\-es them not. The>' will make a delightful 
subject for our first sketch. The intense orange-scarlet of the petals is 
rather a difficult hue to reproduce, but if we keep 
them very fresh and pure, orange vermilion, rose 

madder and Indian yellow, used judiciously, with -, 

a strong, dark background by wa>- of contrast, "'{ 

ought to give us a good effect. 

I have found it a good plan, when requiring 
poppies for further study at home, to select some 
buds, instead of flowers fully out. These buds, if 
taken home and placed in water near a window 
(having previously had their stems cut), will open 
beautifully ; and, if undisturbed, will live long 
enough to enable us to study them with care. 
What a pretty group they make, with a few delicate 
grasses, or, best of all, some graceful heads of oats, 
with them ! 

Now is the time when the beautiful flowering 
grasses are at their best, and this particular class 
of plants is so interesting, so attractive to the eye, 
so useful and necessary to both man and beast, 
that I think it would well repay our trouble and 
attention if in this talk we made a special study 
of them. 

We must remember they belong to a very large 
family, a family including some of our most useful 
and necessary cereals — even the " staff of life " 
itself; for it comprises wheat, besides barley, maize, rye, oats, rice, 
and even sugar-cane. 

They are all so beautiful and varied in form that, apart from 
their utilitarian interest, the artist and the student must find much 
pleasure and delight in their careful study. They even afford a 
vast field of research for the arch;tologist as well, finding traces, 
as he does, of their cultivation in remote ages before the earliest °'""' »"■ " 
known civilisations of the world, and also in the time of dynasties Ar^eT 
long, long passed away. "The niac sc 

T51. *" . , . . . inU-grasse; 

i"lmy gives us his opmion that cultivated barley is the most ancient Have made 
of all, and modern authorities support his view, as three varieties of 
this cereal have been discovered in the ancient lake dwellings of 
Switzerland, belonging to the Stone Age. Nothing is definitely known 
of the original wild form of their ancestors, and possibly the varieties we 
find .so u.seful in the present day are widely different from their primitive 
forerunners. 



^* ■?»* 



■ * / 

i* 






\ 






gue, 

without shape. 

For the wind to 



45 



Grass with green flag half-mast h'n 
Succory to tnatch the sky, 
Columbine with horn of honey. 
Scented 5crn and agrimony. 



Mea£lDi»7 



¥ 



Perhaps it will be helpful and instructive to notice the special 
characteristics of this large and useful family of plants. Not only is it of 
interest in itself, but also of great service to those who wish to make 
studies with pencil and brush, for to understand the underl)-ing prin- 
ciples of construction of anything we wish to draw is a great help towards 
making a characteristic reproduction of it. 

The following definitions, given by Marshall Ward, are very useful 
in enabling us to distinguish grasses from other forms of plant life. 

"The first is, their leaves are arranged in two rows alternately up 
the stems ; the second that their stems are circular and flattened in 
section, or if in some other shape, they are ;/ez'er triangular or solid. 
Moreover, the leaves are always of some elongated shape, and without 
leaf stalks, but pass below into a sheath, which runs some way down the 
stem, and is nearly always perceptibly split. Further, the stems them- 
selves are usually long and cylindrical, and distinctly hollow except at 
the swollen nodes, and only branch low down at the surface of the 
ground, or beneath it." 

By this time we have perhaps arrived at our destination, the happ_\- 
hunting-ground of our desires, and we are grateful for the friend!}- shade 
of the giant elms in the hedgerow. 

Long before we have time to make studies of all the varied treasures 
in the sea of waving grasses before us, the mowers will have laid them 
low, and on our second visit we may find our meadow studio invaded by 
an army of rustics, whose swiftly-moving scythes keep time together with 
fell, rapid strokes. Or perhaps the whirring music of the more up-to- 
date mowing machine has accomplished the work of devastation still 
more quickly. 

Well, even when the meadow grasses have fallen, and have been 
gathered into stacks of sweet-smelling hay, we have only to seek fresh 
fields and pastures for more specimens of the wonderful family now 
engaging our attention and delight. Leaving the meadow, whose short, 
stubby grass is already making a brave effort to throw out shoots for a 
second crop, we turn our attention to the corn-crop, growing higher and 
stronger each day under the brilliant midsummer sun. 

It is, I am sure, unnecessary for me to warn my readers against the 
practice some inconsiderate folks have of heedlessly trampling down 
crops, either of meadow grass or in cultivated fields. If we notice the 
" trail " left by a careless pedestrian in search of a " short cut " over a 
meadow of long grass, we cannot help a feeling of anger at his 
thoughtlessness, and, of course, in corn or similar crops the havoc he 
will make, without a thought of evil-doing, is immeasurably more. 

We can find our specimens on the edge of the field, near the hedge- 
row, or fringing the footpath, without doing damage. 

Suppose now we have gathered a handful of graceful specimens of 
meadow grass, and returniu!/ to the shadv studio under the trees we 



Tail 



46 



2si 'J''ii;J.d ailil 



The year's new grass and, jioldcn-cyed, 
The daisies sparkle underneath, 

And chestnut trees on either side 
Have opened every ruddy sheath. 

U'iilmii! Canton. 




have alread}- chosen, let us start on our studies. There is a wonderful 
variety in our selection. Look, for instance, at this dainty piece of 
quaking grass ; how different from these straight, stiff spikes of the cat's- 
tail or fo.vtail grasses ! And yet thc\- are closeh- related and have 
many features in common. 

One characteristic of the whole family of the grasses is the toughness 
of their stems when you pluck them. If pulled hard they will sometimes 
cut your fingers like a knife. This leads you to notice that, although 
soft and succulent in early youth, the flowering stem or " culm " is 
invariably hollow in construction, except at the knotted joints, and this 
accounts largely for its strength and durability. 

You will find it a good plan, first of all, to observe the structural 
form of this stem in yaxxx study. If \-ou try to put in the grassy tufts of 
flowers first, it will be very misleading, and however carefully j-ou think 
you may have copied what you see, you will experience a difficulty 
later on in bringing the whole mass into form and shape. 

Observe carefully the main stem, and draw it in, taking note how, in 
most cases, the flower stalks branch out from it in groups, generally 
diminishing both in size and number as they approach the top of the 
spray ; this gives a very graceful effect. 

Get these branches accurately drawn ; and the pretty little clusters 
of stamens, each in its protective sheath, bearing its pollen ready to 
shed around at the touch of the lightest breeze, will fit into their places 
without difficult}-. 

Unless you are making a purch- botanical stud\-,when such details 
are very necessary, you will not attempt slavishly to copy each 
little spikelct of flowers, but rather try to get the soft feathery 
effect of the whole spray by a few direct and w-ell-considered 
touches in the right place as it first strikes your ej-e. See to it 
that your stems are carefully drawn, for if they are rough and 
jagged, their ethereal character is lost entirely. 

If our time in meadow or cornfield is limited, and we are 
unable to make all the studies we desire to do before it is time 
to pack up, let us take some specimens with us. The grass family, 
unlike most of our wild flowers, is a sturdy and long-suffering 
one, and a few specimens, saved with care, will give us material 
for study when the heavy storms, from which we are not free even 
in June, make working out of doors an impossibility. So keep 
them carefully for the " rainy day " that is sure to come, and then, 
if time is hanging heavily on your hands, you have a group of 
interesting and absorbing models before you, besides a charming 
decoration for your most cherished " bits " of china, whose value 
is too great to warrant the risk they run with the constant 
replenishment of water fresh flowers demand. 

Only a bit of grass ! Are you contemptuous, and think it a 




A7 




study beneath \-oiir notice ? More .showy plants may 
appeal to us. The brilliant hue of our favourites 
of garden and field please our sense of colour, but 
they cannot teach us more of structural beauty than 
the grasses. To the student, perhaps, the latter are 
especially useful, as a study of form more easily 
understood than when he is led away by the glory of 
colour in a bunch of flowers. 

When you notice the loveliness of some of the 
feathery varieties — the fragile delicacy of their flower 
stems, barely thicker than a human hair, their 
beautiful though subdued colouring, grey-green and 
purple as they advance towards maturity — I think 
you will agree with me that they are worth careful 
consideration as studies, even at a time when Nature 
is at her gayest and brightest. 

I do not mean that you are to make a study of 
meadow grasses to the exclusion of other flowers, but 
find them a little place in your programme at least, 
and when you are desirous of composing a group of 
the beauties of the field, a few sprays of grass, introduced with 
discretion, will act as a charming accompaniment to the brighter hues 
of the flowers, and look right ; because, having grown up side by side 
in Nature's scheme, they are in harmony one with another. 

Ox-eye daisies, ragged Robin, meadow-sweet, meadow crane's-bill, 
poppies, cornflowers, and many others, are the glory and delight of 
the summer fields, and although perhaps, with limited time at our 
disposal, it is impossible to make studies of them all, before their brief 
span of life is over for another year, we can make a charming and 
varied selection from them, while the hedgerows afford us the beautiful 
traveller's joy, wild rose, honej'suckle, wild convolvulus, or morning 
glory, with others too numerous to mention. 

Although these little chats are primarily addressed to amateur 
artists, they will doubtless be read also by those who have the care and 
upbringing of young children as their life-work. Therefore I want 
to have a word with them, especially. 

I have often thought, when I have seen a joung nursery governess 
plodding wearily along the high road with her charges, as if the daily 
constitutional were a pain and penance to all concerned, how much 
more interesting and instructive to both pupil and teacher alike such a 
daily walk might become if the latter would teach the little ones to take 
more than a passing interest in the beauties of hedgerow and field. 
All young children love flowers naturally, but this love unfortunately 
often develops into mere acquisitiveness and reckless tearing up of 
roots, unless they are taught that this is harmful and wrong. Let the 




And myriads of the tircat-eycd butterflies 
Hovered above the white and yellow bloon^s. 
And fluttered through the lirasses silver-flowered. 
Filled with the noise of grasshoppers and flics. 



48 







AN llALIAN GARDEN. 
Froin the Painting by Hayward Young. 





Ir has occurred to me, on looking over tlie articles on floner- 
painting I have previously written for the Woman's Magazine, 
that my readers must have formed the opinion that I am a most 
pessimistic person ; because all through I seem to be preaching 
about the difficulties lying in wait for us when we try to reproduce 
the wonders of Nature's works. But, believe me, the very last thing 
I wished was to be discouraging ! I was aiming to impress upon 
my fellow students of natural beauty my sympathy with tlicir 
struggles, because my own seem to increase every day ! There 
ought, I think, to exist a kind of camaraderie between us. 
"Companions in misfortune" I was going to say, but that is not 
quite what I mian ; for the consciousness of our own limitations is 
»ot a misfortune, it is a very great asset to our ultimate success. 

Nevertheless, I think it is a comforting thought for us to 
remember, when fits of depression come over us, that, after all, it 
is a healthy feeling, and one shared alike by the humblest beginners, 
and by those whose achievements have earned them a high place in 
the world of Art. 

I once heard of an old village nurse, whose formula of consolation 



- ■ *i^ - 



re 




to her patients, with complaints 
van'ing from fractured slcull to 
" housemaid's knee," used to 
be, "I've been through it all 
myself, me dear ! " 

This I felt especially on 
reading the letter of a Scotch 
reader of the Woman's Maga- 
zine, who wrote asking my 
advice about a group of roses 
on which she was engaged ; 
and she expressed so aptly the 
troubles and trials of a flower- 
painter that I am taking the 
liberty of quoting from her 
letter. She says, " I ?ieverca.n 
get the exquisite pink of roses 
.... if I put on the colour 
too pure, it has a crimson 



effect, and if it is too watery, it is not like it either, not that 
lovely shell-pink effect." 

I felt like grasping the hand of that lady, had it not 
entailed such a long stretch of the arm to her far-away 
northern home ; for I was then engaged in trying faithfully to 




portray the delicate purity of a 

lovely group of wild roses I had brought 

back from a country ramble, and the difficulty 

of the "lovely shell-pink effect " was mine also. » 

Without bringing on myself the reproach of being 
the bad and quarrelsome worker of the well-known 
proverb, I think I may say there is no pigment made that 
can approach the transparent beauty of a natural flower. The 
colours we use are as perfect as it is possible for modern chemical science 
to make them, but how can we expect these productions of human hands 
to come near the original ? Just as little as the workings of our little brains, 
and the handicraft of our little hands, can in our highest endeavours approach 
the charm the great Maker of all things beautiful has given us in the humblest flower. 

When we look with admiration at some wonderful' specimens of ancient eastern craftsmanship, 
we cannot fail to notice an irrcgularitj' of design that, in our ideas, constitutes part of its 
charm. But we should wonder that the artist hand, possessed of so much cunning, could not 
surely have avoided these apparent mistakes, did we not know that his religion taught 
him, " Only One can make things perfect," and that the errors were not accident, but 
design. We of a different faith know that the mistakes will come of tltetnselves, 
iJL however we may strive for perfection, and that we cannot enter into com- 

petition with the works of God. But by cultivating a taste for all things 
beautiful, by earnest endeavour to represent what we see before us, and 
a steady determination to emulate the spider of Scottish fame. 




•i^;:^ 





whose exploits loomed so largely in the precepts of our nursery days, we can produce studies 
that are not only a great joy in the making, but that are sufficiently inspired with the glory 
of the original to cause delight and enthusiasm when the fleeting, transitory charm of our floral 
models has long since faded awa}'. 

Roses are my favourite flowers, and I always enjoy painting them more than any other 
variety. Perhaps their verj' difficulties add to their charm, for their opening petals are 
constantly revealing some fresh beauty. I may temporarily waver in my allegiance, perhaps, 
when I bury my face in the cool fragrance of the first bunch of dewy violets to greet the spring, 
or when the warm rich colour and variet)' of the chrj'santhemums bring brightness into dreary 
November days. But, after all. Queen Rose reigns supreme ; the lovely blue violet lacks the 
variety of the rose, and the chrysanthemum (a close rival as regards colouring and variety) has 
a curious aromatic scent of its own, not disagreeable, but totally lacking the delightful 
fragrance clinging to rose petals, long after their mere beauty has passed away. 

We have adopted the rose as our national flower, and in English hearts she will ever be 






i(9^ ^ 




held dear ; whether rearing her dainty blooms above the cabbages 
in the humble garden of the labouring man, or flourishing in 
profusion in the old-world pleasance of the "lady of the manor," 
who takes as great an interest and pride in tending her rose garden 
as did her ancestress of long ago, with powdered hair and flowered 
gown, when she passed those mossy terraces and walks, carefully 
collecting and storing the fallen petals, that their sweet savour 
should not be lost. 

As the fragrance of the dried rose-leaves brings back the 
remembrance of their sweetness, so may our humble efforts in ■ 
colour recall happy memories of the glories of rose-time, perhaps 
when hearts are sad and all around is drear. If we have made our 
studies as true to Nature as earnest observation and a desire to 

e.\press Truth can help 
us to do (avoiding any 
conventional " pretti- 
ness," " trick," or 
" effect "), we shall 
have accomplished 
much. 

That great Master 
of Medijeval Art, 
Albrecht Durer, tells 
us. '• Depart not from 
Nature, neither imagine 
of thyself aught better, 
for Art standeth firmly 
fixed in Nature, and 
whoso can thence rend 
her forth, he alone 
possesscth her." 






V#; 



One further word by way of 
postscript : Do not despise the 
day of small things ; make 
fragmentary studies in plenty 
before you attempt a large 
picture. The foliage of the 
rose in itself presents a wonder- 
ful series of studies in colour ; 
don't think that it is the 
blossom alone that shows pink 
and red and yellow 
and purply - crimson 
tints. 

Notice how Nature 
suits the foliage to 
the colours of the 
blossoms ; look how 
the reddy - brown 
shoots of the tea-rose 
harmonise with the 
golden - red in the 
heart of the flowers, 
how the pale blue- 
green tint that is on 
the foliage of some 
of the pale pink roses 
seems just the e.xact 
colour needed to 
bring out the shell-like colour- 
ing of the buds. 

And have you particularly 
looked at the colour on the out- 
side petals th.at enclose the 
rose-buds ? These alone are 
worth careful study ; they often 
show some most exquisite 
colours that are not necessarily 
repeated in the fully blown 
flower. Studies such as these 
are of infinite value to the 
artist ; they train the eye, the 
mind, and also the heart ; for 
they foster a love and reverence 
for God's handiwork as seen in 
Nature. 





A DUTCH GARDEN OF FLOWF.RING BULBS. 
From the Paintins by Haywnrd Young. 



3iQ ITiald. iijiri 



teacher herself study Nature and wild life generally, and teach the 
simplest rudiments, in the simplest manner, to the little ones, awaken 
their interest in things beautiful, and the}- will take the keenest 
delight in the pursuit of this new hobby : the weary walk of yesterday 
will be a pleasure and joy to-da\-, not onl)- to the youngsters, but to 
their teacher as well. 

If the teacher can urge them to select a few of the simplest leaves 
and flowers (also impressing on them that they must be gathered 
without injury to the plants) and, on reaching home, encourage them 
to make little pencil drawings, what a good work that \vould be ! 

These early efforts may be crude and almost laughable perhaps ; 
but, above all, be encouraging ; the elements of an intelligent interest 
in Nature are there, and will develop and fructify as time 
goes on. 

After the little student has made his rude drawing 
from the natural flower, ask him some elementary 
questions respecting its form, number 
of petals, etc., teach him the simple 
English name, and anything else you 
know about it that is not beyond his 
comprehension. 

The once dull perfunctory walk is 
now a quest of delight, and the 
specimens gathered will afford an 
occupation for dull days, when lessons 
are over, and even romping has palled : 
while the progress of the pupils will 
stimulate the teacher to fresh efforts and 
interest in a most fascinating pursuit 
on her own behalf as well. 

Who can deny the refining and 
educational influence of this habit of 
observation on all ? It is almost im- 
possible to gauge the far-reaching 
results it may have on the future. Not 
only is the child learning much of 
botany, natural history, and Nature 
wonders generally, but he is being 
trained into a habit of looking intelli- 
gently and with understanding at all 
he sees around him, which will, without 
doubt, be of immense service to him 
in later life. Whatever his future 
calling, whatever his rank in life, be 
he poet, philosopher, painter, musician, 






The 
Rosy'Red 
Campion. 



49 







J" 



f i^"- 



V 



professional or business man, artisan 
or mecnanic, this early trainins^ will 
assist him in his career. 

The promoters of the great 
m^ ^jjL scouting movement, now playing so 

|t ^ Jli>IWP important a part in the education 

' ^^^^^ of the )-ounger generation, have 

recognised this. Those young lads, many of 
them coming from the poorest homes, where 
their outlook has perforce been a limited and 
sordid one, are able, after a little training, to 
give most intelligent information about what 
they have seen on their expeditions. They are 
taught to notice natural features of the country, 
objects of interest, the way of the wind, the 
stars, temperature, etc., and to make records of 
all they see. And this intellectual develop- 
ment, aided by the discipline, the excellent 
moral rules laid down in their code, and the 
— ^^lj^L^^_^ physical training in the open air, cannot fail, as 

^^^^^Hr the movement spreads, to have a great and 

^^F glorious effect on the future of our race. 

Let all of us who have the care of young 
children, or who come into contact with them in our daily life, do our 
best to sow the good seed in the fertile soil of their impressionable 
Nouth, and try our utmost to inculcate and foster a love and veneration 
for the boundless store of God's gifts, by interesting them, from their 
earliest years, in the objects of wonder and beauty too many of us 
pass heedlesslj^ by. 

The understanding of the .structure and 
function of the smallest of these, and the ' 

place it holds in the wonderful scheme of the 
Universe, will not only have an ennobling 
effect on character, but will surely lead to a 
greater reverence and understanding of our 
Creator, through the vast and fathomless 
wonders of His works. 

Whether we be artists, amateurs, teachers, 
or students, let us try to see Nature truly 
and surely, and, as Ruskin tells u,s, " Be 
humble and earnest in following the steps 
of Nature, and tracing the finger of God." • ; 

We cannot all be great artists, for we are 
not all gifted to the same extent. But we all 
can be sincere and reverent in our work. 



:' 




Meadow Cranesbill. 





...•^SSS^S"'' 



'Wild i^^itniTB 



This chapter embraces a very wide field for discussion — 
so wide and varied that I must own I hardly know where 
to commence. But, in spite of all its difficulties, the 
subject is a most fascinating one, and will lead us, in 
quest of our most delightful material, through sunlit 
meadows, over breez}- commons, and by tangled hedge- 
rows, each with some new treasure and delight peculiarly 
its own. 

This is not an excursion for smart shoes and frivolous 

clothing, for some of our most charming models are verj' 

defensive, and, armed with sharp prickles and spines, 

seem to protest against our depredations. So, if we are 

contemplating a raid on the hedgerows during our progress 

where wild rose, bramble, blackthorn, and many other more 

or less prickly sojourners display their beauties, let me warn you, don'( 

wear a knitted coat, or you will soon find yourself enveloped in a perfect 

Penelope's web of tangled yarn, from which you cannot extricate 

yourself without a great deal of damage and difficulty ! High thick 

boots that have reached the age of ease, and tweed clothes past their 

first youth, is the garb />ar excellence for our expedition. Don't forget 

stout leather gloves, and a crooked stick — always a most trusty and 

serviceable companion in the country. 

Our sketching " kit " must not be a very elaborate one — -just what 
we cannot do without ; for an extensive outfit (with easel, camp-stool, 
umbrella, etc.) is a very tiring burden for a summer's day. Just our 
sketch-book or block, colour-box, brushes, pencil and water-carrier — in 
a knapsack for choice, in which we must al.so find room for a small card- 
board box, filled with damp cotton-wool ; this will enable us to keep 



The lea! 
with 



n* 



4' 



^^ 



'Wi] 



I-ili 




^ 



imcns we may desire to bring home for further studj- 
deii,<:;htfully cool and fresh. 

I generally take an elderly rainproof coat on my excursions, 
for it serves the double purpose of protection 
from passing showers, and affording me a dry 
seat when sitting at my work on the grass, for 
I must plead guilty to liking this humble and 
inelegant position above all others when " far from 
the madding crowd." 

Ever since my childhood, wild flowers have 

» 7 \r .X. - -^i^. held a great charm for me, and I can remember 
, -.J how, in those golden hours of long ago, I used to 

steal away through a hole in the hedge of my 
country home, known only to the chickens and 
myself, to the forbidden ground of a neighbouring 
meadow, and there revel in the long, and often 
damp, grass, with its treasures of golden buttercups 
and dandelions, and its high cow-parsley towering 
above my limited stature. Here I would remain 
until found and reprimanded by those in authority 
over me, and condemned to the tamer delights of 
the garden, with its trim lawns and gravelled walks. 
Xo scolding, no fearsome 
tales of irate farmers, or 
imaginary hobgoblins, 

could ever shake my longing for that enchanted 

field, which presented a sort of El Dorado to 

my youthful imagination. 

The happy days of childhood have fled, 

the country home is no longer ours, but I 

still have the same feeling of enthusiastic 

delight in ^^ature's boundless store of jewels, 

when, on a bright sunny morning, armed with 

my knapsack and some simple provisions, I 

take an early train away from the smoke of 

the city, to one of the many beauty spots 

still left within easy reach of town (did we 

Londoners only trouble to find them out), 

and there spend a long, lovel)- day amidst 

most delightful surroundings. 

Many of the little studies that i\Ii.ss 

Klickmann has scattered throughout this 

volume owe their origin to these country trips. 

I generally collect a few pretty little specimens 

on m)' way, and then choose a shady spot for 



When Daisies pied, and Violets blue. 
And Ladysmoclfs all silver white, 

And Cuckoo-buds ot yellow hue 
Do paint the meadows with deliUht. 

.S/;,i<v.,/r,..f. 




52 







1 



my open-air studio. For I must most emphatically warn you, when 
working out-of-doors, not to have the sun on your work ; the glare on 
the white paper not only is extremely bad for your eyes, but will give 
}our sketch a hard and crude appearance when taken indoors. 

Sometimes one can find very beautiful groups of wild flowers, and 
work from them as they grow ; the little bit of ivy-leaved toad-flax was 
worked out from a sketch made thus in Somerset last year. And I only 
wish I could call colour to m\- aid to show you how beautiful it looked 
with its delicately shaded heart-shaped leaves, and tiny mauve flowers, 
against its background of mossy grej' stone wall. 

A spray of wild rose, or bramble on a hedgerow, 
makes also a lovely sketch, but I think that, as a 
general rule, it is almost best, while we are in- 
experienced students, to detach a suitable spray 
from its surroundings, and to put it against a plain 
simple background, such as a leaf from our sketch- 
book ; so that we can see the actual form of petal, 
leaf, and stem, apart from confusing elements around. 
Many of the most beautiful of our floral gems 
J^ wff hide themselves so modestly among their bolder 

neighbours that they are almost concealed from our 
view. And many are so short of stature that, 
unless we contemplate a bird's-eye view, we should 
have to lie flat on the ground to get a good " point 
of sight." 

It requires a very skilled hand to paint, with 
good effect, masses of wild flowers as they grow in 
the lovely surroundings in which they were born ; 
and perhaps this is more within the province of 
' " ^^ the landscape painter, who can find immense value 

in these broad masses of colour as foregrounds for 
his studies of rural beauty. 

I am writing this on a July da)' ; the glory of 
the spring woods has departed ; the season has 
moved onward, and laid a mellowing hand on 
hedgerow and copse ; and the beauties of early spring are maturing 
towards the fulfilment of their part in Nature's scheme. Most of the 
wild roses have faded, and are already showing their fruit, though green 
as yet. Here and there you may find a bush of the white variety still 
in bloom, and entwined with honeysuckle. 

Tiie may-flowers have also turned to brown, and show promise of a 
glorious store of deep red berries to gladden our sight in the coming 
autumn, and to prove a rich harvest to the song-birds, whose voices are 
hushed now in the heat of the day. But what a wealth of beautiful 
flowers is still left us for our studies ! Though the mower has ruthlessly 



White butterSlies in the air. 
White Daisies prank the ground ; 

The cherry and the hoary pear 
Scatter their snow around. 

A'oicrt BrUees. 



S3 



The Pageant of 
WUd Nature 



^fe 



cut down the gloi)- of the long grass of the field, round its borders are 
still left some late ox-eye daisies, meadow-sweet, tall hemlock, and 
many others. 

In the ripening corn the poppy dazzles our sight ; the cornllowcr still 
shows its bright blue eye ; the field scabious and vetch give us delightful 
shades in mauve and purple ; the yellow toad-flax is in flower, while the 
common is a perfect feast of colour with its wealth of bell heather, and 
dwarf furze, whose orange-coloured flowers, contrary to those of its early 
flowering cousin, the gorse, generally appear with those of its neighbour, 
the heath, and, clinging with prickly affection to the latter, make a 
scheme of colour so gorgeous in the summer sun as to be almost 
dazzling to the sight. 

Suppose our quest has taken us by the silver sea. Here we have 
man\' additions to our inland flora. The lovely tamarisk, although not, I 
believe, an actual native of our shores, is flourishing and in bloom, its 
rosy spikes showing out against its feathery foliage ; the yellow horned 
poppy and the lovely pink thrift are also lovers of the salt air ; while 
yellow and white lady's bedstraw, scabious, and ragwort all grow in wild 
profusion on the cliffs. If the latter are chalk, I expect you will notice, 
as I have done, that not only are blue flowers, such as harebells, scabious, 
campanula, etc., most prolific, but the blue butterflies predominate 
as well. 

The subject of wild flower painting is such a wide one that it is 

impossible for me, within the limits of this little article, to laj' down any 

definite rules for the colouring, etc., of the different varieties, 

beyond advising you to sketch in lightly the general direction 

and jiroportion of your spray, and then, if you have not time to 

finish the whole of it before it fades, take a small part, and do 

your utmost to render it as like to the 

living reality as you can, keeping as far as 

possible its dclicac}' of colour and beauty 

of form. 

These little studies may not be pictures, 

but thej' will help us more on our road 

to the success we hope for b)--and-b\' than 

a more complicated arrangement, be\'ond 

(Hir powers of achievement, would have 

done. .And meanwhile, not only are our 

eyes seeing more clearly, our fingers through practice 

getting more sure of touch ; but we arc studj-ing 

the beautiful under most delightful conditions : our 

knowledge of Nature lore is increasing daily ; and 

our health and spirits are rising proportionatels' as 

well. In our studio in the summer wood, or under 

the cloud-flcckcd sky of heaven, we have the (Utiidl 



And her eye* arc dark and humid 

like the depth on depth of lustre 
Hid i' the harebcH. 







54 



•Wild, i^a-inji'a 



ntinospJicre in which the subjects of our studies were born ; and who 
could help being more imbued with a sense of beaut)- under such 
conditions than within the limits of four brick walls? 

Without wishing to be discouraging, however, I think you will find 
the difficulties of light and shade tremendous!}- increased when worlcing 
out-of-doors. The side-light from our sitting-room window, where our 
studies have previously been made, in a measure focused the light from 
one particular point on our group, though even there the effect was 
variable, owing to atmospheric conditions. But out-of-doors the light 
is for ever changing, and instead of the side-light that gave us the 
definite shadow so helpful in enabling us to grasp a strong effect, we 
have a bright soft light so diffused and so transient that the effect may 
be totally different before we are half-way through the simplest sketch. 

Suppose, for example, when the sky was overcast b}- a passing cloud, 
we had commenced a study of those lovely sturdy ox-eye daisies, which 
so utterly eclipse in beauty their pampered greenhouse cousins. You 
probably sketched in your flowers, and began to shade in your delicate 
greys and shadows, and the cool green grass amongst which the\- grow, 
when — -Hey ! presto I a sunbeam ! and all is changed. The white 
petals of the flower stand out like a halo round the yellow centre as 
the sun glints through, and the cool grey-green grass and leaves are 
grey-green no longer, but almost golden in their brilliancy and warmth. 
We cannot alter our first sketch to suit the wonderful change the sun- 
shine has wrought ; we must make another under the new conditions. 
Sometimes we are almost in despair at what we consider an alarming 
waste of nice white paper ; but with each attempt, poor and crude as we 
may deem it, we have Icarut something, received a new- impression 
photographed on our minds, and made one step further on the long road 
of our ambition. 

Don't destroy these little attempts ; date them carefully and store 
them by, and you will be astonished and interested, when the same 
flowers come round in their seasons again, to see the progress you have 
made, simply by perseverance and determination to conquer the 
difficulties that lie in your path. You still may feel a long way from 
the goal of your ambition, for I know of no study that has a more 
humbling effect on our estimate of our own powers than the study of 
Nature. But each step of the way has opened up new beauties and 
delights ; and wrestling bravely with our difficulties has been a most 
wholesome exercise for us in every way. 

To those of you who have the great advantage of a home in the 
countr}-, I would say, seize every opportunity, if you would succeed in 
flower painting, to draw, draw, draw all you see before you. 

Suppose, if your time is your own, you made a practice of getting 
some new specimen of natural beaut)- on your daily walks. I believe 
you would find something of fresh interest every day, even in " Barren 








The FoxjSlovc on 
fair Flora's 
hand is worn. 

Lest while she 
fathers flowers 



55 



Dan< 


;c t» the beat ol the rain, little 


Fern, 


And 


spread out your palms 




And 


say; "Tho* ihe sun attain 




HatK my vesture spun, 




He had laboured also in vain 




But 


For the shade 




Thai 


I the cloud had made, 




And 


the liilt ol the dc» and rain 




Thei 


n lauiih and upturn 




All your fronds, little Fern, 




And 


rejoice in the beat of the ra 


iin. 



■Wild. 






Winter, with his wrathful nipping cold " (though 
then, of course, your study must be pursued indoors). 
Why, a few bare twigs make a lovely study, and will 
teach you much of the growth of the various species 
of tree ; a trail of ivy ; a few fallen beech leaves, 
all curly from the frost ; and endless other things will suggest themselves. 
One November, Miss Klickmann asked me to make some drawings 
of " little stalky bits in the hedgerows," such as she herself had noticed 
on a country walk that week in Sussex. And, on making a pilgrimage 
to the nearest available spot in search of Hke material, I passed a most 
delightful, though somewhat damp afternoon, coming home, in the early- 
falling twilight, very muddy and bedraggled in appearance, but surprised 
and delighted at the wealth of pretty things I had found — sprays of 
frost-tinted leaves, mosses, dried and bleached grasses, and seed-vessels, 
which the autumnal gales had robbed of their contents, but beautiful 
even in their decay. 

There is always something of interest to be found in the hedgerows. 
Once when I was staying in the West, and enjoying my inherent 
propensity for grubbing in ditches, I used to " pass the time of day " 
with an old hedger and ditcher, whose duty it was to keep tidy and spoil 
the beauty of a lovely wild lane. He evidently thought my interest in 
those flowering banks was purely a greedy one, for wild strawberries 
grew in abundance, and he would tell me, with a smile, he had left a 
nice lot round the corner for me 1 

But when he saw mc making sketches of " Ragged Robin " and 
" Jock o' the Hedge," he seemed quite distressed at my bad taste in 
selecting " they veeds ! " and invited m.e to work in his garden instead, 
where he had " as vine a row of zunflowers as ever ee zee ! " 

The year, with its changing seasons, is a sort of processional pageant 
of wild nature. Hardly has the old year breathed its last sigh than the 
hazel tree hangs out its )cllow tassels to welcome the new. In February 
the flower buds on the elm-trees show red against the changing sky ; 
and so it goes on, month b\' month, a succession of beautx-, always 
changing, never still. 



Nl. 





I^*^^"-^';, 



H 



56 



/ 








57 



'^y 



*> 














I 



I** j 






UJ'v 



=;8 




tc^UlU 



^^2Si*- 



Has there ever been a time when the 
word " garden " was not beloved by 
English hearts ? From the spacious 
grounds of the lordly castle, with their 
wide-spreading lawns adorned with 
stately cedars, lakes, and fountains, to 
the little plot of the humblest cottage, 
where cabbages, turnips, and the old- 
fashioned country perennials grow 
harmoniously side by side, each has a charm and beaut)' pcculiarl)- its 
own, and in every case it is typically British in character. 

'Tis true we have from time to time borrowed our ideas of garden 
planning from abroad, but these ideas have been so modified to suit the 
natural features of the country and climate, and so adapted to the 
conditions of English life, that (although their scheme may owe some 
fundamental origin to imported ideas) they have settled down into a 
type of beauty unrivalled elsewhere. The formality of the Italian 
garden, the artificiality of the French, and the primness of the Dutch, 
have each left an impression on our old-time pleasure grounds ; but the 
passing of years, and the moistness of our much abused climate, have so 
happiU' blended together and softened their peculiarities, and any 
formality of construction has been .so lovingly and charmingly touched 
by the artist hand of Nature and the mellowing effect of age, that their 
stiffness is entirely gone, leaving only a quaint old-world beauty that 
constitutes their greatest charm. 

It is difficult to trace a time when gardens were first planted in 
England as a pleasure and delight to the eye, and not merely for the 
utilitarian necessity of vegetables for the table. We are apt to speak 
f)f a formal garden as " Dutch " ; but it is certain that we possessed very 
many beautiful gardens, full of trellis-work and terraces, and fearful and 
wonderful specimens of topiary art, long before Dutch William brought 



I oltcn, when a child, for hours 

Tried through the pales to (Set the tempting flowers 

As lady's laces, everlasting peas, 

True-love-lies-bleeding, with the hearts-at-case. 

And golden rods, and tansy running high, 

That o'er the pale-tops smiled on passers-by. 



59 



Out in the rai 


in a 


world is growintt f£reen, 


On half the trci 


es quick buds arc seen 


Where lil 


ued. 


-on buds have been. 


Out in the 


rair 


> God's acre stretches 


tirccn, 






Its harvest 


qui) 


;:k thou)<h still unseen: 


For there 


the 


Life hath been. 



221 axi 



his countryineii over to embellish the grounds at 

Hampton Court and Kensington Palace. There 

were probably gardens planted in Britain bj' the 

Romans, as we know both the Roman and Greek 

* nations carried the art to a very high degree of 

. excellence. ]\Iedi;eval gardens were on very formal 

lines, with flower beds in geometrical patterns, and 

high stiff hedges. A beautiful description of a garden in the fifteenth 

century is given in the " Kings Ouhair," when the Royal lover from his 

prison tower sees his mistress walking in the garden at Windsor : 

•■ Fast by the towris wall 
A garden fair, and in the corners set 
Ane arbour green with wandis long and small 
Railed about and so with trees set 
W'.-is all the place, and hawthorn hedges knet." 



There is an indefinable "something" about these old-world 
that appeals to us all, and the\- afford delightful 
opportunities for the flower painter who would make 
his studies from plants as they grow, for they have 
the charm of a sentimental interest as well as a < 

decorative one. 

Those mossy flagged walks where bjgone genera- 
tions have trod ; those richly-coloured old brick walls, 
to which the old-fashioned clematis and roses cling 
lovingly as of yore. Everywhere an old-world charm 
that the flight of Time has enhanced rather than 
lessened, for with the passing years the girth and 
beauty of those majestic trees have increased, and 
everything has settled into a great harmonious 
" whole " impossible to find in the most carefully- 
planned new garden. 

Some of my earliest recollections are of an old 
garden 1 used to visit in very tender y-ears ; and its 
beauty so impressed m\' childish miiul that I can 
see it plainly before me even now. 

A broad flight of stone steps, mossy green and 
splashed with orange-coloured lichens, led down from 
the casement windows of the old red-brick house, 
over a sinooth, sloping lawn gay with flower beds, to 
where beyond, in the orchard, one came upon the 
remnant of an old-time moat, its still surface thickly- 
studded with water-lilies white and yellow, over 
which the ancient apple-trees bent their gnarled 
and whitened trunks, in spring shedding a shower 
of rosy petals into the water below. An old 



warden > 




60 



The woodr 



hasty tect full 



Shcltcr'd 



old 


halt-rottei 


StUIT 


IP beside, 




The 


sight V. 


r il 


chcc 


r his s 


oli 


tary 


hour 




And i: 


irfic his 


Fee 




brick bridge, flanked with somewhat dilapi- 
dated statuary and vases, spanned this moat, 
and everywhere the mosses, lichens, and 
clustering ivy gave an added grace and 
charm. 

It is long since I saw that old garden : 
the friends who owned it have passed away : 
but I have often wondered if subsequent 
owners have appreciated its dignified early 
eighteenth century air, or v/hether it has been 
fatally tidied up and " improved " to suit 
more modern ideas ! 

In such a garden are studies in plenty : 
the old-fashioned white cluster rose and 
" maiden's- blush " climbing over a rustic \ 

arch ; the " herbaceous border " sunning under 
the warm brick wall, the sturdy buttresses 
of which are almost hidden with masses of iMj' 

purple and white clematis in luxurious pro- vT ' 

fusion ; the water-lilies with their broad flat 
leaves in large patches on the surface of 
the moat, breaking the reflections of blue sk}- and dark trees. 

In a little corner in a garden like this you have a study before }'ou 
full of joy and delight. 

That tall spike of madonna lilies, standing so freshly white against 
the deep rich tones of the closely-cropped yew hedge, makes a picture in 
itself; or that group of hollyhocks, showing out clearly against the sky 
as we see it from our lowly seat on the grass — what brilliant colouring 
of reds, yellows, and pinks, and how the large rough leaves throw up 
this brightness to the best effect I 

Then look at that orange-coloured climbing rose, and how delight- 
fully its rich foliage and brilliant flowers harmonise with the old grey 
stone gate-post over which it is growing ! 

Any of these will make a charming sketch in colour, but it must be 
treated broadly m masses, for it is not possible, in this brilliant shimmer, 
of outdoor summer-time, to copy accurately each flower and leaf 

Our eyes are attracted by the beauty of the whole, more than by 
individual blossoms, and it is to represent this general effect that we 
must direct our best efforts, rather than by painting each spray for itself 
as we have done in making single studies. 

Perhaps you may think this sounds as if we must undo what we have 
previously learnt with so much trouble and pains ? Not at all ! These 
earlier studies have taught us much of form and colour, and this is 
not only helpful when painting single specimens and sprays, but will 
have given us a knowledge that will enable us to grasp their special 



A Bunch of the 

Waving Gay 

Coreopsis, 




In aii Old 



The fairest flower 

of the scAson 
Arc our> carnation 



cliaiacteristics more siirch- when working 
from them as they grow. 

It is a difficult matter, I l-cnovv, to mass 
. these growing groups of flowers with good 
effect, and to know exactlj- to which we 
should give prominence, and which should 
be quieted down and allowed to retire, 
modestly and unobtrusively, into the back- 
ground. 
Look at that herbaceous border simply 
flaming w-ith colour in the heat of the morning 
sun. The brilliancy of the clumps of nasturtium, 
marigold, candy-tuft, sweet pea, etc., is dazzling ; but 
would it make quite a pleasing picture ? Everything 
is in the same bright key, nowhere can the eye rest 
from its almost kaleidoscopic effect. I think if it were 
painted under these conditions it would remind us of some 
of those modern atrocities of colouring in embroidery and textiles 
that their perpetrators fondly call " Bulgarian ! " Now a picture 
wants something more than a mere patchwork effect, however 
beautiful the colours may be in themselves. 

As our eyes are surely drawn to one object, and our power of 
vision is attracted to one particular spot, so must we endeavour to 
concentrate the attention of our spectator to one special [loint of 
interest, some point that is arrestive of his first glance. 
Having determined this, let the 
composition contain some broad 
spaces of restfulness and quiet, thus 



and streaked not Only affording a welcome relief 

:-i<v</,vi,,. '^o ^^^ ^y^> but by force of contrast 

enhancing, in the most wonderful way, 

the values of the brightness in the 

principal interest in the whole study. 

.And here we cannot fail to be 
•struck with the immense artistic value 
of a shadow. It is the same in picture- 
making as in our lives, I think ; the 
contrast of the shadow, through which 
we must all inevitably jjass at some 
time on Life's journey, has been of 
great value in helping us to appreciate 
the sunsiiine lying bej-ond. 

Lately I have been engaged on 
a commission to paint an old garden 
full of flowers, and my client was 




Em am Dlri 



anxious the drawing should be kept " very bright and sunn}-, showing 
a profusion of summer bloom." 

The subject fascinated me, and I worked verj- hard at that picture for 
some time, but with great dissatisfaction to myself, for although I had a 
great many studies I had made from growing flowers to help me, and m\- 
composition, with an old Tudor house beyond, and herbaceous border 
and sundial in middle distance and foreground, composed well pictoriall}-, 
I could not get an effect that 
pleased me. Although it 
all looked bright, it was not 
sunny at all ! 

I suddenly thought, could 
I throw a shadow, cast per- 
haps by an old wall in front, 
it might improve matters ; 
and it was really wonderful 
the difference it made to the 
whole painting, for it at once 
concentrated the interest of 
the spectator on the sunn}- 
patch beyond. 

I think the most beau- 
tiful effect of all in painting 
flowers out-of-doors is to be 
obtained, not when the sun 
is at its highest, and in- 
sistent on showing up ever}-- 
thing in a hard brilliancy of 
light, but when, later in the 
day, it is slowly sinking to 
rest ; casting long shadow-s 
over lawn and path, and 
lending a kindly indefinite- 
ness to distance, showing 
ev-erything in broad masses 

*^ And J 

against the mellow light of The : 

the sky, without worrying 
the eye with minor detail. 

It is almost impossible to get anythin 
light has faded away, and the greyness of evening has taken its place ; 
but once the general effect is caught, you will be able to work at it 
again on subsequent evenings, when the conditions of light are the 
same. 

Always endeavour, when painting flowers or indeed an}-thing else 
in water-colour, to keep \-our colours bright and fresh, and to work as 




oS hoUyhoc 
:in he faint. 



n sip. 



but a quick sketch before the 



63 



The columbines, stone blue, or deep ni^ht brown. 
Their honeycomb-like blossoms hanginii down; 
Each cottafie garden's fond adopted child, 
Though heaths still claim them, where they yet gr 



directly as \-ou know how, thereby avoiding the inuddiness so fatal to 
good effect in everything, but perhaps most particularly in flowers, 
whose brightness and freshness constitutes their own particular charm. 

Look long at your models before putting brush to paper ; determine 
your colours, and try them first on another piece of paper of the same 
texture without making experiments on j-our study itself This careful 
deliberation at the outset may be the means of saving you much trouble 
later on ; it maj' save you the painful necessity of " sponging," or 
" washing out," and thereby worrying the surface of your paper until 
a roughened woolly surface is the result. Even the best water-colour 
papers will not stand indiscriminate scrubbing. \'eteran water-colour 
artists have told me that the paper we buy at the present day is vastly 
inferior to that of the good old times, when linen rags, instead of cotton, 
were used in its manufacture. 

When once a water-colour looks dirt)% smudgy, crude, and dis- 
appointing, I would infinite!}' rather commence an entirely new study 
than spend endless time and exhaust my patience in trying to improve 

the old. Clear fresh colour cannot 
possibly be obtained over a founda- 
tion of muddiness, and the use of 
Chinese white is opaque and any- 
thing but satisfactoi)-. 

A fellow student of mine, who 
was interested in flower-painting, 
once showed me a study she had 
made of some big field daisies, 
and although she had taken great 
pains with tliem, she was artist 
enough to see there was some- 
thing haixl and unpleasing about 
the group : the greys were crude 
ami ink)-, and quite unlike the 
pearl}- purit}- of the shades in the 
actual flowers ; the shadows were 
heavy and dark ; the centres hard 
and of a mustardy hue. She 
asked me what she could do to 
improve the whole group. " Re- 
paint it entirely ! " I answered, 
'' for I am quite sure it will never 
look fresh and pure with merely 
touching up." 

She looked at nic with astonish- 
ment and reproach in her eyes. 
" Kff>niiit it ! " she exclaimed, 







64 




roiun-bi'i ,<f 



Fltr.ver Piclur, 



65 




2m. sm. 




" but think of the wastefulness of 
using another piece of that ex- 
pensive water-colour paper I " 

I felt quite abashed at the 
estimate she had formed of my wicked extravagance, 
for artists' materials //o make a big hole in a limited 
supply of pocket money ! Rut at the present time, 
with matured judgment to help me, I still feel I was 
right about it : it is impossible to avoid this apparent 
^^^ waste at times, for wc must pay for experience in 

"^^B everything, and the experience we have gained, even 

from our failures, has not been lost. 

That dirty, discarded sketch has taught us what 
to avoid in our next effort, and surely that lesson is 
worth a few pence spent on a piece of paper. If great 
economy has to be practised, I would rather buy a 
cheaper make of paper for these studies, which, after 
all, are only stepping-stones to something higher, and 
have no pretensions to being finished works of Art. 
Whatman's " second quality " for students is reallj- quite 
excellent material to work upon, being the " throw- 
outs," i.e. slightly defective pieces of the finest qualit)- 
made. Sometimes the flaws are unnoticeable, but in 
any case it is quite good enough for practice, and 
it is certainly better and more satisfactory to begin a 
clean, fresh drawing than to muddle about in a desultory 
way with Que already spoiled. 

Of course, I know alterations are inevitable at 
times. It happens occasionally that when a group is 
nearing completion, a glaring fault in composition, 
that has hitherto escaped our notice, strikes us in 
the most unpleasantly decided way. In building up the picture, and 
having it constantly before us da\' by day, its very defects have become so 
familiar that wc have grown unconsciouslj- to consider them right. But 
when once we have seen these mistakes, or had our attention drawn to 
them by a candid critic, the)- obtrude themselves on us so persistentlj- 
that we cannot rest until we have done our best to remedy them. 

Suppose, for example, in painting a group of flowers we have, 
unconsciously to ourselves, so arranged tbeni that the)* follow each other,at 
equal distances (and perhaps in equal sizes), in a straight line, or perhaps 
they are .so grouped that they mount one above the other at an angle of 
forty-five degrees, like a flight of steps. 

Once such a mistake is noticed we cannot help seeing it all the time, 
to the total suppression of any excellent points there may otherwise be 
in the painting of the pictuic. It must be altered, we feel, but how? 



MoM bcAUtco 


us when its flowers assu 


Their autumr 


L lorm ot leathery plume. 




Bis/io/. .yfanl. 



66 






Don't do anything rash, for that is fatal. Perhaps, after all, a small 
alteration is all that is necessary. For instance, one of the blooms in that 
too obvious line may only require toning down so that it recedes into the 
background, and so breaks the ugly stiffness of the straight row. But 
which flower shall it be ? 

It is an excellent plan, when in doubt on a matter like this, to make 
a sort of a mask on another bit of paper, cut to the size of the flower we 
wish to alter, and then, having roughly sketched in and coloured it 
according to our new ideas, to try the effect of it in its place in the group, 
so that we do not commit ourselves to any radical alteration before we 
are quite sure the composition will be improved by it. 

When actual washing out is unavoidable, it must be done with the 
greatest care, and with as little scrubbing and disturbing of the surface 
of the paper as possible. Put the water on the place you wish to wipe 
out, with a soft clean brush, and (after having allowed it to remain a few 
moments to soak out the colour) blot it up, with rag, sponge or 
blotting-paper, with a firm pressure, but never rubbing it, and thereby 
worrying the paper into a rough hairy surface that will give you endless 
trouble when working on it again. 

Do not attempt to do the latter while the paper is wet and wobbly, 
for this is disastrous. 

Sometimes a composition is spoiled by overcrowding ; this is ex- 
ceedingly irritating to the eye, and must be changed, even if in so doing 
we have to sacrifice some of the flowers on which we have lavished much 
careful work. Too tightly packed a bunch is ugly, so some of the 
blooms must be weeded out, and a little of the background shown 
through. 

Another fault to guard against is that of getting an equal amount of 
background, of an equal density of colour, round each flower ; this is 
quite unnatural, and very hard in effect. Faults of composition are 
bound to come occasionally in the work of everybody, be he beginner or 
Royal Academician : even the most talented painter cannot be sure of 
all his works reaching the same high artistic level. h'ailures are bound 
to occur sometimes, and so the true artist takes them philosophically, 
and accepts the lessons they invariably teach. Leslie tells us, " It is the 
happiness of a genuine painter that he is all his life a student. If the 
education of such a one could be finished, his Art would become little 
else than a mechanical routine of the pencil, and he would sink into 
that large class who are dexterous in everything and great in nothing." 



tf 



1^ 



•5i^»~ 



A 



a. 



When the Chestnut Burrs are ripe. 
67 




68 






■^." 



IPaaiaMifiii liiu^m, 



The s other day I was looking through an old, old book (one 
of those " Albums " so dear to the early Victorian heart) on 
whose tinted pages gentle slender fingers, now for e\'er still, 
had delicately traced sentimental verses, elaboratel}- stippled 
pencil drawings, and still more elaborate "groups " of flowers 
in water colour. 

If, as we are told, genius is "an infinite capacity for taking 
pains," surely these little pictures have the stamp of genius 
upon their shiny Bristol board surface, for how carefully and 
laboriously has each little leaf and petal been shaded and 
finished, and yet — how curiously unreal they are ! Were ever 
there roses so round, so stiff, so " cabbagy " in shape ? And 
were they always surrounded by those cold bluey-green leaves, 
with their symmetrical veinings and serrations in a darker shade of 
the same hue ? 

There is usually a gaily-striped tulip in the same group, perhaps also 
a polyanthus, and some forget-me-nots, but they are all of them very 
well-behaved little flowers, and " keep their places " with wonderful and 
quite unnatural regularity, as if each floweret and leaf had been carefully 
gummed or pinned into position. While as for hanging over the edge 
of the elegant vase in which they are placed ! — they are much too staid 
and stiff to be guilty of such an impropriety I 

There is a great charm in these little souvenirs of a bygone age, 
with their memories, tender and sad, of those who have passed from our 
sight; but it is a charm of sentiment and association, of veneration for 
times of long ago. 
As studies of 
Nature they are 
only of value in a 



•^ 




jBfee 



6g 



IFaliiiiiicj 



^S. 






\ 



negative sense, just to show us what to a%'oid, so as not to produce 
anything so absolutely unreal. 

I sometimes think that in those far-away days there must have 
been a sort of traditional method of painting flowers, both as regards 
form and colour, and that actual study from Nature herself took a 
secondary place. 

Therefore let us put our old album tenderly and reverently away, 

and tr\- to work on a distinctly different plan. 

V I need not tell you our motto shall be absolute 

fidelity to Nature, so far as our limited capacitx- 

will allow, for whatever our talents, and however 

we strive to reproduce the loveliness we sec, 

our reproduction will be far enough behind the 

original in beauty ! But at 

least it is an honest effort, 

and therefore more appealing 

to a student of Nature than 

the elaborate artificial " pretti- 

ness " of the conventionalised 

group. 

However, our business to- 
daj' is to paint roses, not 
merely to talk of them, so, if 
jou have your nicely-washed 
palette and materials in readi- 
ness, let us start without 
further generalities : only \ou 
must not feel discouraged if 
I warn you that the task on 
which you have embarked is 
not an easy one ! Not only 
is the rose one of the most 
beautiful and fascinating of 
flower studies, but one of the 
most difficult as well. 

We start, perhaps, a careful 
drawing of a half-opened bud, 
and even as we work its form 
is changing before our eyes, 
and the rose is opening her heart to the rays of light and warmth as 
they fall on her from the window. We must lose no time in 
sketching her in boldly before she alters too much, even if we have 
to finish the details from memory or another flower. When called 
away whilst painting roses (if only for a few minute.s) I always carefully 
cover them up from the light. .A cardboard box (if sufficientl\' large 







70 



IP; 



Notice the slight 

reflected light on 

the shadow side 

near the edge. 




see if vou sjet the 




to avoid crushing the flower or group) will 
answer the purpose admirably, and prove a 
very efficient screen. ' , 

I think, for a beginning, it would be well 
to make a study of the humble little wild 
rose of the hedgerow. There is plenty of 
scope for careful drawing in this flower 
without our having to contend with the 
difficulties of the multiplicity of petals 
possessed by her prouder sisters of the 
garden. Note the flimsy nature of the flower, 
and how delicate pink shades to creamy 
white ; also the lovely suspicion of pearly-grey 
in the modelling of the petals. 

Use thin rose madder for the pinky parts, 
with a touch of aureolin to give warmth and 
transparency to the reflected lights, and a 
very delicate mixture of cobalt and rose 
madder, with just a suspicion of yellow ochre, 
for the pearly greys ; make a few dabs with 
your brush on a piece of white paper first, just ti 
mixture in right proportion. 

And now perhaps we are more ambitious, and are longing to try 
our hands at those great fragrant belles of the rose garden. It is an 
education in rose drawing to go round and note the wonderful difference 
of form in well-known varieties. There is a Gloire de Dijon (or 
" Glory," as the gardener dubs it), cup-like and solid in form, with its 
petals curving back in fascinating little points ; here is the old-world 
" Maiden's blush," very flat when fully developed ; the " Niphetos," with 
its tulip-shaped petals and drooping habit, bending over so modestly 
that one has almost to kneel before it to see its lotus-like beauty ; 
" Catherine Mermet," " La France," " Malmaison," and a host of others, 
each with some special character of form. Suppose we take one of the 
tea-rose family for our study. I choose this especially because of its 
wonderful variety of colour, distinction of form, and also perhaps as a 
little bit of personal sentiment, as a group of these self-same flowers was 
the very first picture I ever exhibited and sold. 

What a lovely contrast the creamy yellow of the petals, as they turn 
back in graceful curves, gives to their under sides of warm, salmon- 
like pink ! And I want you to notice most particularly the wonderful 
depths of transparent colour in the heart of the rose, absolutely different 
from the shadow side of the flower. I think this beautiful effect is 
caused by the rays of light filtering through the 
thin silky petals, reflecting on and intensifying the 
colour already there. We cannot keep this colour 



71 




too pure and trans- 
parent, and at the 
same time tooquiet 
and flat, so as to 
give the idea of 
depth. It must 
recede, as it were, 

and this will help your petals, with their creamy curved edges, to 
stand out more boldly ; only don't make the latter too hard ; note 
their modelling, and their almost opalescent shading of tender grey as 
they curl over. 

You will notice in flower painting of all kinds 

what a study the texture and consistcncj' of flower 

petals gives you ; the solid " fleshiness " of a camellia 

t,^ jH or tuberose, for instance, is quite distinct from the 

^W "IK velvety softness of a rose, and this again is quite 

different from the flimsiness of an azalea or poppy. 

Seek to notice individuality in different varieties 
of flowers ; to understand their characteristics will 
enable you to portray their beauties, not only with 
greater ease, but with more intelligence and truth 
to Nature. This is, as it were, the anatomy of the 
subject, and I used to think such analj-sis was dry 
and uninteresting in the extreme, that it was enough 
to try faithfully to reproduce the beauty before me, 
without bothering my head about drj-, structural 
details. 

I am older and wiser, and I see farther now. 
Dry ! Why I Nature stud\- (even apart from its 
application to Art) is one of the greatest delights 
I know, however crude and unscientific our methods 
of approaching it may be. And I am absolutelj- 
certain that an intelligent knowledge of character 
^ and habit is of immense help when we are struggling 
with a subject like a rose, whose beauty of form is so 
transient and evanescent that, even as we work, the opening petals are 
confusing us and totally altering from the outline of our drawing, for, 
without an intimate iniderstanding through practice and study, we arc 
quite unable to grasp the general characteristics of line and form. 

Although far from wishing my readers to follow the " cabbage-like" 
form of the rose painting in the album, I would still wish to point out 
that there is always an underlj'ing spherical (or perhaps I should say, 
egg-shaped) form in a rose. The petals are wrapped round this, and, 
however they unfold and change in shape as the flower matures, this 
form is always there as a basis. 




The wayside rose 
Blossomed in every 

fragile crimson 

change. 

i:. //.twilton KiKg. 



'H 03 ss> 



If you have ever had ain- lessons in model 

drawing and shading, you will have learnt that in 

any object of globular, or approaching globular, 

form (such as an apple, orange, etc.), the darkest 

part does not extend to the extreme edge of the 

shadow side any more than the bright light falls 

on the edge of the light side. The rough sketch 

of apples at the bottom of page 71 will illustrate my 

meaning more clearly. There is a slight reflected 

light on the shadow side near the edge, while on 

the light side the extreme edge is receding from 

us, owing to the spherical form of the object, and 

therefore does not catch the light so strongly as the 

point nearest us. All this must be remembered 

in shading a rose. 

Half close your eyes to see your flower (or 

flowers) in broad masses of light and shade. I 

think I advised this in our talk on violet painting 

in the first chapter of this book, but please excuse 

me if I am rather insistent on it, for it is really 

a wonderful help ! 

If our Editor will allow me space for a digression, 

I must tell \-ou a funny little anecdote apropos of 

this practice of mine. My mother, re-arranging 

the walls of a room after re-decoration, with the 

aid of a youthful maid newly imported from the 

West Countree, asked the girl (from her elevated 

position on the high steps) if a picture she had just 

restored to its hook was hanging straight. The 

damsel hurried to the other side of the room, 

and stood gazing, head on one side, with such 

violent contortions of countenance that my mother, somewhat 

alarmed for the girl's sanity, asked, " Whatever is the matter with 

you, Alice?" "Oh! please, ma'am," was the reply, "I was only 

looking at it artistic, like Miss Maude ! " 

Whether this startling per- 
formance was a help to her to 
discover the exact equilibrium 
of the water-colour, and whether 
I look quite so comical when at 
my work, I don't know ; but of 
this I am sure, we can judge a 
general effect in broad masses 
through our half-closed lids far 
better than when, 





'J^ 



'"> 












73 



Pai-i-iiiLfi'c) 



with wide-open eyes, perplexed with complications of detail, we sir 
too vtticli. 

What we must aim at in picture making is to reproduce not so 
much what is actually before us, as what we see of it, what strikes us as 
a first impression. If you are looking at a bunch of flowers, or still-life 
group of any kind, your eye is sure to be arrested at once by some 
prominent feature in it, probably where the light catches it most strongly, 
and although the rest of the group is there, and you are conscious of 
its presence, it is in a measure subordinated and subdued. 

Our power of vision docs not allow us in the same moment to see 
everything before us with the same distinction ; therefore, in picture 
making, it is a golden rule to determine our principal point of interest 
and concentration from the first, although, of course, this must not be 
made too obvious and forced. 

Above all, in painting roses (or indeed any other flowers) keep your 
colours clean and pure. It is so easy to lose the delicacy and purity that 
are the most beautiful attributes of these, God's gifts. Look at this so- 
called white rose : hold it against something white, say a tablecloth or 
piece of white paper, and you will be astonished to find it is simply 
teeming with colour, a colour quite different from the hard bluish-white 
of the background, and so delicate and transparent, so elusive and soft, 
that we are almost in despair at the dinginess and smudginess of our 
humble effort at reproduction. 

I should advise a darker (but not too dark) background for this 
subject, so as to throw the delicacy of the flower into better relief by 
way of contrast. 

Educate your eyes to see not only form and colour, but tone values 
as well. Compare one object with another, and note their relations in 
tone, colour, and form. Although you cannot be making studies with 
brush and pencil all day, you arc carrying your eyes and brain about 
with you all the time. Train them to take mental notes of what you 
see around you, and train your memory to retain these notes : notice 
comparative sizes of objects, colour, forms and shapes, atmo- 
sphere, light and shade, and all the wonders around even the 
most commonplace everyday life. There is an infinite fund 
of material for \-ou wherever you go, whether your footsteps 
lead j'ou by mountain or moorland heath, open common or 
shady glade, by river or the wide .seashore, or even in the 
squalor and gloom of a manufacturing town. 

Just store up these impressions in your memory, adding 
daily to the wealth of your store, and you will find they 
become, not merely a help in your artistic efforts, but one of 
\'our greatest possessions ami delights. 




.^^ 



First of a\\ the rose: because its breath 
Is rich beyond the rest, and when it dies 
It doth bequeath a charm to sweeten death. 



74 




Ix our chats on flower- painting we have hitherto confined our attention 
chiefly to the blooms, but I have been thinking for some time how 
necessary it is, if we wish to be successful with our sketches from Nature, 
to give some careful attention to the foliage as well. It is a subject in 
which you will find most interesting material for study, and as much 
variety as in the flowers themselves. Perhaps it is a detail that artists, 
anxious to compose a group of bright colour, strong and arresting for 
exhibition purposes, are rather apt to neglect. Very often a painter will 
concentrate his whole attention on a mass of bloom, and when it comes 
to painting the leaves accompanying the flowers, he will express them 
with the merest blur of green. 

But even in the slightest sketch there must be a suggestion of their 
form and character, and this suggestion, achieved in a most wonderful 
manner with a few well-placed dabs of a brush when a practised hand 
has guided it, is the outcome of much preliminary careful exercise and 
studv. 



It is really rather a dangerous thing, I think, to try to imitate the 
masterly " dashing " style of execution we admire in a sketch by a 
skilled hand. At best our drawing, based 
on the experience of others, can be nothing 
but an imitation, and as such can only be 
poor and weak. We have a far, far better ^ 

chance of ultimate success if we profit by " "■ 

our own observance and practice, and thus 
form a style of our own, independent of the \ 

ideas of others. Don't try to be " dashy " 
until the dashiness comes of itself By dint 
of practice you are unconsciously learning not ,. ^ 

only to sec things correctly, but also the most » 



y 




Sycoiv^^t 



■■"■^i*^ 



75 







direct and the simplest way of ex- 
pressing what you see ; you are 
cultivating your own individuality 
and style, not merely adopting a sort 
of second-hand slickness based on 
other people's. 

Foliage at all times gives us much 
to learn ; not only is there immense 
variety in the structural form of 
single leaves of different species, but 
,,*« when we are drawing a spray or 

i^'^ --*«& branch, the leaves arrange them- 

selves in such a number of different 
positions that no two seem the least 
bit alike. Some, pointing towards us, 
are a wonderful study in fore- 
shortening ; some, receding from our 
view, teach us perspective ; some are 
slightly turned over, and give us a 
fascinating peep at their under sides, 
in many cases quite different in colour 
and always different in texture. \'et 
with all these differences of arrange- 
ment, the actual form of the leaf as 
we first saw it flat before us is still 
there in e\ery one, and we must not lose sight of its character, 
whatever its position on the bough. 

The value of a spray of leafage as study of line cannot be too highlj- 
estimated ; it is an excellent plan to make occasionally an outline 
drawing onlj-, for no shaded group, however highly finished, can look 
right if the foreshortening and perspective of its form is incorrect. 

Notice carefully the characteristic shape of the leaves, and how this 
form is .still there in them all in spite of the different positions in 
which they fall. The centre vein (or mid-rib^ must not be lo.st sight of 
in a study like thi.s, for it is mo.st important in determining the direction 
of the leaf 



It is wise, first of all, to indicate lis 
direction of the main branch of the 
spray, even before putting in the 
leaves falling across it. It can easily 
be rubbed out where it is not wanted 
later, and it will not only help you 
to determine its main direction, but 



;htl\- with faint pencil lines, the 



d 


It 


CCS. tan o 


Aks. 


and 


Unar 


led p 


incs 






tr 
Id 


d 


ith Urcy-m 
iched by » 
ii- uniiathc 


pade 
red. 


iTvosscs: here the 
, and flowers sprir 


Uround 
li up 




76 



A c: 



'Tis a bleak wild hill, but green 

and bright 
In the summer warmth and the 

midday light; 
There's the hum of the bee, and 

the chirp of the wren, 
And the dash of the brook Srom 

the elder glen, 
There's the sound of a bell from 

the scattered flock. 
And the shade of the beech lies 

cool on the rock. 

II'. C. Bryant. 






you will also avoid the danger of getting a broken, 
distorted-looking twig, which would be the inevitable 
result if you tried putting it in bit by bit as it reappears 
at intervals behind the leaf clusters. 

Now, with still the lightest possible touches of your 
pencil, roughly indicate the position and size of the 
various groups, in their relation one to another ; and be sure these 
positions and sizes are true before beginning a detailed drawing of 
individual leaves. It is most important to do this, for it is a curious 
fact that most of us when drawing anything not previously " roughed " or 
" blocked " out, have a sort of unconscious, inherent tendency to enlarge 
as we go on. Why this should be so I cannot tell you ; I have often 
wondered about it myself. 

Most of }-ou at some time in your 
lives have amused yourselves with 
drawing pigs with closed eyes ; possibly 
some of your friends possess albums 
full of these extraordinary specimens of 
porkers. 

You will notice in nearly every case 
that when poor Piggy, commencing with 
a curly twist of his tail, has attained the 
dignity of hind legs, he has hopelessly 
strayed away from the scale of his 
original beginnings and absolutely 
refuses to join up at all ! It is curious 
that this tendency to enlargement should 
show itself even in this childish game, 
as well as in our serious studies. i 

The newly-opened leaves on the jo0 
lime-trees outside my studio window are 
waving before me as I write. They 
are still bright and beautiful in their 
early spring freshness, though, alas, by 
the time you are reading this, they 
will all be smoky and begrimed. There 

is much to be learnt from them before that, though ! Look at the 
wonderful perspective, look at their subtle colour, and light and shade, 
with the varying sunbeams playing around them, their form too 
constantly changing as they bend to the breeze. 

A casual observer would say they are all a bright fresh green ; but 
you and I will go a little farther and notice carefully of what this " bright 
fresh green " is composed. Although of not nearly so shiny a surface 
as many other varieties, the lime-leaves have a certain power of reflec- 
tion on their upper sides, and take a blue-grey light from the sky. 




77 



A Chat on 
Foliage 



Unwatch'd, the' garden bout<h shall 
The tender blossom flutter down 
Unloved, that beech will gather 1 

This maple burn itself away. 



Where the light is passing through them the leaves are translucent and 
their brightest green. If the sun is shining this is so much enhanced 
b\- its rays as to be almost golden, while the darkest parts of the study 
arc those leaves so overshadowing each other that the light cannot 
penetrate through. 



Although I am limited to black and white in these illustrations, 1 
have my paint-box before me to enable me to make experiments and 
give you some idea (in words) of the colours you may find useful in a 
study like this, although you must not take me too liteially. 

So much depends on yourself, on the conditions of light under which 
you work, and then again on the proportions of any mixture of colours 
you are using, that it is almost impossible to give a formula for an\- 
particular bit of colouring that is absolutely correct. 

I give the tints as they appeal to my sense of colour, but thai 
may be quite different from _\-ours, and who shall sa\' which of us 
is right? 

Well, then, the lime-leaves in their brightest parts seem to me a 
mixture of aureolin yellow and Antwerp blue, in the sunlight the 
aureolin predominating very largely. For the darker leaves and those 
in shadow I should use raw sienna, Indian yellow, and Antwerp blue ; 
while for the reflected lights from the sky I think a light wash of cobalt, 
tempered with touches of rose madder and aureolin, would give the right 
effect. The proportions you must find out by exi)erimental dabs on 
your palette or a piece of white paper ; and do not forget these mixtures 
admit of very great variety by altering their proportions, and the density 
with which they are used. 

Beware of getting the leaves cold in colour ; a too lavish use of blue 
is to be carefully avoided ; remember always to keep your shadows 
warm in colour, and lights cool, 
but not cold. 

The veining of the leaves we 
drew so carefully in our outline 
study must be very delicately 
e.xpressed in our colour sketch ; 



^ 






r^?^ 




i-X Vsi'sii: oil 



perhaps the most sahent lines ma}- 
be left white at first, and then lightl}- 
gone over with a faint wash of colour 
as the study nears completion, or 
they may be taken out afterwards. 
Using a fine sable brush filled with 
clean water, we must delicately trace 
their direction on the already dry 
colour surface of our leaves, and then 
with a clean soft rag and a firm 
pressure, wipe out the colour. This 
line will, of course, need touching up 
after, defining here, losing there. 




^ 



^sm 



A spray of rose-leaves is a very 
beautiful study. Take a single leaf 
first and study its shape, noting not 

only its form of five leaflets, but the way they are arranged on the stem. 
The serrations on the leaves require care, they are not a mere jagged 
edge, but each little spine points towards the tip of the leaf. Then 
again notice the position of the thorns on the stem ; they are somewhat 
hooked in shape, the prickly part pointing downwards. Nature has a 
special purpose in arranging them thus, as they defy the approach of 
predatory insects. 

Some species of rose, like the Niphetos, for instance, have leaves 
somewhat drooping in form, and in colour rather a cold dark green. 

The foliage of the Gloire de Dijon is very beautiful ; the green is 
bright but warm in colour, and slightly tinged with a bronze hue at the 
edges. The " Griiss an Teplitz " leaves are a rich red brown. In every 
case there is great variety in individual sprays. For the Dijon leaves 'l 
would try aureolin yellow with cobalt, Indian yellow with emerald green, 
and a mi.xture of rose madder and Indian yellow washed in lightly 
where the leaves are tinged with red. Brown pink is very useful for 
giving a warm olive tint in the depths. 

I think it would be a most interesting and absorbing study to one 
who had time to make it, and interest in the work, to sketch the leaves 
of any particular tree at various stages of their development. Take the 
oak, for instance. At the time I am writing, the new young leaves, very 
tender and somewhat flabby in texture, are unfolding to the spring 
sunshine, while the pretty catkins of the male flowers are still waving 
in the breezes ; here and there a bunch of tan-brown leaves from 
last year hang perseveringly on, having defied the winter's storms. 

Then later on in the year the leaves will have lost their delicate 
tints of early spring ; they are Sturdier and stronger, and darker in 




1 windina eladc with leaflcl 
h An odorous dewy dark im 
nd maple and hazel caHed 
into shadowy solitude. 



79 






colour, and their shape is more defined. Many of the branches have 
produced a second crop of young leaves, Lammas shoots, as the 
foresters call them, and their fresh light green makes a beautiful contrast 
among the darker leaves. Soon — too soon, alas ! when we realise it is a 
s\-mbol that summer is passing — these oak-leaves are again changing 
in colour ; the light frosts of early autumn have tinged them with a 
glory of variegated green and gold. Later on, when the frosts have 
become more insistent and severe, these leaves turn a rich brown, and 
frequently' cling, in a more or less crumpled form, to their branches 
throughout the whole winter, giving a lovely patch of warm colour in 
the greyness of a winter landscape. 



He very careful, when colour is absorbing \-our attention and interest, 
to avoid losing sight of the special characteristics of the form of the 
leaves. Although I am general!)' very averse to exaggeration in 
any form, perhaps it is better for the student to accentuate their 
characteristics rather than to lose sight of them altogether. 

In one and all of these studies we cannot fail to be struck with the 
marvellous invention and the wonderful feeling for decorative effect 
Nature shows us. The designer, whose art consists of the conven- 
tionalisation of these natural forms for purposes of decoration and 
applied art, finds much to learn from leaves. 

Look at this sycamore leaf, for instance, and in it we see three most 
useful principles of ornament — gradation, symmetry and radiation. 

Take the leaf and stud}' its form. Notice, that in spite of the 
serrations of its edges, what bold grand sweeps of form we see from 
point to point ; this is gradation. 

Look how this beautiful sha])e is repeated on both sides, reversed, 

of course, in 
direction, the 
value of those 
curves im- 
mensely en- 
hanced bj' this 
repetition ; this 
is symmetry. 

Now notice 
the wonderful 
veining of the 
leaf, and how 
from the main 
rib of tiie 
centre the 
lesser veins 




A CJiiHi us 



branch out, following the form of the leaf in a wonderful sequence of 
lines ; this is radiation. 

You will observe that, in spite of this repetition of form, giving 
restfulness and unity, Nature is never monotonous. There are always 
variations to prevent the design from becoming uninteresting. In the 
leaf before us you will notice how the veins are finer and nearer together 
as they approach the point, widening into stronger lines and wider 
spaces near the broader parts. 

What an immense influence natural plant form has had on art from 
all time ! We can never be at a loss for subjects, and foliage especially 
opens up a most wide and varied field for study. 









F/tnt'cr Pictures. 




82 









Yi.>U may think it is unnecessary to devote 
time to the special study of twigs and 
stems, but in making a general flower 
study we have our attention distracted by 
\ so many and various interests ; and as 

naturally our eyes are first attracted to 
the more striking beauty of the flowers, 
the delicacies and intricacies of the form 
of the stems on which they grow is apt 
to be slurred over, and not given the attention their im- 
portance demands, while, once we have studied them for 
themselves, we shall have obtained an appreciation of their 
beauty of structure that malces it impossible for us to pass 
them over with careless touch. 

I really think they ought to take a most important 
place in our Nature Study, for not only do stem and 
branch control the direction of our whole spray, but they 
give individuality and character to the various forms of 
plant life in as great a measure as the flowers and leaves 
themselves, and yet how often the drawing of them is 
neglected ! A student will sometimes spend much time 
in a careful endeavour to make a really faithful study of a 
flower, but when he gets to the stem, he will make a few 
hasty inconsidered strokes do duty for the expression of 
it, or a careless jagged line, quite unlike the delicate and 
characteristic forms he sees before him, if he would only 
trouble to look. 

I have only just to mention a few varieties of flowers 
to show you the immense difference in the form of their 
stalks and stems. 




83 







Compare the stalk of a rose, 

violet, lily, primrose, harebell, 

and any other well - known 

flowers. Are there two in the 

least bit alike ? And do you 

not see that, if you do not 

bestow the same care 

and attention as you 

have on the flower on 

its necessary stem, much 

of the character and 

conviction of the former 

is lost ? ^^'hy, the rose 

stem alters even in 

different varieties, and 

though this may pass 

unnoticed by a careless 

eye, show a drawing 

faulty in this respect to 

an ardent horticulturist, 

and he will pounce on 

the error at once ! 

Look at the ethereal beauty of a harebell or a primrose 

stem, and then at the sturdiness of a wild hyacinth, and notice 

that it is not only in contour and consistency they differ, but 

in texture as well. The bluebell stem is thick and succulent, 

its surface smooth and shiny ; the harebell is so slight and frail, 

it requires almost a fairy touch to express its airy lightness 



?p f 




the 



primrose, though thicker, is still slender, and its hairy texture gives 
quite a different effect. 

Having noticed the form of any particular stem, our next step is to 
spare no pains with its drawing ; if wc express it with a careless, 
" wobbling " outline, jagged and irregular, 
it will look poor and weak. We must 
endeavour to get a firmness of drawing 
into it with decisive lines, or what a poor, 
broken specimen it will look ! This firm- 
ness and precision can only come with 
careful practice. 

I am sitting as I write in our little 
suburban garden, and although doubtless 
were I in the country 1 could find many 
more examples, there is still ample material 
here to illustrate my meaning. Here is a 
trail of young Virginia creeper. Notice its 





H^^Vrrv 




^iVigg aaid 



round succulent stem ; it must be 
drawn with firm clear lines (not thick 
here, thin there), but with a decided 
unbroken sweep from joint 
to joint, where there is a 
thickness requiring careful 
notice ; at each joint are 
two little sheaths, and they 
have formed a protection 
for the carh- stages of the leaf and its 
accompanying tendril we see at each of 
these joints. These stems, so tender 
and brittle now, will become hard and 
wood)- as the season goes on its way, and 
the joints, each containing the beginnings 
of a new shoot of its own, are part of the 
plant's scheme of growth, and therefore 
their importance must not be overlooked. 
It is an inexcusable error, and yet an 
error one often sees perpetrated, to draw a 
spray thicker towards the point than where 
it springs from its parent stem : it does not 
require much logic to see that this is im- 
possible. The sap must pass through that 
lower part first, and if the stem grew thicker 
instead of thinner, how could there be enough of 
that sap, passing through a narrower channel 
first, to nourish it adequately ? Look at the spraj' 
of Virginia creeper, and you will .see that, beyond 
the thickening incidental to the joints, each section 
tapers the farther it grows awaj^ from its parent 
stem; this tapering may in some 
cases be very gradual, but it is 
' always there. 

This principle applies, of 
course, to all vegetation : j-ou 
will notice it especially in your 
studies of trees ; a lesser branch 
could not support a larger, and 
if this simple fact were kept 
more constantlj- before us, how 
much truer and more con- 
vincing many Nature Studies 
would look ! 





86 



\ 



ly: 




^l^iliixljliiii CIdIdJ:!!? 



It has been suggested to me that 

perhaps it would be helpful if I 

gave some details regarding the 

colours I find most useful in 

painting various flowers. If it is 

possible to give you any hints from 

my own experience that may be 

useful to }^ou I shall be most delighted to be of service, 

but at the same time I do not wish you to receive them 

solely on my recommendation. If it were possible to work 

from a stereotyped formula to obtain the lovely variations of 

tone and colour Nature shows us under different conditions, 

the charm and delight of sketching would be gone. 

It is well-nigh impossible, when we sit before a group of flowers 

ready to take their portraits, to tell off-hand what colouring we shall 

use : we must, to a certain extent, experiment on each new study we 

make ; for weather, surroundings, light and shade, and atmospheric 

conditions make so vast a difference that the variations of both tone and 

tint are very great. Even if we are working in a room, an overcast sky 

will have a great effect on the lighting of our group. The colours are 

more subdued, and perhaps seen in more decided masses of light and 

shade than when a bright insistent light shows up the details more 

strongly. On a sunny day you will notice wonderful warmth in the 

shadow, and brilliant reflections that were lost when the light was greyer. 

Then the surroundings of the room itself are also of importance ; for 

instance, a room with light yellow paper on the walls must of necessity 

give you warmer, more luminous shadows than a room where darker 

tones predominate. 

But even this is not everything. Perhaps the most important factor The liiac, various 
of all in seeing colour is our own temperament, for it is well known that ^hitc, 
no two artists see exactly alike. We have onlv to look around any of our Now sanguine, and 

^ ' 1 r 1 ^"^^ beauteous 

picture galleries to notice this, and if we could watch several of our best- head now set 

With purple spikes 
pyramidal ; as if, 

Studious of orna- 
ment, yet un- 
resolved 

Which hue she 
most approves, 
she chose them 



87 







known painters working from the same object, we should 
be perfectly astonished to see the different interpretations 
they have put upon seemingly very obvious things, though 

all might be right according to their own especial scheme. 

One ma\- see grey where another sees warmth ; but if each 

sketch is harmonious in itself, it may be equally beautiful 

and true to Nature. 



It is this individualit)-, this seeing of natural objects 
1 through our own unaided vision, that makes the stud)' of 

yiv Art so alluring and so delightful. Of course, it means a 
long and laborious apprenticeship to find out, with only the 
aid of our great teacher Nature, by what colours we can best 
express the impression formed on our mental vision of her 
beauties. 

Therefore do not accept any of the suggestions I give 
here as final. Try them if you will, but do not take them 
as hard and fast rules to be followed blindly. God has 
given each of us a pair of eyes to see with, and we must use 
those eyes themselves, not depending on the experience of 
others, if wc wish to do good work. 

It is rather difficult sometimes to answer a correspondent 
who writes to ask what colour can be used for such and 
such a flower. How can one give an adequate reply .' 
What flower grows that consists of one colour only ? 
Even if the petals do not, as is usually the case, contain 
wonderful gradations and variety of colour in themselves, there 
is generally a number of outside influences around to cause a great 
variation in the local colour ; that petal, receding, is greyer in hue ; this 
one, pointing towards us, is brightened by a brilliant spot of light ; here 
the light is passing through a petal, giving a clear translucent effect. 
Instead of one colour for that flower you will want man\', and if you love 
Nature and are earnest in your work, it will be a joy and delight to find 
them out unaided. I can (;nl)' hcl]) \'ou with suggestions and perhaps 
a few general rules. 

Here is a useful list of colours: — Rose Madder, Lemon Yellow, 
Antwerp lilue. Raw Umber, Orange Vermilion, Aureolin, Cobalt, 
Vandyke Brown, Light Red, Indian Yellow, Mauve, Raw Sienna, I^urnt 
Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Brown Pink. 

Experimentintl _, ... 

with Colour. The woodbine, 

climbini; o'er the 

Now 1 expect we all of usremember howwe learnt, when our first colour door in bowers; 
boxes were the joy and delight of our juvenile da\s, that red, blue, and ,„j^,j „j m?\n " " 
yellow were the piiiiiary colours, and not to be produced bv nnv mixtures, mottu-d hue ; 

' ' ■' I . . The pale pink pe.», 

and monkshood 
darkly blue, 

The white and 
purple liilly- 
flowcrs, that stay 

LiniSerinii in blos- 

half a%vay. 



88 






What delight and wonder it was to find that led and blue 
made violet ; red and yellow, orange ; and blue and yellow, 
green ! How assiduously we ground away at those hard 
cakes of colour, and zc/z/jt a terrible mess we made of 
them all ! There is just the same interest to be had in 
experimental colouring now, fresh delights of tone, just as 
fascinating as those earl)'' efforts, without the messiness ! 

Aly first essay into water-colour painting was, I grieve 
to say, a surreptitious one. I had been punished for 
some childish indiscretion, by being shut in an empty 
room, my captors forgetting that a door communicating 
with my father's study was open. Here, indeed, was food 
for wonder and delight. Models of ships, curios of various 
kinds, hitherto out of reach, I fingered with the enthusiasm 
of a true daughter of Eve for forbidden fruit. But the 
greatest joy of all was to discover that my naughty podgy 
little fingers could slide back the lid of the old-fashioned 
mahogany colour-box, and so disclose to view the treasures 
within. Could a youthful soul with artistic longing with- 
stand so great a temptation ? I commenced a series of 
hasty "impressions" on note-paper, letters, anything I could 
find about, hurriedly throwing them behind the writing- 
table to avoid detection. And although a speedy retribu- 
tion followed, for of course these works of Art were 
discovered when the room was swept, I still remember that hou 
stolen joy as one of the happiest in m\' life. 




In a previous chapter I mentioned what a mistake a beginner makes, 
if, instead of looking for himself, he relies on the colour tradition has 
taught him to call his model from childhood. I have a half-finished study 
of apple-blossom before me as I write. What colour is apple-blossom ? 
Don't all answer at once, please, and say, " Why, pink, of course." 

Look again. There is pink in it certainly : the unopened buds are 
almost pure rose madder ; but what a number of other colours as well ! 
The wide-open flowers are not very pink, except on their under sides. 
They are a warm white, with pearly-grey modelling to show the flimsiness 
of the petals ; but it is a luminous grey, and, if I remember rightly, I 
used a mi.xture of cobalt, aureolin, and rose madder to express it, with 
aureolin and lemon yellow for the pretty pale stamens in the centres. 
Some of the branches are lying on a white cloth ; this I have purposely 
kept rather low in tone to enhance the purity of the blossoms, and indeed 
their fresh warm whiteness did stand out in a wonderful manner in the 
natural group. 

A very general fault with a beginner at flower-painting lis that he 



89 



will try to paint a bloom with the colour he judges nearest in hue, and 
attempt to get all its form and modelling, all its variation of tint, with 
different depths of the same hue. This can never possibly look right. 
The local colour, i.e. the colour of the flower itself, is only visible in 
places, as a rule mid-way between light and dark, and the lights and 
shadings we notice are caused by various influences and conditions 
of liuhl. 



CJt)"J©liT 



It is vcrj^ difficult sometimes to get a student to see this grej- colour 

caused by modelling and shadow, and when he does see it, he will 

possibly overdo it, and thus get a hard, dirty, and cold effect. Some 

will even use diluted black and call it grey. I once heard of a lady 

who shaded a lily with Indian ink 1 But it does not require much 

experience or even penetration to see what a dead effect this would 

have. The wonderful pearl-like tints in the modelling of a white 

flower, the beautiful luminosity in its depths, we have spoken of before, 

but it is a point worth emphasising ; for, once seen aright, it will be a 

study causing you boundless enthusiasm every time you try your skill. 

In many cases, especially with yellow flowers, it is as well to put in 

the modelling and shading on the clean white paper with a delicate grey 

and let it dry before applying the local colour. 

Many pigments resent being worked over after (lemon 

yellow is particularly disagreeable about it), so it is 

/ well to use them in pure washes as much as possible. 

f How curious it is that the three primaries, the 

brightest colours we have, should produce, when 

mi.Kcd together in equal parts, the most neutral 

colour of all, grey ! The proportions admit of 

very great variation. For instance, a predominance 

of red and blue, with only a dash of yellow, will 

give a purplish grey, or yellow and blue in excess 

will give a greenish grey. Take your colours and 

make some experiments. For very delicate greys 

use cobalt, rose madder, and aureolin, for a stronger 

and darker one, cobalt, light red, and yellow ochre, 

or cobalt and burnt sienna. 

Mixing Colours. 

Although such beautiful effects can be obtained 
in printing from the three primary colours alone, 
we who have a larger range of pigments at our 
command will soon begin to notice that certain 
colours possess qualities of their own lending them- 
selves more readily and helpfully to particular 




90 



The wood is dccp-bou^hed, and its glade 
Has ruts o{ waggon to and fro; 

Yet where the print of urheel is made 
The bracken ventures still to gro\v. 

r. Conf.ni Hah: 



mixtures than others. To make my meaning clearer : Antwerp 
and Prussian blue are greenish blues, and therefore when blended 
with yellow will produce a brighter green than would be the case 
if cobalt or ultramarine had been used : the latter, having purplish 
tendencies, makes excellent mauves, purples, and violets when mixed 
with rose madder or crimson lake. Then, again, vermilion, an 
orange red, makes a more satisfactory orange colour if mixed with 
Indian yellow than if a pinkish red had been used, while, on the other 
hand, mixed with blue, it would have been anything but a satisfactory 
purple. 

It is only experiment and experience that will teach you the special 
characteristics of various pigments, and this all comes with practice. 
You will notice that rose madder, Prussian blue and Indian yellow are 
transparent colours, while yellow ochre, light red, vermilion, and lemon 
yellow are opaque ; this, of course, gives a very different quality to our 
work, and must be remembered in mixing. 

Brown pink is useful in giving a very beautiful warm olive tint to 
green, but it is rather a gummy colour, and, if used too heavil)-, will 
always have a somewhat sticky effect and never properl)' dry. 

Sometimes brilliancy of effect is better gained by using colours in 
single washes, one over the other : for instance, if a light wash of 
Antwerp blue is put on a leaf, allowed to dry, and then a wash of 
aureolin is applied after, it will probably produce a more intense green 
than if the tints had been mixed first 
on a palette in the ordinary way. 

The Use of Chinese .''' ' 



I do not as a rule advise the use 
of Chinese white to students ; it is 
rather tiresome to manage, and is apt 
to give a hard opaque look to water- 
colour drawings ; whereas, especially 
in painting flowers, it is a great thing 
to aim at freshness and transparency 
of effect. 

If you feel a touch of brighter 
light is absolutely necessary to a 
drawing, and the colour you wish to 
remove has stained the paper too 
deeply to admit of washing out, do 
not mix your tints with the white on 
your palette ; put a sharp definite 
touch of pure Chinese white on 
first, and when it is thoroughly 
dry, lightly glaze the local colour 




91 








and shading on after ; this wil 
and less iTiess\- effect. 



ha\e a far better 



I have cautioned you against the indiscriminate use of wliite, 
and now I must add a word of warning about black as well. One 
of the most usual mistakes a beginner makes is that, in his anxiety 
to make a forcible study, he will put in the darkest 
part with a strong, hard black, quite out of keeping 
with the general tone of the drawing. 
/ .^ I remember the time when I was a \er\- big 

""■A,, ""^ offender in this way myself, and can recall with 
amusement an early attempt at portraiture, when, 
with the idea of giving expression and beauty to the 
dark eyes of my sitter (a patient and long-suffering 
cousin), I made them so staringly black that one 
of my family critics aptly remarked, they looked " like two holes burnt 
in a blanket ! " 

This was not the only case. Anxious to get a strong efiect, I intro- 
duced little bits of pure black in all my flower groups as well, with such 
appalling results that one daj' my uncle kindly but firmlj' abstracted the 
offending pigment from my box, advising me to try how I could get 
along without it. And although for a time I missed it sorely, I found 
ultimately I could do so well without its aid, that I have never used it 
in my flower studies since. I find that even in the deepest parts, a 
mixture of cobalt and vandyke brown will give me quite as dark a tone 
as I am likely to require. 

There is very little hard black or crude white in Nature as we see it : 
even a piece of pure white paper cannot appear purely white to our sight, 
for outside influences and conditions modify it to a great extent, a shade 
here, a reflection there. In the same way a black object is never purely 
black, but is subject to great variations of tone resulting from the 
proximity of objects around, which rellect different colours into its 
surface and texture. 

In looking at a mass of white flowers how much do we see that is 
really without colour and tone ? The mass must give the effect of white, 
and broadly speaking it is white, but so tempered by modelling, te.xture, 
reflection, and shadow as to only show really white on the points 
where the light fails 
strongest. It requires 
great caution, great 
restraint, to see this 

and not overdo it: ^ . • ^"^ ^__^. 

remember it is a 
mass of light in the 




92 






light, though subject to local influences, and as such the shadows can 
never be so dark and strong as on the shadow side : meaningless little 
bits of dark cutting it up will look hard and out of place. 

Complementary 
Colours. 

I dare say you know that every colour has its complementary one, and 
unless you are colour-blind, it is easy to find out what it is for yourself. 
Put a dab of bright colour (red, for instance) on a piece of white paper, 
look at it intently for a few seconds in a strong light, and then at once 
on a blank space on the paper. What do you see? Instead of a red 
spot you see a green one, and by this simple test you can learn what is 
scientifically the right colour to use if you wish to 
intensif}' another by contrast. As an example, you 
may have been painting a field, and you think the 
grass looks rather dull in hue ; put a few scarlet 
poppies in the foreground, and the effect is almost 
magical. Red, as the complementary colour to 
green, has enhanced and intensified the strength 
of the latter. 

Speaking in a broad sense, the three primary 
colours, yellow, red, and blue, may be said to 
represent light, colour, and shade. There is always 
a great deal of yellow in sunshine and sunny 
effects. Look at a leaf with the sun glinting 
through, and note how much more yellow it 
contains than it would on a grey day 1 Red is 
expressive of warmth ; while blue without doubt 
gives an idea of distance and quietness, because 
mist in the air being blue, it subdues and qualifies 
the colour of objects that are far away. 

Sometimes when a study is nearing completion, 
we notice there is something inharmonious in the 
colour. Perhaps it looks cold, the shadows are 
too grey and want warmth in the reflections. Very 

often we have painted at different times under different conditions of light, 
consequently the work does not come together pleasingly as a whole. 
Sometimes a little warmer colour worked judiciously into shadows and 
background will be of great service ; sometimes the latter may require 
a grey tint worked in to quiet and subdue it. 

It is necessarj', when painting groups of flowers in colour, to arrange 
the colours of the relative objects in the composition, so that, by 
harmony and contrast, they are helpful to each other. 

Suppose, for instance, you painted some apple - blossom, always 
rather a cold pink, in a blue jar against a grey background, the effect 
would be cold in the extreme. But if the background had been 




Oh, the sweet dried lavender! 

Oh, the more than scent in it ! 
The butterShes and the bees astir, 

The pipe o5 linnets pent in it! 



91 



a warm colour, with perhaps a good deal of olive brown predominating, 
and the jar a warm grey or biscuit colour, the effect would have been 
infinitely more pleasing to the eye ; because, not only would the richer 
colouring have acted as an agreeable contrast to the delicate purity of 
the flowers, but the presence of warmth and colour in the surroundings 
would have cast reflections of warmth into the shadows of the flowers 
themselves. 

What I have previously tried to impress upon j'ou of the value of eye- 
training to see form and effect applies with equal force to colour. 



Studying 
Colour 




Indicating ihe general outline of the 

group, before working at the detail. 

as described on page 102. 



Rough sketch showing main 
direction of the blossoms. 





The outline dr. 



The finished sketch 

94 



Ix these talks on flower-painting I have addressed myself chiefly to m\- 
fellow-students in Nature study, and, therefore, perhaps I have rather 
ignored the elements of first practice. But, in talking over our subjects, 
Miss Klickmann and I have come to the conclusion that an article 
written especially for beginners might not only be useful to new recruits 
in the ranks of flower-painters, but to those of us who may also wish to 
give instruction to others. Therefore, in this chapter, although I am well 
aware I lay myself open to the accusation of having " put the cart before 
the horses," I shall say a few words about first beginnings in Art, those 
beginnings that are all-important to the student, and which show, even 
from the earliest times, the capacity for, and love of, Art, that with the 
very necessary attribute of perseverance make for future success. 

Most young children learn a little drawing, even in their 
" Kindergarten " days, and as a training for eye and hand, and, above all, 
for impressing the memory, it is an excellent method. But the child 
who has a latent talent will go further than this, his pencil has so great 
a fascination for him that every scrap of paper within his reach is covered 
with the curious forms and shapes evolved by his childish bram ; at 
first so rude and rough that their meaning and intention is so obscure as 
to be quite unintelligible even to the fondest and proudest parent, but 
gradually as his perceptive faculties develop, showing not only an 
intelligent idea of proportion and line, but wonderful flights of 
imagination as well. 



It is well to encourage these early eff'orts, and not to be contemptuous 
even if the youthful artist has attempted a subject a great master might 
approach with awe. There is no irreverence really in those travesties of 
great subjects treated so naively ; the little brain has adapted the stories 
of old to his own limited understanding and his own time, and to him 
this conception is very real and true. 

I think, however, it is a good plan, without attempting to cramp these 
•weird flights of composition in any way, to encourage a child to draw the 



He is deal who has never heard 
the singing ol the blades of grass. 

E. GOjson, 



95 



Sweet is the air with the buddini< haws, 
the valley stretching for miles below 

Is white with blussominU cherry trees, as 
just covered with lightest snow. 



things he sees around him, the simple objects connected with his home 
life. He can learn so much from this. There is no better practice 
possible, for he is training his eyes to see for themselves, without merely 
following the lines of a set copy in a mechanical way. It does not 
greatly matter what subject is chosen — -a flower, leaf, jug, or watering- 
pot — -there is a lesson in one and all. 

Many an older and more advanced student would find much to learn 
if he would only practise making carefully considered drawings of any 
of the commonest objects surrounding him in his daily life. But, alas ! 
he is far too often fired with the ambition to " make pictures " at once, 
and, seeing a pretty and brightly coloured lithographed " copy " in the 
window of a colourman's shop, he promptly steps in to hire or bu\- it, 
and starts to work on an elaborate reproduction of it. What a la/.}' 
method of learning Art, and what a pitiable waste of precious time ! 

Now suppose, instead of this futile dabbling, we make up our minds 
to have some regular and earnest study from flowers and plants ; 
their endless variety gives us a very wide field for learning both 
beauty of form and colour, and surely they are far more interesting 
and delightful to work from than the complicated examples of 
the free-hand copybooks. 

The First Essentials. 

Although colour - work is so tempting and 
fascinating, 1 would advise a beginner not to yield 
to its seductions too often ; rather to give his whole 
attention, for a time at least, to proportion and form. 
No amount of colour, however beautifullj- and subtly 
blended, will cover the glaring defects of bad and 
weak drawing. As he advances with careful 
practice, and his touch becomes more sure and 
true, he will, I am certain, begin to think a simple 
blacklead pencil is a most delightful possession, 
for he will find how very much can be expressed 
by tills primitive medium alone. 

If }ou have ever been fortunate enough to 
see the sketches by Holbein of the celebrities of 
the Court of Henry VIII. in tiic Royal Library 
at Windsor, \-()u will understand exactly what I 
mean. To me this masterly precision and sim- 
plicity of line is far more wonderful and more 
inspiring than even the most famous of the 
master's oil paintings. Such delicacy of execu- 
tion, and perfection of form could only be the 
outcome of long and patient years of study of 
line alone. 




M 

r // 






\}f<i^^, 




0)ir,_ / 



poot 



96 



Some J-l£mis io 



\, 




Colour is sometimes rather a snare to the 

student ; he is apt to be led away by its 

beauties, and to be slipshod in his expression 

of form. There is a most dangerous pitfall 

for the unwary. It is true that many great 

artists can give a wonderfulh- realistic idea 

with a few bold touches of a brush, but for a 

student to attempt to paint on the same lines 

would only show disastrous results. Ruskin 

.speaks very strongl)- on the subject. His 

remarks are at too great a length to quote 

here fully, but the substance is this : that 

nothing is to be learned, especially in 

sketching, b_\- precipitation ; and he de- 
nounces, in a most decided way, those 

manuals on Art professing to give hints on 

"touch" and "style" to amateurs and 

students. He says most of them " praise 

boldness, when the only safe attendant of a 

beginner is caution ; advise velocity, when the 

first condition of success is deliberation." 

Suppose a student in a school of Art, 

just promoted to the dignity of the Life 

Class, had been to get ideas and inspirations 

from, say, the masterly portraits of Sargent. 

Suppose that in his first studies from the 

living model he tries to imitate the broad 

brush-marks he admired in the master's work, 

would not the result be terrible ? But this 

fatal imitation of style, or rather miserable 

attempt at it, often happens. Who could 

e.xpect, on a first trial, to imitate the 

dexterit)' of a man who has given years of his life to attain that 

dexterit)- ? It would not be good for us if we could, for it is only 
b_\- careful and patient observation of Nature for ourselves 
that we can ever hope to understand her, and by doing 
so, produce work, if not great, at least possessing the 
elements of individuality and truth. 

Therefore, although it is a great thing to aim at 
broadness of effect and simplicity, the student must not 
fall into the error of imagining that this is analogous to 
a careless and hurried disregard of accuracy of form. 
The conscientious student who has perhaps somewhat 
yrw-claborated his drawing has often gone further towards 
a true understanding of his subject than the more superficial 




he 



y tree un?oIds 
beauty; the 
tstnut uplifts 
r flame 
hitc 



and red ; 
the vine droops 
with the new- 
formed grapes ; 
the larch extends 
arms of longing : 
and I break into 
praise. 

E. Gibson. 



Fioirer ricturc 



97 






materials : What 



I kno%v 



> th. 



thymt blows, 
Where oxlips and 
the nodding 
violet ({rows. 



one who imagines tliat with a chish)- t(.iich he has "suggested" his 
meaning and created an "impression" — olten aiKitiier way of excusing 
laziness. 

The Question 
of Paper. 

If, as I earnestly hope, my readers have taken sufficient interest in 
these little articles to be anxious to take up flower-painting thoroughl_\- 
and seriously, and not merely as a desultory pastime, let us get to 
matter-of-fact hard work and practicability. I''irst, a word as U) 
id of pa])cr shall wc u.sc ? For earlier practice 
with pencil it matters little ; 
cartridge paper, note paper, any- 
thing will do. But if we are 
using water-colour it behoves us 
to be more careful in our choice. 
Whatman or '' O.W. ' are both 
excellent papers, but the cheaper 
makes arc rather thin in sub- 
stance, and consequently liable tcj 
cockle when a broad wash is put 
on. This is very troublesome and 
annoying, and it is necessary to 
stretch the jiaper before using to 
counteract this as much as possible. 
The usual way is to damp the 
whole surface of the paper with 
a wet sponge, except about three 
quarters of an inch of the edges 
all round, which edges have been 
previously carefully folded down 
to prevent the water touching 
them. Then, when the wet on the 
surface has somewhat dried off, 
leaving, however, the paper still 
bank thoroughly damp, strong paste is put on the dry edges, which arc then 
firmly fixed to the edges of a clean drawing-board. After the water- 
colour is finished these edges are cut awa_\' with a sharp knife, and the 
drawing comes off the board quite flat. 

This is the method usually adopted in schools of Art. Personally I 
prefer working on paper previously mounted on millboard, which \ou 
can buy ready for use. It is certainly more exjiensivc, but far more 
satisfactory in working, for altiiough a paper stretched on a board in 
the ordinar}' way may be quite fiat when it is thy, it has a nasty habit 
of cockling when wet in the working, and this is very irritating to the 
worker. 




g8 



liii :Hixi-J:s -io 



Liiijij 




^^ 



t- 



At one time I ahvaj-s mounted my 
own paper. Taking a piece of Whatman, 
and a stout sheet of millboard the same 
size, 1 damped their surfaces with a wet 
sponge or rag, and when these had 
expanded with the water, and their 
surfaces were sufficiently dry to take it, 
I thinly covered them with a paste of 
flour and water, or starch (the latter made 
like the "boiled starch" used for laundry 
purposes, only not so diluted with waterj, 
and stuck them together. The paste had 
to be ver\' evenly distributed over the 
surfaces, without lumps, and the whole 
carefully dabbed and stroked on the 
painting surface to exclude any air- 
bubbles formed between, before being 
firmly tacked out round the edges on a 
board and left to dr)\ 

There is a good deal of trouble 
attached to this method, and when one 
considers the time it takes, and the risks 

of spoiling or damaging the surface, I reall\- think it is not very 
extravagant, when we contemplate making a finished water-colour, to 
buy "Whatman's Mounted Board," or "ordinary millboard faced with 
O.W. paper." These, as well as the unmounted papers, can be bought 
in " students' " as well as " artists' " quality. 

Whatman is supplied in three surfaces, " hot pressed," " not," and 
" rough." The former has a smooth, ivory-like surface, only suitable for 
small, fine work. For all ordinary purposes I would recommend you to 
use the "Not" paper, which has just enough grain and "bite" in its 
surface to take the colour nicely ; while for big, bold work on a larger 
scale the rough surface is delightful. 

If the drawing is to be framed on completion, it is absolutely necessary 
that it should be worked on a mounted board, or it runs a very grave 
risk of wobbling after. Often the board backing of new frames is put in 
with rather green wood, and of course this, pressed as it is against the 
back of the drawing, pulls it out of shape as the wood gradually dries. I 
noticed the effects of this \zxy strongly on varnishing day at the Royal 
Academy recently in the black and white room. Many beautiful 
proofs of etchings, especially those on Japanese paper, were quite 
distorted and wavy, and the Royal Academician who was respon- 
sible for the hanging of that room told me that in some cases 
this had been so bad that the artists had been obliged to have their 
jjictures down, and to substitute new proofs in their places. 



■^. ; 



99 








1 have previously given you a 
list of colours that I think you will 
find useful ; now a word about 
brushes. 

These form rather an expensive 
item in our painting kit. A good 
sable brush generally costs several 
shillings, the price, of course, 
varying with the size, but it is 
better to get accustomed to using 
rather a large one. I think, there- 
fore, it would be a great ex- 
travagance to advise beginners to 
use highly-priced sables for the 
purposes of study. The " Siberian Hair," 
or " Mincat Hair" brushes, made, I think, 
by Messrs. Reeves, will be reliable and 
useful for first practice, and the luxury and 
delight of the more expensive sables must 
be postponed for more advanced work. 

For broad surfaces, backgrounds, etc., I 
am very fond of a hog's-hair brush, and 
these do not cost nearly as much as sable. 
The length of life of a good brush 
depends very largely on its treatment ; 
with tender handling it lasts a long time, 
but if it is heavilj- dug into the pans of colour, 
or pressed hard against the bottom of the 
water-pot, the sharp tin edge of the ferrule 
will cut the delicate hair, and completely spoil 
it. After use, the brush must be washed, wiped, 
and stood in an upright position to drj", for 
it is most essential that its point should be 
preserved. I keep my brushes heads up, in an 
old brown ci-eam-jug, and sometimes, when in 
my absence from home my studio has had a 
drastic cleaning up by inartistic hands, I have 
found this position tidily reversed, with most 
disastrous results. 

Your Position when 

N(jw as regards the position in which you 
sit : for big bold work 1 would stronglj- advise 
you either to sit or stand at an easel, rather 
than work in a cramped position over a table or 







intended, and nf course tliis is v 
am rather an impatient person, 
and off those Httle metal caps 
anxious to use cvcr\- 
minute on the actual 
painting of the llowers 
before the)' liavc had time 
to wilt and fade. There- 
fore I prefer pan colours, 
and I generally buy- half 
pans. The price works 
out the same exactly, and 
I think it is an advantage 
to have the colours fresh. 
It is necessary to keep 
them ver\' distinct and 
clean. The merest streak 



Blissfully did one speedwell plot beguile 

My whole heart 1ont<; I loved each separate flc 



desk. I know that for small work 
the latter is sometimes ine\'itable, 
but it is e.xtremel)- bad for the 
health to work in this position for 
any length of time, as I have found 
to my cost. If \'ou w«.v/ work at 
a table, be sure your drawing is 
arranged on a slant: your ordinary 
board tilted up at the back on a 
firm book will suffice. 

A glass pickle-jar makes an 
excellent water-pot, I think, far 
better than a china one, for it 
enables us to notice at once when 
the water has become stained and 
muddy, ami that replenishment is 
necessary ; for dirty water means 
dingN' colour in \'our drawing. 



Water-colours are supplied in 

tubes like oils, and seem to have 

gained much favour in this form. 

Undoubtedly they have the ad- 
vantage of keeping pure and clean, 

but they have their disadvantages 

as well. Sometimes one is apt 

to squeeze out more than one 
ery wasteful. Personally, I am afraid I How many sun« 
and the time consumed in screwing on _'* *^^^^ 

^ To n\akc one 

fidgets me immensely just when I am speedweu blue. 





-*Wel 



'■■ M' 






of Antwerp blue, for instance, straying intf) a mfiist nnin\- colour 
like Indian yellow would effectually spoil its use as a [lurc colour 
for all time. 

For lightls' sketching in a group 1 think 1 prefer a B pencil to tile 
V I have generally heard recommended for the purpose, because the 
B is softer and more easilj' rubbed out, but above all things it must not 
be used heavily ; the lightest, most delicate touch of which you arc 
capable must suffice. 



^^JjfM 



Do not have your model too near ; you can get such a much better 
idea of general proportions and also of light and shade at a little 
distance. You can always move a little nearer when )'our study is 
sufficiently advanced to require detail. 

Notice very carefully the main direction and general form of yuuv 
group and mark it in. In the examples I have drawn for you in a 
group of daisies (page 94) I hope you will be able to follow what I mean. 
You will see I have indicated the shape of each flower bj- rough circles 
varying in perspective according to the position of the blooms, and that 
their stems are expressed by sweeps of the pencil to indicate this 
direction even through the flowers themselves. This is, as it were, a 
rough ground plan of the general form of the group, and of course it is 
subject to variation as we draw 
in the petals, where some overlap 
the edges. 

As these were drawn with the 
idea of the necessities of repro- 
duction before me. 1 ha\c been 
obliged to make the lines much 
firmer and harder than I should 
do if I were making the study as 
a guide for my own use ; in that 
case the lines would be as pale 
and faint as it is possible to 
make them. 

Tiie second stud\' shows the 
drawing ready for painting, onl\-, 
of course, it must be rubbed down, 
preferably with soft clean bread, 
until the merest shadow of a line 
is left, just enough to guide )'OU 
on your way, for once a drop of 
water gets on a strong pencil line 
it is "set" indelibly, and quite 
immovable afterwards. 








Now comes the actual painting. Look at 
your models with half-closed eyes, and notice 
how the whole group strikes you in broad 
masses. A little thought and care in coin- 
mcncing, in order to gain a general idea of what 
}ou are going to do, will be ultimately a great 
saving of time, giving you also much better 
results than if you had rushed at your drawing 
precipitately. Get this general idea expressed 
in your study before attempting any distraction 
of detail — this comes later. 



If you are desirous of laying a flat wash 
over a large surface, I think you will hnd it a 
good plan first to moisten the whole space 
that \'ou intend to cover afterwards with 
colour, with plain water used in a large brush. 

Have your colours ready mixed in a deep di\ision of \'our palette or 
a clean saucer. This colour must be absolutely well mixed and free 
from dirt or dust. Some people even go so far as to rub the mixture 
with a cork to remove all possible grit, but high-class water-colours are 
generally so beautifull}' ground as to render this precaution unnecessar)'. 

The wet surface of the paper underneath the wash of colour helps the 
latter to run more freely when we put it on, but of course it must be used 
a trifle stronger in consetjuence. If it is necessary to put a second wash 
over the first, be very careful the surface is perfectly dry before 
attempting to do so. Sometimes a second brush, filled with clean water, 
is very useful in softening the edges of a flower, and preventing a hard 
line, when the wash has dried ; but do not overdo this, and thus produce 
a " woolly " effect ; a little sharpness here and there, so long as it is not 
hard, is often rather helpful than the reverse. 

Strive earnestly always to make your studies as true to Nature as 
your gifts and powers will allow. If you are drawing a simple daisy, do 
your utmost to make the most of its character and form ; do not persuade 
yourself that a few flat white dabs, distributed evenly round a yellow centre, 
is an adequate expression of its beauties. Look at a group of the flowers. 
Do you see two of them exactly alike? One of them is so foreshortened 
that we only see a side view of it. Notice how the petals, slighth- 
curved from caly.x to points, give us fascinating little peeps at their 
under sides, and what careful drawing is necessary to express their form 
adequately. 

Endeavour in each of your drawings of flowers to make a special 
study of the character of even the smallest. Do not think that any of 
these gifts of God can be expressed in a careless or hurried manner. 



And 


there 


upon 


the 


sod belc 


)W 


Gro 


und i 


ivy's 


pur 


pie bios 


.soms 


show. 




Like 


heln\e 


t of 


cru 


sadcr kn 


ight 


In an 


lOther'sc 


ross- 



103 



^ N 



\ 






\ 




^"i^)f^-ff>^ Black. 



"€: 



FrinM hy K. &■ K. O.AKK. I.imijh, l..t,nh„r.-l,. 



Angell°Maude/Floyver pictures 



3 5185 00079 9088