Wild Life Drawing With Wolves
Looking for a life drawing class with a difference? We know just the thing. Running almost weekly workshops in London and beyond, Wild Life Drawing allows you to get up close and personal, and draw, a range of animals without having a wall of glass between you! Set up by artist and wildlife enthusiast Jennie Webber in June â14, classes are both creative and educational offering a first hand insight into the behaviour and beauty of their featured species ranging from lounging lizards to furry ferrets. To coincide with the release of our latest doggie designs for Summer â15, our founder and head designer Gemma Shiel picked up her pot of colouring pencils and headed to East Londonâs Proud Archivist to spend an evening drawing half wolf, half dogs Rufus and Devon. Living with their owner in Cambridge, the pair share many similar characteristics to their wild ancestors surviving on a diet of red meat and white fish, hunting as a pack and howling at a full moon. While Gemma drew, we chatted to founder Jennie about animal facts, drawing tips and what makes the subjects of her classes so special.
How did you come up with the idea of Wildlife Drawing?
It came to me quite naturally as it combines my two passions; nature and drawing. I had done a lot of drawing backstage at the Natural History Museum, but obviously all their specimens are stuffed or preserved in spirits. So I wanted to create a class that would be more unique and engaging, with real animals!
I also am very interested in various conservation and animal welfare issues around the globe and saw the class as a chance to raise awareness of some of them and hopefully promote a bit of mindfulness for animals and the wider world.
What's the most fascinating fact you've learnt about a particular animal since you started?Â
Snakes have two clawed digits on the underside of their belly - they are vestigial hind legs, an evolutionary 'leftover' from when snakes were walking animals!
Animals can be unpredictable, have you encountered any challenges in your classes?
I make sure to use only the best animal handlers, sanctuaries and organisations to source the animals for the classes. All the animals are accompanied by expert handlers and the environment is assessed to make sure the animals will be calm and comfortable. Due to this, weâve never had any issues!
The only minor issue is when the animals move around, ferrets were quite a challenging draw! But thatâs just the nature of the class, everyone knows that you canât ask an animal to stay still and itâs all part of the fun.
What is your favourite animal to draw and why?
I think Iâm going to say owl, because theyâre utterly beautiful and have bags of personality. They were also the subject of the very first Wild Life Drawing class, so they have a special place in my heart!
What are your three top tips to make a winning wildlife drawing?
1. Draw fast - get all the details down quickly!
2. Experiment - fur, feathers and scales are all totally different so test out different materials to get the best effect.
3. Be true to your own style - everyoneâs work is so different, and canât be replicated, so itâs best to draw in your own way.
To see snaps of previous classes and find out about forthcoming events, visit www.wildlifedrawing.co.uk. As you can imagine, classes are in demand so make sure you subscribe to their newsletterÂ so that you can secure a space!
Oh and if you like Safari animals, Jennie has something special in the pipeline this summer...see you there!