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Michael Frith

Michael Frith - Portrait & Watercolour illustrator. UK

Enigmatic portraiture, animals and outdoor scenes – British illustrator Michael Frith uses his painting skills and expressiveness to produce watercolours with vibrancy and a sense of immediacy. Unafraid of using bold brush strokes and rich colours, his work makes an impact, while maintaining its classic feel.
Living near Chichester on the South Coast of England, Michael gets a lot of his inspiration from the sea – looking at it, painting it and sailing upon it. His influences include Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Winslow Homer and Edgar Degas. Michael has a degree in Graphic Design and studied at both St Albans and then Canterbury College of Art.


For Michael, drawing is the scaffolding needed to construct a painting. He tries to keep his technique simple, using one brushstroke or mark instead of many, and he doesn’t worry about splatter or bleed. They make his images unique. Michael pushes the boundaries of the medium by painting at much larger formats than most other artists.


Immediacy and freshness are strong characteristics in Michael’s work, and he tries to establish a connection with the subject that’s felt in the image. His portraits are much in demand, but he also does still life and nature, and creates plenty of amazing paintings of yachts in full sail.

Client list

Some of Michael’s clients include The National Portrait Gallery, The Bank Of England, The Times, The Sunday Times, LIFFE and The Masterworks Foundation in Bermuda.
''May is an extremely talented illustrator and graphic designer who Salt-Water Europe have collaborated with on several occasions. She designed a poster for us showcasing all the styles in our range and she also designed some prints for us, one of which has now been put onto leather and will make up part of our range for 2016. Our brand has an authentic heritage that May's drawings reflect perfectly and we have been delighted with the work she has done for us. She is great fun to work with, amenable and punctual and we hope to be working with her again in the near future''.
kate Aslett, Web Editor and Social Media Manager at Sun-San / Salt-Water sandals
I wanted to email you both together now the illustrations are done and I've sent the book to print just to say thank you! It was lovely working with you both and made the commissioning process so straightforward. And of course, we're all thrilled with the illustrations and can't wait to see them in the final book. They really are wonderful pieces. (I don't know if you get inundated with such things, but do let me know if you'd like a copy of the book and I'll send it over on publication.) Thanks too to May for such patience in taking in all those niggling apostrophe changes! The perils of maps!
Kiera Jamison, Icon Books
I love your drawings.
Yotam Ottolenghi, Yotam Ottolenghi
''Talented, creative and highly professional. A pleasure to work with despite the difference in time zones and countries. May has always been a delight. On brief and on time.''
Emily Ranneby Creative Director, Spoon Agency
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