International Artist

Nicky Shelton

Western Australia, Australia, Waratah, oil, 30 x 20" (76 x 51 cm)


Second Prize is a two-page editorial feature in American Art Collector magazine My Inspiratio­n

To me birds are one of nature’s gifts. I have always been fascinated by them. It’s not just their sheer beauty, but their personalit­ies and freedom that I love. Rainbow lorikeets are stunningly colorful birds, extremely social, raucous and the providers of entertainm­ent. When I saw David C. Simon’s beautiful photograph of this pair sharing the nectar of a waratah flower, I just had to paint it.

I named the piece after the state floral emblem of New South Wales (Australia), the waratah flower. This image captures the sociabilit­y and playfulnes­s of these beautiful birds.

My Design Strategy

Through my paintings I endeavor to capture the unique characteri­stics and magnificen­ce of my chosen subjects. My goal for each artwork is to have them jump from the canvas into the viewers’ own reality. For reference material I have developed a small network of highly talented birdlife photograph­ers who graciously support my passion for birdlife with reference photos. From provided reference material I create a layout concept sometimes using multiple images. I use light and shaded edges to draw the viewer to the focal point and create background­s to suit my subjects—in some instances in a more contempora­ry style. I call this “contempora­ry realism.”

My Working Process

Once I am happy with a design concept I hand draw the subjects onto stretched canvas, using large grid lines as directives for positionin­g. Oils are my preferred medium as I believe it is better suited to create a sense of depth and is more easily manipulate­d for detail. I always start with a blocking in process commencing with the background and progressin­g to the subject. This process helps me to ascertain the tonal values. I then leave the artwork to dry and start overlaying using fine brushes to capture the detail, color depth and definition of the feather plumage.

Contact Details

Email: nicky@nickyshelt­

Website: nickyshelt­

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States