Broad Street, Wolverhampton

Dusk can be a mysterious time on the canal. The water turns a slightly sinister black, and in the gathering darkness, the sunset briefly turns a deep orange red.

The gleam of a cabin light reflected on the water demands an evocative response with which I experimented for a long time trying to make that gleam of the cabin lamp really light up.

It needs really strong heavy darks around the light. Create the cabin light first with a wash of stains painted with a very light touch, but covering the whole page so there is no break line, then create the sunset, drawing the wash right down to the foot of the painting so again there is no break line, but making sure the wash is only pure water over the cabin light. Finally the darks with a very heavy wash of Ultramarine and Burst Siena.

Also in Wolverhampton there was an electricity station with coal brought in trains of six dayboats at a time. During the two weeks compulsory works shut down the boats would all be moored and sunk alongside their wharf to keep the wood water tight. It was quite a shock to steam round the corner to be presented with wall to wall sunken narrow boats. On closer inspection there would be a narrow channel, one boat wide, next to the tow path.