Chapman, J.G. (John Gadsby), 1808-1889. / The American drawing-book: a manual for the amateur, and basis of study for the professional artist: especially adapted to the use of public and private schools, as well as home instruction.
(1870 [1873 printing])
Chapter VIII. Painting, pp. -252
246 PAINTING IN FRESCO. is the last or finishing coat of plaster, and requires to be very thinly and evenly laid upon others of substantial mortar, which should be previously applied and finished in the usual manner of a carefully-prepared wall. 66. The durability of fresco-paintings is so dependent upon the preparation of the wall, that the utmost care in this particular is necessary. The quality of the lime, sand, and all the materials employed, should be unquestionable; and none but the most skilful and reliable workmen should be trusted in the work. The final coat of plaster should be laid under the artist's eye, if not by his own hand. The progress of a work in fresco being thus by portions, each of which n~ust be completed at once, renders it necessary that a cartoon or drawing of the whole should be previously prepared, as well as that the arrangement of color and general effect should be decided beforehand. These cartoons require to be made on strong paper. Over the last rough plastering a general indication of. the whole subject should be traced. This may be done in various ways. The most common method, in small works, is, to prick the outlines through with a needle to a separate sheet of paper. and, by means of a small bag of thin muslin with powdered charcoal, to pounce the outline through to the wall; or to trace it thereon with a blunt point or style, which is the most common prac- tice. This serves as a guide to the final coat of plastering, which is to receive the painting, so that the artist can proportion eac[i day~s work with cxactness, and receive assistance in his operations. The final coat of plastering laid over just sufficient space for a day~s work, a more elaborate tracing is made thereon, and the artist proceeds, with all possible celerity, with his work, in which a greater difficulty occurs with regard to the appearance of the colors in a Wet state than in tem~ pera; for allowance has not only to be made for the variation between a pigment, or tint, in a moist or dry state, but for the peculiar action thereon, both by the lime and absorption of the wall. Fresco- tints may be fully developed on an old or dried wall in a few days, while on one recently plastered as many weeks may elapse before they assume their permanent appearance. 67. The colors are ground in water and kept ready for use in pots. No size is necessary, except perhaps a very little for such pigments as ultramarine, charcoal black, etc., and even then with very questionable propriety; the adhesive property of lime combined with water being the only reliable medium for coloi' in fresco, and its durability dependent upon its perfect incorporation with the plaster. Not only the original pigment9, but also as many tints and combinations as may be required,
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