Gina Hawkshaw

Gina’s celebrated wildlife portraiture offers an intimate and sometimes emotional encounter with an array of beautiful wild animals. She works from carefully chosen photographs showing a close up of the subject in a strong light, enabling her to see and recreate it in an extraordinary amount of detail. She lifts each intricately partterned tiger, zebra or giraffe out of its setting and places it against a deliberately muted, neutral background in order to highlight the colours and textures. She draws particular attention to the eyes, as she believes that that is where the soul of the piece originates. The spectacular level of detail in each piece brings the animal to life and makes Gina’s work recognisable, memorable, immediate and uniquely arresting.

Gina creates her high-impact statement portraits in acrylics as they offer the facility to create very fine and lasting details due to the speed at which they dry. This fast drying quality allows her to build up multiple layers, showing every stroke of hair or fur in the animal’s coat and giving bringing life and authenticity to her subject. She paints for the sheer joy she finds in her two passions - for the wildlife she paints and for the experience of personal creative reward.

She says: “I am inspired by the animal kingdom – I strive to create emotive, detailed pieces that really capture the spirit of the animal. I love the creative process, bringing an animal to life on canvas, and seeing the finished piece hanging in a gallery.”

Born in 1975 in Wiltshire, Gina had a childhood love of horses, and this combined with a talent for drawing to set her on an early creative path. As an adult, she developed an interest in the wider animal kingdom and a particular passion for big cats. Although she continued to draw and paint, she did not embark on her career as a wildlife artist until 2011, having worked for many years for the Ministry of Defence

As well as being shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2019, Gina has held successful solo exhibitions at top London galleries and nationwide. She is feted for her wildlife paintings and her collectors even include a director of London Zoo.