Another day of photography (first helping)

A cluster of half finished watercolours of basket children and labourers from EES digs

I’ve been working hard on the manuscript of the book I’ve written around the Dreams of Amarna, and one of the things I want to do is stitch the story together with pictures of the ordinary Egyptians working on the dig. They are honoured in the stitchery (View of the Excavation and Loading The Felucca), but that didn’t seem quite enough.

Setup for photographing watercolours or other small flat things

So I’ve been doing lots of little watercolours of labourers, basket carriers, and fragments of the dig and the scenery, and now I’ve sorted out the overlays (there will be more about my experiments with ink and inktense later), I bundled up the whole kit and caboodle and took it across to Bernard Rose Photography to see what he could do.

Overlay of Akhenaten suspended in front of a peachy-yellow backdrop paper, reflectors all around it.

We rattled through the watercolours in fine style, as apart from occasionally flattening a piece of paper (I tend to paint a bit sloshy…!) there was little adjustment needed.

Then, however, matters became more complicated… The overlays are big, and the fabric is slightly shiny, and I hadn’t worked out how to hang them. So we started with the easy bit – overlays on their own, in front of a background. You get a hint here of the reflectors spaced all around, and just the general sense of engineering involved. There are two pairs of tripods with poles between them, one with the background, the other supporting the overlay, suspended on fishing line through eyelets. Then there are the tripods with the diffusers on, and out of shot, there’s the tripod with Bernard’s camera in place.


  1. Queenie Patch says:

    Good work! You are a big step nearer the publication of your book!

  2. Jillayne says:

    Wow – a full-on photography session! I love your paintings Rachel – they are delightful and so appropriate to include them in your book.

  3. Lin says:

    An epic production!

  4. Sue Jones says:

    That looks very impressive. The overlay shows up well. The little watercolours will add a lot of life and scene-setting to the book and the more formal pieces.

  5. Karen says:

    Good to see so much progress – it’s all looking really great

  6. Linda says:

    Lovely paintings.

  7. Alex Hall says:

    Love the little watercolour vignettes.

  8. Carolyn Foley says:

    What a process? I love the watercolours.

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