We recently caught up with Nic Vickery in our mission to meet some of the Cotswolds best animal artists. Nic Vickery is a gifted artist based in rural Oxfordshire, on the Gloucestershire borders, who specialises in animal subjects, and in particular, horses, large or small, and companion and working dogs.
Hi Nic, how would you describe your art?
Hi! I would describe my art as being realistic and as detailed as possible, I need my artwork to truly look like it could walk off the page!
When did you discover you had a talent?
Most of my earliest memories are of lying on the living room floor, endlessly drawing. When I was growing up my Dad worked for a local paper manufacturer, so I always had plenty to draw on. I started drawing friends dogs when I worked at The Blue Cross, a very long time ago! From there I started taking commissions, firstly as a hobby, and now it's the job I love.
Why did you chose animals as your specialist subject?
I grew up in a house full of pets, and have never been without a dog, or cat, or a few of each, as well as working in animal welfare. I just love animals and always have, I always think if you enjoy drawing something then it shows. So it was an easy decision to specialise in animals.
How would you describe your style?
I try and make my work as lifelike as possible, which is obviously essential when it comes to commissioned portraits. I also like to have a sense of humour and play about with some pictures, as in my Badger in A Bowler, which depicts a well dressed Badger, or Long-Eared Gent, a very dapper hare!
How long from start to finish does it take to create a portrait?
A portrait can take anything from a week to a month, all depending on what the customer would like, as each commission is individual, they all vary. I have been asked to draw everything from a single house rabbit, named Frank, to a whole family of Spaniels, Mum, Dad and their litter of pups.
Is there an animal you enjoy drawing most?
I really like to draw a selection of animals, although most of my commissions are dogs. I also mix them up with horses, wildlife, farm animals, and my slightly whimsical ones too. Variety keeps everything fresh.
What is the hardest thing to capture when drawing an animal?
When drawing any animal you are trying to capture their character, which is why I like to meet them, to take my own photos. When this isn't possible, (I do quite a few posthumous portraits), then I get a feel for the dog's personality from their owners. People are always drawn to the subject's eyes, which depict so much about the animal, so getting them right is very important, and is probably the most time-consuming part of a portrait.
How can one go about commissioning you for a portrait of their pet?
If anyone is interested in commissioning a portrait from me, they can contact me via my email at email@example.com, or have a look at my website www.nicvickeryanimalartist.com, and have a look at some of my past commissions on there. I also have a Facebook page at Nic Vickery Animal Art, and I'm always happy to have a chat about a possible portrait.
Do you offer any other gifts and products?
As well as commissioned work, I also sell Limited Edition Giclee Prints, Greetings Cards, Cushion Covers, and even some new Coasters. These are all available from my website, http://www.nicvickeryanimalartist.com/