Monday, 7 July 2008


As a child, I always had the essential set of watercolours but they were rarely used. I was far more likely to be found experimenting with charcoal, feathers or trying unsuccessfully to replicate the texture of acrylic with bog-standard paint and glue. I could never find anything remotely appealing in the life-like, but insipid watercolours (such as those painted by Hitler which I blogged about here).

A couple of years ago I received a watercolour set from a good friend, and I truly appreciated the fact that she didn't just go out and buy me some candles/socks/pencils/cheap jewelry as almost everyone else had. They came in a fantastic array of vivid colours and there was no way I was diluting the 'Viridian Hues', 'Burnt Umbers' and 'Aquamarines' with a splash of water.

Because the paint comes in these great little tubes, I have taken to using them as if they were acrylics. Squeeze a little onto the desired area and spread around with purposeful untidiness to create that wonderful textured look which I love so much. Obviously, my crafting becomes wholly amateur in comparison to Picasso's stunning art, but I've always enjoyed trying to emulate the expressive brushstrokes that are present in his work, as well as many other artists.

However, the truth that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' is made extremely patent here, because there are many people out there who actually prefer gentler watercolours to the less perfect texturing I find so beautiful. And I can see their point, the picturesque landscapes for example can be very relaxing. But it is my opinion that total perfection, flawlessness if you will, is a flaw in itself.


  1. I haven't painted in ages. I got a watercolor set from my grandfather that makes me realize how amazing watercolors can be. He was an illustrator (and color blind!) and we have paintings of his, they're wonderfully descriptive and often so moody, like this one of a row of houses on a snowy/wet day...

  2. I used to do the same thing with my watercolors when I was in college. I painted a lot in college.

    I always found watercolors intimidating. Painting with gobs of watercolor paint was my way of stripping the paints of their power over me.