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Contemporary Fine Art

Artists > Colin Allbrook RI RSMA SEA

Colin Allbrook is one of the most respected and renowned painters in the South-West of England. Working in both oils and watercolours and through the use of light and colour, Colin depicts the life and activity of the area. His work is regularly selected for prestigious exhibitions such as the Sunday Times Watercolour competition and the Royal Institute of Painters in Oils. He is an elected member of the Royal institute of Painters in Watercolour (RI), the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA) and the Society of Equestrian Artists (SEA).

He has received many awards for his work, including, in 2009, both the Turner Watercolour Award and the Rowland Hilder Award for landscape painting at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour exhibition. He has also twice won the 'Terence Cuneo' medal at the SEA and the “Excellence in Watercolour” prize at the Royal West of England Academy three times.

Selling mainly through exhibitions & galleries his paintings are in private and corporate collections throughout the world.

Colin has lived and worked in Umberleigh in Devon for over 30 years, where he has a studio by the River Taw, in a beautiful area which inspires so much of his work


Society Membership:

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
Royal Society of Marine Artists

Other Society Memberships:

Society of Equestrian Artists, South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts

Biographical details:

1954 Born on 8 March in Barnet, Hertfordshire
1971-75 Worked at a commercial art studio in London and took evening classes St Martins School of Art
1998 Elected a Member of the Society of Equestrian Artists
2001 Elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours
2008 Elected a Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists

Artist's statement:

Most of my work incorporates evidence of man’s influence on the environment and I draw much of my subject matter from farms, markets and the coastline here in the South West. Through the activity and the way the changing light affects the subject, I aim to catch the sense of atmosphere and time at a particular moment.


Royal West of England Academy
The Wykeham Gallery
Burton Art Gallery & Museum, Bideford, North Devon
‘Lynn Painter Stainers Prize’
Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition
‘The Great British Landscape’
‘May Magic’
‘The Ruralists’
‘Art in Nature’

Method of working:

My method of working is to draw on the spot, catching a sense of time and place. These can be simple studies but are often more complex, allowing me to adjust and alter the image later. In the studio these drawings, supplemented with some photographs, become the basis of my artwork. With watercolour I favour a handmade tinted paper from a Somerset mill, on which I can manipulate the painting by washing out certain areas, scratching with a scalpel blade and adding body colour until I have achieved the feel I want. The addition of body colour gives some of the washes a chalky and atmospheric quality. I also paint in oils using drawings as a starting point, although with both these mediums I do paint on the spot. Often these paintings are complete in themselves but can be the basis for a larger, finished work back in the studio.

Scholarships, Awards, Prizes:

‘Excellence in Watercolour’, Royal West of England Academy, 2001/03/08
‘The Terence Cuneo Medal’, Society of Equestrian Artists, 1999/2003
‘Frank Herring Award’, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours
First Prize, ‘Royal Bath and West Exhibition’
‘Daler Rowney Award’, Royal Watercolour Society, 1991


‘A Picture of Devon’, 2008
‘International Artist’, 2005
‘Colin Allbrook’s North Devon’, 2002
‘The Artist’, 2002
‘Artist & Illustrator’,

Colin Allbrook RI RSMA SEA


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