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Philip Bannister

International watercolour illustrator • Yorkshire

Philip Bannister
Born in Yorkshire, Philip grew up among the county’s heavy industry on the one hand, and its breathtaking natural beauty on the other. The silent moors, dales and fells, with their contrasting shades, inspired his boyhood drawings of 19th century battles. Even today, a strong interplay between light and shadow features in his watercolour illustrations.


After studying at the Batley College of Art – where art history was one of his favourite topics - Philip worked in education, advertising and design before becoming a full-time artist in the 1980s. He has honed and developed his style ever since.


Besides nature, Philip is inspired by history, music, ghosts, poetry and the sky at night – particularly when the darkness is unpolluted by electric lights. English folk songs, American string bands and Victorian music hall tunes often fill the air while he paints.


Philip has a distinctive watercolour style, but loves experimenting with the medium. Often working in monotones, he’s able to accentuate the contrast in his imagery while at the same time drawing out crucial details.
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Illustration of Ben Folds by Philip Bannister
Illustration of Harold Gillies by Philip Bannister
Illustration of Charles Chilton by Philip Bannister
Portrait of Bryce Dessner illustration by Philip Bannister

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