My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brushes, paints and paper…

In the coming weeks, I will give those taking up watercolour painting for the first time, my recommendations on the basic equipment and materials they will need.  Let’s begin with brushes.

My brushes are the finest quality sable.  Most of them are old friends that have been with me for over forty years.  I can no longer read the size printed on the handle, the lettering wore off years ago.  The four I use the most, from the largest down to the smallest, are No 14, No 12, No 7 and No 4.  My No 12 brush can take all passages in its stride, from the broadest wash to the finest detail.  Very often, I do an entire painting with this one faithfull brush.  

Sable brushes are very expensive, particularly the large sizes.  Nowadays, there are some good synthetic brushes on the market and they work almost as well. 

Sable brushes are susceptible to moths and mildew.   They need to be air dried after use and then stored in a closed container.  My brush case has been with me since my days as an apprentice engineer.  I made it from a tube that originally contained welding rods.


The picture shows my paint pallet and my No 12 and No 7 brushes.  Information on paints and paper will follow soon.

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