Artist Spotlight | William Dobbie

This month’s Artist Spotlight features a beloved Glasgow-based artist, William Dobbie. Known for his stunning oils and precise watercolours, Dobbie was also the Official Artist to the Tall Ships’ visit to the Clyde in 1999 and again on their return visit to the Clyde in 2011. Pictures Specialist Makenzie Cool sat down with the artist to find out details of his personal history as an artist and his inspirations.



Q: When did you start painting? Or did you start with another artform first?

Dobbie: I started painting as a child winning highly commended certificates, gold medal, then silver at school.

Q: Who were or are your artistic influences?

Dobbie: Montague Dawson, Norman Wilkinson, J. Steven Dewes

Q: What is your favourite dessert?

Dobbie: Ice cream (usually vanilla)

Q: What is your favourite beverage? 

Dobbie: Diet Irn Bru

Q: Where is your favourite place in Scotland?

Dobbie: Glasgow / Loch Lomond / Dunoon


Q: Is there a medium that you have not yet worked with, but would like to try? 

Dobbie: Keep working to perfect oil and watercolour.

Q: What are other interests you hold outside of painting?

Dobbie: Skiing - Running


Q: Are you into fashion? If not, what is your favourite item of clothing?

Dobbie: Not a follower of fashion, would be nice to think I had my own style but no.

Q: What is one painting by someone else (well known or not) that you wish you had done? 

Dobbie: Lady of Shallot (William Waterhouse) at the Tate London and Glencoe (Horatio McCulloch) at Kelvingrove, Glasgow

Q: What is your favourite painting you have done yourself? Did you keep it for yourself, sell it, was it a commission etc? 

Dobbie: The painting of my favourite boat, a print of which I presented to Princess Anne on behalf of Friends of T.S. Queen Mary on 11th March this year (The Leaving of Rothesay Bay) 

Q: What is your favourite holiday?

Dobbie: Dunoon, Somewhere on Loch Lomond, Sorrento

Q: What are you the proudest of in life/what is your biggest accomplishment?

Dobbie: Winning my gold medal at school, getting married, being appointed official artist to Tall Ships visit to the Clyde in 1999 and 2011, presenting Princess Anne with a print of my painting. 

Q: Who is your favourite artist?

Dobbie: Montague Dawsos / Jack Vettriano, Norman Wilkinson, J. Steven Dewes



Q: If you didn’t paint, what would you want your career to be?

Dobbie: Musician

Q: How much did you sell your first picture for?

Dobbie: 7 shillings and 6 pennies (7/-6d)

Q: Tea or coffee?

Dobbie: Neither

Q: If you could choose to meet any artist or person from history, who would you choose?

Dobbie: Turner or Constable


Q: What is your favourite book?

Dobbie: A Christmas Carol 


Q: What are three things you cannot live without?

Dobbie: Running, Painting, Music




Q: What are you currently reading?

Dobbie: A Glasgow Biography, and QI Book of the Dead

Q: Do you have any advice you would give your younger self? (art related, or not)

Dobbie: Try not to stress

Q: Do you speak any languages besides English?

Dobbie: No

Q: Favourite sports team?

Dobbie: Don’t have one

Q: If you could only paint one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Dobbie: Water

Q: Do you collect anything?

Dobbie: My running medals




Makenzie Cool


For a complimentary, no-obligation on Scottish contemporary art, please contact our specialists on 0141 810 2880 or


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