Sunday November 21, 2004
The day started out cold, grey and drizzly, and stayed that way. Towards the end of the afternoon the wind did shift, warming up a little, but it was too late for me, I’m afraid—I’d already settled down for the duration. I hate drizzle, and never go out in it unless I’m absolutely obliged to do. Rain, I can cope with. You know where you are with a good rain. But drizzle, nasty, sneaky stuff, I cannot abide.
Around mid-day I put the three miniatures up on eBay and was astonished to see them receive almost immediate interest. By the end of the day they had all of them received jolly good bids, and there’s still six days to go before the auctions close. That is almost the complete opposite of what I’d expected. Highly gratifying, is that, if rather puzzling.
However, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I hunted around to see if I could find either one of my two watercolour boxes. Lo and behold I located the big mahogany one, some watercolour paper and a handful of assorted brushes. The miniature working frame must be in the attic, along with the smaller box of colours. It’s much easier to paint miniatures on a stand with a steady board, framing templates and a built-in illuminated magnifying glass but I had a hankering to dirty my fingers so I grabbed my hand-magnifier, propped up a piece of stout card for a board, and started work laying out the washes for a 3.5 x 2.5 inch picture of our first Welsh cottage. It’s a subject I have firmly engraved in my memory so I didn’t need to search for photographs or sketches.
Then I hit the snag. The brushes I’d found were a cheap, bargain lot I picked up in Swansea for a couple of quid some time last year. I should know better. A set of ten ‘sable’ brushes in assorted sizes for two pounds is hardly likely to please, and these most certainly did not. Soggy, hairy, unresponsive, ill-shaped things fit only for the waste bin.
Hey ho. Graham says he knows where my lovely old, horrifically expensive sable brushes are and will fetch them down for me when he comes home. I’m looking forward to that.
Whatever, I soldiered on and applied as much paint to the tiny rectangle of paper as I could before the brushes started to disintegrate. It was fun. When I got to thinking about bed-time I looked at the result, still sitting on the table with my temporary watercolour setup, and it isn’t too bad for a working sketch. Not bad at all. I shall start over on a clean piece of paper when I have my proper brushes but I enjoyed doing this one immensely. Perhaps I have a solution to my need for a winter hobby after all.
Temporary watercolour setup