Douglas was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1946. He became interested in art very early in life. By the age of fifteen, he apprenticed at an advertising agency / art studio in his home town. During that time he also attended the Edinburgh College Of Art where he studied life drawing and draped life extensively.
Douglas' travels throughout North America and Europe after his education have had a strong influence on the subject matter and medium now used in his paintings. He enjoys painting and feels comfortable in all mediums. His subjects include; landscape, nostalgia, still life, children and everyday activities. Douglas emigrated to Canada in 1965 and currently resides in Ontario.
An extraordinary draftsman, Doug Laird, has absolute control over the finest details of a drawing. A great deal of time is spent creating and forming an idea into a pleasing composition that tells a story.
Once Doug has worked out the basics with thumbnail sketches, he then incorporates all of the desired elements into the scene. At that time, Doug will be thinking about the medium he'll use to best capture the effect he is after. Once that is sorted out, a more comprehensive drawing is done in proportion to the final piece. He gathers the necessary reference which often includes field studies or photography and at times, both.
If watercolour is the chosen medium, Doug will draw the sketch onto watercolour board. He uses watercolour board rather than watercolour paper. He prefers the board because he can work at a continuous pace without fear of the board buckling and creating dips and valleys where paint tends to form pools. This can take a frustratingly long time to dry.
Doug seldom uses anything finer than a number seven brush. Larger brushes can have as fine a point as smaller ones. There is more body to a larger brush which allows more control over the paint. Once into a painting, Doug basically sticks to his original sketch. However, things develop with various twists and turns along the way in order to achieve the desired effect. A great deal of time is spent looking at the painting, studying it before the final brush strokes are applied.