The artist David Rowlands has been going on operations with the British Army since 1985 to paint scenes of soldiers at the front line. Less well-known are his paintings commissioned by the Army to portray soldiers in earlier campaigns of the 20th century.
He has been asked to interview veterans of the 2nd World War, including several winners of the Victoria Cross, in order to paint accurate scenes of their heroic deeds.
After completing his studies at Manchester University in 1974, David joined the full time staff of the Reading Room at the National Army Museum, London. He began working full-time as a professional artist in 1977. In 1987 he had his first portrait sitting with Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace for one of the Highland Regiments. Other portraits of members of the Royal Family have followed, and subsequently he has produced pictures commissioned by The Royal Collection. David has produced over 150 oil paintings since 1983 and has captured the essence of military units from 22 SAS to the RAF Regiment; he has also been honoured to paint a number of historical scenes from Waterloo to the Battle of Mons. David's paintings involve a huge amount of research into uniforms, equipment, tactics and whenever possible a visit to the battlefield or to the unit on operations. He has accumulated over 100 days of operational experience from Northern Ireland ('80s & '90s), Gulf ('91), Bosnia ('93 &'95), Kosovo ('99) and more recently Afghanistan and Iraq ('03). Where possible he likes to interview veterans and serving soldiers to gain an insight into their experiences and recollections - this first hand experience helps to create a painting of a past event which is as accurate as possible. David's paintings were selected by the Guild of Aviation Artists to be among the 'Aviation Paintings of the Year' in the Annual Summer Exhibitions at The Mall Galleries, London, July 2012, 2013 and 2014.