Soften the hair into the forehead, the outline into the background, and so on, but very sparingly, or freshness and the character of the brushwork may go. The frank touches are of great value ; they give vitality, and like ruts in a road are evidence of moving life.<< Previous page
The main thing to remember in painting is never to put down two touches where one would suffice. The student invariably loses valuable time and wastes his energy in looking for little nothings and subtleties that will not repay him, and which make for "smallness" and an over-laboured result. Use brushes that are awkwardly large ; practice will enable you to manipulate them. They will sweep up the unnecessary detail and influence your selection of really telling touches. Above all, assure a homogeneous effect—the appearance of one skin.
In between the sittings, go and look at heads by Velazquez and Van Dyck ; and from Frans Hals learn the force of shorthand strokes and vivacity of handling.
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