November 03, 2021 4 min read


We take a look at two very different projects that show how art is used to shine a spotlight and gain valuable support for charities within our own communities.

Nick Langdon, an artist from Exeter, Devon, has produced a series of Drawings that depict RNLI lifeboats , hand drawn using coloured pencils, they were created by Nick solely for the purposes of supporting a charitable organisation. We spoke to Nick to gain insight into the inspiration for this project.

"My use of colours and depiction of detail is inspired by an almost lifelong admiration of the masters, such as Van Gogh and Monet. My choice of pencil for colour drawing is the Faber Castell Polychromos, which blends remarkably well, sharpens easily using a craft knife, (which I also use to obtain highlights, fine detail, and finish)  and adheres well to my choice of paper.   I also use the Faber Castell pencil rubber for blending and erasing, and the brush attached to one end of it, is useful for gently removing any fine debris from the delicate surface of the drawing...

I am an avid supporter of the RNLI, and having extensively read of its history over nearly two centuries and all the heroic deeds, I was inspired to create a series of drawings as a homage to the organisation. Being for the purposes of supporting a charitable organisation, I have donated the drawings to be used by the RNLI in whatever ways they choose, which of course includes fundraising, so I do not profit financially, but for me the rewards are far more fruitful, in the knowledge that proceeds from the sales of my work are funding mostly volunteers to save lives at sea. Such volunteers are a very special breed of person, on call 24 hours a day seven day a week, and ready to brave the most extreme weather conditions that Mother Nature can throw at them."

"I presented the original drawing (above) to Elise Chainey the RNLI Heritage collections officer, as a tribute to the crew of the Solomon Browne, and is now part of the National Heritage Collection at their Headquarters in Poole, Dorset."

For full access to information and to purchase a print please links below each image



"The drawing entitled 'REMEMBERING THEM AS THEY PASS BY',  was done on Stonehenge Paper using 57 Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils, and is my fictional depiction of the Penlee Severn Class ALB Ivan Ellen in rough seas, as she passes by the old lifeboat station at Penlee Point, which formerly housed the RNLB Solomon Browne, and so is now preserved as a memorial to the crew of that lifeboat, who sacrificed their lives in the service of others in distress." 




"The drawing in the following link entitled 'The Colourful Storm' depicts the Exmouth Shannon Class All Weather Lifeboat R and J Welburn. A drawing that was again done on Stonehenge Paper using 29 different Polychromos coloured pencils, with additional blends of colours created as well. The drawing is not derived from a photo of that particular lifeboat, but is in fact my fictional creation of that vessel pounding through heavy seas, and is my most local lifeboat station, which is around 10 miles away from where I live in Exeter, Devon."

Greater love Hath No Men Than This, To Lay Down Their Lives For Their Fellow Men'



"A drawing done on Stonehenge Paper using 54 Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils and is derived from a photo taken sometime in August 1981, and depicts the Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne in her native Mousehole Harbour during the annual blessing of the Lifeboat, which proved to be her last summer and blessing as some four months later she was lost with all hands when rescuing the crew of the Union Star, who all also perished. It also depicts the Lifeboat as being a very central part of the community, with locals gathering in the harbour to behold its annual blessing, as well as of course depicting happier times for all concerned."

Another artist using his creativity to help the RNLI is Blackpool based Photographer Richard Oughton, 'The Heroes of the Sea exhibition was a 6 week long Blackpool Tram-stop Takeover which took place earlier in 2021, was 216 portraits of the RNLI crew will be exhibited in tram-stops along Blackpool's famous Golden Mile, free for all on a nearly 2 mile stretch from North Pier to South Pier. Having witnessed first hand the bravery of these volunteers Richard felt he wanted to honour them in the best way he knows which is through photography. "There are a group of incredible volunteers who without them the sea would have no guardians to watch over us. Keeping us all safe 24/7 what ever the weather what ever they maybe doing. I have seen these brave selfless volunteers training in all weathers and with Blackpool being one of the busiest stations i wanted to do something."



Catherine Peters
Catherine Peters

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