Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

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To paint

The lacquer and rosette from Ghent and elsewhere lose their color and die in contact with the air.

Any marble on which a knife can [illegible] is not worth to grind fine colors.

The chalk is not thick with oil, the ceruse is more appropriate but even better is the white lead. The ceruse is the whitest and is to grind firstly with some water, the white lead is grayish. But turns perfectly white with some oil.

When you grind your colors, start by cleaning your workshop because if you raise some dust while walking that will damage your colors which will never be beautiful if they are not clean.

The Florey must not be mingled with some azur enamel or anything else for it turns it into green.

Ivory is excellent to make a painter’s’ palette Knots of the fir tree The pear—tree and if it is walnut tree make sure to cut with the grain of the wood.

You always have to stamp on wood to oil paint in order to fill holes and unevenness. And stamp with some [illegible] and ceruse mixed with oil, then soften with a feather which evens more than a brush. Or when the stamp is dry, rub it strongly off with a knife.

To use some azur enamel with some oil, you have to choose the finest one and to make it thinner, do not grind for it turns white but wash it and because the bigger goes at the bottom, choose the one at the top of the water or pour the cloudy water out and pile the azur.

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Annotations: Gold Without Gold

Lake takes a long time to dry in oil and for that reason you have to crush glass with it, but you have to choose crystallin because it is neater. And since it would be too difficult to be crushed by itself, you have to heat it red hot, then, when it is entirely red, throw it into cold water and it will crumble and pulverize itself to then be crushed easily. After being crushed with a lot of water, it looks like crushed lead white, but for this reason it has no body. I think it could be good for casting.

Lead white is made with lead sheets beaten gently and put under some manure.

White turpentine varnish or aspic oil and turpentine is colored with powdered turmeric boiled together with it. It gives a gold color on silver which is even more beautiful when burnished. It dries within a quarter of an hour. Aloes would made an even brighter color but it takes time to dry whereas the other one dries within a quarter of an hour in winter as well as in summer.

Good lake moistened with saliva quickly darkens. That from Florence is mixed with too much gum.

If you apply one layer of printers’ ink on velvet and apply gold leaves and then stretch it, it looks grainy as if it was powdered with gold sprinkled on it.

Vermillion crushed by itself is wan and pale but is more beautiful when it is crushed with lake.

In order to remove the grease off marbles, one crushes ordinary ashes on it, which afterward are good to make the first primer coat of a painting to be done in oil in order to seal the cracks and veins of the wood. They are thicker than chalk and are quite greasy. They are mingled with the aforesaid chalk or with colors collected from the vessel that is used to clean brushes, and they are desiccative and spare the colors. Once this primer coat has been made on the wood, it is scrubbed with a knife until even. After, one makes a second coat with ceruse or with the poorest colors mixed together. On an oil canvas painting one only applies one coat and the mixed ashes can be used. Also, after crushing a color, one crushes the interior of a large loaf of bread in order to remove the grease off the marble.