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Paul Sharp ARCA RWS - Twelve 20 Century Drawings: Buildings, Landscapes, Figures

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A collection of twelve illustrations by Paul Sharp in pen and ink, watercolour and graphite. The smallest measures (9.5 x 18 cm), most measure approximately (12.5 x 21.5 cm). Unsigned. On wove.


Mixed condition including some discolouration to the pages.


9.5 x 18cm (3.7" x 7.1")

Collection Information

A collection of illustrations by Paul Sharp, academician for the Royal Academy of Art and member of the Royal Watercolour Society. Provenance: The artist's studio sale, Dominic Winter Auctions 20th June 2013.

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Artist Biography

Paul Spencer Sharp (1912-1998) was artist first and designer second, with an outstanding ability to bring the two disciplines together. He was pioneering in the field of graphic design and came to prominence in the early 1960s when the profession emerged, combining the elements of typography, illustration and commercial art. Sharp was made an Elected Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1956 and a full RWS member in 1960.

Born in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, he attended Wakefield School of Arts and Crafts, and Leeds College of Art, 1940-1. He was called up to serve in the RAF from 1941-6 as a radar technician. Following his demobilisation he studied at the Royal College of Art, 1946-9, obtaining an ARCA Diploma, and then began teaching at Farnham College of Art, ultimately as Head of the Department of Design. In 1960 he left teaching and became a full-time graphic designer. He became artist in situ at Westerham Press, working on a great variety of projects. His reputation as a gifted watercolour illustrator, artist and printmaker grew and he provided work for clients as diverse as the Paul Mellon Foundation, the National Gallery, the British Road Foundation, Sotheby’s, Taylor Woodrow, Royal Doulton, the Mermaid Theatre and the Science Museum.

His distinctive, well-ordered graphic style developed into a personal trademark, his work always demonstrating a formal sense of proportion, careful use of white space and preference for sans serif typefaces. His style illustrates the continuing impact of Bauhaus on mid-twentieth century British design. He had a remarkable ability to catch in a few lines and a few minutes the essence of a building, a landscape or an industrial scene. He could draw through a car window, or under an umbrella in a howling gale. For Nicholson’s Guide to the Thames he drew all of London’s bridges in a day. He carried the British tradition of watercolour, illustration and formal design, in which every detail was meticulously and precisely planned on paper, into the modern world of desktop publishing. He remained a one man design group all his life, imposing a sense of order on books, catalogues, brochures and advertising material of extraordinary diversity.

More Information
Code pa867
Artist Paul Sharp ARCA RWS
Date Mid 20th Century
Dimensions 9.5 x 18cm
Framed No
Medium Pen and Ink
Style Illustration Art
Subject Architecture & Cityscapes
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