Preston’s bustling streets and peaceful landscapes inspire local artist as his first solo exhibition opens in the city

Posted on - 19th August, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, People, Preston City Centre, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
Tulketh Mill and Blackpool Road painted by artist Daniel Roy Sharples Pic: Daniel Sharples

An artist and teacher from Preston is set to launch his first solo exhibition in the city. Drawing inspiration from the local area, Daniel Roy Sharples’ striking oil paintings of Preston’s city streets and beautiful rural landscapes will go on display at The Larder from Saturday (21 August). We went along to meet Daniel and find out more.

Painting en plein air along Lancaster Canal Pic: Daniel Sharples

Daniel Roy Sharples specialises in portrait and landscape painting. After completing a BA Hons in Illustration and a PGCE in Applied Art and Design, Daniel taught for four years in Hong Kong and is now Head of Art at Walton-le-Dale High School.

“I really have loved art for as long as I can remember,” said Daniel. “I started drawing from about the age of four and never stopped. I studied Art at GCSE but only really got into painting when I studied Fine Art at college. I regret studying Illustration. I should have continued with Fine Art. If I could turn time back, I wouldn’t have gone to university at all, I would have saved up all my pennies and gone to train in a little atelier in Florence!”

Artist Daniel Roy Sharples painting en plein air Pic: Daniel Sharples

Daniel has exhibited his work at various galleries around the country, including the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Society of British Artists annual exhibitions.

“Locally, I usually exhibit work in the Harris Open and places like The Grundy in Blackpool,” said Daniel. “I have never had a solo exhibition before though so it has been a big challenge putting together 25 paintings for the opening.”

The sun setting behind the Church of St Walburge’s, captured in oils by artist Daniel Roy Sharples Pic: Daniel Sharples

Daniel works primarily in oils, taking inspiration from the people and places around him. He prefers to paint en plein air, setting up his easel and working solidly outside for two hours or three to four hours for larger pieces.

“I just love the effects you can get with oils,” he said. “You can’t achieve the same value range or sense of luminosity with any other medium. They also dry very slowly, which I prefer, as I will often spend days or weeks on a studio painting or I might rework a plein air painting a day or two later.”

An urban scene by Preston Docks, painted by artist Daniel Roy Sharples Pic: Daniel Sharples

One wall of The Larder is filled with his ‘nocturnes’, cityscapes painted at night from Daniel’s car. “If I was making art purely for myself, I would probably never stop painting lonely-looking retail car parks around the outskirts of Preston. There’s something about the lights from the shops and signs that I really like.

“But I do want to actually sell some paintings so I go for more scenic spots too. I enjoy painting on the Docks. I think it’s beautiful, especially at night. I also like painting Lancaster Canal and buildings from Preston’s industrial past. I think Tulketh Mill looks very impressive silhouetted against the sunset.

A plein air painting of Preston docks by artist Daniel Roy Sharples. Pic Daniel Sharples.

“I’m not a big fan of the coast. I have painted at places like Lytham St Anne’s, which is nice, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I’d much rather be painting the inner city with all the hustle and bustle, cars and lights. I do like lush rural landscapes too. I paint up Beacon Fell quite a bit and some of the views are amazing.”

Daniel will be adding a further ten paintings to his exhibition at The Larder Pic: Daniel Sharples

Daniel admires the work of two artists who paint outside regularly, Pete the Street and Marc Dalessio. Peter Brown, more affectionately known as ‘Pete the Street’, is a Bath-based artist, an all-weather painter of street scenes and city landscapes who paints outside every day. Marc Dalessio is an American plein air landscape painter and portrait artist based in Europe who works from life.

As well as painting landscapes Daniel also paints portraits. “I started off doing mainly portraits. I still do quite a lot of portrait commissions alongside my landscape work and a lot of my studio paintings tend to be portraits. As well as commissions, I enjoy painting my family and friends. A painting I made of my niece on my wedding day won the Dry Red Press Award at last year’s Royal Institute of Oil Painters’ Exhibition and was published as a greeting card, which I was thrilled about.”

Daniel Roy Sharples will be hosting a ‘Meet the Artist’ event at The Larder Pic: Lisa Brown

Daniel is looking forward to meeting the public at his ‘Meet the Artist’ event, and I wondered if he had any advice for aspiring artists and painters.

“I’d encourage people to go outside and paint from real life,” said Daniel. “Just go out and give it a go. You don’t need an easel, start off with pencil, paper and watercolours in a sketch book.”

Once the exhibition opens at The Larder Daniel will continue painting and adding to the paintings on display. “I am due to add an extra 10 or so plein air landscape paintings to the exhibition by the end of August, so I will be travelling around Preston looking for nice painting spots.”

‘Painting Preston’, an exhibition of Daniel Roy Sharples’ oil paintings, will be on display at The Larder, 50 Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1DD from Saturday 21 August to Saturday 9 October. The Larder is currently open each Monday and Thursday from 10am to 3pm, and every fourth Saturday from 11am to 1pm.

All of Daniel’s paintings will be available to buy. He will be hosting a ‘Meet the Artist’ event at The Larder on Saturday 21 August between 1pm and 3pm, when you will be able to meet Daniel and view the exhibition.

You can follow Daniel Roy Sharples on Facebook, and view more of his work on his website,

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Will you be going to the exhibition? Let us know in the comments.

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