Russell Flint

Sir William Russell Flint

P.R.A., P.R.W.S., R.S.W., R.O.I., R.E.
phone 01623 799 309

William Russell Flint was a popular Scottish artist who was born in 1880 and passed away in 1969.  Flint’s father was also a designer and artist and was the source of much encouragement for his son’s artistic aspirations.

After serving in the Royal Navy during World War I, Flint attended the Royal Academy of Art in Edinburgh, Scotland and studied art independently at the British Museum while working as an illustrator.  Early in his career, Flint worked as an illustrator for the Illustrated London News and illustrated several books, including “The Canterbury Tales.”

Best known for his watercolor paintings of beautiful women, Flint was greatly influenced by his travels to Europe, where he painted images of the lovely French countryside and gained an appreciation for street scenes in Spain that included flamenco dancers.  Using these scenes, Flint produced paintings of Spanish women, the beauty of whom was perfectly portrayed in his work and contributes to the continued popularity of paintings created by the artist.

William Russell Flint’s masterpieces reveal his unique concentration on lighting affects and textures and he always used live models from which to sketch drawings on canvas, which he then painted over with watercolors.

Flint’s artistic style was quite unique and greatly appreciated in the world of art and he was honored with a membership to the Royal Academy of Art in 1933.  Because of his priceless contribution as a Scottish artist, he also received the honor of knighthood in 1947.

At the time of his death in 1969, William Russell Flint was writing his autobiography and he produced watercolor paintings until he died.

Flint’s artwork continues to gain popularity and value as time passes.  The Flint family allows the reproduction of prints of his masterpieces and they maintain strict control over all aspects of William Russell Flint’s artwork, as well as his legacy that will endure for many generations to come.

Sir William Russell Flint enjoys the title of the greatest watercolor painter of all time.  He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on April 4, 1880 and died from leukemia on December 27, 1969, four months short of his 89th birthday.

He began his artistic career at the age of fourteen, when he became an apprentice lithographic draftsman.  Upon completion of his apprenticeship, Flint worked as a medical illustrator and his early aspiration was to illustrate stories in books.  This aspiration began fulfillment when he was asked to provide illustrations in The Illustrated London News for its edition that was published the week of Christmas in 1903.

While working for The Illustrated London News, Flint’s success as an illustrator grew, as did his reputation, and he was asked to draw illustrations for Haggard’s “King Solomon’s Mines.”  After illustrating ten of those books, Flint joined the Royal Navy and served in that capacity during the First World War, which was centered in Europe and lasted from 1914 until 1918.

Thereafter, Flint published his first limited edition painting, which was entitled “Phillida.”  Although it was published in 1924, the painting didn’t garner popularity until the decade of the 1950’s, so the artist was in his seventies before he realized true success as an artist.

A popular misconception about Russell Flint is that he created most of his paintings while visiting Spain when, in fact, he usually started work on his masterpieces in France and would complete the paintings at home in London.

Although he painted many landscapes of Scotland, the organizations that published his work determined that collectors most enjoyed paintings that included a “figure piece” and Flint respected their advice and painted pictures that included people and those people were predominantly beautiful women, which contributed to the success of Flint’s artwork.

Flint’s popularity as an artist flourished and demand for his watercolor paintings increased and a total of seventy paintings were published between 1951 and 1969, when he passed away.  Between 1924 and 1970, a total of 106 limited edition prints were signed by the artist and published by five different organizations, from which the artist demanded high quality prints of his artwork.

After Flint’s death in 1969, publishing of additional limited editions continued and included many prints that were awaiting the artist’s autograph but were posthumously published without the artist’s signature.

The beautiful country of Scotland is/was home to many of the world’s finest artists, including sculptors, painters, etchers, engravers, animators, illustrators, caricaturists, calligraphers, cartoonists and photographers.  The following are some of the most successful and highly regarded Scottish artists:

Henry Raeburn was born on March 4, 1756 and passed away on July 8, 1823.  He was orphaned as a child and, although supported by his older brother, resided in “Heriot’s Hospital,” which eventually became known as “George Heriot’s School.”  This institution is a secondary school founded in Edinburgh in 1659 and was instrumental in developing the artistic skills of Henry Raeburn.  Raeburn began as a goldsmith and studied for a short time with a portrait painter in Edinburgh.  He began producing art at an early age, which included creating jewelry and miniature portraits and he eventually began producing oil paint portraits.   Raeburn produced telling likenesses and his work included dramatic and stark realism and unusual lighting.  He was eventually appointed to serve as the official portrait painter of “His Majesty” in Scotland and was knighted in 1822.

William Russell Flint was born in Scotland on April 4, 1880 and died on December 30, 1969.  Mr. Flint was a very successful illustrator and artist who apprenticed as a lithographic draftsman while attending the Royal Academy of Art in Edinburgh in the early part of the 20th century.  He also worked as medical illustrator and was employed by the Illustrated London News for four years.  Flint is most famous for his watercolor paintings of scantily clad women, but was also the illustrator for classic book The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.  William Russell Flint was knighted in 1947 and enjoys the status of one of Scotland’s most commercially successful artists.

John Byrne was born in Scotland in 1940 and attended the Glasgow School of Art, after which time he took a job at a local factory that produced carpeting.  He didn’t like this dead-end job and reinvented himself using the pseudonym “Patrick,” under which name he produced many popular images, including album covers for the popular rock and roll band, the Beatles, as well as others.  John Byrne has attained international fame and fortune as an artist and continues to live in Scotland.

John Bellany was born in Port Seton, Scotland on June 18, 1942 and has produced many watercolor portraits as well as large-scale paintings that include his typical mythological style, often featuring half-animal and half-human creatures.  The artwork of John Bellany has been greatly influenced by the coastal area from which he hailed and often includes paintings of people who inhabit the area’s fishing communities and local harbors.  Mr. Bellany’s masterpieces are currently on display in art galleries all over the world.

Jack Vettriano (whose birth surname was Hoggan) was born in Scotland on November 17, 1951 and was completely self-taught in the field of artwork, producing his earliest works after his girlfriend gave him a paint box for his 21st birthday.  Mr. Vettriano was raised in poverty in an industrial seaside town called Methil, Fife where he resided with his parents and older brother.  From a very early age, he worked at various jobs, including cleaning windows, milk and newspaper deliveries and picking potatoes and his father always took half of the money he made at these jobs.  Jack left school at the age of 16 and apprenticed as an engineer of mining, eventually marrying a woman named Gail, who he left 8 years later when he moved to Edinburgh.  His earliest works were under his birth surname of Hoggan, but he later adopted his mother’s maiden name of Vettriano.  Mr. Vettriano is considered one of Scotland’s most successful artists whose painting called “The Singing Butler” fetches more money than the works of Monet or Van Gogh!

Peter Howson was born in London, England in 1958 and moved to Scotland at the age of four with his family.  He served as an infantry soldier for a short time and left in 1979 to attend the Glasgow School of Art.  Mr. Howson’s masterpieces encompass a variety of themes, including war artwork, social stereotypes and masculinity.  Mr. Howson suffers from Asperger syndrome and has fought drug and alcohol addiction throughout his life, as well as occasional bouts of insanity.  His struggles with addiction caused his conversion to Christianity while hospitalized at Castle Craig Hospital and contributed to his production of religious artwork.  Howson has produced album covers for a variety of musical artists and his fans include musical celebrities like Bob Dylan and Madonna, who own collections of his work.  In 2009, Peter Howson was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his contributions to the field of visual arts.

This is by no means a complete list of successful Scottish artists, but these men are definitely some of the most talented artists who lived and honed their artistic talents in the beautiful and unique country of Scotland.

Sir William Russell Flint was a Scottish artist who lived from April 4, 1880 until December 30, 1969.  He is most famous for his watercolor paintings, but he also used other mediums to produce his masterpieces, including oil paints, tempera and printmaking!

Jane Russell Flint was his mother and she was one of the first female civil servants in Scotland and his father, Francis Wighton Flint, worked as an illuminator and ticket writer.  The Flints had three children, including William Russell Flint, whose talent as an artist was recognized early on in his life, so his parents enrolled him in the Royal School of Art; upon completion, he served as an apprentice for six years as a lithographic artist and designer at a large printing company in Edinburgh, Scotland.

During his early adulthood, Russell Flint moved to London, England where he worked as a medical illustrator and this profession eventually led him to work as a commercial designer and magazine illustrator.  Flint worked for a London newspaper for about 7 years, during which time his artwork was showcased throughout the world because of the popularity and wide distribution of the London newspaper.  Thereafter, Flint began illustrating books, the first of which was “King Solomon’s Mines” in 1905, followed in 1908 by “Of the Imitation of Christ.”  Flint’s work as an illustrator eventually produced four volumes of beautiful illustrations and he continued working in that field until World War I began.

Being commissioned for the war caused Flint to return to his homeland of Scotland, where he produced a watercolor painting known as “Hilda’s Bonnet,” using a piece of the HM airship that he commanded during the war.  When the war ended, Flint lived in London and Europe, traveling the countryside and producing watercolor paintings of local cultures and their people.  Between World Wars I and II, Flint’s career as an artist flourished and resulted in his “associate” status at the Royal Watercolour Society, where he later became a full-time member and eventually was named President of the organization in 1936.

While visiting Spain, Russell Flint became infatuated with Spanish dancers and he created a lot of portraits that many consider crass and unprofessional since they involve eroticized, scantily clad women.  Flint’s passion for art included works that he produced using sketches and he produced a large volume of this work that he entitled “Drawings.”

Flint continued to work as a successful artist right up until his death in late 1969, at which time he was actively working on his autobiography.  Titled “In Pursuit,” his autobiography sold over 1,000 copies in one edition.  The autobiographical information contained in Flint’s writing was later used by Ralph Lewis publishing, which created two different biographies about William Russell Flint.

King George VI knighted William Russell Flint in 1947 and Flint remains one of Scotland’s most famous artists, who produced a beautiful collection of some of the most prized and sought-after artistic watercolor paintings in the world. Read More

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William Russell Flint

Sir William Russell Flint is a renowned Scottish artist who was born on April 4, 1880 in Edinburgh, Scotland to a father who was a watercolorist and graphic artist.  Flint became artistic early in his life, starting with drawing in sketchbooks and he remained active in the world of art until his death in London, England on December 30, 1969.

Mr. Flint worked as a lithographic draftsman while studying at the Royal Academy of Art in Edinburgh from 1894 until 1900.  From 1900 through 1902, he worked as a medical illustrator and was a part-time student at Heatherley’s Art School in the Chelsea area of London, England.  Thereafter, he worked as an artist for the “Illustrated London News” and was responsible for the illustrations in the classic book called “The Canterbury Tales,” written by Geoffrey Chaucer and illustrated by Flint in 1912.

William Russell Flint was “knighted” in 1947 and was President of Britain’s Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours from 1936 until 1956, which is now known as the Royal Watercolour Society.

Mr. Flint continued to work as an illustrator of books until 1929 and began taking frequent trips to Europe, particularly Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain.  He used his experiences on these trips to produce much of the artwork that was close to his heart, including landscapes, marine life and scantily clad women.

Mr. Flint especially enjoyed visiting Spain and was very impressed by the female Spanish dancers there and he frequently included them in his artwork that consisted mostly of women.  Because of the risqué nature of his paintings, he received little respect from his fellow artists, who considered his artwork to be crass and too eroticized for most people’s tastes.

William Russell Flint is famous for his brilliant use of watercolors, but he also produced artwork using oil paints, printmaking and tempera, which was a common form of painting before the advent of oil paints and consists of colored powders that are mixed with egg yolks.  This form of painting was very popular at one time and is still used today by some artists.

Although Sir William Russell Flint produced a lot of artwork, he is most famous for his “nudes,” using models that were leggy and had long, flowing hair, pronounced bone structure and beautiful, glowing skin.  His portraits of these women usually cast a “gypsy” or Spanish air to the painting and these paintings comprise his most famous artwork.
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There’s nothing more rewarding to an up-and-coming artist than seeing his or her paintings, water colors or signed prints on display in an art gallery!  Opportunities often arise to display your artwork in other settings, as well, which may or may not be a good idea, depending on the setting and the people who will be viewing your work.  A lot of people buy art while traveling on business trips or vacations and many of these purchases are “impulse buys.”

If you are an artist and wondering whether to display your hours of work for the public to view, consider these factors:

1)     You want to attract potential buyers to your work, but you also want you’re  protected from damage by people or environmental factors, so the first thing you should clarify is whether the displaying establishment or you will be responsible for maintaining insurance coverage to protect against damage or loss of your work.

2)     Before committing to display your work in a public area, ask the proprietor of the property if you can have an “opening” to which you can invite friends and family to produce a crowd that will attract other people who enjoy viewing and purchasing artwork.  The announcement of such an opening event can be done via local newspapers, the property owner’s website (or other applicable websites), on-site via posters and/or flyers that are given to visiting patrons or by you via email or whatever other means you may think would be effective.

3)     For displaying your fine artwork, you should pick a site that has a lot of people traffic, but that isn’t an area where those people are in a hurry and distracted by whatever they may be doing.  You need to pick a site where people are leisurely walking and have time to stop and view the artwork on the walls, easels or other display modes.

4)     You have to be the person in charge of selecting the sites for displaying your various artworks so that you can make sure your productions will look as good as possible.  You don’t want your work to end up on display in some darkly lit corridor or where the room or its contents (furniture, rugs, carpeting, painting, etc.) appear shabby, dirty or dreary.

5)     Your artwork should appear as if it’s being shown in an art gallery, even if it’s on display in a restaurant, hotel or other place where the sales of artwork are not common.  This can be easily accomplished with the use of lighting, which highlights your work and draws the attention of potential buyers.

6)     You may want to consider asking the property managers if they would be willing to trade their services in exchange for the display of your work.  For instance, if you are displaying your artwork at a hotel, you may want to ask for complimentary room accommodations or, if you are displaying your artwork in a restaurant, you could ask for complimentary meals in exchange for allowing the display of your work.  This can be a means of compensation for you, especially in the event that none of your artwork sells during the display period.

7)     Another thing to consider is giving the display property proprietor a small percentage of the purchase price for any artwork you sell at their location.

8)     If you decide to display your work, make sure that your full contact information is easily visible and situated very close to your display.

9)     Along with your contact information, you should display full details of how the artwork will be sent to the new owner, including crating and shipping means and who will pay the applicable charges.  Providing this relevant information with your artwork clarifies questions the potential buyer may have and results in a greater probability of selling your work to interested parties.

10)    You need to make it easy for potential buyers to pay you for the sale of your artwork, so you should consider accepting multiple types of payment, including credit cards, debit cards and PayPal-type means of compensation.