Ruskin, John
The elements of drawing: in three letters to beginners — London, 1857

Page: 195
DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/ruskin1857/0223
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letter m.] ON COLOUR AND COMPOSITION. 195

you need not hope ever to produce anything more than
pleasant helps to memory, or useful and suggestive
sketches in colour, unless you mean to be wholly an
artist. You may, in the time which other vocations
leave at your disposal, produce finished, beautiful,
and masterly drawings in light and shade. But to
colour well, requires your life. It cannot be done
cheaper. The difficulty of doing right is increased
—not twofold nor threefold, but a thousandfold, and
more—by the addition of colour to your work. For
the chances are more than a thousand to one against
your being right both in form and colour with a
given touch: it is difficult enough to be right in
form, if you attend to that only; but when you have
to attend, at the same moment, to a much more
subtle thing than the form, the difficulty is strangely
increased,—and multiplied almost to infinity by this
great fact, that, while form is absolute, so that you
can say at the moment you draw any line that it is
either right or wrong, colour is wholly relative.
Every hue throughout your work is altered by every
touch that you add in other places ; so that what was.

O 2
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