Claire Newell 'Nature in Pencil
Wildlife, Pet & Natural History Artist & Illustrator and Nature Photographer

I have been a Wildlife & Pet Artist for over 20 years specialising in Pencil Drawings of Wildlife & Pets along with some Botanical Illustrations and Nature Photography. I also draw Teddy Bears and other soft toys which are popular with children and adults alike.

I grew up in Andover, Hampshire, but moved down to Bideford, North Devon, in early 1990, where I started my career as a ‘Wildlife & Pet Artist’. In late 2010, I moved back to be closer to my family.

Although I went to North Devon College to study 'BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design' in 1993 for 2 years, the drawings I do now are largely self taught as the tutors tended to encourage larger scale painting and drawing with mediums other than pencils. In 2007 I went back to North Devon College to do A-Level Photography as this has also been an interest of mine.

The main part of my work are my drawings which are created using Watercolour Pencils (without water) & Graphite Pencils. I use pencils because they are a good medium for getting plenty of detail. Pencils are so easy to use for many reasons, one of which is that it is a clean medium so setting up and clearing away doesn’t take long because paint brushes, palettes and other equipment don’t have to be washed up, you just pick up and put down.

As well as drawing, I do Nature Photography, of various forms of nature from large & small Animals & Birds to Flowers & Landscapes etc., mostly British Wildlife. I also enjoy doing macro photography especially of Insects and Flowers, as it shows the fascinating detail that usually isn’t noticed. Recently my parents had a Wasps nest in their tree, the Wasps were fascinating to watch and photograph, and because they didn't feel threatened they didn't attack or fly in doors, even when any of our family were walking past, they just got on with what they were doing and generally got used to us all.

Photography is a very useful tool for a Wildlife Artist to use along with sketchbooks as reference for their artwork because just relying on fieldwork is difficult especially with animals, birds and insect which are sometimes around for only a short time in the wild and may not even come back again for a few days. Photos are also helpful for getting detail and are good for looking at the composition. I sell photographic prints as well as prints of my drawings because they are good in their own right and often can’t be reproduced into drawings with quite the same effect.

As a lover of Animals and of Nature in general, Drawing and Photography even since childhood, I consider this to be the best job in the world.

A lot of my inspiration comes from the British Countryside including 'Lundy Island' on the North Devon Coast, & even my own garden especially the hedge & Trees.

Although most of my commissions are Pets, I do also take commissions for Wildlife Drawings and Photography.