Painting Kuching in Watercolour

Archive for May 2011

My Brushes

Posted on: 16/05/2011

I use the French brand Raphael. 20 years ago, a friend went to Paris and bought me as a present a No.3 Red Kolinsky sable round which I am still using today, even though the wooden handle has a crack in it now. Subsequently I have bought myself a few more in various sizes and they have never disappoint. Well, I don’t expect them to, they cost me practically an arm and a leg even in those days when the ringgit meant something and the euro did not exist.

Kolinsky red sable brushes hold a lot of paint and come to a very fine point with just a small flick of the wrist. All the fine details you see here were done with this brush.
(See 3rd brush from top).

Not all my brushes are sable – here are some of my other brushes. The red handle one 2nd from right is a cheap hog hair brush I find very useful for lifting colour. Can’t do without it! I think it cost me like RM2.00 or RM3.00 only!

These days when I think about buying a new sable brush, just looking at the prices makes my eyes water.


This was my dog Bartoo wearing his brand new red collar I got for him from Petsworld in KL. We rescued him as a month old puppy from a deep monsoon drain near our house. He had been coshed on the head and thrown into the drain to die. He grew up to be the smartest dog we ever owned! He knew how to unlatch the garden gate, slide open the door grille and many times he tried to twist open the door knob like he had seen us do. He had many toys and he even devised a game for himself by picking up pottery shards piece by piece from the corner of the garden and stacking them up in the middle of the yard. Using his nose, he would try to pile them up together as high as possible. Then he would push the whole stack over and do a victory lap round the garden, barking.

He died aged 8 when canine distemper roiled through the neighbourhood. RIP Bartoo, we miss your funny antics.

Dog owners, never forget the distemper vaccine booster shots for your dog!


A rank amateur self-taught watercolour artist

May 2011
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