David Webb

David Webb was born in East London and, as an artist, is self-taught. On leaving school at 18, in 1980, up until the millennium he worked as an illustrator, mainly for the editorial market on books, magazines and greetings cards. With a lifelong interest in nature it was not surprising that this was to be the area in which he mainly worked. During this time he painted mainly small-scale, and very detailed, as is the nature of such work.

However, in 2000 he decided to break away from the constraints of illustration. After being inspired by the work of artists such as Edward Wesson, Trevor Chamberlain and William Russell Flint he began working on larger scale paintings in a looser style. Once he was confident working in the traditional, pure watercolour style of painting, he made a decision to take a teaching course and began running adult classes and workshops in watercolour painting.  

This led to tutoring painting breaks around the country, both studio-based and outdoors, which he continues to do today.  

Many of the questions, which came up during workshops, spurred David into writing and he soon began contributing articles for Leisure Painter magazine. Soon after, he was approached by Search Press to write and illustrate his first solo book. Still Life in Watercolour was published in 2003 and has since been reprinted in Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Russian. David also made a DVD: Still Life in Watercolour, which was produced to coincide with the book.  

He was then approached by David & Charles to write and illustrate his second book: Animal Painting Workbook. Published in 2007, it focuses on the two key aspirations for novice animal artists: to paint subjects in a loose yet realistic style; and to capture the essence of animals' characters.

David continues to write for popular painting magazines, teach workshops and courses, and is a regular demonstrator for art clubs and societies.  

My artwork is mostly watercolour-based and, with a background as an illustrator, is unashamedly figurative. I do however, paint in a looser style than I once did in my illustration days. A couple of decades of highly detailed work led me to wonder that, perhaps, there might be bigger brushes available.  

My work today is rooted in the pure watercolour tradition. I use transparent washes to build up my paintings, the whiteness of the paper playing an important role as I do not use white/opaque paint. This way of painting requires forward planning as any highlights must be avoided.

I work from life as much as possible but also work on more considered, or larger work, in the studio.I have always had an interest in nature, which still inspires me to paint animals and wildlife today. However, my range of subject matter has broadened over the years to include landscape, seascape, buildings and still life.  

One thing that inspires, whatever the subject, is light. If the light and atmosphere are right then any subject can be something worthwhile to paint.