An 81-year-old painting enthusiast has won a competition with a painting that epitomises the disastrous effects climate change could have on London.

Douglas Jackson, who has painted all his life, won with his watercolour painting showing a possible bleak future for London with Tower Bridge almost completely submerged in water.

Watford and Bushey Art Society run the annual competition, giving members a theme on which to base a painting. The theme for 2019 was ‘global warming’. Members then vote for the best painting that fits the theme, with the winner receiving a bottle of prosecco and a box of chocolates.

Douglas Jackson said: “I have been a member of the Watford and Bushey Art Society for 20 years. The subject given for the art competition was ‘global warming’ so I had to think of an image that could succinctly encapsulate this issue. The melting of polar ice is happening now and the media provides varying predictions as to how much and by when sea levels will rise. I wanted to illustrate the possible effect of rising sea levels, and an iconic London landmark provided an appropriate and dramatic setting for this catastrophe.

“I wanted to show what could happen if mankind does not take action now. Politicians seem to be afraid to confront the issue as the resultant costs will be unpopular. I am conscious of the need to reduce my use of fossil fuel, but like most people I am waiting for governments to cooperate internationally to implement effective policies.”

Ken Haslar, chairman of the Watford and Bushey Art Society, said: “Douglas has been a long term member of the society and is always producing good paintings. His winning painting epitomises the disaster that climate change will have on London and its landmarks and his portrayal was the best we had that night.

“A couple other paintings were similar and showed London sinking beneath waves but there were also paintings about air condition, there was one showing tropical plants growing in places where they shouldn’t be, migrating birds flying away from inhabitable land and depictions of dolphins swimming in the Thames.”

Douglas Jackson, a retired architect, favours watercolour and paints still life, landscape and abstract subjects.

He was born in Edinburgh and has lived in Watford since 1974. In 2001 he was the star of a one man exhibition of his paintings at Watford Palace Theatre.