Paul Weaver – Biography
I drew from a very young age, but it was my father Brian (an art teacher and exceptional draughtsman) who helped me develop my drawing from observation, a vital foundation and discipline which now underpins everything I do.
I taught myself to paint and now specialise in watercolour, although I also enjoy line & wash and oils. Having trained in graphic design and illustration and then worked in that industry for many years, my approach to watercolour has been influenced by the creative processes learnt on the drawing board, especially composition. This is essentially the design of your painting and is crucial with watercolour, as you get no chance to change your mind halfway through.
I rarely start a painting without a quick thumbnail sketch first to check composition, tonal pattern and generally to get a feel for what’s there. My watercolour heroes, including Edward Wesson, John Singer Sargent and Trevor Chamberlain, are all known for their incredible plein air work, a practice that has helped my own learning process enormously and which I strongly recommend to all my students.
Painting outdoors connects you with the heat of the moment, bringing all your senses into play and charging your creative adrenalin. You have about an hour before the light changes, forcing you to focus on the essentials and keep the work lively and spontaneous.
My primary inspirations are light and atmospheric effects and I’m always fascinated by how the weather can change the mood of a scene in a matter of minutes.
Townscapes, markets and the bustle of the city are favourite subjects, as well as landscape, marine and coastal scenes.
Draw from observation as often as possible. Use a view finder to select a subject, check your composition with a tonal sketch and use tube colours rather than pans as you can pick up colour quickly.