Artist of the week: Lisa Ann Watkins - Pet Portrait Artist
I have only recently rekindled my interest in what has fast combined the great twin passions of my life: creativity and my love of animals.
I graduated from Cheltenham College of Art in fashion design and textiles way back in 1992 & worked for years in the costume industry before realising that the work had no real meaning for me & I stepped away from it all. It was August 2012 before I bought my first tin of coloured pencils & set myself the challenge to pursue a new path. This came on the back of many years of suffering increasingly worse bouts of depression over many years. A counsellor identified that I needed to find my creative spirit once again & embrace it, so I did!
By December 2012, I had won 2 international competitions & I gained back some confidence and belief in my art. People started asking me to undertake commissions & so I took the plunge, gave up a very well-paid job & have never looked back. Saying that, I have also never worked so hard.
I have since gone on to be published & featured in numerous magazines & books around the globe, have licensed images of some of my work & also developed a line of my own merchandise. The last couple of years has seen me also pick up several major awards for my art on an international level. I have been approached this year to demonstrate my work on TV to promote the products that I use & am also in the middle of setting up my Patreon channel so that I can reach more people with my teaching.
I currently live in the Forest of Dean in the UK with my husband & 5 rescue dogs & I now work full time on my art with a well-established business in pet and wildlife portraiture, Animal Art by LAW, with clients from all over the world. The main joy of rekindling my creative means that I can also raise funds & awareness for the animal rescue charities that I support so finally it feels like I have finally gone full circle & can actually give something back.
Coloured pencils are my media of choice nowadays. Although I trained as a designer I have self-taught everything that I know today about using pencils. I developed a technique of using watercolour pencils wet & dry to achieve the texture of animal fur. This technique is something that I now teach at workshops around the UK & I have also been invited to tour the US this September to teach this Wet’n’Dry technique. My workshops there sold out in under 2 weeks which means that a return trip next year might just be on the horizon! So many beautiful animals to draw & never enough time!
Tags: Artist of the Week