The Art of England - original illustrations and hand-signed prints of England.

My family has a history of creativeness. My great grandfather was a decorative mosaic tiler around Islington, my father a self taught draughtsman and commercial artist working in the City and living in Essex. My sister is a fantastic illustrator and lives in Norfolk and both my children have an rich artistic and creative streak.

About my drawing / illustration technique

I have dabbled with many mixed medium illustration techniques and have moved away from colour works for my landscapes for now, and favour pen and wash. It's a mixture of the technique of watercolour but using a combination of indian ink, soft pencil dip pen or ink pen, masking fluid and sometimes markers. I prefer to sit at the scene in question or make studies and take photographs and finish them in the studio. The illustrations have bought much praise from from art critics. The black and white tonal range can describe the subject's form and lighting precisely and I find it cuts down on unintentional distractions in the scene and keeps to the intended focal points. It is interesting that most people quite often delight in black and white photography and how it flatters the subject like colour never could. Black and white is slick and stylish and one consideration for buyers that crops up time and again is that black and white's neutral palette fits in with room schemes and decor better.

To my mind colour styles and techniques can inadvertently date illustrations and age-group the artist. How many times have you seen an illustration and thought it looked old fashioned? 

My artistic roots and illustration influences

Rob Wisdom
I grew up in Billericay, Essex, England surrounded with my fathers magic markers and indian ink bottles and used to sit on our staircase on rainy days drawing and colouring. All through school my art was everywhere - exercise book covers were studded with random doodles and illustrated caricatures of teachers and I designed the school newsletters. I left secondary school with an O'Level Grade A in Art, and the same grade for Ceramics (Pottery).

I studied at Southend Art College from 1981 for four years and attained A level Grade A for Art & Design and a BTEC in Graphic Design as well as developing a keen interest in photography.

Inspirations include Mrs King my art teacher at The Billericay School, Reg Gray - a published illustrator and my drawing teacher at Southend College, and Kent's treasure - Roland Hilder, whose mastery of watercolour, the ability to quickly capture form, mood and above all light and tone constantly amazes me. I recently saw the work of William Holman Hunt (Pre-raphelite Brotherhood) which I think has no equal. I share their love of England.

Golden Era Collectors Cards - 100's of illustrations
My father and I have illustrated hundreds of classic cars on collectors cards by Golden Era and we both have our styles. During this time I owned a few classic cars including an E-Type Jaguar, perhaps the most British of cars ever? I got to personally meet the legendary John Cooper (of Mini Cooper fame) to collaborate on hand signed endorsement of my work, meet the great Colin Chapman's son Clive who runs a historic Lotus team and have Carol Shelby (of Shelby Mustang / Cobra fame) sign my artwork.

Perhaps you have seen a set of the collectors cards, prints or postcards hanging on the wall or at a classic car meet?

On the basis of this successful work, I was commissioned by a third party to illustrate a set of five stamps for Guernsey Post Office to celebrate 100 years of motoring on Guernsey. My father represented my work at the unveilling, and met another Wisdom - Norman Wisdom at the launch!

My family currently live in Tiptree and I have a graphic design and marketing company called Wisdom Cannell Design nearby in Feering, Essex.

A love of all things British and my creativeness leads me to visit and chronicle those English scenes that collectively make us all proud to be part of such a great country. Around every hedgerow there is natural history. In every town there is unique and diverse man-made history, and the coast that frames our land is ever-changing but always beautiful. The more places you visit and spend a few hours in, the more is discovered.

My work bearing H.M. The Queen's head - proud moments.
England's natural assets be-jewelled with great cities, charming towns, picturesque villages and sleepy hamlets all fuse together to make Great Britain the place the world wants to come see.

I truly hope you enjoy my illustrative way of capturing some of this great nation with my original drawings and prints. Please do leave messages if you are inspiried by my work, and if you are artistic too - follow your talent - it's so easy in this busy world to forget how enjoyable it can be.

Here is a handy map to see where I have been recently with my sketchbook.You can click on the blue flags to see my pictures and write-ups.

See where I have sketched The Art of England in Google maps

All the best in illustrating!

Rob Wisdom - illustrator
The Art of England 

All illustrations © Robert R Wisdom 2013