My husband and I recently planned a Saturday out, we both love visiting the wonderful museums and galleries in London and this day we had planned to go to the National Portrait Gallery, a firm favourite. The exhibition was photographer Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things. Unfortunately we had misunderstood the website and publicity in newspapers and were disappointed to discover that this exhibition is not on until next year, we’ll be going then though!
So we headed off to Kensington; to the Victoria & Albert Museum and went to the newly opened Photography Centre. There was plenty to interest us both but one exhibit inspired me for a Littleton’s story line.
The exhibit was a watercolour painting and photograph combination.
Long before 20th century Surrealists adopted collage, aristocratic Victorian women embraced the technique of combining photographs with watercolour drawings for whimsical effect. Assembled into albums, these photo-collages show Victorians at their most playful.
This one shows a crab grasping a portrait of a young man dressed for a boat race is perhaps a reference to the phrase ‘catching a crab’ which in rowing means getting an oar stuck in the water, it’s by Catherine Mary Wood.
I needed to ‘make’ a few props for my miniature watercolourist
and this is what I did…
I had this little table already and also this little glass bowl,
which I half filled with glue.
Then I selected a little plywood and cut a rectangle. I then pressed a modelling tool into the wood to make the little indents for filling with paint pans (blobs of paint) and coloured the whole thing with a silver marker.
Now, some brushes, I made a few from cocktail sticks – cutting the point off the end for one but the others are nice fine watercolour brushes. As you can see I coloured the brush part with a fine felt pen, added the metal bit with silver and then a darker colour for the rest of the brush handle.
So next was the scrapbook – I used a thick piece of paper, coloured it with a nice rich blue and wrote on the cover and edges with gold marker.
I then cut some thin papers for the inside and stitched them together and into the cover with a needle and cotton.
So, Mrs Littleton is ready to start her new hobby!
Thanks for reading, back next week