Duncan Palmar RSMA


"I have always held a strong passion for painting and drawing from a young age. I took a leap of faith and followed my dream of becoming a professional painter at nineteen, holding my first solo exhibition within the year.

Spending many family holidays in the South West of England, particularly Devon and Cornwall has provided me with ever-growing inspiration for my work.

The beauty of the environment and the quality of light are an irresistible pull for me to return time and time again.

This inspires me to produce evocative paintings capturing the changing moods of different seasons and different times of the day and the movement of the sea in its diverse moods, rhythms and space.

Working in oils from sketches and photographs I try to capture light, texture and atmosphere in my landscapes and coastal scenes. I also focus on the small details, for example, giving the effect of damp seaweed on a harbour wall or reflections of clouds on wet sand.

I feel very privileged to paint every day and continue to discover new subject matter, through visiting new parts of the country around our beautiful coast, which is so varied."


Palmar works mostly from rough sketches, colour notes and photographs he takes. He uses these forms of reference, along with recollection to construct the basis of a composition.

He predominantly work on fine linen canvas and gessoed board that he prepares himself. Depending on the subject of his work, being warm or cold, he tints the boards accordingly.

The composition is then sketched in roughly onto the board. He then begins the process of building up the oil paint to try and capture the essence of the scene and create a realistic effect incorporating scumbles and glazes, to feel like you could walk into the scene. 


Palmar was born in 1964 and began painting professionally in 1984, participating in numerous solo and shared exhibitions since. Duncan has undertaken many commissions including, three for the Armed Forces and two commemorative millennium commissions.

He was commissioned by the AA for over 10 years to paint the four award-winning hotels and guest houses in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales each year. His work has also been commissioned to appear on the front cover of Country Life on two occasions. 

Palmar lives in Surrey with his wife, two children and three dogs, one day hoping to move to the West Country.


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