Martin Swan – VPRSMA

Martin Swan’s main interest is in abstract painting. Even with marine subjects, it is the abstract qualities of boats, quaysides etc that attracts him the most – shapes, lines, angles and colours. More figuratively, Martin enjoys painting large panoramic seas and skies with boats as small incidental features. His early interest in landscapes is returning.

Method of Working

Formerly a watercolour artist, Matin now paints mostly in oils.

Studio bound paintings, begin with doodles, using drawings, colour sketches and photographs as source material. If the subject is historical, he uses other artists’ drawings and paintings (perhaps of similar boats), deckplans, old photographs, verbal descriptions, anything that gives him an idea of what the thing looked like.

With the doodles Martin tries out various compositions, looking for different ways to use the material. When he has got something he likes, Martin produces a half-size drawing, which finalises the composition and establishes correct proportions. This is copied full-size onto the canvas and painting begins.