Irrespective of the subject, my prime objective is to produce good paintings - that's all that really matters. I aim generally to capture a sense of time and place in my work but the essential ingredients of composition, colour and tone are equally important and the finished pictures have to be good enough to be worth a second look and perhaps stand the test of time.
I paint in watercolour, oil, and pastels and where possible prefer to work en plein air. Most of my work is of marine and landscape subjects but I also paint equestrian pictures related to racing, life work and from time to time anything else that takes my fancy. If weather, time or tide are against me I produce sketches to be worked on back in the studio and these days rarely bother with a camera. If I do use photographic references, then I will still produce a working sketch. I normally work on watercolours without preliminary pencil drawing and with the painting surface laid flat. Smaller oils are usually on prepared panels, primed with a mid tone ground and which are easier to transport and handle outside and like larger studio pictures on canvas are worked on with both knife and brushes. Because I frequently uses either a motor bike or cycle to get to where I want to be, I've learned the art of travelling light and keeping clutter to a minimum.
Any commission work that David takes on has to be something that he is interested in and current work includes a large equestrian subject and Arabian painting. David does a limited amount of teaching - 2016 sees him at Dedham Hall and Staithes Art School and possibly a return to France.
1939 Born on 14 July in Markyate, Hertfordshire
1995 Elected an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists
1997 Elected full Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists
2003 Appointed Vice President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists
2008 Appointed President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists
Windsor & Newton Watercolour Award (twice), Society of Equestrian Artists
Best Picture in Show, Sally Mitchell Fine Arts, Society of Equestrian Artists
St. Cuthbert’s Mill Watercolour Award, & Classic Boat Award , Royal Society of Marine Artists
Over 20 solo exhibitions.
Regular exhibitor with galleries in the UK, Dubai, Australia and the USA
'City of the Red Sea- David Howell's Jeddah', Scorpion Publishing, 1985 : 'Painting with Oils', Crowood Press, 2014 : 'Painting with Watercolours', Crowood Press 2017 : 'Just Watercolour' DVD, APV Films, 2013
Subject matter is paramount to David, it must be something he finds interesting to paint and whilst happy to work to a client's brief, he likes to have sufficient artistic freedom to produce a good quality painting rather than an illustration. He is primarily a landscape and marine painter but also paints equestrian racing pictures, country sports and occasionally life work. Production times depend on how much work he has on but normally would be no longer than 3 months at a busy time. Ideally, he needs to work from his own reference material, plein air painting, sketches and photos but can work from client's photos if they relate to a subject that he's familiar with.
alBank alSaudi alHollandi - Saudi Arabia
United Biscuits - London
Provident Financial - Bradford
The Duke of Richmond and Gordon - Goodwood Racecourse
Many individual commissions