UK Artist David Howlett
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Often temperamental and always unpredictable. Many who know me might use that sentence to describe me, but I am actually referring to watercolour painting! I have always loved drawing. As a young child, I would sit memorized as my Father drew me sketches and I guess that’s where it comes from. My Granddad retired when I was at the age of thirteen or so and as a hobby he started painting in oils. Click here. His love of it inspired me to have a go.
Around this time the programs "Vision On" and "Take Hart" were on TV. The shows featured the artist Tony Hart.
He would paint quick paintings live on the program which to me, were stunning!
That further inspired me to paint - and I do like to paint fast!

I sold my first painting at the age of seventeen. Believing it not very ‘cool’ I put the brush down as girls became an issue! In 2001, I picked up the brush again… after almost thirty years! As it seemed clean, quick and easy to set up I had often fancied trying watercolour painting. I soon discovered watercolour is an extremely difficult medium to use. To say that using watercolours is a challenge is an understatement! It is so demanding and unforgiving, you get one chance to get it right! But that’s what I love about it, its dynamic and you are in many ways governed by it, to a large extent I just lend a helping hand as a painting evolves!

Back into Maldon!

I feel privileged to live in one of the few remaining unspoiled parts of the County of Essex, England. We live at the mouth of an estuary within a landscape that has managed to hang onto its rural roots... all be it by its fingernails now. It has inspired many of my paintings, particularly when out walking the dog!

When laying watercolour washes I use tube paint and when ‘building-up’ I use a pan-tray. I also use tube paint to replenish the pans - I’I am aware that goes against ‘the purist’ watercolour-painter but I have had no problems with it! I use an old egg-cup for mixing washes and the lid of the tray for mixing the pans. Perhaps of equal importance as the paint is of course the water that’s used to dilute and mix it. That does not mean I use a top quality bottled water, though I am surprised it hasn't been suggested by a supplier out there! What I mean is, I do like to change the water regularly - after all without clean water whatever colour paint you're using will not be true! Occasionally I utilize the opaqueness of gouache for adding highlights, extra detail or deeper colour. I have half-a-dozen or so tubes but the one that gets the most use is Permanent White!

We must never forget...

I usually paint to celebrate this beautiful world of ours - but as I am often deeply affected by an event or situation, one or two of my paintings do have deeper connotations.

As they have the consistency, opacity and permanence of oil paint, I do like to work with Acrylics - but the quick-drying takes a bit of getting used to! The paintings are produced on stretched canvas boards.

This, (Our) Earth Part1


They are the most dynamic artwork I do - full-on colour, texture, movement and light. I enjoy using acrylics so much, it's pretty much all I use now! When it comes to my artwork I have to admit I do like to occasionally break the so-called rules... with my range of acrylics I shall be breaking these rules more often!

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