Nick Hardcastle

I studied illustration at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art graduating with an MA in 1981. I then worked as a freelance illustrator in London for about 18 years before moving back to my native Norfolk. However, I am now settled in Bridport in Dorset. My career has stretched across a very wide area from publishing to advertising, design, web design, architectural and editorial work. My illustrations are perfect for any project that has a need for either a straightforward contemporary or retro approach that requires a high level of detail and/or realism. I mainly work with pen and ink and watercolour and I thrive on challenging or obscure briefs.

Some notable commissions from clients have included a series of illustrated panels on the walls of Wapping Underground Station, a drawing of the Royal Train for Intercity that was presented to the Queen and which resides in the library at Windsor Castle.

I have a passion for paintings and photographs that capture a particular atmosphere or effects of light and photo realistic painting. Creating photo realistic artwork is incredibly time-consuming for me but does I feel showcase my particular skills.

My illustration work and watercolour painting seems to leave me little time for much else! Travelling abroad often gives me the inspiration for creating my paintings. A trip to Morocco a few years ago has given me some wonderful and unusual opportunities for creating my atmospheric and realistic paintings of Moroccan life for example.

I have to confess to having a sad boyhood fascination for steam railways that is still with me and I use this as an excuse to take long weekends away to have my fix of steam and smoke and an excuse to sample the local beer and food. I’m a member of the Guild of Railway artists so if you’re looking for someone to illustrate trains then that would be me! I’m hoping that my move to Dorset will give me numerous new painting opportunities and it will be great to be living amongst hills again as Norfolk is somewhat flat.

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