Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – realistic and stylised animals in art from Manic Illustrations

Skedaddling #Pheasant

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Painting of a pheasant with an emerald and gold scarf in his beak

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#Sparrow Crisis

This House Sparrow is having a bit of a crisis.  He has been bringing nesting material to this door for many weeks now even though we have tried blocking his reflection with paper on the outside it has not stopped.  Interestingly the next door neighbours think it is “their” sparrow, as it is trying to get into their house too.

Photo of a house sparrow sitting on a door handle

The House Sparrow is an adaptable bird and had been extremely successful in urban settings with flocks of them living side by side with humans up until the 1970’s.  Now House Sparrows may be in real crisis as a successful breeding urban bird that has now all but disappeared from our towns and cities.

“The State of the UK’s Birds in 1999 showed house sparrow numbers had fallen 58 per cent between 1975, when they were first monitored, and 1998 …. the BTO’s breeding birds survey.” The Independent 2000.

It seems though that the actual reason has yet to be discovered.   And this is not just a problem for the House Sparrow in the UK.   For example in India Delhi adopted the House sparrow as its State bird in 2012, this was after they had noticed that the House Sparrow was in severe decline…[there is more interesting reading from The Hindu 2014 here.]

This world wide decline in numbers of House Sparrows started to occur before cell phone radiation was present.  It is suggested that food sources particularly around concentrated human populations have disappeared due to the extensive use use of pesticides and removal of habitat with our concrete architecture.   These birds rely on small insects whilst rearing young and grains and berries the rest of the year.  It has been noted that House Sparrows have moved away from humans, implying that it has to do directly with our activity in these recent decades.

What can you do to help the House Sparrow?  This article gives some tips on how you can assist with the local House Sparrow population right outside your door.


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Commission Your #Dog as a Stylised Character – #Pet Portraits with Flair

Do you think that you might like to commission a painting of your pet? It may or may not be a dog as featured here; any animal will do for an artist interested in animals! Perhaps a realistic portrait is what you are looking for?   Look no further as I can do realistic paintings of animals including dogs just like this one of Fred the spaniel….

A painting of a dog portrait by artist Diane Young

Fred Spaniel Commission

BUT……….what if you want something a bit different?  I have found over time  that there are people out there who like their pets adapted into characters of themselves.  This is where I get the chance to set up a scene based on your idea of your pet with all its’ attributes.

One such commission seen below was based on a dog who was a stray that was adopted into the family. This painting  is the end result of the dialogue between the lady commissioning the painting and myself.  The storyline is that the stray English Pointer arrived at this National Heritage Castle that they managed during Christmas time looking rather forlorn and neglected.  Subsequently he became a very happy family pet.

Commission of an English Pointer painting with gold leaf by artist Diane Young of Manic Illustrations Stroud

Pointer Commission

My latest commission seen below follows on from this with two stylised dog characters, an older staffy type and a young chicken-chasing dachshund cross.  All the characters and the rainbow were requested by the customer.  All details are discussed by email or phone if preferred.  After much discussion emails are sent to the customer with the final composition as a sketch.  And later with the final painting.  It is so rewarding to part with a finished piece to another satisfied customer.

Painting of a stylised character dog pet portrait and some chickens and ducks by artist Diane Young of Stroud

There are many examples on my illustration style gallery here.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch, let’s have a conversation about what you have in mind and I am sure that I could come up with suggestions to get us started on that very original painting.

email me : diane@manicillustrations.com