5 minute tasks until the paint dries

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Here comes a little shorter and more passionate blog post than usual about how I feel when I stamp my finger in wet paint for the 5th time and mutter unprintable phrases about the nature of watercolours.

It happens (a.k.a. always) that you need several layers of paint to reach the desired effect. If you let the paint dry on the first layer before painting the second, the result looks as if different layers of veil shone through one another, so you can see the bottom layer as well as the top. A beautiful thing to do – unless you mess it up by putting a stubby finger in it to check whether the paint has dried yet.

After several years of painting with watercolours I sometimes find it hard to believe how long it takes for massive amount of water to dry on the paper. Sometimes I think it’s good & ready, then apply the next layer and the whole thing blends together. Of course, the best trick is to place your palm on the seemingly dry surface and check the temperature: if it feels cold, then you’ve still got to wait.

But who the heck has got enough patience for this? Once you are into mixing colours and messing around waiting for the painting to dry just staring out of your head is the last thing you feel like doing.

However, after my latest blunder I have decided to list a few hate-tasks, which I usually procrastinate doing, but which can be completed perfectly within the 5-10 mins while the paint dries – and the reward is that you feel really productive.

10 hate-tasks you can complete in 5-10 minutes

  1. do the washing up (hopefully you can do that in 5 mins)
  2. pluck your eyebrows (if you do that at all…)
  3. wash your hair
  4. fill the washing machine/hang damp clothes
  5. get the old muck out of your fridge (am I the only one who is susceptible to forgetting what’s inside?)
  6. change the bedsheets
  7. clean the screen of your phone
  8. wipe your glasses/sunglasses
  9. tidy up your desk/kitchen/bathroom

Things you should never do

  1. don’t browse social media
  2. avoid checking what games are installed on your computer/gadgets at all costs
  3. don’t check your emails
  4. just get away from your computer, it is bad for inspiration
  5. don’t polish your nails – you will have to wait for that to dry then

Hopefully I won’t be the only one to follow my own advice, but you also implement some of them – even if drying paint is not the reason for your having to wait. You can accomplish these 5-10 min tasks during any sort of unplanned break (as long as it happens at home), and by being productive you caress your self-esteem a little as well.


5 minute hate-tasks until the paint dries

Comments (3)

  • Snowy night – DIY Christmas card in 7 easy steps – IMELDA GREEN'S

    November 25, 2016 at 8:09 am

    […] You can read my tips on spending these few minutes well here. […]

  • Watercolor painting class – ginkgo leaves – IMELDA GREEN'S

    October 8, 2018 at 7:31 am

    […] It might sound funny, but this is probably the most important step. If you do not wait for the first leaf to dry before painting the second, then the two leaves will blend together completely, and the transparent look will vanish. If you are impatient you can use a hairdryer. Make sure you blow from a distance though, because if the air moves the water, the water will take with it the colour too. If you don’t want to bother with a hairdryer, check what useful things you can do in those few minutes while the paint dries. […]

  • Watercolour painting class – negative painting – IMELDA GREEN'S

    September 9, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    […] you are impatient, you can always do something else while the paint dries, or you can use a hair dryer. In this case, you should blow air from at least 80-100 cm, so you […]

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