About Me

Hi, I’m Nick, a freelance artist and illustrator. I was brought up in Cornwall and am now based in Devon. In the beautiful, South West of England.
I have been drawing and painting all my life. And being a simple sort of guy I have never lost my love of trying to capture the world around me.

I hope to pass on a few tips to anyone else with a need to sketch/draw/paint and perhaps you might like to buy a sketch along the way.

Over the past 30 years, I have worked on all types of illustration starting off in the Product & Advertising world. I have illustrated books, several Postage Stamp issues and limited edition First Day Covers. If you’re interested you can check some of these illustrations here.
However, I am now largely concentrating on developing my paintings. The South West of England and the sea remain my main painting inspiration. I paint and draw as often as possible on location. I love the wilder parts of the United Kingdom from as far apart as the Isles of Scilly to the Orkney Isles.

I enjoy going walking, with my sketchbook in my rucksack. Whatever the weather or season. Trying to capture the world and wildlife I see around me. In my paintings, you will see my love of boats, wildlife, the countryside & people (not necessarily in that order!) My paintings reflect the wild and romantic elements of the world around us, rich in colour and imagery.

At the end of the 1980’s, I was to be found in a big, slightly leaky, six-floor, concrete ‘Art Block’ that housed the Poole Annexe of Falmouth College of Art in Cornwall. (It’s still there, but has now been ‘clad’ to make it look more modern and is part of Cornwall College.) Here I would be running up several flights of stairs to avoid the dodgy lift (it dropped a couple of floors once when I was in it and generally jammed solid with students), and holding my breath through the thick smokey air in the corridor smoking areas. Finally, settling in and working up on the third floor. I graduated, with distinction, from there in 1989.

Image of Nick Watton teaching on a sketching workshop on the beach.
Two photos of artist Nick Watton, plus one of his sketchbook and palette.

I have exhibited in both solo and joint exhibitions throughout the country and have undertaken many private commissions.

Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (links at the bottom of the page) which I regularly update.

Sketching Blog


Some of my sketches are collected together in the posts and some are just on their own. It’s a sort of irregular​ diary and aide-mémoir. I have added the materials and any techniques used if you are interested.

I try and sketch whenever I have a few spare moments, wherever I am. Though as with all good intentions, it does not always work out.
I first started sketching with the art class at school and it is something that I have always kept up. I lose myself in time while sketching – in the winter I don’t notice the cold creeping into my hands until I’ve finished (at which point I start jumping around trying to warm myself up!) I find it also makes me study and really look at the world around me, which helps to embed the subject into my brain. I always enjoy sketching, though it’s sometimes frustrating, one thing’s for sure I can’t stop – as my pile of sketchbooks will testify!

The lunchtime sketches found me sitting in the car for about an hour or so. While my young son slept in the car behind me, I was just sat there eating my lunch and staring​ out of the windscreen. So the obvious thing for me to do was to grab my sketchbook​ and take it with me.
I would still very much like the time to do this, but sadly it does put a big hole in the middle of your working day.

Come with me on my love affair with drawing and the wilder parts of South West Britain’s beautiful countryside and coast.

Take a quick look at my Sketching Blog

A sketchbook, with a watercolour of a lighthouse, plus the palette and brush used.
Photo of Nick Watton sketching on the Otter Estuary
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