Exploring the Marvels of Animal Portraits and the 5 Artists Who Capture Them.
Animals are our best friends. The only creature on earth who can love unconditionally. Whether a petite cat as a pet or a dragon you tame. They will be your one loyal companion. Welcome to the world of animal portraits, from pets to wildlife.
Animals and wildlife have significant cultural and aesthetic value. They inspire us to create works of art. They provide us with a sense of wonder and awe, reminding us of the beauty and complexity of the natural world. This sense of awe can also instill a sense of responsibility toward protecting these creatures and their habitats.
Art can serve as a powerful tool to evoke emotions and inspire change. Many artists have used their skills to depict the beauty and fragility of wildlife, drawing attention to the importance of protecting these creatures and their habitats. Through their works of art, artists can help to create a sense of empathy and appreciation for the natural world, inspiring people to take action to protect it.
Animal portraiture is not just about capturing the beauty and majesty of wild animals but also about celebrating the unique connection between humans and their pets. Pet portraits can be a beautiful way to commemorate a beloved pet, capturing their individual personalities and quirks in a single image.
So join us as we explore the incredible art of animal portraits, from pets to wildlife!
1. Sally Quorn
Sally is a self-taught artist, who re-discovered her passion during the lockdown period of 2020.
As an artist (and a human) we are always evolving – I am currently pursuing realism within my oil paintings.
Having undiagnosed dyslexia and ADHD, I often found school and socializing difficult but the one thing that I was told I was good at was drawing, which helped slowed down my racing brain. I always dreamt of being an artist, I was accepted at Art college but due to family commitments and lack of self-belief, I entered the world of work instead (my biggest regret) and then life took over. Life got very busy; five children, working full time as Learning Support Co-ordinator helping and supporting Children with Special Educational needs – I had very little time to chase my passion.
Then the first lockdown of 2020 happened. I was fortunate to be furloughed and for the first time ever I had time. I picked up a brush (the first time in over 30 years) and fell in love.
So here I am, I became a full-time artist in April 2022 – I am just emerging into the world of art, which means it is a great opportunity for you to own a piece of my early works.
I had always fancied painting but hadn’t picked up a brush since completing A-level art – 30 years previously. I had a large blank canvas, collecting dust in the garage for over ten years with the hope of one day finding the time. In March 2020 – Lockdown gave me that opportunity, even with 30-year-old acrylics and oils (still had my A-level art box) and I haven’t looked back.
As an artist (and a human) we are always evolving – I am currently pursuing realism within my oil paintings.
2. Sarah Becktel
Sarah Becktel is an American artist based in Southern New Jersey. She earned her BFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art and continued her studies of representational drawing and painting at multiple locations. Sarah has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and her work is in private collections across the world.
Sarah creates paintings and drawings that are inspired by animals, natural history, and ecology. She travels extensively to view animals in their natural environments and many of her works are a result of her experiences in nature. Sarah also finds inspiration in natural history museums where she can study and learn about the animal species of bygone eras.
As an Artist Educator for Strathmore Artist Papers, Sarah lectures at art schools and ateliers about the characteristics of art materials and how to choose the right products for each artist’s individual needs. She served as Product Research Director for the Colored Pencil Society of America from 2009 to 2015, which led to a rich understanding of lightfast testing and art materials manufacturing.
I think it is important to depict each of my animal subjects not as a feature within a landscape, but as a distinct individual with their own life and personality.
The artist– I create art that is inspired by animals, ecology, and natural history. I am interested in exploring how the animal kingdom has intersected with human civilization throughout history, and how we continue to navigate that intersection today.
Finding space and ecological balance for animals in our contemporary world is a complicated business. This is particularly true for large carnivore species who still carry the misunderstanding and stigma of bygone eras. These animals need particular attention and consideration because science has proven that apex predators are critical to the health of the ecosystems within which they live. These carnivores are greatly needed and are too often still misjudged and undervalued.
I think it is important to depict each animal subject not as a feature within a landscape, but as a distinct individual with their own life and personality. It is easy to overlook an animal’s individuality and instead think of them as just a representation or an avatar for all members of that species. By considering and recognizing that each animal is a unique entity, we can bridge the gap between species and give historically misunderstood animals the consideration and empathy they deserve.
I have a great appreciation for the natural world and the animal species that each fit so well into their distinct ecosystems. I hope my art can bring others to a similar place of respect and admiration.
3. Hana Fitzsimmons
Hana is a marvelous painter. She is passionate about horse portraits. Her work revolves around wildlife portraits with the aim to bring awareness about climate change, the extinction of animals, poaching, and other man-made problems. Her life-like paintings with high details are a treat to the eyes.
The artist- I was born in the Czech Republic and as far as I can remember I loved drawing and animals. My favorite subject to draw was always horses. Horses are my passion on and off the paper.
I draw a wildlife piece to bring awareness to climate change, extinction of animals, poaching and other problems caused mainly by human activity.
In 2006 I started to study Visual Arts in Valhalla, New York. There I took oil painting classes and since then oil paint became my favorite medium to use. I loved painting mainly human portraits.
I took a break from art and returned to it in 2015. Then in 2016, I discovered colored pencils and they quickly became my favorite medium to use. I loved the amount of detail I could achieve with colored pencils.
I now concentrate on highly detailed pet and wildlife portraits. I am passionate about creating drawings with a message when I draw a wildlife piece to bring awareness to climate change, the extinction of animals, poaching, and other problems caused mainly by human activity. I am very proud to support several charities with my artwork.
4. Joanne Kitson
Joanne lives on the edge of the countryside in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. She lives with her husband Richard Kitson, a notable figurative artist and musician; and their rescued house rabbit Dolly.
I finally got my own horse, Shadow, a beautiful bay. I would spend hours sitting in Shadow’s field observing and sketching him and his field mates from life, analyzing equine conformation, color, and movement.
Joanne Kitson is a professional artist specializing in equestrian art and animal portraiture. Joanne’s passion for equine subjects goes back to her childhood when she spent as much time as she could at her local stables, riding and tending to the ponies. This teamed with a keen interest in art from a young age meant that horses quickly became her main inspiration. After receiving her first commission at the age of fifteen Joanne progressed to build a large body of work and through word of mouth began to sell her work in local art exhibitions as well as receiving more commissions to paint animal portraits.
Joanne is often credited for the amount of anatomical detail she includes in her work. This developed as a result of having access to her own horse from which she made various studies. “I finally got my own horse at the age of 17, a rescue case named Shadow, a beautiful bay Anglo-Arab gelding. Shadow became my companion and muse over the next couple of years, and it was also during this time that I started to take the study of anatomy seriously, and would often spend hours sitting in Shadow’s field observing and sketching him and his field mates from life, analyzing equine conformation, color, and movement”.
Although no longer a horse owner, Joanne is a keen rider to this day and finds her regular and close contact with horses essential to her art. Joanne now maintains a practice based on observations from life and her own photographic source material. By making sketches from the life she has developed an uncanny ability to capture the individual personality and characteristics of her subjects. This ability has thrilled clients and collectors alike and her work now hangs in private collections in the UK, USA, and Canada. Joanne enjoys an enviable international reputation in her field of animal portraiture.
5. Melina Buntschu
Mélina Buntschu, alias Mébu, is a 31-year-old artist of Friborg origin, born in Geneva. Since her early childhood, she has been drawing animals out of passion.
In 2013, she obtained her Federal Certificate of Capacity as a 3D Designer as well as her professional artistic maturity at the School of Applied Arts in Geneva. The same year, she was accepted directly into the 1st year at the Ecole d’Art Cantonal de Lausanne in Industrial Design. Unfortunately, life circumstances have meant that she will not complete this training.
Doubt is a formidable guest, it sneaks in and then settles.
A vicious friend who can turn everything upside down with a snap of his fingers. I feel like this meerkat,
on the lookout, head turning in all directions, to face the doubts that never leave me.The doubt (https://www.melinabuntschu.com/emotions)
With an active and determined temperament, she found a job as a Visual Merchandiser, which she held for more than 6 years. During this professional experience, she was led to manage artistic projects related to the scenography of shop windows and the presentation of products.
In 2014, alongside her professional activity, she launched the Mébu adventure. She creates animal portraits of all kinds, in acrylic on canvas. A way for her to reconnect with drawing, and her love for animals and to escape from her daily life.
Since 2015 she exhibits and participates in various events as an animal painter. She offers live painting and exhibits at charity evenings for animals. She exhibited for the first time in a gallery during a collective exhibition in 2019. In the meantime, she participated in craftsmen’s markets and other designer events.
It was at the end of 2020, after becoming aware of her state of physical and mental health, that she decided to give her Mébu activity a whole new dimension. She discovered digital art and experimented with this new technique and these various possibilities. It was in this awareness and this artistic discovery that Mélina decided to launch the Emotions project.
Some amazing work was done by these artists. They also support many causes, and charities and are active participants in protecting the inhabitants. The portraits are a marvel, captured with such high detailing and showcasing the individual personality and characteristics of the subjects.