David Cobley RP, NEAC, RWA


(British, b. 1954)

David works from a studio in Bath, England, and his paintings are largely a result of his fascination with the human form and human behaviour.

His portrait commissions include one of The Princess Royal, and in 2004 his portrait of Ken Dodd OBE was bought by the National Portrait Gallery, London for its permanent collection. He has exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and held solo exhibitions at Beaux Arts in Bath, and Messum's in London.

David was born in Northampton, England in 1954. He completed his foundation year there, but dropped out of a diploma course at Liverpool in a search of a more meaningful alternative. It was 12 years before he would return to any kind of painting.

After travelling around Europe he went on to work and study in Japan. On returning to England in 1985 he freelanced as an illustrator and visualiser, but continued to draw and paint in his spare time. After being short-listed for the BP Portrait Award (then sponsored by John Player) commissioned portraits and paintings of the figure gradually took the place of illustration.

Since becoming a full-time painter, he has carried out commissions for a wide variety of institutions, and has had several solo exhibitions, the most recent with Messum's in London. He is working towards more solo exhibitions, and also on a number of public and private commissions.


Llewellyn Alexander Award 2004
Public Prize, The Holburne Portrait Prize 2004
Prosigns and Graphics Prize 2002
Andrew Brownsword Prize 2001
Daler-Rowney Award, RWA 1999
Public Prize, RWA 1999
Tom Rice Gallery, Dublin, Award 1999
John Brandler Prize 1993
Short-listed, John Player Portrait Award 1989


The National Portrait Gallery
The Victoria Gallery, Bath
People's Portraits, Girton College Cambridge
The Inner Temple
The Royal West of England Academy

A Man and a Woman I
Sold Oil on Canvas 8" x 8" Sold

Hand and Eye
Sold Oil on Canvas 12" x 8" Sold

Artist and Model
Sold Oil on Board 8" x 8" Sold