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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > November 2019 > Capture wildlife in the wild

Capture wildlife in the wild

Becky Thorley-Fox shares the secrets of capturing wildlife from life, drawing and painting on the spot

Becky Thorley-Fox exhibits regularly and her work is available to buy online and in galleries. Her next solo exhibition is at Plas Glyn Y Weddw in north Wales, from March 29 to May 10, 2020.

Rapid studies of seals moving over rocks, pencil on A3 paper

Drawing and painting wildlife in the field is a challenging but highly rewarding pursuit. A photo only offers a frozen moment and doesn’t reflect the way the eye naturally sees. Getting to know a species though drawing and painting will bring freshness and spontaneity to your work. Your constantly moving subject and changing weather conditions employs all the senses and demands your full attention and keen observation skills.

Behind every painting there will have been many hours spent sketching and getting to know a species. You need to have a good sense of a bird or animal’s form and movement. Begin with subjects close to hand and familiar to you – birds in your garden is a great way to start or visit local lakes to draw larger birds such as geese, ducks and swans. Nature reserves or zoos also offer a way to get close to a subject. Day trips or longer stays on our coastal islands is one of my favourites ways to spend time drawing and painting wildlife. I’ve really enjoyed working on Bardsey Island, Skomer Island and the Isle of May and look forward to visiting others.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our November issue. This month Hermen Pekel shares his strategies for creating depth and Lucy Willis explains how to achieve perspective, both working in watercolour, while Aine Divine demonstrates how she painted a watercolour portrait of our editor. James Hobbs urges you to share your sketchbook on social media this month using the #inktober tag and Robert E Wells explains how he uses his sketchbooks as a creative tool. Kathy Barker begins a new series on portraiture with a look at eyes, Paul Brown reveals how you can learn from your mistakes, Paul Riley demonstrates how to paint mountains in acrylic and Becky Thorley-Fox sketches and paints wildlife from life, in oil. And of course our regular contributors Geoff Hunt, Jenny Aitken, Paul Talbot-Greaves, Charles Williams and Soraya French share their knowledge of painting. There’s plenty to inspire you in your November copy of The Artist!