John Waterhouse

“From an early age I had always been interested in art, gaining inspiration and encouragement from my parents, especially my mother.
Before I start any painting I have to feel confident about the composition and balance of the picture, sometimes spending days or even weeks producing sketches and collecting reference material in the form of photographs, as well as using my memory. This may even involve producing a very detailed scale drawing and watercolor sketches. I then proceed with the painting, working mainly in oil. I can usually cover the whole canvas or panel in one or two days, showing the basic composition. The painting is then left to dry. The following stages of the painting involve adding atmosphere and detail. On very fine paintings, this may involve many weeks of work using a variety of different brushes.

When I feel that I have completed a picture, it is put to one side and out of sight. Then a week or so later I will look at it again. The reason for doing this is to detach myself from the picture, so that when I next see it, I get a fresh look at the impact and atmosphere. This will be my final stage of the painting, before making any minor adjustments, resulting in the final image that I am happy with.”