In addition to my pet portrait commission work I enjoy drawing wildlife and birds, especially those species which are native to the British Isles.
As a keen wildlife photographer and rambler, I like to use my own images where possible as reference for my drawings. I prefer those found in the wild, but am not averse to photographing captive animals if there is no chance of seeing them in their natural habitat.
My husband and I travel the UK on photography trips, however, we rarely go any further afield as hubby is not good with air travel.
I am beginning to release my drawings as wildlife art prints, some as Limited Editions. These are professionally printed Giclee (pronounced gee clay) Fine Art Prints on a gorgeous softly textured heavyweight paper.
Those that are already available below will have a Buy Now button beside them. Once I sell all 50 of the Limited Edition prints they will no longer be offered. If you would be interested in cards featuring these drawings do let me know by using my contact page. If there is enough interest I will look at adding them to my inventory.
If you have a favourite animal or bird and would like to consider suggesting it as a forthcoming drawing please feel free to use my contact page. If you would rather commission me to draw from your own photograph I would be happy to discuss that with you also.
Thank you for your interest in my artwork. Enjoy your visit to my site and do have a look around while you are here.
Carol Leather, Artist
13 x 9 inches (33 x 23cm approx)
When Peter Wood shared his photograph of this baby elephant with me I couldn't resist asking for permission to draw it. There is another in the series, of the baby with its mother, which has caught my eye as well so watch this space!
This was my first time depicting elephant skin and that lovely fluff in coloured pencil and I enjoyed every minute of it. I normally start my portraits by drawing the eye(s) but in this case the eye is so small I decided to begin with the ear.
While the ear was in progress a friend pointed out that it reminded them of something else. As is always the case, I then couldn't un-see what they had seen for quite some time! Now the piece is finished this is no longer visible (to my eye at least).
8 x 14 inches (20 x 35cm approx)
In September/October 2019, we travelled to Spurn Head in East Yorkshire, to hopefully photograph the Autumn migration of birds. The weather was against us on this trip and we spent most of the week dripping wet with few birds about.
One damp evening I walked past a derelict house and spotted this little roe buck in what had been the garden. We stared at each other for a moment before I had the presence of mind to lift the camera to my eye to snap a couple of images of him. Then, silently, he melted away into the mist.
To capture that soft lighting I decided to work on Drafting Film, a translucent polyester surface. The deer was draw on one layer and the background on a separate piece of film placed behind. I created an out of focus woodland background to replace the overgrown shrubs and brick wall of the building.
10 x 8 inches (25 x 20cm)
This little otter is one of my all time favourite drawings! I chose to work on brown Pastelmat board which almost matches the hues in the fur. This provides colour harmony and allowed me to let the neck and body fade away gently into the paper colour.
The paper is mid toned allowing both the deep dark eyes and bright white pencils to stand out, creating contrast against the muted fur colours.
Soon after I completed it, one of the artists I look up to fell in love with the drawing and asked if they could buy a print. I was honoured that my first print was sold to one of my heroes.
8.3 x 11 inches (21 x 28cm)
Although I normally draw from my own wildlife photographs, I couldn't resist this image, taken by my friend Peter Wood. The cub had taken on the most endearing pose I had to ask him for permission to draw it!
Having discovered a family of red foxes living locally in Spring/Summer 2020, Peter was out very early every morning with his camera. Due to the hour, the light levels were low, so I used artistic license to brighten the colours in my drawing.
Although most of my photographs are taken in the wild, these tiny creatures are notoriously hard to spot in their own habitat, so we travelled to the West Country Wildlife Photography Centre to photograph this little one.
Due to their size I needed to use my 100mm macro lens so that I could get close enough to the mice.
I came away with well over 100 images and picked this one to turn into a coloured pencil drawing. I loved the way he had his little paw in the air and his prehensile tail wrapped around the honeysuckle stem.
Continuing the baby theme, this time with a zebra foal.
Sometimes it's nice to limit the colours used for a drawing. Just white coloured pencils were used for this piece, drawn on black paper. Varying the pressure used on the pencil can make the white brighter or less intense to add depth and dimension to the portrait.
In addition, different brands of pencil have different levels of opaqueness, with some more translucent than others. These qualities can be utilised to good effect once you get to know your materials.
The paper is left empty of pencil for the darkest areas.