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Learn How You Can Paint Animal Art With Depth

Author : Mr Christopher Evans

Submitted : 2011-03-03 03:17:56    Word Count : 580    Popularity:   50

Tags:   Wildlife Art, Wildlife Paintings, Wildlife Painting, Animal Art, Animal Artist, Pet Portrait, Pet Portraits

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What do we mean by art with soul?

From prehistoric images of cave drawings
showing the sheer spirit of survival and energy of a deer hunt, to the famous story of Noah’s Ark, to modern day cartoons like the Lion King, animals in art are all around us and have been since prehistoric times. Animal imagery appears to stir a instinctive connection we have with the Earth and the creatures we share it with.

Animal art with soul usually evokes an intense emotional response and bears the natural essence of the animal. It is so much more than an exercise in photo-realism – it goes deeper than a photograph, to capture the very soul of the wildlife it portrays, it can transcend any artistic style and perhaps artistic ability. A beginner can produce animal art with soul as effectively as an experienced professional, especially when observing the following five things common to the most successful wildlife art.


Living eyes.

Frequently referred to as the "windows to the soul". They must have a spark of life and show a characteristic, particular mood or a recognisable reaction to a specific moment in the life of the animal subject. Have a look at the cat artwork by acclaimed artist Kat Davies to see illuminating examples of big cat eyes in her range of tiger, lion and leopard paintings.

Colour and texture.

Re-create the texture of the coat as exactly as possible to recreate the feeling of long, soft, short, coarse, straight, curly, or spiky hairs. Skin might be pink, blue, black, green, wrinkled or smooth, semi transparent where some light shows through, scaly and dry or wet like the nose or the rims around the eyes. Add the vital little signs of life!

An interesting background

The background can evoke drama, nostalgia and atmosphere. For examples, study the superb works of Robert Bateman which show how evocative natural backgrounds can improve your wildlife art and bring your animal subject to life.

The lighting

Dramatic lighting gives life to work. Imagine sunlight being filtered through the mane of a lion, or the cold reflected light on the flanks of a polar bear. The cool hints of shadow and the warm tones of sunlight place your animal in the ongoing cycle of nature from day to night, season to season and give a sense of changing climate,weather and time.

A story

A good background will help a picture to ‘tell a story’. Often the viewer of the picture might imagine an ending for themselves and actively connect with the painting. Take a look at the wildlife paintings of John Seerey-Lester, particularly those of his historic hunts, to see story-telling in art.

Whether painting ‘cute and furry’ animals such as puppies, kittens and cubs, the harsh or romantic wild including the Big Five, animals in the field of hunting or sport, birds in the garden or even the cherished family pet portrait, remember that memorable animal art is animal art with soul.


Author's Resource Box

If you would like to see fabulous examples of Wildlife Art then feel free to visit http://www.katdavies.com. This is particularly interesting if you wish to treat yourself to pet portraits. All you need to get a hand painted pet portrait is a photo of your pet!

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