BUDDING painters are being invited to follow in the brush strokes of one of England’s finest artists.

Next year is the 200th anniversary of John Constable’s honeymoon trip to Osmington near Weymouth.

While relaxing on the Dorset coast, the Royal Academy member began work on Weymouth Bay – a landscape piece looking across the resort from Bowleaze, which now hangs in the National Gallery.

Constable, whose most famous works include the Hay Wain and Wivenhoe Park, positioned himself where the Riviera Hotel stands today.

Now management at the art-deco facility are running a competition asking artists to paint today’s view from exactly the same spot.

The painting judged to be the best will be hung in the hotel reception alongside a copy of Constable’s masterpiece.

The winning artist will also receive £100 cash along with a year’s free membership to the Riviera Hotel leisure suite and dinner for two in the Bowleaze Restaurant.

The hotel’s general manager Peter Burnham said: “People are still surprised to learn that Constable was here at this very spot back in 1816.

“We often have guests who come especially for the Constable connection but locally I think many people are still unaware of this amazing bit of history.

“A lot has obviously changed over the past 200 years, including the building of the hotel in 1937.

“We think it would be fantastic if someone local could capture today’s scene so that we can display the contrast in our reception area.”

Mr Burnham said that artists of any age are welcome to enter and artwork will be judged by a panel of resort-based painting enthusiasts.

He added: “We want this to be a community affair and everyone is welcome to join in.

“We would love to receive enough entries so that we can actually put on an exhibition in the hotel.

“Size, style, colouring and finish really don’t matter. We want people’s own perception and interpretation of the modern day landscape.

“There’s a nice prize up for grabs for the very best entry and we look forward to seeing some fabulous paintings.

“Artists are welcome to use the hotel grounds. The very best view can be enjoyed from there.”

The closing date for the competition is November, 1, with artists asked to bring their entries to the hotel’s reception at Bowleaze Cove.