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Light Does Upon Opacity Or Reflecting Power Opacity Is Therefore

the antagonist of transparency, and qualifies pigments to cover in
dead-colouring, or solid painting, as well as to combine with
transparent colours in forming tints; and hence it is that
semi-transparent pigments are suited in a mean degree both for dead
colouring and for finishing. As excellencies, therefore, transparency
and opacity are relative only--the first being as indispensable to shade
in all its gradations, as the latter is to light. With regard to
transparent and opaque colours generally, it is worthy of attention in
the practice of the oil-painter, that the best effects of the former are
produced when they are used with a resinous varnish; as opaque pigments
are best employed in oil, and the two become united with best effect in
a mixture of these vehicles. The natural and artificial powers, or depth
and brilliancy, of every colour lie within the extremes of black and
white; hence it follows that the most powerful effects of transparent
colours are obtained by glazing them over black and white. As, however,
few transparent pigments have sufficient body, or tinging power for
this, it is often necessary to glaze them over tints, or deep opaque
colours of the required hues. There is a charm in transparent colours
which frequently leads to an undue use thereof in glazing; but glazing,
scumbling, and their combined process must be employed with discretion,
according to the objects and effects of a picture.

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