Most of the subjects of my work comes from experience and the locations are real places. I have usually swam there and got a feel for the place. The work comes from memory as well as reference pics – how the water looked and felt, what the atmosphere and temperature was like and even how the water tasted. That’s why my art is so compelling to others who have been there – they recognise the feelings I convey.
I love working in watercolours, I find it authentic. There is a translucency and unpredictability with them that you just can’t create with any other media. That appeals to me because the activity is translucent and unpredictable too – rarely does a place feel in reality the same as you’d imagined beforehand – so there’s a connection there between the two.
I always start with a picture in my head, but rarely, despite planning it out in line, do I find it turns out exactly how I see it – and I like that. Each design has a personality of it’s own. So, I create the backgrounds in watercolour, before moving on to what I call the ‘elements’ – people, animals, houses and other features, including ducky 😉, that I create on my iPad Pro. I like to have a whimsical element in my work, as it’s a happy activity and I want to portray the fun in it.
I then add multiple layers to create depth and atmosphere, and I get the chance to make edits to any bits I don’t like in the watercolour, and it’s complete.
This little video shows you how I do it, in time-lapse. I hope you enjoy watching.