Welcome to GalleryLeFort - please browse the site by clicking on the links below

Contemporary Fine Art

Artists > Bill Toop R.I., M.C.S.D., A.O.I.


Society Membership:

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

Other Society Memberships:

Chartered Society of Designers Association of Illustrators, MSCD

Biographical details:

1945 Born on the 27th May in Bere Regis, Dorset
Bath Academy of Art (Howard Hodgkin, Robyn Denny etc)
Winchester College of Art
Southampton Art College
Art Faculty, Bristol Polytechnic
Bournemouth College of Art
1971 Lecturer in Illustration at Southampton College of Art
1976 Open his own Gallery in Salisbury, Wiltshire
1981 Member of the Association of Illustrators
2000 Moved his gallery to Dorset near Dorchester where heI demonstrates on a Saturday during the annual RI show at the Mall Galleries and also in the evening at the RI events evening.

Artist's statement:

Having been told that I would never make a living painting in watercolour, ‘only abstract oil matter’, by the Principal of Bath Academy of Art in 1962, I have been proving him wrong ever since. I love watercolour, it has a wonderful life of its own, everyday something new happens.

Bill studied at Bath Academy of Art with tutors including Howard Hodgkin (knighted in 1992), Robyn Denny and Stephen Russ, at Southampton Art College, and the Art Faculty, Bristol Polytechnic with Derek Crowe. His work is exhibited in galleries in the U.S.A. and in many galleries in London and the South of England. His work has been exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy and is always seen at the world renowned annual open exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours at the Mall Galleries in central London.

Bill Toop's paintings are in very many private and public collections in Great Britain, the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, France, South Africa, Holland, Belgium and Oman.

He has had twenty three very successful one-man exhibitions and shared in twenty-two two to four person exhibitions since 1971.

Paintings in Collections;

The Sultan of Oman, Northern Telecom, British Gas, The Atomic Energy Authority, The Institute of Directors, Whitbread Inns, Coutts & Co., The Sedgwick Group, NFU Mutual and Avon Insurance, The Royal School of Signals, The Devonshire & Dorset Regiment, Dorset County Council, The Ministry of Agriculture, Sumitomo Marine & Fire Insurance, Lloyds Bank, Bishopgate Insurance, Halstead Ltd., Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum, the Earl of Radnor, Viscount & Viscountess Head, Lord Congleton, Lady Chichester, Lady Poett, Lady Tryon, Lady Avon, Lady Vanderfelt, The Hon. Mary Morrison, Sir Christopher & Lady Benson, His honour Judge Wood, Sir Harry & Lady Secombe, Esther Rantzen and the late Desmond Wilcox, Mr & Mrs Andrew Harvey, Parick Gowers, Esq., etc.etc.

Painting, Illustration and three dimensional commission clients include:- BBC TV, Geoge Phillip Group, West Country Tourist Board Westbay (Martini-Rossi/Bacardi Ltd., British Gas, Southern Tourist Board, National Westminster Bank, The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment, The Piscatorial Society, Salisbury District Council, Costain UK Englineering and Construction Lttd., Gifford & Partners Construction engineers, Wiltshire Constabulary, MacFisheries, National Gardens Scheme, Robert Hale (Publications) Ltd., Allan & Bertram (Publishers) Ltd., Conservation Books Ltd., Rexel Cumberland Ltd., UKLF Wilton, Southern Cathedrals Festival, Sir Charles & Lady Hardie, Sir Philip Shelbourne, Mr & Mrs Leslie Thomas, The Hon. Aylmer Tryon, Highway Holidays, Templeton walker Ltd., Parry Mitchell Esq.

Bill Toop was born in Bere Regis, Dorset. After Art College he moved to Salisbury, where he lived for 37 years during which time he gained a national and international reputation for his watercolour painting.


2008 Shared Exhibition at Bell Fine Art
2008 Shared Exhibition (Modern Masters) at UK Fine Art , Ledbury
2000 Exhibition, Taurus Gallery Oxford
2000 Exhibition at the Durngate Gallery, Dorchester
1985 One man exhibition at the Lyric, Hammersmith
1976 -2008 Continuous showing at the Bill Toop Gallery, both Salisbury and Dorset
1976 -2006 16 One man exhibitions at the Salisbury Playhouse
1974 First One man exhibition, The Audley Gallery, Salisbury
1971 First ever exhibition shared with Joy Wheeler at Gallery 24, Shaftsbury

Method of working:

I use watercolour in as many different ways as possible, always looking for something new. I use Arches, NOT surface stretched 90lb paper. I work with brush (Winsor and Newton), toothbrush, finger, bit of stick. I think incidentally that watercolour is possibly the ‘greatest’ method of producing 2D artwork. I almost always concentrate on one artwork at a time, but occasionally I need to leave something to consider it at length. I draw a small sketch in pencil with written colour notes first, sometimes following with a rough colour sketch. However, sometimes the final artwork moves in an entirely different direction, and I go with it. I approach commissions carefully, trying to establish the exact needs of the client. I usually produce a pencil drawing of the subject and submit it to the client for approval – sometimes showing a colour sketch as well.

Scholarships, Awards, Prizes:

The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award for what is considered the most outstanding use of light and colour in watercolours at the annual RI exhibition.


BBC ‘Artists is the South’
Books illustrated for Robert Hale (publications) Ltd, Allan and Bostram (Publishers) ltd, National Gardens Scheme, Conservation Books ltd, The Lutterworth Press

The following five images are courtesy of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and for information purposes only, they are not available for sale through the gallery or this website.

Image from Bill Toop 

Bazaar (1)

Image from Bill Toop


Image from Bill Toop 


Image from Bill Toop


Image from Bill Toop 


Bill Toop R.I., M.C.S.D., A.O.I.


Home | About Us | Artists | Sculptors | Exhibitions | Browse Gallery | Contact Us
LeFort Fine Art

Copyright (c) 2019 www.gallerylefortfineart.com. All rights reserved