choice ranges between Sir Walter Scott, Felicia Hemans,，
"Daguerreotype portraits are now commonly met with beautifully colored; but the coloring is a process requiring great care and judgment, and many good pictures are spoiled in fruitless experiments. Several different methods of coloring have been proposed. The simplest mode appears to be that of using dry colors prepared in the following manner: A little of the color required, very finely ground, is thrown into a glass containing water, in which a few grains of gum arabic have been dissolved. After standing a few moments, the mixture may be passed through bibulous paper, and the residue perfectly dried for use. The principal colors used are Carmine, Chrome Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine and White; boxes fitted with sets of colors properly prepared, may be obtained of the dealers, and include Carmine, White, Lilac, Sky Blue, Pink, Yellow, Flesh color, Orange, Brown, Purple, Light Green, Dark Green and Blue. With a few colors, however, all the rest may be made thus: Orange, by Yellow and Red; Purple, with Blue and Red; Green, Blue and Yellow; Brown, with Umber, Carmine and Lamp Black; Scarlet, Carmine and Light Red. While it is true that a little color may relieve the dark metallic look of some Daguerreotypes, it must not be concealed that the covering of the fine delicate outline and exquisite gradations of tone of a good picture with such a coating, is barbarous and unartistic.
"The prevaling taste is, however, decidedly for colored proofs, and the following directions will assist the amateur in ministering to this perverted taste, should he be so inclined. The coloring should commence with the face, and the flesh tint must be stippled on (not rubbed) with a small camel's-hair brush, beginning from the centre of the cheek, taking great care not to go over the outline of the face, and also not to have too much color in the brush; the eyes and eyebrows must not be touched with color. After the flesh color is applied, take a piece of very soft cotton and pass it very gently backwards and forwards over the face, so as to soften down the color, and then apply the carmine to give the required tint. For men, the darker tints should predominate, and for women the warmer. Very light hair may be improved by a slight tint of brown, or yellow and brown, according to the color. In coloring the drapery, the same care must be used. No rules can be laid down for all the different colors required, and the amateur had better obtain the assistance or advice of some one accustomed to the use of colors. A little white with a dash of blue or a little silver, will improve white linen, lace, etc. The jewelry may be touched with gold or silver from the shells, moistened with distilled water, and laid on with a fine-pointed sable-hair brush.
"Brilliants may be represented by picking the plate with the point of a pin or knife."
Coloring Back Grounds--Transparent ditto--Gilding Dissolvent Solution for removing Specks--Solarized Impression--To Purify Water-- Cleaning Mercury--Adhesive Paper--Black Stain for Apparatus-- Sealing Wax for Bottles--Rouge--Rotten Stone--Potassa Solution-- Hyposulphite Solution--Substitute for do.--Gilding Solution-- Solution for increasing the Brilliancy of the Daguerreotype-- Bleaching Solution;--Cold Gilding--Neutralizing Agents-- Buff Dryer--Keeping Buffs in order--Cleaning Buckskins-- Reflector for taking Views.
To Color Back-grounds--To obtain a properly colored back ground is a matter of no little importance to the Daguerreotype operator. I had nearly exhausted all patience, and tried the skill of painters to obtain a back-ground that would be suitable to my purpose; but all to no avail. At last I adopted the following method, and at a cost of coloring of twenty-five cents, can now produce a back-ground far more valuable than those which had cost five dollars before.
Take common earth paint, such as is used in painting roofs; mix this with water to about the consistency of cream; then to four quarts of this mixture add about one pint of glue water (common glue dissolved in water, also about as thick as cream). This last will cause the paint to adhere to the cloth, to which it is applied with a common white-wash brush. By applying the brush on the coating while it is wet, it may be so blended that not a line can be seen, and a perfectly smooth color of any shade can be obtained. The shade of color I use is a light reddish-brown. Tripoli, rotten-stone, or any earthy matter, may be applied in the same manner.
Transparent or Invisible Back-ground.--I give this as originally published in my System of Photography, 1849:
"Take a large woollen blanket with long nap, the longer and rougher it is the finer will be the effect produced; stretch it on a frame of sufficient size, and suspend the frame at the centre of the upper end by a string fastened to a nail in the ceiling, from three to five feet back of the sitter. Having arranged this, fasten another string to the side of the frame, and while the operation is going on in the camera, swing the back-ground from right to left, continuing this during the whole time of sitting, and you have a clear "transparent" back-ground, which throws the image out in bold relief, and renders the surface of the plate invisible. If equalled at all it is only by atmospheric back-ground. I consider it to be the best ever known, and think it needs but to be tried to afford satisfactory proof that it is so. Although used by few before, since the first edition of this work at least two thirds of the operators have adopted its use; for any one can at once understand the principle and the effect which it produces."
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