My challenge here was to replicate the wonderful pattern on my teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl, a wonderful design. But also I needed to make this stand out from the background so I had to build up the glazes in the background to make the white of the porcelain stand out.

I asked all my learners to pick their own subject for their still life, with a good selection including, fruit, vegetables, a plant, games, fish, allotment produce, pottery sculptures, artists materials, keys, sowing material, a clay pipe, to name but a few. A still life, in my opinion, needs a theme running through each and every element that binds it all together.

I started by painting the flowers that I picked from the garden, as they were really part of the background and not the main theme of the painting. I then painted the serving plate, a nice object I purchased in an antiques shop in Felixstowe. I used weak washes of indigo blue for the silver handle and edging. Painting biscuits is great fun! I painted in the bourbon with a mix of purple and burnt umber. For the digestives I used washes of yellow ochre mixed with a small portion of my brown mix. For the pink wafer I used a very weak wash of magenta.

I then painted in the blocks of colour on the tea set and when that was dry I used a black pen to draw in the square shapes.

For the background I used perylene maroon, five glazes, until I was sure that the colour of the tea set would stand out from the background. I used Indian red for the foreground and shadows.