Interview with David Curtis

David Curtis is a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He is one of the UK’s most successful and best known artists.

Plein air of your studio?

I’m never more happy than when I’m out painting in the open air, observing that visual moment in time. Studio work for me is where you evolve your Plein Air studies, the stage work if you will, the building up of composition with more consideration in mind.

What are your three essentials to take outdoors?

My pochade box, a painting carrier filled with my Rosemary brushes, rags and a stool. When outdoors you need your supplies ready at hand to ensure you seize the moment.

Plein Air is all about the light effect, the sense of immediacy, the adrenaline rush from being outside.

Your books are extremely popular, do you plan on writing any more?

I’ve written six ‘‘How to do it’’ books at this point. I’d like to write a coffee table book, for the collector or professional to study my works and give an overview 
of my career. It would be in sections of different themes; landscapes, beachscapes, interiors, portraits and so on. I’m not saying I’ll never write another 
‘‘How to do it’’ though!

Oils or watercolours?

I have no preference! I will select oil or watercolour as the subject suggests. If it’s atmospheric, high key and moody, I would probably lean towards watercolour. Yet if it is strongly lit with powerful imagery I think I can paint that more effectively with oils. Once you’ve seen the light effect and you’ve chosen a medium, away you go!

What are four colours you wouldn’t be without?

Raw Sienna, Cobalt, Violet and Cerulean.

One piece of advice to a new artist?

Practice, practice, practice wherever you are. Just draw, sketch and learn your craft.


Images courtesy of David Curtis.

See more of David’s work at:

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