John Heywood

"Doorway Fornell"


"Village Pond Coleshill"
Landscapes, Seascapes, Boats, Coastal

I started painting over twenty years ago as a leisure painter, but I was finally able to devote a serious amount of time to painting only upon taking early retirement in 1995. Although I consider myself to be largely self-taught, that is "learning by doing", I have also attended regular courses on landscape painting, life drawing and portraiture to sharpen skills and to learn from other artists.

I meet with a group of nine other artists most weeks so that we can paint together; we each have our different styles and preferred subjects, and we paint in a wide variety of different media, but we find it invaluable to swap ideas and suggestions and to provide (usually!) constructive criticism of each other's work.

I used to paint mainly in watercolour but today I usually paint in acrylics, (using a palette of Liquitex and Derivan Matisse colours), on gesso prepared mdf board, occasionally in combination with collage.

I always start my paintings from a series of on the spot value and composition sketches drawn on a small sketchpad with soft graphite sticks, with jottings of the key colours. This process clarifies the main design, what to leave out or emphasise and so on. Then I go straight into the painting with brush or painting knife, without any prior drawing on the painting surface itself.

Whenever possible, I start the painting "en plein air" and if I run out of time or painter friendly weather, then I finish off in the studio. Coastal scenes "en plein air" are rendered even more difficult as the tide flowing in and out limits the time available to capture the scene before it changes.