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, March 6, 2011

Paper, paints and Winston Churchill...

As I promised last week, here are my personal preferences for watercolour papers and paints.  Having said that, don’t expect me to labour too much over materials and technique.  It is best that you experiment and find what suits you.

As you know by now, a sheet of expensive watercolour paper scares me.  Often I work on paper that would cause respectable artists to turn up their nose.  The real stuff comes in various weights (thicknesses) and surface finishes that range from rough to smooth.  I never have the time or patience to stretch paper; I take it as I find it.  I have a liking for watercolour board (this is watercolour paper glued to a card backing) and I tend to prefer my paper to be on the smooth side.

As for paints, I use small tubes (5ml) of artists’ quality.  The colours I use are peculiar to me.  They go against all textbook recommendations and I would not wish the same selection on anyone else!   I am still using some tubes that I purchased a bargain price on the island of Madeira almost forty years ago.  It seems that the shop had stocked them especially for Winston Churchill when he used to paint there.  

My actual pallet is of a design that I have been using since my days on the pavements of France.  Over the last fifty years, I have worn out three of the same.  I am always sorry to see one go.  The older they get, all the better the enamel trays are for mixing.

Next week I'll let you take a look at my sketching bag.


  1. I imagine that every artist has their own preferences and peculiar choices which would not necessarily suit everyone else. My mum painted and had her own favourites of stuff.

  2. When I saw the mention of Winston in the title of this blog for some reason I immediately thought of Madeira. Strange then that you mention Madeira in yopur blog! We have been visiting Madeira every summer since 2004 (and sometimes in January) and we love it.