Since I was old enough to hold a pencil all I have ever wanted to do is draw and be creative. When I was a little girl I would draw anything and everything using whatever utensil I could find! Creating hand drawn pencil portraits quickly became my favourite past time. Animals were always a natural choice of subject matter for me with our various family pets, and growing up in Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire there was no shortage of animals to be inspired by. I started to draw animal portraits for people as gifts for Birthdays and at Christmas time. It wasn’t long before friends and family were asking me to draw portraits of their furry friends for them. This has subsequently led to me becoming a professional animal portrait artist and I have been producing portraits for the last 20 years.
I’ve always gained a lot of inspiration from my family pets including a number of dogs, rabbits and my guinea pigs Scampi and Chips! I currently have two rescue rabbits called Bridie and Bryn who are always getting up to mischief and keeping me entertained.
I have also drawn cats, horses and a pet hedgehog as well as dabbling in wildlife portraiture with works including a tiger, owl and vulture. I have even been asked to include humans in one of my portraits (this was a special wedding gift!) and I also created a special piece of artwork to celebrate the Bourton Browser magazine’s 20th anniversary, which now takes pride of place in the community centre in Bourton on the Water.
Why I Became a Professional Animal Portrait Artist
In 2016 I realised that I could actually make a living from my hand drawn pencil portraits. So I took the plunge, quit my full-time merchandising job and pursued my dream.
Firstly, I wanted to be my own boss. Secondly, I knew I could use my creative talents to spread a little bit of joy and make people smile. Animals are so fascinating to me and I really believe they have many positive influences on us humans…I think we can learn a lot from them! They have such a huge impact on our lives; it’s important that we celebrate them and remember them once they’re gone. Animal Portraits are the perfect way to do that.
My daughter Layla came along in 2021, so working from home on my business also means that I get to spend more precious time with her and my partner Ed.
“A big Thank You for the wonderful portrait of Sparrow. As you know it was a gift for friends who gave us one of her puppies after we lost our wonderful Mollie. They absolutely loved it. I will be returning to you again.”S.Winslade
“It’s come in the post, and we love it – thank you ever so much for the portrait of Rameses. I think you’ve captured him and his personality just perfectly. It’s a work of art – time to get it framed now!”S.Griffiths
Most animal portrait artists work in colour – find out why I choose black and white…
Take a look at my animal-themed products on the Bella & Bryn website…
My business is now a full-time venture and I work on my portraits from my studio in Herefordshire, UK. In-between looking after my little girl, I spend most of my time drawing pets and marketing my business. I also create animal-themed gifts; I have a second website, “Bella & Bryn” (named after my rabbits!) – I absolutely love my job as an animal portrait artist and working for myself also means that I get to spend more precious time with my family, friends, and of course, pets! Enjoy browsing my site and please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.