We recently got given some M&S vouchers ( www.marksandspencer.com ) and I rushed out and spent my half on a beautiful orchid because everyone I know who has had one from M&S has been able to keep it for ages and get it to flower again and again. My other half spent his share on olives and picnic nibbles. We each have our foibles!

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So the ‘tea tip’ relates to the post drawing stage as you can see below. No, I didn’t accidentally miss the paint water and dunk my brush in my cup’o’char!! Tea water has this amazing colour to it when it dries, a beautiful clotted cream colour, that I can’t recreate with any inks or paints that I know (especially if you want a wash that you can still see drawing lines through.) It serves to knock back the white of the paper so that it’s not shouting at you!

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I knew that I wanted to paint the background pattern in a two tone way, so the tea wash gave a nice warm, tonal base to add the grey on top of. I used a nice heavy quality piece of water colour paper (no paper disasters this time!) and it’s coming along a treat. Not to mention that painting with tea still requires the obligitory biscuit!

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