• Olly Pyle

Olly Pyle

Oliver was born in 1972 and lives in Sussex with his family. Having never been to art college, and not having received any formal art training Oliver is entirely self-taught. Growing up he spent many hours drawing in pencils and ink, giving him a firm grounding in the skills of observation and draftsmanship, which he sees as invaluable; “I make no attempt to convey a strong sense of abstraction in my work – I have always loved drawing and I feel that this discipline underpins my paintings and will always be evident in what I do. I love the sense of realism that accurate drawing brings to a composition.”

In spite of that structure Oliver’s watercolours are loosely worked giving an impression of the scene; “To me, watercolour is best when it is allowed to run free without being over-worked. Achieving this within the confines of a realistic approach is a balancing act, but I always try and provide the viewer with a sense of the place, not a rigorous study of every blade of grass!” "My preferred medium, which I use exclusively at present, is watercolour. It is by far the most challenging of all painting media to master. A watercolour painter lives and dies by the 'transparency sword.'

The immediacy and freshness of watercolour make it a joy to use - sloshing fluid, transparent washes of colour onto paper is a process that I enjoy far more than scrubbing and troweling thick, plastic-like oil paints onto canvas. It is that transparency that can quickly become your enemy - you just cannot paint over your mistakes, or you end up with dull, muddy paintings. If you get it wrong, you start again! It really is that unforgiving. In spite of its technical challenges I find that watercolour is the perfect medium for capturing the British landscape. The cool, crisp northern light that we have been given generally produces scenes that have muted tones from a colour palette largely comprising soft greys and warm browns.

"How very dull," I hear you say!  Not so!  As a painter, working with this range of colours creates pictures that are soft and mellow and watercolour is perfect for conveying this delicate balance of tones and hues. Furthermore, the transitory nature of the weather and light in Britain mean that capturing a scene as quickly as possible is essential, and for this purpose watercolour is perfect." "One of the keys to succeeding with watercolour is to know your equipment. I have used Daler-Rowney Artists watercolours and Diana sable brushes exclusively, and my techniques have been refined by knowing what the pigments will deliver, and how the brushes behave. While on occasions I have been a bad workman, I have never been able to blame the tools!"

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