Shelly Perkins

Shelly Perkins

Colours, line and movement in nature

Favourite destination
Remote and wild landscapes - Antarctica, Africa, Europe

Favourite medium
Watercolour and a soft pencil

Keep your pencil sharp, and try using more continuous lines rather than lots of short ones - this gives a more fluid feel, especially good when capturing animals like big cats, which have long languid lines.

Shelly loves to share her passion for wildlife, travel and conservation through teaching. She will take you though the stages of a drawing logically, helping you with line and tone, concentrating on details and understanding the whole setting.

Shelly’s own art work is created in a highly unusual way, combining traditional drawing and watercolour washes with contemporary digital techniques. Starting by hand with strong, fluid line drawings, painted textures, watercolour and textiles, she then brings her elements together digitally, layering up to 150 layers at varying levels of opacity.  Her finished illustrations are detailed files which she prints by Giclee archival quality digital printing. Her prints feature in private and public collections all over the world.

As well as showing her work in galleries Shelly also undertakes illustration commissions, including BBC Wildlife Magazine, The National Trust, The RSPB, WWF, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, The Vincent Wildlife Trust and The Radio Times.

In 2017 Shelly was chosen as the Scott Polar research institute’s Antarctic Artist in Residence.  Her work from the trip continues to expose the beauty but extreme fragility of this incredible part of the world.

When working in the field Shelly works in watercolour or a soft pencil, enjoying the lines and details. With more time in the field she will often combine a mix of materials, adding in acrylic pens and pastels over pencil and paint to add another layer of depth.