THE FEDERER TRADITION

By nature, watercolour is a slow art medium. Forward-planning and patience is key - you can't rush a damp canvas and no matter how forgiving the pigments can be in the face of extra water and a tissue to dab with, a once-wet space is never going to achieve the brightness of dry paper (save for white acrylic paint to highlight...except I don't have white acrylic paint).

In a world where updates are instant and everything is easily copy-and-pasted binary code, there's something a little calming about the physical tactility of the sound of pencil scratching on watercolour paper, of angling the brush just so and concentrating solely on capturing the subtleties of light and shadow, dabbing with tissues and the whole works.

Traditional and calm but also very clean and simple. Forget easels, palette knives and multiple brushes - one brush, one colour and one piece of paper.

Which is why it was actually not a good idea to paint this during the duration of that Wimbledon final, which had me screeching, cheering and whimpering into my blankets well into 3AM, in a mercifully empty house. A lesson in dealing with pressure, in defying expectations and graciousness in defeat and victory. A match worth losing sleep for.

I've painted Nole before and would have loved to put a little '2014' next to this portrait to mark Fed as this year's champion, but c'est la vie. I actually love them both.