Dave ButcherMy main subjects are wildlife, portraiture and art nude. I began drawing about 9 years ago and I am self taught. I used to work offshore in the oil and gas industry as a diver and it was whilst being transported offshore (a trip which was going to take a couple of days) that I found the only book not in German that was about teaching yourself to draw. Well, I studied about a quarter of the book before abandoning it to do my own thing. Once home on leave, I got down to practicing doing graphite pencil drawings and also pen and ink work. I then had an accident offshore which ended my diving career and so concentrated on my art work once home.

At the time I was doing pencil work and pen and ink. In both cases I use multiple layers to build up tone and this can lead to many hours for a work to be completed. In the case of pen and ink I use very fine Architects pens and employ ‘stippling’ this is a series of dots the further the dots are from each other the lighter the shade and vice versa I suppose it is a bit like a tattoo. One of my pen and ink drawings ‘Pals’ was short listed for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist Of The Year Award 2008 and was exhibited in The Mall Gallery in London. My pencil work also consists of many layers being put down to hopefully give a 3D effect (I find this particularly useful for fur). In the case of my portraits, I use small circles to build up tone and I try to avoid blending with tools as much as possible as I find if done is right the shading should blend in naturally.

I purchased a good quality camera primarily to use as a tool to provide reference material for my drawings but this also took me onto a different path of photography and I find photography and my artwork complement each other nicely.

I have been given quit a few commissions to do mainly pet portraits and portraiture which I am grateful for.

People are gracious enough to compliment me on my art work but I think it is no skill on my behalf but any skill I may have I think I inherited from my Mother who was a artist employing many mediums who sadly passed away recently and so I thank her for any skill I may possess.