Watercolours

A painting method that employs pigment suspended in a water-based solution, usually applied onto paper.

Though its earliest origins are thought to be prehistoric, its history is usually dated from the Renaissance, when it was used by artists such as Albrecht Durer.

While it may be used as for the creation of preparatory studies, it is also an art form in its own right, and is a technique used for botanical illustration, wildlife illustration and topographical painting as well as traditional genres, particularly landscape.


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Signature of John Sell Cotman is key note to £20,000 result

15 October 2018

This watercolour bearing the signature of Norwich School artist John Sell Cotman (1782-1842) attracted a flurry of bids when it went under the hammer in Nottingham.

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Airfix artwork brings bidding at specialist toy auction house

24 September 2018

For most enthusiasts of Airfix’s plastic construction kits, it was the company’s dramatic box artwork that caught the eye when choosing the next model to make.

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Jockeys ride in at £2500

27 August 2018

This watercolour, below, by Frederic Whiting (1874-1962) took a multi-estimate £2500 at Thomson Roddick’s (15% buyer’s premium) Edinburgh saleroom on August 9.

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Pick of the Week: Trinidad painting sails into Cumbrian auction

20 August 2018

A ship painting by the artist regarded as the first great Trinidadian painter, Michel-Jean Cazabon (1813-88), surfaced for sale at Cumbrian auction house PFK earlier this month.

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Fairies emerge at auction out of dealer’s estate

13 August 2018

A sale of books, maps and ephemera at Bellmans (22% buyer’s premium) included more than £17,000 worth of 19th and 20th century watercolours and drawings from the stock of a dealer.

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London events celebrate British love of art and the garden

10 August 2018

Along with national characteristics such as moaning about the weather, constantly saying sorry and an eagerness to join a queue, the British love of gardening is very well known.

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Eighteenth century armadillo that made it alive to Britain

06 August 2018

A 3 x 5in (7cm x 13cm) miniature watercolour on ivory offered for sale at Toovey’s (plus 24.5% buyer’s premium) in Washington, West Sussex, recalls a small but significant moment in the history of British zoology.

Willy Wonka

Record set for Sir Quentin Blake illustration as 40-year collection sells at auction

13 July 2018

Watercolours and drawings from the personal collection of artist Sir Quentin Blake (b. 1932) have been sold at Christie’s for over £750,000.

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Devon views are cream of the crop

02 July 2018

British watercolours depicting the beautiful county of Devon and painted during the medium’s golden age drew eager bidding at Cheffins of Cambridge (22.5% buyer’s premium).

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Galleries take the collaborative view

25 June 2018

Among a selection of oils and watercolours on show at Goodman Fine Art is this View of North Berwick from Kelty in Scotland by Samuel Bough.

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Here-to-sell strategy

30 April 2018

Since the start of the Chinese boom at UK auctions many, if not most, estimates have been little more than here-to-sell signals. Settling on a figure with which vendors are happy with, and then leaving it to the worldwide market on the net, is now common practice.

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Portrait sitter at 111 years old

23 April 2018

This portrait of an elderly gentleman tickled the taste buds of bidders when it was offered at Heliers Auction (18% buyer’s premium) in Lancashire.

Gerald Fenwicke Metcalfe design

Design for Albury war memorial makes £1500 at auction of former V&A director’s collection

05 April 2018

A watercolour design for a First World War memorial in the village of Albury in Surrey was among the works bringing demand at the auction of former V&A director Dr Alan Borg’s collection.

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5 Questions: Guy Peppiatt

02 April 2018

Guy Peppiatt specialises in 18th and 19th century British watercolours and drawings and is based in Mason’s Yard, St James’s.

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Jeffrey Archer political cartoon collection sells at auction

02 April 2018

In a career of remarkable highs and lows, incorporating high political office, financial scandal and near bankruptcy, enormous success as a novelist and imprisonment for perjury during a libel case that he had won years earlier, Jeffrey Archer has himself been the subject of many a caricature and cartoon.

Abbey

Westminster Abbey pictures by artist Alexander Creswell bought by dean for new exhibition

17 March 2018

Westminster Abbey is to unveil a series of watercolours after the Dean and Chapter of Westminster purchased a group of 35 pictures from artist Alexander Creswell.

Peter Brookes pen ink and watercolour

Cartoon collection of Jeffrey Archer – aka ‘Creepycrawlus Irritatus’ – makes £570,000 at Sotheby’s

16 March 2018

Jeffrey Archer’s collection of political cartoons raised a total of £571,318 (including premium) at Sotheby’s as 240 original artworks went under the hammer this week.

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Traditional sales at the double in Oxfordshire

12 March 2018

Two stand-out collections containing Old Master and traditional British works on paper were offered within 24 hours of each other in Oxfordshire.

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Obituary: Watercolour dealer Commander John Morton Lee OBE RN

12 March 2018

Commander John Morton Lee OBE RN (retd.), who had a long career in the Royal Navy before turning his passion for watercolours into a dealer business, died peacefully on February 26 after a brief illness, aged 88.

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Works on paper loaned to Ashmolean museum sold at Oxford auction – 5 highlights from the sale

05 March 2018

A group of Old Master and traditional British etchings, drawings and watercolours, previously on loan to the Ashmolean museum, drew keen interest at Mallams in Oxford this week.

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