Peter Welton watercolour artist

Peter Welton at work in his studio

Peter Welton first encountered art at Leeds Teacher Training College when he was advised to transfer to the Art department from Mathematics where he had failed to appreciate the subtleties of that sublime discipline. He subsequently went on to read Fine Art at Durham University studying under such luminaries as Victor Pasmore, Lawrence Gowing, Richard Hamilton and Quentin Bell.

Peter Welton and HM the Queen in 1992On graduating he worked for a short time as a designer in Repertory theatres before going into teaching on a temporary basis – which lasted thirty years with him occupying the post of Professor of Fine Art at Leicester Polytechnic (now de Montfort University) – before he was able to become a full time watercolour painter in 1990. He has since received many prestigious commissions including a watercolour landscape for HM the Queen in 1992 and a painting of Kimbolton School for HRH the Duke of Gloucester in 1999. In 2001 he completed a commission for the Maharane of Udaipur after visiting India. In 2009 The Princess Royal received her first Welton...a view from the top of St. Peter's church in Arnesby where he lives, and later in the same year HM The Queen added a second Welton to her Private Collection...  a landscape of Scotland featuring Loch Muick, the nearest loch to Balmoral Castle (see photograph above). In 2010 Her Majesty added another Peter Welton work to her Private Collection when she received a picture of "Red Poll Cattle". The significance of this is the fact that The Queen is the Patron of the Red Poll Cattle Society and has a herd of these magnificent beasts at Sandringham.  

The All England Lawn Tennis Club commissioned him to paint a watercolour to celebrate the opening of the new Number 1 court at Wimbledon in 1997 and in 1999 London Transport commissioned a painting, Flora and Fauna, which was used extensively on the Underground throughout that year.

Also in 1999 he painted 14 watercolours for P&O which are part of the permanent collection on board the Aurora. He went to Botswana in 1993 and produced a series of African animal paintings for a safari company which have now been published as a suite of limited edition prints. In 2000 he painted the portrait of Walker Cup golfer Gary Wolstenholme and two landscapes were purchased by the House of Lords for the permanent collection.  

In March 2000 Swan Hellenic invited him to be Artist on Board the cruise liner Minerva which visited Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan and he produced a drawn account of the trip. In 2002 he was again on the Minerva for a cruise from Bangkok to Madras and in January 2003 he cruised extensively in the Far East starting in Sri Lanka and flying back home from Hong Kong four weeks later. Part of his brief on board is to help and encourage passengers to paint in watercolour. In March 2004 he was again working for Swan Hellenic, this time on Minerva 2 sailing from Nassau to New York on a two-week cruise. And in December 2004 he was again on the Minerva 2 sailing from Mauritius to South Africa via Madagascar and Mozambique. Contact him if you want more details on the work he does on the cruise liners either: or telephone his studio on +44 (0)116 247 8761.

In 2001 he was commissioned by New York publishers Houghton Mifflin to do the covers for a new series of Miss Read books. There are 12 books in all with Peter Welton paintings on the covers. These can be seen in the Gallery section of this web site under the heading of English villages.

A new commission in September 2000 took him to Prague, Paris and North America to draw and paint some of the world’s finest hotels... a project which occupied him for most of 2001 and kept him busy for much of 2002.

In 2003 VolkswagenUK marked the 50th anniversary of their decision to import cars into the UK. 7 companies were identified as original partners with VW since 1953.

In order to celebrate and recognise their loyalty VWUK commissioned Peter Welton to paint an original watercolour for each of the seven... and one for the Head Office in Milton Keynes.

He has painted many portraits in watercolour including Dr. Garret Fitzgerald, the Ireland Taoiseach; Hylda Baker, the entertainer, Lei Zhao the lead dancer with the Royal Ballet, Gary Wolstenholme the professional golfer, Prince William and Cherie Blair. He has now painted the portraits of two of his grandchildren....14 year old Ruby and her brother 8 year old Freddy. They are in the PORTRAITS section of this website...unsurprisingly!

He is author of many articles and three books – “See what I mean?” An introductory text in visual communication (co-author John Morgan) published by Edward Arnold in 1986; “How to paint in watercolour” published by Patchings Farm in 1995, and “Peter Welton’s Sketchdiary” published by the author in 1999. His work is featured in several books on art including, “Watercolour” by Angela Gair, Letts 1994 and “Painting great pictures from photographs” David and Charles 1999.

He maintains a link with the world of academe through his position as Emeritus Professor of Fine Art at De Montfort University, Leicester and through the master classes in watercolour painting which he is regularly invited to give all over the world. Click on to his NEWS page on this website for up-to-date information on classes.

In July 2013 he had the great honour of being awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Leicester in recognition of his contribution to the arts.  Dr. Welton is still getting used to his new title !!

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