2468. All fresco painting becomes lighter and whiter as it dries out, and the old masters had to adjust all their colors accordingly, but to Faldoni it was an inexplicable surprise, and he decided that what he must do is watch the master very carefully, and figure out exactly how this kind of painting was to be done.
2469. Yes, Faldoni imagined that he could learn how to
paint a face by watching a master painter paint a face, and simply
making a mental note of the steps involved. How many steps could their
be? Perhaps there were eight or nine steps all together, and he would
watch the master do several faces, note down the steps, and then he
would be able to do a face himself.
2470. This is an odd idea that Faldoni had, although many
people share the notion. Who would ever imagine that you could learn to
play the violin by watching a violinist play. Could you learn to speak
Chinese by watching Chinese people talking? No, you cannot learn a
complicated art by watching it being done. There is only one thing you
can learn by watching, and that is how to watch things. And even that is
2471. The master was well aware that his students thought they could learn to paint faces by watching him paint a face, and the notion was irritating to him, because he though it belittled his art. He expressed his disdain for the idea with this little lecture.