I have a passion and love for nature and all animals. Some say that animals don't have souls, but I believe that they do. One cannot help but look into the eyes of a faithful, furry companion and not realize that there is love and soul in those eyes. As my own animals age, I wanted to capture that favorite expression in their eyes so that I can always see it even when they are gone.
The best compliment that I received of my artwork was that someone said that my 'paintings' (which were actually colored pencil drawings) look like you could 'reach-out and touch them because they were so real looking'. I try to capture the expression in the animal's eye that make him or her unique and the 'feel' of animal's coat.
I learned to draw by reading. I read many books on drawing, but the best book that I read was Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. This book was really about seeing. Really seeing things as they are and not as preconceived objects. This book and a lot of practice has helped me to observe things in animals and nature that I probably would have missed had I not really 'looked'.
I usually use photos as my reference for animal drawings, either my own photos or photos provided to me by others that want a drawing of their pet. I use different mediums; acrylics, oil paints, watercolor, graphite, charcoal, and color pencil. I prefer colored pencil because I feel that I can acheive more realistic fur and hair density than with other mediums. I usually start with the eyes of the animal first. This gives the overall piece a feel or a charecter to it that captures the expression or soul of the creature.