Fighting, displaying, leaping, swooping, hunting or feeding – these are the things which make wildlife art differ from most other art. Movement.
A still life, a nude, a portrait or a landscape tend not to move.
Unless they are dead, wild animals have a habit of moving, usually quickly and unpredictably. The way in which we see wildlife is usually in brief, sudden glimpses, its presence is unexpected and fleeting, merging with shapes and patterns of its surroundings. Twenty years ago I worked mainly as a natural history illustrator, painting every feather and fur detail I could possibly squeeze into the artwork. Today I believe just as much information and knowledge can be found in a ‘looser’ painting. The movement and ‘living energy’ is captured. Creatures in motion are much more of a ‘story’ than those which are still, we learn so much more of their characteristics from the way in which they move.
If a wing beat can be captured with one brush stroke of paint why paint more?