Rob Dudley Interview

Sharon Davidson from Davidson Fine Art interviews Rob Dudley

When you are out on the coastal paths or river banks, what makes you decide on the scene you go on to paint?

It’s all about the light, if the scene has great shadows, sparkles or glows because of the light I will stop, sketch, photograph or paint. It could be anywhere from a recognised beauty spot to a little known stretch of coastline or river.
What do you most enjoy painting?

Sounds like a flippant answer, but whatever Im painting at the time! I love the coast but I’m equally at home on the moors or down by a river.
You famously write the gags for Shaun the Sheep, what would you say is more difficult, writing or painting?

The writing of Shaun is very much a collaborative effort, I have a writing partner and we bounce ideas off each other or the storyboard artist, director even other writers offer comments. However when painting its just between me and the brush! Both have difficult bits…few easy, but, overall I think that painting is more difficult….or it might be writing…no, definitely painting…
You also teach watercolour painting, do you think everyone is capable of learning or are some people just hopeless?

Everybody can be shown how to paint, and with practice everybody will improve. No one is hopeless indeed I have taught people of 80plus who have never painted before how to and within the day they have created watercolours they are proud of.
What is the most common mistake people make when using watercolour?

Not planning enough, not knowing how their colours behave and adding structure/ detail to the work too soon.
Whose work do you admire?

Constable and Turner. Constable once wrote of Turner that ‘He seems to paint with tinted steam’…what a master! Contemporary painters David Curtis, David Inshaw and Richard Pikesley.
What do you think of the Turner Prize?

Honestly, it seems somewhat irreverent to name a prize after a painter and then give it to non painters. It has something about the Emperors new clothes about it.
If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you would be?

Now let’s lighten up a little, If you could commit a crime and get away with it, what would you do?

Become an MP
What would your perfect weekend include?

A glass of decent red, white for Sian, a West Ham victory, chocolate and family staying just long enough so that I missed them when they left.
What is your most treasured possession?

Difficult to name one, I have numerous books that I would miss them if I didn't have them. Photo albums, a lovely Victorian calendar that my late Father had. Recently I featured in the Shaun the Sheep movie, along with several of my paintings and the director gave me ‘me’ that now sits on a bookshelf looking down and it has more hair than I do!
Your favourite place in the world?

Mothecombe Beach
Restaurant or pub?

You buying?
Theatre or cinema?

I enjoy both but visit the cinema more.
You have a legendary sense of humour, but what makes you laugh?

People. Everyday comments that people make can be unknowingly funny. I was told recently that a property had burnt down when the owners were away, no one was hurt although there was little left. Very sad and obviously difficult for them , particularly as they had spent many weeks renovating the property. The person telling me this tale, without any sense of irony, added that it was so terrible because the couple had finished the work and were going to host a house warming that evening…
Who from history would you buy a pie and a pint?

Pie and a pint with Laurie Lee, perhaps with my Fathers Grandfather getting a round in as I never met him and I need some answers to some family secrets!
Unfulfilled goals you’d care to share with us?

Sitting in the stands at Wembley as West Ham play Spurs in the FA Cup final and being asked to come on for the last five minutes and score the winning goal!
And finally, what would your epitaph be?

Open other end.

View paintings by Rob Dudley