About Me

Hi, I’m Nick, a freelance artist and illustrator based in Devon, in the South West of England.

I have been drawing and painting all my life. 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 several books but what has become a niche for me is Stamp Design and First Day Covers. At the moment these commissions take up much of my time. However, when I have a little breathing space I also like to concentrate and develop my own paintings & have recently designed some fun den curtains for children.

At the end of the ’80’s, there was 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), 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 1990.

I am passionate about the countryside and being out in it. I’m not good in cities and tend to want to get out of them or find a more out of the way corner in them. 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.

In my paintings, you will see my love of boats, wildlife, countryside & people (not necessarily in that order!)

Images of a smiling Nick Watton, one of his sketchbooks, showing a canal boat and Nick sat sketching in the sun.
Image of Nick Watton teaching on a sketching workshop on the beach.

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

Photo of a pocket paint set, brush, pen and page from a sketchbook.
Photo of Nick Watton sketching on the Otter Estuary
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