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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Friday, 15 June 2012

la lutta continua...

... our dim politicians struggle to think of what on earth they could do next, bankers struggle to keep the rest of us on our knees, Merkel struggles to be a bureaucratic Karl der Grosse, M. Hollande struggles with his mini-harem (or they with him - good job the top Frenchies have got their priorities right), and the Greeks just struggle. And I struggle to crack this flat painting malarkey:

Some work in progress. In the foreground, three members of the Panzerwaffe c.1940. I've had these since 1984, but they needed repainting because I had originally done them with camo overalls, despite their early war floppy berets (!!). The difficulty, of course, is painting black on these flats. Just the basecoat at the moment, but the only way forward that I can see is exaggerated highlighting. I think this just might be the general answer, and the War of 1812 British in the background have had the block colours highlighted much more than I would do with round figures. If you click on the image to enlarge it, the highlighting is a bit more apparent, but I may well have to be even more heavy handed.

But away from the struggles of high politics and flat painting, sanity can still be found in my Hobbit hole:

A brief bit of early morning sun warming my tiny greenhouse, where I smoked a pipe of London Mixture, and drank coffee. 
'Time grows young in a garden'.


  1. The more I think about it the more I feel flats are "another country" and one not easily traveled to... but I commend you for your great efforts and perseverance.Keep going it will be worth it in the end-hopefully!
    Love the hobbit hole - can you give us more details of the plants.I think I can see tomatoes but am a tad perplexed by the others...

    1. I quite agree with you! They are jolly tricky. I think that painting fully rounded figures has become easier with our shift to black undercoat and washes - neither of which work with flats (I think, but I'm happy to be corrected). Instead, every bit of a flat has to be painted, and I'm a bit shaky and poor of eyesight!
      Yes, tomatoes on the left - 'first in the field', then the triffids are runner beans waiting to journey to the allotment (hopefully tomorrow), and far corner left some convulvus - 'morning glory' - that are having a very tough time in this cold weather, and far right (can't be seen) a tray of leeks - 'tadorna' - also for the allotment; plus my friendly cacti.

  2. It's just restful to look at your greenhouse and its burgeoning occupants, mine is full of firewood until we get a woodshed. I have never painted flats, but as far as I can see you are right in that you need to highlight aggressively. Have a jolly day, the rain clouds gather here.

    1. Restful. Calm. Useful. All those things. Thank god.

      Well, it really bucketed it down here today too, but tomorrow is supposed to be good, and I hope to shovel some manure for the allotment, and plant runner beans.

      Looking forward to a new post (gardens & little tin men) on your blog!