Why I wish my toilet was portable and other painting discoveries.

It’s not often I spend the better part of a day in my bathroom – even when I’ve been hit by gastro or – worse – children having meltdowns in quick succession.

But the other day I gave it a go, all for the sake of painting an ordinary old light switch and the pull-cord from my bathroom heater. Because I really love that shadow.

I discovered a few things in the process:

  • Painting with a toilet right behind you is quite an impediment to being able to step back and review your progress. It is also not very glamorous.
The underpainting needed lots of corrections. Curse that toilet!
  • In much the same way as cutting my son’s dead-straight hair allows no room to hide that slip-of-the-scissors, those light-switch edges were pretty unforgiving.

    I had to remind myself  that this is not a photo or technical  drawing, it’s a painting and I am actually trying to loosen up my brushwork. And unlike my son, at least the light-switch didn’t complain about it when I was done.

  • I broke a rule of composition and aligned the pull-cord with the edge of the doorframe to keep things less ‘bitty’.

    I was a bit worried that it was ‘lost’ when all was complete, so I added a highlight to the cord and the base of the Thing-That-You-Hold-When-You-Pull-The-Cord (yes, they let me name my own children) and I think I got away with flaunting the rules.


  • The door frame was last to be painted, and when I stepped back (carefully), I was dismayed to discover that there was nothing to really hint at it being a door frame. It was just a couple of grey-toned stripes on the edge of my canvas.

    So I got creative with my brush strokes. While it may now look to some as though my walls were painted by an orderly drunk, you can’t argue that those brushstrokes haven’t added some perspective to things. I think I like it… but I wonder if there is now a style-clash with the way I’ve painted the light-switch?



At any rate, one thing is certain: I really do need to give my toilet a good once-over.


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