The Egg Cup

Yes, of course, it’s fine to fill a jam jar or bowl and use this to wet your tracing brush.

But as with so many things in life: the more there is, the more extravagent – and sometimes even wasteful or thoughtless – many people sometimes are.

So with a jam jar or bowl, the temptation always is, to jump in and soak the brush, then return it to the palette … where now a deluge of almost Biblical proportions makes a mess of your palette and its puddle of working paint.

That’s why an egg cup can be so useful.

It reminds you or your students just to dip the brush’s tip.

Once dipped, you return to the palette, and swirl and twirl your brush until the new water has been completely absorbed by the puddle of working paint.

Then, if the puddle is fine as it is, you test and start to trace.

If it’s not yet right, you either dip the brush’s tip again, or you draw down more paint from the concentrated lump, depending on whether you need a lighter, or a darker mix.

Sure a jam jar or a bowl is fine. But, time and time again we’ve found that having just an egg cup-full of water really focusses your mind on how much/how little water you add to the palette.

And that is a marvellous thing when it comes to tracing.

Another tip tomorrow!



P.S. You’ll see from the photo how we make a sold base from modeling dough / plasticene (which, I understand, is called “pongo” in Italin). It helps prevent accidents.

See here for

our students’ arrival – a 90-second introductory video


yesterday’s useful tip