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Artist R C Martin's Résumé

Robert Martin is a UK Sussex born self-taught Landscape Artist who gave up a successful electronic engineering career to follow his first love of painting. He spent two and a half years in north Wales developing his skills after which he returned to Sussex to live close to the South Downs at Polegate where he drew much of his inspiration.


The mediums he uses are Acrylic, Oils and Water colour in his field and studio work.

He has had successful exhibitions in North Wales and Sussex which has led to a number of his works being exported as far as Tasmania and the USA. All the pictures shown on this site and on the linked pages are for sale. If you are interested please contact Robert directly by E-MAIL Or use the links below to see more.......


If you are interest in any of the paintings (or Prints) on this web site and would like more information and pricing please use the follow the links above to get in contact with the artist R C Martin. Robert is now resident in Aubins St Vaast, Northern France, where he exploring the picturesque views as potential arts.


Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint consisting of small pigment particles suspended in any light carrier other than water. Oil paints have been used in England as early as the 13th century for simple decoration, but were not widely adopted for artisic purposes until the 15th century. The most common modern application of oil paint is domestic, where its hard-wearing properties and luminous colours make it desirable for both interior and exterior use.

The slow-drying properties of organic oils were commonly known to early painters. However, the difficulty in acquiring and working the materials meant that they were rarely used. As public preference for realism increased, however, the quick-drying tempera paints became insufficient. Flemish artists combined tempera and oil painting during the 1400s, but by the 1600s easel painting in pure oils was common, using much the same techniques and materials found today.


When exposed to air, vegetable oils do not undergo the same evaporative process that water does. Instead, they oxidize into a dry solid. Depending upon the source, this process can be very slow, and it is this property which gives oil paints their unique characteristics.

This earliest and still most commonly used vehicle is linseed oil, made from the seed of the flax plant. The seeds are crushed and the oil extracted. Modern processes use heat or steam in order to produce a larger volume of oil, but cold-pressed oils are generally considered superior for artistic use. Other sources of carrier oils exist. Poppies, walnuts, and soy beans, are often used as a substitute for the relatively expensive linseed.

Once the oil is extracted additives are sometimes used improve its chemical properties. In this manner the paint can be made to dry more quickly if that is desired, or to have varying levels of gloss. Modern oils paints can, therefore, have complex chemical structures; for example, affecting resistance to UV or giving a suede like appearance


The colour of oil paint derives from the small particles mixed with the carrier. Common pigment types include mineral salts such as white oxides: lead, zinc and titanium, and the red to yellow cadmium pigments. Another class consists of earth types, e.g sienna or umber. Synthetic pigments are also now available. Natural pigments have the advantage of being well understood through centuries of use but synthetics have a greatly increased the spectrum available, and many are tested well for their lightfastness.


The main disadvantage of oils paints is the relative complexity of use when compared to acrylic paint or tempera. The carrier is usually highly resistant to water and requires some sort of solvent such as turpentine or benzene to clean up. These are toxic and must be handled with care. The pigments may also be dangerous. Lead is toxic, which is an important reason why it has mainly been replaced with zinc and titanium. Cadmium can cause cancer with prolonged inhalation. Both the carriers and the materials used to clean them are also highly flammable. Paper or rags soaked in pure linseed oil are known to ignite spontaneously.


1. Charles Eastlake, Materials for a History of Oil Painting, Longman, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longman, 1847.
2. H. Gluck, The Imprermanences of Painting is Relation to Artist's Materials, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Volume CXII 1964
3. Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil, United States Environmental Protection agency.
4. Mayer, Ralph. The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques Viking Adult; 5th revised and updated edition, 1991. ISBN 0670837016



Watercolor is a painting technique using paint made of colorants suspended or dissolved in water. Although the grounds used in watercolor painting vary, the most common is paper. Others include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, leather, fabric, wood, and canvas.

History of watercolor painting

Watercolor painting began with the invention of paper in China shortly after 100 AD. In the 12th century the conquering Moors introduced papermaking to Spain and the technology spread to Italy decades later. Some of the oldest paper manufactures include Fabriano, Italy, opened in 1276, and Arches, France, opened in 1492.

The forerunner of watercolor painting in Europe was buon fresco painting — wall-painting using pigments in a water medium on wet plaster. One well-known example of buon fresco is the Sistine Chapel, begun in 1508 and completed in 1514.

The earliest known use of European watercolor painting is by Italian Renaissance painter Raffaello Santi (1483-1520), who painted full-scale cartoons as precursors for tapestry designs.

In Germany, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) painted watercolors in the 15th century. The first school of watercolor painting in Europe was led by Hans Bol (1534-1593) and was much influenced by Dürer's creations.

Other famous artists have used watercolor painting to supplement their work with oil paint, including van Dyck (1599-1641), Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), and John Constable (1776-1837).

In 18th century Britain, Paul Sandby (1725–1809) was called the father of British watercolor.

Watercolor paint

The broader term for water-based painting media is watermedia. The term watercolor most often to refers to traditional transparent watercolor or gouache (an opaque form of the same paint).

Watercolor paint is made of finely-ground pigment or dye mixed with gum arabic for body, and glycerin or honey for viscosity and to bond the colorant to the painting surface. Unpigmented filler is added to gouache to lend opacity to the paint. Oil of clove is used to prevent mold.


Traditionally, watercolor paint is applied with brushes, but it may be applied with other implements in experimental approaches or mixed with other materials (usually acrylic or collage).

The paint is thinned before application to allow for lighter areas within the painting. This transparency provides watercolor its characteristics of brightness, sparkle, freshness, and clarity of color since light has passed through the film of paint and is reflected back to the viewer through the film.

According to a tradition, dating from at least the early 20th century, the white of the paper is the only white used in transparent watercolor. Opaque paint is seldom used for whites or to overpaint.

Watercolor techniques have the reputation of being quite demanding, although they are actually no more demanding than those used with other media. Maintaining a high quality of value differences and color clarity are typically the most difficult properties to achieve and maintain.

The medium is effective in portraiture, figurative art, photorealism, and abstract work, both objective and non-objective. (Kandinsky produced the first non-objective abstract paintings in transparent watercolor around 1913).

Watercolor proponents prize it as a studio medium for its lack of odor and ease of cleanup, and also as a plein air medium for its portability and quick drying.

Fingerpainting originated in China with watercolor paints.


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