Self-taught artist Clare Willcocks shares her passion for painting and watercolour
Artist Clare Willcocks – based in Northam near Bideford – inherited her love of art from her father. "I have enjoyed it for as long as I can remember. I would spend every lunchtime in the library at school, drawing animals from reference books, and then filling every spare minute of my time at home being creative."
She adds: "It's only in the past five years that I've really taken to watercolour painting. I love how the paint mixes together to create soft gradients and how it can be layered to make beautiful, vibrant colours that contain a lot of depth."
Clare's formal art education ended at GCSE. She went on to study languages at Exeter University, but throughout her degree and now alongside her job, and being a Mum, she draws nearly every day, painting three or four times a week.
Clare describes her style as: "... generally realistic, painting mostly from my own reference photos and sometimes on location, mainly in watercolour. My interests flit between landscapes, animals, portraits and objects. If I see something I find interesting, I paint it. I often use a dip pen and ink to outline my pieces, but some are watercolour alone, it depends on the subject," she says.
Describing the projects she's currently involved with, Clare adds: "I've illustrated a couple of large-scale maps for Le Boat, who are specialists in canal boat hire across the UK and internationally. I am currently working on another map of the Rideau Canal in Canada for them. In my spare time, I'm working on a couple of commissions and adding to my 2018 sketchbook with some personal pieces, just for fun!"
"I love how the paint mixes together to create soft gradients and how it can be layered to make beautiful, vibrant colours that contain a lot of depth."
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