Yale Center for British Art

Thomas Sully, 1783–1872, American
Hints for Composition by Varley - 1805
Materials & Techniques:
Gray wash, with pen and brown ink on medium, slightly textured, beige wove paper
Sheet: 10 3/8 × 8 1/4 inches (26.4 × 21 cm)
Inscribed in pen and brown ink, entire page: "Warm Grey' made of Lake Gamboge & Indigo. Cold Grey' of Indigo | and Light Red v. As when the foreground is warm make the sky cold.. v. | 3 1 2 | Hints for Composition by J. Varley - 1805. | The Same principle may apply to a dark object - placing lights | on one the side (or above) & half teint on the other (or below) as observe | No.3 where there is a light object adapted to that principle | and a dark one with the same | Don't bury the foreground dark against the margin but | soften it as in No. 6 if it is dark across the middle make the | foreground light. Never place an equal spot of shadow on both | sides or above & below a light object- if it is half tient on | one side let it be dark on the other. | When there is light across the mimddle of the | picture (as hills above in half teint) the foreground should be | shade | The old fashioned foreground is [...] & is new | imphatically called the [...] as those who | can only compose in that way can only get into the | Landscape over it-besides water colored [...] | depth for it. | Let these be gradiation and [...] & these | let y [...]- not too strongly, but expresively & determinately. | [...] thus"
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Currently On View:
Not on view