Image credits: Dennise Wanless
As you can see for yourself, Dennise Wanless’ work is both astounding and inspirational. Working with coloured pencils, she perfectly captures the look and character of any animal she draws. Without fail, any time I see her work on my social media feed, I can’t help but smile. And, can you blame me? It truly is beautiful artwork.
She and I share a style, in that we both strive for realism, but using different paper means our work does turn out slightly differently. I love the smooth gentle quality of Dennise’s work, and her pencil work is incredible.
Image credits: Alex Fleming
Another incredible artist, Alex’s work has a sense of realism that is almost unbelievable. I know I’m not the only person that will spend a good few minutes looking at one of his pieces and trying to figure out if it’s a photograph or not. His work is actually that good, that you can’t quite tell!
Alex has a very different approach to drawing to me. If you scroll through his social media, you’ll find videos of how he use a vertical strip method to draw. Honestly, it’s fascinating how he does it. Not only is he a brilliant artist (with awards in high places to boot), he’s also a really funny guy. And I mean really funny.
A great artist to follow if you’re wanting to work out how to engage with your audience, Alex uses his fabulous personality to tell the most amazing stories and brings all sorts of humour to his social media pages.
Image credits: Shannagh Leigh
Definitely one to watch, Shannagh Leigh creates some really stunning artwork using coloured pencils, watercolour pencils, and she’s even created a few digital pieces too.
Another really helpful artist, Shannagh also has a YouTube channel with real time tutorials. I have a commissioned piece of my lovely Ragdoll cat, Peggy, that Shannagh drew for me a couple of years ago. She is a wonderful artist.
Image credits: Katie Day
One of my personal favourites; I’m lucky enough to have a few of Katie Day’s portraits at home. Her use of colour is breath-taking, and her technique and style is totally different to mine. Painterly, fluid and oh-so beautiful, she captures so much in her paintings. I’m in awe of artists like Katie, who can use such fluidity in their work.
Image credits: Tazi Brown
Moving on to one of my favourite photographers, Tazi Brown takes incredible photos of various animals, with big cats and primates clearly being her preference. She’s a really great one to go and have a look at if you’re wanting to draw something a bit different, but need a little inspiration. I have a few of her photos lined up to draw (when I get round to it!).
An incredibly generous photographer, she also has a Facebook group, "Reference Photos & More", with some truly stunning photography.
Image credits: Sue Cross
I never get tired of looking at Sue Cross’ photographs. She has an amazing eye for photography, and manages to capture wildlife in all their glory. The photos she takes of hares are definitely a favourite of mine; the latest drawing to be added to my shop was drawn using one of her reference photos.
Again, a very generous photographer, she allows artists to use her photos for their drawings. If you love British wildlife, especially hares, you will spend hours on her page "ooh-ing" and "aah-ing"!