I use only the best quality materials, because only the best quality materials will last. My oils are Winsor and Newton alkyd, and I only use permanent pigments. I use refined turpentine and Winsor and Newton’s Liquin medium. My underpaintings are washes of permanent artists’ quality acrylic — either Lascaux or Rowney. I use Lascaux acrylic gesso primer, over Lascaux acrylic size. The canvas is a heavy weave straight from linen factors Griegs, in Kirkaldy, Scotland (phone: 01592 651901). The stretchers are made by joiners Bird and Davis.

I use a huge variety of brushes and knives, collected over the years. These include Langnickel, Winsor and Newton , Rowney, Eterna and Stanley copper-ferruled Decor hogs and the excellent (if overpriced) Forsline and Starr paint shapers, and knives by Tara, Inscribe, Che Son, and Winsor and Newton.

I use both Winsor and Newton and Rowney artists’ quality watercolours; only permanent pigments. My principal paper is 100% cotton rag Arches Aquarelle — 185 gm/sq m (available from discountart and artboxdirect). I also have a small stock of 1950s and 1960s Whatman and Hayle Mill hand-made rag papers.

For watercolours, I use Dalon brushes in the largest round and flat sizes (a 20 and a 1½ inch, respectively), and a D.99 #5. From time to time I also use various sables, chinese brushes and natural sponges, but not often. I do not salt paper or prepare it with skimmed milk powder: just water.

August 2004