The Optical Magic Lantern Journal (July 1892)

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The Optioal Magic Lantern Journal and Photographic Enlarger. 79 ‘in order to smooth it; next put in the darker shadows and smooth them also with the stippling brushes. Finally, add the darkest parts and ferch up the highest lights, and stipple again if necessary. When the stippling brushes be‘come too clogged with paint, they must be washed out and allowed to dry. That is why it is needful to have three in use—so that one is always found clean and dry. The figures will be painted in the same manner as the background, but if you want them to stand out well on the screen, “tender,” as artists say, and your figures “ forcible.” Finally, the foreground underneath the figures must be painted, and if your fingers have rested on the glass in this part and made It greasy, the grease may be removed by benzine. If you want to make scientific diagrams there will be no background, of course; and if you are in a hurry, they may be shaded with the 6-H pencil and just tinted with colour. Naturally. however, they look much better shaded and painted up properly with colour. Sometimes it is useful to have a bright figure on a black background. This is not difficult to make. Squeeze some Payne’s grey paint from the tube on to the slide (it works better than black), and with a large brush, damp but not wet, spread and dab the paint all over the slide until an evenly opaque surface has been obtained. Ifthe figure is bulky it should be drawn on the slide first as usual, and left uncoloured by the grey; if it consists chiefly of lines, the slide must be wholly covered with the paint. Then scratch out the figure—moistening the paint all the while by breathing on it— by means of penknife, fine and coarse needles, the point of the brush handle, and the wet brush itself, as required. used in picture-slides, for picking out high lights and that sort of thing. Up till this point the slide is only semi-transparent and will not show in the lantern. Varnish will make it perfectly transparent. I use Winsor and Newton’s Mastic Picture Varnish, because it is the palest. In varnishing slides, you will learn that vour great enemy is dust, it gets into the paint, and whenever you see even the tiniest hair whilst the painting goes on, immediately pick it off with a needle. Promptness then saves trouble afterwards. But despite all care, there be a good deal of dust on the slide when the painting is finished. Dry it thoroughly before a gas-stove, or overaspirit lamp. Then brush it well with a stiff large hog-hair brush and pick off obstinate hairs with a needle. Pour some benzine These implements are also ; on the slide and drain it off Immediately the, moisture will reveal half-a-dozen more points of dust sticking up. These, if in a place where the paint is thin, will show on the screen, and they must therefore be removed with needle and brush, and the paint mended, if damaged. Finally, when you have removed every atom of dust, pour on the varnish, and, when the whole slide is covered, pour it off again at ome corner. However great the care you take, you will find that a point or two of dust has escaped your notice. If these occur in a transparent part of the slide, it is best to wash off the varnish with benzine and remove them; but if they are where you must be careful to keep your background ; the paint is thick, leave them, for they will not show. Now lean the slide against something to drain, face inwards, ofcourse. My place is against the wall on a mantelpiece, with a strip of three or four thicknesses of paper underneath, to absorb the varnish. Leave the slide thus for a few hours. It must then be dried by heat. This is quite necessary, for if allowed to dry naturally the turpentine in the varnish never quite dries out, and the heat of the lantern, when the slide is used, will cause turpentine vapour to form over the surface of the picture and render it foggy. This spoils the slide, until it has been re-varnished. A gentle regular heat of some hours’ duration is what is required. A good plan is to place the slide before an ordinary gas-stove when you go to bed. The stove is turned low, and the slide put a foot or eighteen inches away; a temperature of about 14odeg. Fahr. is thus maintained. When you get up in the morning the slide is ready for covering. , If not dried enough, the turpentine vapour before-mentioned will probably appear sometime when you are giving an exhibition. If overheated, the varnish will dry in wrinkles; but if it cracks like crackled china this does not matter, unless the cracks are coarse enough to show on the screen. If the varnish be wrinkled, or the slide damaged in any other way, the varnish may be removed by soaking the slide in benzine, and another coat put on. When covering the slide, be careful to brush all dust from the varnish with a very soft large paint-brush, and not to let the cover glass touch it. A little bit of card as thick as a visiting card placed at each corner of the slide and fastened by gum will, with the ordinary mask, keep the cover from touching the varnish If it touches, the two glasses will stick together, and the varnish will frizzle up and become opaque in such places as the cover touches it. All traces of varnish or turpentine on the back of the slide must be carefully cleaned off, or the binding paper will not stick. ; Now as to paznts. I have tried very nearly every transparent or semi-transparent colour in Winsor and Newton’s list. Colours do not be