Artist's Handbook is a practical guide to wildlife art. Originally
commissioned as a 'How to Draw and Paint Wildlife' guide, it was
soon apparent that something different was required. There are already
plenty of 'How To...' books available. It was time for a new approach.
I believed that
The Wildlife Artist's Handbook would give a more complete
picture (no pun intended) of the genre. Firstly, wildlife art is
set in context, by looking at the rich heritage of wildlife portrayal
in art history - giving a great excuse to show some fabulous artwork
from cave paintings to the present day.
Next the book
keeps faith with the original concept, taking the reader through
practical drawing and painting techniques. Wildlife doesn't exist
in isolation, so it's no use being able draw the main subject without
including the habitat - hence a chapter on fieldcraft and working
Anyone who has
ever drawn an animal or bird knows it helps to be aware of what
goes on beneath fur and feather, so a look at the basic structure
of birds, animals, insects and fish, together with information about
how birds and animals change as they age, is included. Although
the science is important, the purpose of wildlife art is to produce
a piece of art, not science, so a chapter on composition helps readers
to communicate their visions to the viewers. Wildlife artists draw,
paint, print, sculpt and use mixed media, so a chapter about print-making
and sculpture shows the breadth of the genre while providing inspiration
for future possibilities.
In these days
of digital images, it makes sense to include photography. Some readers
will choose to work from photographic reference, while to others
it is an anathema, yet most of us have to cope with photographing
our work and submitting images to competitions, websites and blogs.
We all need to keep abreast of the laws of copyright. The photographic
chapter gives the reader information on all of this, beyond the
scope of the 'How To...' books.
The final chapter
helps the reader to establish their art according to their own interests,
and looks at pricing work, undertaking commissions, exhibiting and
using social media to connect with other artists and collectors.
The concept of this chapter is to support the reader as they gain
in confidence of their wildlife art skills and look to start sharing
their work with a wider audience.
lists organisations (with website addresses) around the world, where
wildlife art can be seen and studied. A 'Further Reading' list offers
suggestions for books on both the practical and aspirational aspects
of wildlife art.
The Wildlife Artist's Handbook acts as a companion to the
reader as they progress from the first tentative drawings of a moving
subject, to being confident enough to share their work with a local,
and then global, audience. It is a dual purpose book, offering practical
advice, and showcasing wildlife art from history and from thirty
contemporary professional artists. Whether or not the reader picks
up a pencil, they will enjoy the inspiring images from this beautiful
This is the
Chapter 1: Wildlife in Art
Chapter 2: How to Draw Wildlife
Chapter 3: Painting and Mixed Media
Chapter 4: Out of the Studio, Into the Wild
Chapter 5: Anatomy
Chapter 6: Composition
Chapter 7: Printmaking and Sculpture
Chapter 8: Photography & the Wildlife Artist
Chapter 9: Establishing Your Art
Appendix: Exploring Wildlife Art - galleries, societies, competitions,
wildlife art on the web, further reading
Contributing Artists (with website addresses)
Artist's Handbook comprises 55,000 words and 250 images. RRP
date: Estimated 16 December 2013, but available for pre-order
my sponsors, supporters and contributors
in Art Museum & Gallery
is very supportive and has kindly provided images from their collection
to illustrate the wildlife art history section. My task of selecting
images from their collection has been an absolute pleasure.
I've long been
an admirer of George Lodge's wonderful wildlife art so I'm thrilled
George Edward Lodge Trust is supporting The Wildlife Artist's
Handbook by providing some images of his work. I hope the inclusion
will encourage a whole new audience to investigate Lodge's work.
enjoy sketching at West
Midland Safari Park, and I'm indebted to them for donating entrance
tickets so that I could make extra visits there to sketch and research.
They have a superb collection of wildlife from around the world
so I was often spoilt for choice when I needed to chose a new subject.
mentioned above, the creme of British wildlife artists have contributed:
several of my friends and acquaintances have offered advice about
particular specialist areas I needed to cover, such as photography
The Wildlife Artist's Handbook is part of a series of art titles
from Crowood Press, an independent publisher with over 2,500 titles
to their credit. Books in the series are in-depth publications commissioned
from authors who are experts in their fields.
If you'd like
further information about The Wildlife Artist's Handbook
please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.