Karl Royce


© Karl Royce

Born in Lincolnshire and a Quantity Surveyor and volunteer with the RSPB, something which has brought me closer to nature, going through a low point in my life, I needed something to focus on and occupy my mind. Reminiscing back to my youth my father used to fascinate me with his drawing, always on a Sunday he used to draw, mostly horses in oil pastels (he used to live in Spain as a youngster and spent time drawing on the seafront). He showed me some pictures, mainly elephants and big cats painted by David Shepard which blew my mind as I could not believe anyone could paint such realism, these must have been photographs I thought to myself. So, with this in mind in, April of 2019, I perused YouTube and came across by chance videos on how to draw realistic animals by artists like Jason Morgan, Lisa Anne Watkins and Bonny Snowdon, again I was blown away by their talents. I decided to buy some cheap coloured pencils and pastels and follow the tutorials of how to draw a cat’s eye, a dog’s nose and a bird. I showed these to my daughter, and she was surprised as to how good they were and asked if I would draw her cats, why not? I drew both cats, which are now hanging up on her wall, I then showed a few friends and family and from then on, I kind of realised I could draw pretty well, although I’m still very self-critical. I then received through a friend a request (commission) of a puppy, I was scared to accept but said if they didn’t like it they don’t have to have it, once I completed it and delivered it and saw the tears of happiness in her eyes I know from then on I wanted to do more and make more people happy with my work.

I carried on working in coloured pencil and posted a few pictures on Twitter and was overwhelmed by the comments and support and this is where I am now, some guy who draws animals he loves and the odd commission and with a focus and definitely in a better place mentally.

I use both coloured pencil and pastel pencils in my work, I find each subject lends itself to its own medium so I don’t see myself as concentrating on one or the other, even though the processes are completely different, I guess it keeps me on my toes!

I would now love to build up my portfolio and exhibit my work for more people to see and appreciate, I think my love of big cats is shown in my work and ‘Hypnotic’ (coloured pencil on drafting film) has been a drawing I look at and cannot believe myself that I have drawn it, now available as a limited edition print it has been appreciated in the UK and USA which blows my mind. My aim now is to draw all the big cats in the same style and hopefully exhibit them and raise money to save these beautiful creatures.

Still with a love for wildlife I continue to visit new places with my camera to capture reference pictures for future work and also provide a service where I take pictures for prospective clients of their fur babies… the future now is certainly much brighter for me and something I’m really relishing, thank you for reading.

Updated May 2020