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John Warburton

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Yorkshire born and bred, my work is a celebration of the county's rich agricultural, industrial and nautical heritage and how human interventions have shaped this lovely place. I see the beauty in the ordinary, capture this in my sketches and artworks, and make this accessible to you. Drystone walls tumbling down the hillside, barns huddling close to the ground, mills dominating their surroundings, dwellings clustering together, canals lazily snaking along the contours, the rust and grime of tractors and curves and colours of boats are favoured subjects for me, rural and urban. Anything that can be categorised as vernacular, in fact. The setting and the detail are all important, and I'm as likely to focus on some feature that has caught my eye (a chimney, a door, some steps) as I am to show the whole building and its context.

Line and wash is what I produce. Is this drawing, or is it painting? Well, it is both - it is where drawing and painting meet and it the combination of the two that gives this approach its unique style. Invariably, for me at least, the line work goes on to the page first, followed by watercolour washes. Ususally I will go straight in with ink on paper, no pencil. After all, why draw the subject twice? My experience of drawing as an architect drives how I approach my subjects, although I strive to be a little looser in my style. For inspiration, I would cite Hockney, Lowry and Peter Brook as artists that I admire, but also consider current artist John Harrison as my most significant influence.

Watercolour paper is my natural choice, and usually good quality ROUGH paper such as Saunders Waterford, but my sketchbooks are the smoother Seawhite of Brighton. I love the way that watercolour interacts with a rough paper surface, especially using dry brush to drag paint across the surface. The way that a rough surface gives my line work a unique character is also a key element of my work.

Pens are a fascinating subject in their own right and I feel that I am only just beginning my discovery of the potential that different pens can bring to my drawing. Mostly I work with the Unipin Fineliner pens, typically black ink and fully waterproof in 0.1mm, 0.3mm and 0.5mm widths. I am accumulating various fountain pens, dip pens, and brush pens and a variety of ink colours that I am starting to experiment with too!

Daniel Smith watercolours form the bulk of my palettes, but I also love my Kremer monochrome palette. Derwent travel palettes accompany my irregular (infrequent!) Urban Sketching outings with USK Manchester and USK Yorkshire, both the Graphitint and the Line & Wash sets.

I have yet to establish a particular set of brushes, and possess a range of different brushes - far too many to itemise, although in the studio my Etchr watercolour brushes get the most use and when urban sketching I swear by my Da Vinci travel brushes.

A magpie by nature, I am also gathering quite a collection of other media that I have yet to try...

Original Watercolour Paintings

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