Inspired by the work of Master Fellwalker and artist Alfred Wainwright, Andy spent over ten years completing the major project The Wainwrights in Colour. This meant producing a watercolour sketch of every illustration drawn by A.W. in his seven Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. Every single location of the illustrations has been meticulously researched so that Andy’s references are taken from the exact location where A.W. stood to take his own black and white photographs.
This was a unique undertaking. Whilst many others have taken a few comparison photographs of AW’s illustrations Andy went out and not only obtained all 1500 images but then went on to paint them as watercolour sketches.
The work of A.Wainwright in his seven Pictorial Guides was a thirteen year undertaking which to this day, approximately half a century later has not been bettered in its ingenuity, artistic content and detail. It is perhaps testament to the man that all 214 of the fells depicted in the volumes have become known under the collective name “The Wainwrights”
As a keen hill-walker the fells of the Lake district is one of Andy’s favourite places and being so close to hand he is able to visit the area even on short day trips. These trips have been used to gather the required photographs for the project as well as ideas for other Lake District paintings. Due to the number of illustrations, more than one route on each of the 214 fells has to be undertaken and of course the weather conditions have to be favourable to allow the scene that A.W. depicted in his sketches to be viewed by Andy.
“It has never been my intention for the project to be seen as copying the work of A.W., an impossible task, more as a matter of interest as how his sketches compare to today’s scenes. Standing on the exact spot where he stood every time is not only a sense of achievement to me but also a feeling of closeness to the man and his work.”
The uniqueness of this project has meant that it has been featured in the media both locally and nationally The Wainwrights in Colour- as seen on the BBC– Click here.
Following the near sell-out Exhibition at Rheged in October and November 2009 Andy then went on to complete all of the sketches for this project for all 214 of the fells. All of the original works from this project are now sold.
The Wainwrights in Colour Book.
The book of the project was published in May 2017. It features all of the 214 Lakeland Fells and all of the 1500+ watercolour sketches which Andy has produced to complete this body of work. Andy details the differences in the scenes from how they were when A.W. illustrated them in his guides. Also included are many articles relating to Wainwright’s work and life of the Lakeland Fells. It is a limited edition of only 5000 signed and numbered copies (once sold there will not be a re-print or second edition). The book has 360 pages, all in full colour. It measures 33cm x22cm and weights 2.4kg (hence the reason that P&P is so expensive.) It has been printed and produced here in the UK. Each volume includes a 17 minute DVD of how the project was conceived and completed. The books retail at £39.00 each.
They are selling well so do not miss out on the opportunity to own one of these collectable volumes. Take a look at the page to read the rather impressive reviews of the book. Which has won “Outdoor Book of the Year 2017” in the TGO Readers Awards, and the BBC Countryfile Magazine Book of the Year.
The books are available to purchase here. There is also a special “collectors edition” which includes 2 limited editon prints here.
If you have other questions about The Wainwrights in Colour Book then why not have a look at the FAQ section here.
I have now added a system for you to add your own review of The Wainwrights in Colour Book if you have purchased a copy. It is quite straightforward to use and will only take a moment of your time. Just click on the “Create a Review” button below.
A gallery of selected sketches from the project is now online hereWainwrights in Colour sketches
Submit your review
I purchased this as a post Christmas indulgence an I’ve not been disappointed. It’s a breathtaking body of work and is a fantastic accompaniment to my collection of Wainwright books - I’m looking forward to many happy hours of working through the pictures and comparing the interpretations.
I would thoroughly recommend to any Wainwright or Lakeland fan.
This is a fabulous piece of work by Andy Beck. The attention to detail on both the watercolours and descriptions of each individual Fell is outstanding.
A project on this scale almost sounds impossible to carry off, but Andy Beck had the willpower and drive to keep it going for 10 years. This labour of love has currently earned him two book awards and rightly so.
The book itself is beautifully presented and the quality of the materials used are unsurpassed. This book will still look new in 50 years time.
It is a book that you will refer back to for years to come, and I cannot recommend it enough. It is also in limited supply, so once they are gone they are gone.
This book is glorious! The pictures have come to life in a way that the line drawings couldn't quite achieve, and the whole book is testament to Andy's passion and commitment to this brilliant project. I love it. Can you tell?
Andy has produced a wonderful book, so much so I ordered two copies one for myself a nd one for my daughter. The items arrived promptly and were well packaged, Andy always responded to any queries and was of the utmost help. The book is a must have for anyone who enjoys beautiful images or who wants a compact album of past holidays Thank you Andy.
I can only agree with all the comments so far added to this site of this truly great book. You can see the passion Andy Beck has put into it. Seeing the Wainwright sketches produced in water colours brings them to life in vibrant way that I'm sure Wainwright himself would certainly approve of.
This is one book that any Wainwright enthusiast simply must have on their bookshelf, I'm certainly glad I've a copy on mine.
I recently obtained a copy of 'The Wainwrights in Colour'and I was not disappointed. This book is a meticulous tribute to the initial collection of Wainwright books, which every visitor to the Lake District cannot fail to know. Each small painting captures all the thrilling detail from the exact positions Wainwright made his sketches, but this time in colour. Andy Beck has made each picture a true masterpiece with great text to accompany them, a real labour of love. Only 5000 copies available, making this surely a book to treasure well into our old age when we are no longer able to walk the fells. Hopefully the book will be passed on to future family generations to treasure. I loved the book so much I bought a second copy for a family member. Simply brilliant.
So glad I purchased this book, it is an absolute joy to turn each page. Having only enjoyed reaching the top of twenty or so Wainwrights so far I know this book will be looked through over the coming years both before and after each climb. Each colourful illustration and the accompanying text is so interesting, especially the small differences described between Wainwrights illustrations and the artists.
A lot of hard work has gone into this book and the finished product is truly a work of art.
Having completed the 214 fells, this book was a reward to myself. And what a reward!! The accuracy of the reproductions of all 1500 sketches is remarkable, the quality is superb, and the text is extremely interesting. It really is a fabulous book, and an astonishing undertaking!!
Great to see a book honoring a legendary pipe smoker and hill walker. We're sure that dear old Wainwright will be having a bowl of his favourite blend this evening.
Since the first meeting with Andy Beck at Rheged when he launched the project, through visits to his then shop in Barnard Castle, I have followed this book with interest and admiration. It is a book born of Inspiration and completed with dogged determination. A superb book full of detailed watercolour paintings. I shall dip into it with immense pleasure for a long time to come. Well done indeed Andy Beck!