Mark Buck ARSMA


There has to be a reason to paint, could be great shadows, extraordinary light, a great shape, amazing atmospherics, or an observed conversation.


I am primarily a plein air painter but my chosen medium of watercolour can make that impractical. A winter morning sunrise can take until lunchtime to dry and then there’s rain. 

When en plein air I paint mainly on stretched Millford paper at a slight angle and with great speed. It always starts with a pencil drawing. Drawing is the most important process. I think in terms of tonal values and use the drawing to plan the watercolour stages showing areas of light and dark as I work with paper white. If an object is moving I try to describe that as if it were a long exposure with a softness to edges and a lack of definition. Water and reflections are favourite subjects and I watch and study the flows and shapes made as reflections dance and water undulates. I chase shadows, they add such structure and dynamics to your work. 

In the studio I work on action watercolours, for example a yacht tearing across a bay on a beam reach. Video is my favourite reference though my trusty Nikon usually gets it. I try to capture that moment maybe when the skipper calls to go about and everyone starts to shift. Or when a flock of geese make a high speed and splashy landing. 

My colour palette is simple and I paint in pure watercolour style using natural translucency. 


1960 Born on 18 November, Rochford, Essex

1979 Foundation at Farnham Art College

1980-83 Degree in Illustration at Bower Ashton, Bristol

1984-90 Worked as an Art Director in advertising

1991-2018 Turned Freelance as an Illustrator and Designer

2018 Became full time artist

2022 Elected an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists

Mark now lives in a small village in Sussex and spends his time painting and playing guitar, piano and trying to stop the garden from becoming too wild.

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