A conversation with Ian Sidaway from “An Illustrated Journey”

Here’s the next interview with the contributors to my new book An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers

Ian Sidaway has taught so many people to become better artists; as the author of many instructional books, he is a legend. I find looking at his work so inspiring — his watercolors are so pristine, the colors so vivid but still atmospheric. And his line is so consistent and almost photographic. I have learned the most from his compositions; he turns every landscape spread in his Moleskines into perfectly balanced CinemaScope.

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Ian shares a lot more in my book. Here’s an excerpt:

“I was born in the Industrial East Midlands into a family of miners and clay workers. My passion was the great outdoors and collecting bones, birds eggs, nests, and pressed flowers, and in the 1950s and early 60s, believe me, not many working class boys did that! These are the things I would draw and I hoped to pursue that interest by working either in the Nature Conservancy or the Forestry Commission. Both required academic qualifications which were beyond me, so I went to art college as a way of entering either of these organizations through the back door, possibly as an illustrator. Once at art college, design became my metier and, after four years of study, I found myself working as a designer at the J W Thompson advertising agency in London, a job I disliked. There followed a period of freelancing during which time I began to paint. I guess I dropped out before I ever dropped in..…” (continued)

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Please don’t forget to check out Ian’s blog.

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7 thoughts on “A conversation with Ian Sidaway from “An Illustrated Journey”

  1. Danny, Thanks for this! So interesting. Ian Sidaway has long been a mentor to me through his books. Such fun to see and listen to him! Such beautiful sketches and he really is a master of the pen drawing! I’m inspired!

  2. Re reading Ian’s pages in the terrific new book, I keep coming across the phrase ‘pare watercolor’…and I’ve no idea what that means… Could you enlighten me please?
    Thanks!

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