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  • Where can I buy your work?
    My paintings, drawings, limited edition prints, and my new book can be purchased through my shop.
  • Tell me more about your book
    David Cobley RP NEAC is perhaps most celebrated as a professional portrait painter, counting among his sitters royalty and a host of well-known, distinguished public figures from many walks of life. Portrait painting, however, is only one aspect of his work, and this insightful book sets the record straight. Driven by his fascination with the way human beings think, move and behave, he has used his technically accomplished powers to depict people at work, rest and play throughout his career, pursuing a private vision in his voluminous self portraits, nudes, still lifes, studio interiors and crowd scenes. This book discusses artistic influences and puts Cobley’s work into an art historical context by charting his brief time at Liverpool School of Art in the 1970s, his wilderness years in Japan, solo exhibitions in Bath and London, and the often surprising way his work continues to develop. The book, David Cobley All By Himself, can be ordered through my shop.
  • Do you accept commissions?
    Yes. I will paint just about anything. It might be the size of a postcard or a tennis court. It could be figurative or totally abstract. Nothing is out of the question. Enquiries can be sent via my contact page or by emailing
  • How do you go about painting a portrait?
    I try and make sure that it is as much fun as possible for everyone concerned. I am very flexible in the way I approach a commission, but a typical scenario might be as follows: Stage 1 A discussion about the kind of thing you are looking for. Who is it of? How big will it be? Where will it hang? Is it to be formal or informal? Stage 2 A meeting with the sitter (although I have on occasions painted someone without having met them). I like to gather as much information as I can. I do this by making mental notes, drawing, taking photos and so on. Stage 3 Back in the studio I begin to develop a composition. I make sketches and use the computer to play with the images I now have to come up with something that allows me to make a start on the portrait itself. Stage 4 A discussion about the composition then follows. There might be a second meeting to finalise the composition, take more photos, or both. Only when we are agreed on the composition do I ask for a first payment*. Stage 5 First sitting. I like to work directly from life if possible, and a sitting generally lasts around two hours. The canvas has been prepared and the composition has been mapped out. Depending on the size of the portrait and the availabilty of the sitter there might be several more sittings, as well as quite a lot of activity in the studio. Stage 6 The painting process, particularly with a large portrait, might take several months, but once I am happy with the result we have a look at the finished painting together. There may be things you are not entirely happy about, and it might be necessary for me to make one or two adjustments before the painting is finished. Stage 7 Framing. You may have a frame and/or framer in mind, but if not I am happy to advise. Stage 8 Delivery. I usually deliver the painting myself, but if this is not possible I know a fine art shipping agent who will deliver anywhere in the world. *A note on prices. A painting might cost anything from a few thousand pounds to quite a lot more, depending on the size and complexity of the project. I ask for a 1/3 deposit on approval of the composition and the balance on completion. Please email or call to discuss.
  • Do you do any tutoring?
    Yes, I am happy to help wherever I can. I tutor one-to-one, and give demonstrations or run workshops from time to time. Enquiries can be sent via my contact page or by emailing
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