African animal artwork is as big and varied as the African continent.
The word “Africa” conjures up images of hot, dusty plains, thunderstorms and lightning, wide rivers and open savannas. Now place the multitude of wild animals into those images. Endless opportunities for creativity present itself.
Wildlife art is my specialty. Painting or drawing the beauty of nature makes you look harder at the world around you. Art makes you take a closer inspection of your subject matter and learn what inspired you to want to immortalize it on paper or canvas and ultimately share it with the world.
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Described below is the subject matter of my wall art and how I work. I am very flexible in my mediums and have vast experience in most.
African Animal Art: Oil Paintings
My work is primarily in oils, mainly as most of my commissions have been requested on leather, with artist oil paint being the required medium. The majority of the subject matter has been the Big 5, or alternatively, individual paintings of this club. Understandably the African Elephant is the most popular with the Lion and Leopard being a close second when it comes to animal paintings requested.
My animal artwork clientele is mainly from the United States with others coming from Russia, Germany, and Spain. In addition, I have paintings in Private Collections as far afield as the United Kingdom, Australia, Croatia, South Africa, and Botswana and elsewhere.
I am also part of a permanent collection housed in New York for the Spanish Embassy, including having been commissioned to do a painting to represent Zimbabwe in a children’s book that is published in America.
I have had several local exhibitions and taken part in the “Off The Canvas” Exhibition in London, the United Kingdom showcasing my paintings on leather.
African Animals: Drawings and Sketches in Pencil
When not doing African wildlife paintings – I turn to drawing. This is a completely different technique and enjoy the variety this gives me. Drawing has always been my first preference and use several mediums in this field.
These mediums are Chalk Pastels, Graphite Pencil and Colored Pencils/Watercolor Pencils. Being able to jump between the monochrome of graphite to the colored pencils is easy and gives variety to my work and interest to my portfolio.
The use of different papers is also an advantage. I can choose to work on white watercolor paper or else have the choice of a wide range of colors when working on pastel paper. The advantage of both these papers is the “tooth” or texture that is synonymous with these materials.
The texture comes through the drawings and gives another dimension to the artwork that I enjoy.
Portraiture artwork has been a later addition to my portfolio. How that came about was not by personal choice. I had a request for a commission with the client’s image included in the painting.
Well, the client is king. My first portrait was completed.
Since then I have done many, including family and individuals. With clients from all over the world, this means differing cultures. It has been interesting painting different skin tones and the mixing of colors that requires. Too, the various facial differences that make up our world. Never boring or mundane!
(When commissioning art portraits I require a good quality image that I can enlarge to get as much detail as possible. This allows me to capture the person’s true features and details.)
This brought me to dabbling in tribal portraits too. Subsequently, I have painted Masai Warriors (Kenya), Himba (Namibia) and Ndebele (Zimbabwe and South Africa) tribespeople adorned in their jewelry and hunting regalia.
The differences in the clothing, jewelry, and hairstyles, as well as the tonal skin values between the tribes, makes every painting unique.
Doing portraits is a nice change from doing animal artwork – it is stimulating and keeps my work interesting.
Even with all the paintings and drawings done over the years, every painting is a challenge and once completed, is very satisfying.