INDOOR OCCUPATIONS AND THINGS
Painting is an occupation which is within almost everybody's power, and of which one tires very slowly or perhaps not at all. By painting we mean colouring old pictures rather than making new ones, since making new ones—from nature or imagination— requires separate gifts. On a wet afternoon—or, if it is permitted, on Sunday afternoon—colouring the pictures in a scrapbook or in a cottage almanack is a very pleasant and useful employment. After dark, painting is not a very wise occupation, because, in an artificial light, colours cannot be properly distinguished.
All shops that sell artists' materials keep painting-books. But old illustrated papers do very well.
An even more interesting thing to do with a paint-box is to make a collection of the flags of all nations. And when those are all done,—you will find coloured pages of them in an old Boys' Own Paper volume, and elsewhere too,—you might get possession of an old shipping guide, and copy Lloyd's signal code from it.
Colouring maps is interesting, but is more difficult than you might perhaps think, owing to the skill required in laying an even surface of paint on an irregular space. The middle of the country does not cause much trouble, but when it comes to the jagged frontier line the brush has to be very carefully handled. To wet the whole map with a wet brush at the outset is a help. Perhaps before starting in earnest on a map it would be best to practise a little with irregular-shaped spaces on another piece of paper.