5 minutes with artist Daniel Campbell
One element of our brand-new premium gin that we are most proud of is the label. We commissioned Scotland’s leading landscape artist, Daniel Campbell, to paint a watercolour of the Falls of Dochart and to sketch a map of the mighty River Tay.
The watercolour painting is viewed through the gin bottle, while the map is on the reverse side. The packaging of our small batch premium gin is totally unique and is what really captures everyone’s attention. So, we think that it’s only fair we give credit to the man who painted it.
Based in the east end of Glasgow, Daniel has been painting for as long as he can remember. He travels all over Scotland to attend different types of shows, chatting to art fans and customers alike. You are sure to see at least one of his paintings or prints in any art gallery or studio in Scotland.
We recently caught up with Daniel to have a chat about the Falls of Dochart painting for our gin bottle and much more! You can read out Q&A with Daniel below.
What was the most challenging part of painting this?
When you get a commission, you’ve got your own idea of what you want to paint but the client has a different image, so that is the challenge, to try and get what both of us want and are happy with.
First, I'll create a series of small paintings and sketches then I bring it up to a bigger size and shape. I’ve painted labels before for shortbread boxes, tins, book covers, illustrations, so the painting itself isn’t difficult, it’s just making sure the client likes it that can be tricky. I do lots of little sketches first and then come to the finished painting. Once painted, I’ll study it against the landscape and make tweaks until we’re both happy.
Did you paint live or from a photograph?
I visited the scene before I started painting, which is something I do with all my landscapes, but I’ve painted the scene that many times I just needed reminding! All the colours and shapes are just from memory. I did have to look at a few photographs to remind myself of the shape of the hotel.
Recently I painted the scene and it was sent to a client in Australia, who originally came from Killin. I’ve also done several paintings for people who live in there and completed work for the local gallery too. I know the area very well, I've been going for years for both work and pleasure!
How did the collaboration with the Falls of Dochart gin come about?
The designer first contacted me through email and he said he wanted to use one of my paintings as a label for a gin bottle. I said no problem, as long as I get a few bottles of gin! Ross then contacted me and told me what he wanted. Killin was one of the first art shows l ever attended. I went to Highland games and the folk festival. I loved Killin, loved the Falls of Dochart and that’s why I was so pleased to be offered this commission.
Why did you choose those specific colours for the label?
I knew that because it was getting reduced down to a smaller label, if I didn’t use bright, punchy colours, you wouldn’t see it very well, so that determined the colour palette I would use – nice bright oranges, red and green colour palette.
Favourite landscape to paint?
I don’t have any particular place or landscape I like to paint, I just love everything that inspires me. I love to trapse round the country and if I see something I like, I’ll paint it. I like the west coast of Scotland for the islands and the beaches, I like the east coast of Scotland for the harbours and the boats. I like central Scotland for the trees and the woods.
What is your favourite feature of the village of Killin?
Everybody who lives there is lovely. I know quite a lot of people who still live in Killin. I would go to there when I was younger when the local school would have a crafts fayres and folk festivals in the pubs with bands. At the campsite there would be parties, it was like hippies with guitars and flutes around the campfire. It was amazing.
Do you paint in other mediums?
I paint in acrylics, water colours, felt tip pens, brown and black shoe polish. I do everything! Anything you give me, I’ll paint with. I’m a total compulsive painter – I’m painting and doodling constantly.
I’ve got lots. Anyone who paints inspires me. I just need to look at paintings and start twitching and want to get to a canvas and start painting. My favourites are the classic artists like Andrew Wyeth, the French impressionists. When I was an art student, I used to think he was better than Van Gough! But once I became an artist I realised how wonderful his paintings are.
What is your favourite art gallery in the world?
I love going to the art gallery in Glasgow at Kelvinhall. That inspired me because I used to live across the road from here and that’s where I first got my inspiration, seeing all the artists and their work in there.
What’s your favourite gin on the market right now?
The alcoholic ones! I’ve got a drinks table in my studio here with every kind of spirit imaginable. When clients come to visit me in the studio they usually bring a bottle of wine or something else. I’m looking forward to trying the Falls of Dochart gin.
If you could take 3 things to a desert island what would they be?
My dog, a bottle of gin and Alexa.
If you could invite three people to a dinner party, dead or alive, who would they be?
I would like to meet Vincent Van Gough, I think he’d be really interesting. Sigmund Freud, and Obama, I think he’d be nice company. So, an artist, a psychologist and a contemporary person. It would be a brilliant night.