Ross began drawing and painting warships during his early teens, when he formed the ambition of becoming a professional marine artist. Not sure how to achieve this end, he joined the Royal Navy in order to study ships and the sea at close hand. To the dismay of his shipmates, he spent much of his spare time sketching ships. Despite some success in selling ship portraits to his commanding officers, Ross realised, he would not be acknowledged as a serious marine painter within the service, so he left to attended Art College. By chance, his knowledge of ships was soon put to good use illustrating a huge cutaway of HMS Belfast, the World War II cruiser moored on the Thames. The finished picture was presented to the ship in 1985. This artwork brought his artistic skill to the attention of a maritime book publisher, who commissioned him to write and illustrate four books in a new series called 'The Anatomy of the Ship'.
Since then he has painted book covers for fiction and non-fiction maritime titles, illustrated children's books and worldwide postage stamps.
In 2006 he was commissioned to provide ship illustrations for the Royal Navy newspaper, then by chance, he received an official commission to paint a warship's portrait, and provide enough prints for the Ship's Company. This eventually led to his receiving similar requests, particularly for ships decommissioning from the service, or on deployment.
Ross hopes to continue improving on his paintings of warships, and considers himself extremely fortunate to have been able to fulfil his childhood dream.
If you're interested in commissioning a ship painting from Ross Watton, please contact him. firstname.lastname@example.org.