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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Jan-18 > Memorable painting

Memorable painting

Caroline Saunders talks to Rob Adams who paints serene watercolour landscapes with limited highlights and achieves an effect similar to that of an engraving in his pen and ink works


A City Morning Bicycle, pen and ink and white, 8×113⁄4in (20×30cm). ‘This was produced from a very blurry phone snap, but it had a certain something that I thought would make a painting. I made this drawing to work out tonal balance and arrive at a striking composition. Pen allows you to build tone in stages, so it is very good for refining tonal values.’

Rob Adams began painting watercolours at the age of 15, and his first forays with pen, ink and watercolour were to satisfy his growing passion for depicting abbeys and cathedrals. ‘I am spoilt for choice of subject where I live in Dorset but it is still important to find one with an interesting structure. If something in the subject does not really grab my attention, the resulting painting will not be memorable, either. Something that breaks down into distinct tonal areas is often good,’ he says.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our January issue which looks forward to the new year ahead with our special 6-page guide to open competitions and exhibitions in 2018 and beyond, with all the entry details and all-important deadlines. We also include full details about our own The Artist open competition with fantastic prizes and the opportunity to see your work exhibited and published in the magazine and on our website, promoting your artwork to our massive international audience. Our inspirational, practical articles from this month's team of top-level professional artists and tutors include how to exploit extreme shadows in watercolour for enhanced light effects, watercolour techniques for capturing atmospheric weather conditions and how to improve your watercolour still life paintings. Equestrian artist Ruth Buchanan offers 10 top tips on how to draw the horse, NEAC President Richard Pikesley offers ideas on painting 'table-top' landscapes indoors when it's impossible to get outside to paint and Barry Freeman explains how painting from the heart is the key to loosening up in your work. With much more too, you will find plenty of ideas in this issue to keep you painting over the festive period. The team at The Artist wishes all our readers a happy, creative time and enjoyable new year.