Category Archives: Workshops

Giraffe Bulls Browsing by Alison Nicholls

Giraffes – Paintings in Stages by Alison Nicholls

Giraffes are unique in so many ways – which makes them perfect for painting. As you’ll see in this video, I started with simple washes of fluid acrylic on watercolor canvas. When they were dry I looked at the washes from every angle and suddenly the compositions jumped out at me – 2 bulls browsing in the narrow gap between tall shrubs, and a cow and her calf gazing off into the distance.

A donation will be made from the sale of these paintings to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. The original paintings are currently on view at the Rye Arts Center in Rye, New York, until April 21. You can also see them on my website here.

Read more about the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
The Rye Arts Center is located at 51 Milton Road, Rye, NY 10580.

Take care
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Leopard - Patience by Alison Nicholls

Stages of a Leopard Painting by Alison Nicholls

I recently conducted a survey and asked what everyone would like to see more of regarding my art and travels. One request was for more works in progress, and for more about the inspiration behind my paintings, so here’s a brief video about my new leopard painting. It includes the initial inspiration, thumbnail ideas, composition and stages of the painting. It is difficult to video my work as it progresses, because I paint flat on a table. This means I have to place my video on a very high shelf and try to remember not to block the view when I am painting. Not ideal, but I’m gradually improving my video techniques, so watch for more soon.
If you took part in my survey – Thank You! You can see all the results here.
If you haven’t completed the survey yet, you can do so here.
Enjoy!
Alison

Birds & Beasts at the Rye Arts Center 2018

Birds & Beasts: Near & Far

Birds & Beasts: Near & Far – that is the title for my next exhibition, shared with artist Sean Murtha, at the Rye Arts Center, Rye NY, from March 22 – April 21.

Birds & Beasts at the Rye Arts Center 2018

Giving an exhibition a title can be remarkably difficult. You want to get it right – to indicate what the exhibit is about – but leave a little mystery that will make people want to attend. Its especially difficult to come up with a title when you are are sharing an exhibit with another artist. So (despite my husband’s objections to the word ‘Beasts’) I am pretty pleased with this title and feel it nicely represents my art of large African mammals (some of which are of course, beastly!) and Sean’s art consisting mostly of birds who dwell near or on Long Island Sound.

Drinking Impala by Alison Nicholls

Drinking Impala by Alison Nicholls

Of course, I wonder how much the title means to anyone else. After all, artists often squirm over titling each individual piece of artwork, only to find that viewers don’t really care what the title is. I hate to admit it, but I don’t have a clue about the titles of most of the art in my own home (those pieces not painted by me), so I wonder if all the angst is really worthwhile. Anyway…even if the title is irrelevant, I do hope you will come and join us for one of the many events associated with this exhibit – the Reception, the Artists Talk or the 2 Sketching Sessions with live animals provided by Animal Embassy, including (I am most excited about this) the wonderfully named Quilliam, the African crested porcupine!

Quilliam the African crested porcupine with Chris Evers of Animal Embassy

Quilliam the African crested porcupine with Chris Evers of Animal Embassy

Read more about the art of Sean Murtha
Read more about the Rye Arts Center
Read more about Animal Embassy

I hope to see you at the exhibition for a wild time!
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

January 2018 Art Challenge

I started 2018 with an Art Challenge and here is a preview of my challenge so far.

Art Challenge 2018

As with any plan, once you get into it you realize things need a little tweaking. I started by thinking I’d paint a whole month of daily colors on 1 piece of canvas, but realized it would be tough to overlay 28-31 color washes without complete chaos being the result. So I started a kind of wheel effect, rolling the washes across and down the page.

I wondered when was the best time to choose the color for the day – at the end of the day (when I’m tired) or the next morning (looking back on the day before). I still haven’t really decided which works best yet.

It seemed like such a simple challenge. Who would have thought that painting one color a day on a piece of canvas would give rise to so many questions?!

Paint on!
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Another dead-end. Elephant Calf by Nigel Nicholls

Oh No – Another Art Dead-End!

In many careers you start by studying, learning from others. Those who came before you have created a foundation of knowledge, gathered over the years, so there are many dead-ends you don’t need to visit or experiments you don’t need to repeat – because the answers have been found and are there for you to see and understand. In some careers you are legally obligated to learn and follow this accepted wisdom. A doctor must learn medicine and follow accepted practice, a lawyer must learn the law of the land and (hopefully) operate within it. So how does art differ from this?

Another dead-end. Elephant Calf by Nigel Nicholls

Well, from my years of experience I’d say that being an artist appears to demand that you turn down any number of dead-end roads on your route to improvement. Its true that many people study, that they follow the example of the great masters of the past and learn the history of art, but no amount of theory or knowledge of materials can make you a great artist. Its all about practice, trial and error, and time. Practice leads to competence. Trial and error leads to innovation. Time allows you to develop your own style.

Art is about forging your own path (and trying not to trip over your trunk).
Enjoy the journey!

Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Sketching lions in South Africa 2015

I’m Not An Expert Artist, Can I Still Do An Art Safari?

If I’m not an expert artist, can I still do an Art Safari?

This is a common question, because most of us have an underlying fear of not being good enough. But it’s a very easy question to answer. The answer is “Yes, an Art Safari is for you!”

Art Safaris with Alison Nicholls

Art Safaris are a unique way to experience the African bush and over the last 7 years I have had the pleasure of meeting and teaching guests with a wide range of skills – complete beginners who want to try a different kind of safari; artists who sketch regularly but have never been on safari or sketched animals; a jeweler who wanted to try sketching for a change; those who studied art but haven’t picked up a pencil for years; photographers and non-sketching partners who were intrigued and decided to try sketching for themselves; and occasionally one of our professional safari guides has also been tempted to follow along!

Alison Nicholls Africa Geographic Art Safari 2016

Join me at The Bush House, September 15-20, 2018.

What makes it easy for anyone to join in and learn is that we are all working at our own pace, with our own choice of materials. There is no competition on an Art Safari, just a friendly, fun, learning environment. You can do this safari with just pencil and paper, so there’s no need to be a painter or watercolorist. I start by showing you how to look at animals and see simple shapes. Yes, even the strangest animals like giraffes or white rhinos can be sketched using simple shapes! Its amazing how quickly you can improve when you spend 4 full days sketching from life. Its the best way to learn and gives you a real sense of accomplishment too.

Sketching lions in South Africa 2015

If you’re not already convinced, here are some comments from Art Safari guests.

High Praise for Alison Nicholls’ and Africa Geographic’s Art Safari! I guarantee there is something to gain in this experience for everyone. Viewing and sketching the animals live gives you a greater understanding of their movements and their enviroment.  
Angie M from Canada

For myself the time with you and our Art Safari was the highlight of 2017. 
Susanne B from Switzerland

My art safari experience with Alison was beyond my wildest dreams.  I learned so much about drawing the animals I saw.  We went out on two game drives a day and it was such an intimate experience.  Alison gave each of us individual attention and tips on our sketches.  It was so helpful and encouraging.  I cannot describe how wonderful it was to experience really looking at the animal when you are trying to sketch them.  We came back to the lodge to do some watercolor and more intimate instruction, as well as watch Alison work on some of her marvelous work she had done in the bush.  It was a trip of a lifetime filled with fun, learning and lot’s of laughter.  Thank you, Alison for a wonderful experience. 
Debra S from USA


Join me at The Bush House, September 15-20, 2018.

If you still have questions, let me know.
Come and join us!
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

2018 palette by Alison Nicholls

2018 Art Challenge

Happy 2018!
Want to join me in my 2018 Art Challenge?

I like to think of each passing day as a transparent wash of color. As the day ends, that day’s wash is added to a canvas, painted on top of all the washes from previous days. Some days are light, airy pastels; some are vibrant primaries; some are darker tones; but when you look at the week, or the month, or the year, the canvas tells an exquisite story.

2018 palette by Alison Nicholls

2018 palette by Alison Nicholls

So this year I will be mixing 1 wash of color every day, to reflect how I felt that day. I’ll paint it on a piece of canvas and add a new wash every day. Each week I’ll start a new canvas. (Tip, this will be far easier in fluid acrylic than in watercolor, because you can add multiple washes of color without fear of ‘picking up’ the washes below.) I may even try a monthly canvas, just to see how far I can push this.
Let me know if you will be joining me!

Paint on!
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Alison Nicholls' watercolor field kit

My Watercolor Palette – Limited but Changing

You might have heard me banging on about how I use a limited palette of colors and how this gives many of my paintings a tranquil feel. But a limited palette shouldn’t mean a stagnant palette, so for my latest sketching trip to Africa, I changed some of the solid half-pan colors in my Windsor & Newton field watercolor set.

I’ve noticed over the years that some of these half-pan colors can be difficult to tell apart when I’m painting outdoors, because they appear very dark in their solid form. When mixed with a little water, of course there is no problem, but I often need to get straight to the correct color when time is of the essence. So I made myself a little color chart before I left home. Here it is.

Alison Nicholls watercolor chart

It fits nicely inside the lid of my field box set and is covered in wide cellotape back and front.

Alison Nicholls' watercolor field kit

Alison Nicholls’ watercolor field kit

For all you artists out there who are interested in these things…here’s the list of colors I took with me this year (exactly as shown in the photo). Those in red were new this year.

Cadmium Red   Cerulean Blue    
Alizarin Crimson Lemon Yellow Cobalt Blue Davy’s Gray Titanium White
Magenta Cadmium Yellow Windsor Blue Leaf Green Burnt Sienna
Ultramarine Violet Naples Yellow Ultramarine Blue Oxide Chrome Burnt Umber
Venetian Red Yellow Ochre Indigo Hookers Green Sepia

I immediately loved the Indigo, Sepia, and Davy’s Gray – which I mixed with almost everything – notice the large hole I created in the half-pan! I had to remember which of these I was using though, because Davy’s Gray is a very subtle hue, requiring several brush-loads to make its presence known, whereas the Indigo and Sepia required just the slightest touch of water to shout their presence to the world!

So it appears that the number of colors in my field box set is increasing…but the number of colors used in each painting is still limited to 2 or 3.

Until next time…keep painting.
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

So what is an Art Safari anyway?

Art Safari
/a:t , sə’fa:ri/
noun

2017 Art Safari at Africa on Foot

photo by Angela Matthews

Definition:

  1. A trip of a lifetime…filled with fun, learning and lots of laughter¹; truly an amazing experience²; one of the best ‘Africa’ experiences I have ever had³.  
  2. A means of filling your sketchbook with memories of Africa’s iconic wildlife; to really look at an animal and see things that you don’t see from photos⁴, with thorough, humorous, knowledgeable, and patient² instruction from Alison Nicholls. I can’t believe in such a few short days how quickly I improved my sketching⁵.
  3. A way to share a unique adventure with fellow enthusiastic artists/travelers⁵, although you don’t have to be an artist to fully enjoy yourself.
  4. And…if the 2017 Art Safari was anything to go by…an Art Safari is a way to see honey badgers in camp every night!

¹ Debra S         ² Celia C           ³ Alistair G
⁴ Bobby B        ⁵ Barbara W    ⁷ Penelope B

2017 Art Safari at Africa on Foot

photo by Angela Matthews

Example Sentences
My Art Safari experience with Alison was beyond my wildest dreams. Debra S

The Art Safari with Alison Nicholls was a quality experience in every respect…I would definitely recommend ‘following the dream’!  Judy H

I would not hesitate to recommend Alison or this Africa Geographic Art Safari to my closest family and friends. Butch M

Word Origin
Circa 2011, from Africa Geographic Travel.

Hope you enjoyed my attempt to ‘define’ an Art Safari!

Why not join me on an Art Safari in 2018 and see if I got it right?

Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Generic Giraffe & Other Pitfalls

Field-sketches-by-Alison-Nicholls

Field-sketches-by-Alison-Nicholls

After sketching in the African bush for a number of years, I know the shapes of many of the commonly seen species. Right now, from memory, I can create a quick drawing of a giraffe, elephant, lion, leopard, painted dog, cheetah, kudu, impala, spotted hyena, buffalo, gemsbok, zebra, wildebeest, white rhino, baboon or aardvark (OK, I’m kidding, I’ve never seen, let alone sketched, an aardvark).
 
This knowledge helps me immensely when I’m sketching in the bush and catch a brief glimpse of activity that I want to capture in my sketchbook. If I see a young elephant chasing guinea-fowl or lion cubs pouncing on each other, a particular turn of the head or twist of the body might attract my attention so I quickly sketch it, but then, using my knowledge of the anatomy of the animal, I can add further details to complete the sketch.
 
But recently, I questioned whether this knowledge also leads me to sketch a generic giraffe, a standard spotted hyena, a basic buffalo or a common cheetah. Am I now doing what I always tell students to avoid – drawing what I think I know instead of what I see?
 
If I do fall into this trap (it happens to us all at times) then at least I’m aware of it, so this year in Africa I will be tutoring myself as well as my students. We’ll just have to see who follows instruction better!
 
Do you have any bad art habits you are prepared to share?
Go on, make me feel better.
Alison
 
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Sketching in Africa!

During my sketching trip to Botswana and South Africa I will be trying out some new painting surfaces, although I’ll still be using my trusty watercolor sketchbooks by Holbein. (Yes, the 14×11″ size sketchbook with the incredibly catchy and colorful name: Multi-Drawing Book 5F. I suppose the workhorse-like name and plain cover might help prevent me from spiraling dizzily out of control as I happily sketch my way through the African bush!)

Alison Nicholls art kit

Anyway…back to the new surfaces…one of which is Claybord (made by Ampersand). It is described as the ultimate multimedia panel, with an ultra smooth clay surface that is very absorbent. As you might guess from the name, you can scrape through a painted area to expose the bright white ultra-smooth clay surface. Now this goes against everything I have ever done (as a watercolorist you learn to retain the whites in your paintings rather than add them at the end) so I’m not sure scraping will feature heavily in my use of Claybord, but we’ll see. I am taking half a dozen 5×7” panels. If they were lightweight, I would take larger sizes, but they’re not, so the smaller panels will have to do for now. The surface is bright white and almost texture-free. It is good for detail but won’t hold washes. But pencil and pen will look wonderful on it so maybe I’ll try those. My usual extremely pale sketches are very difficult to photograph in the bush, which is why I hardly ever show you the progression of my sketches. So I’ve been thinking that a softer pencil might be the answer. Maybe Claybord can be part of the answer too.

The pieces of square handmade paper are my next experiment. Although they look like watercolor paper, they act a little too much like blotting paper when a wash is added, soaking up the color and showing all the brushmarks, so once again I think simple lines might be the answer. I’ve had these pieces of paper so long I can’t remember anything about them, except that I got them at New York Central Art Supply, a fantastic art store in New York City, which, sadly, will soon be closing. Like Doctor Who’s tardis, it is tiny from the outside but seems to miraculously hold everything I ever need. It is such a shame it will soon be gone.

Elephant sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

Elephant watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

Speaking of simple lines, I’m also going to be doing more sketches directly in watercolor, like this one from the 2015 Africa Geographic Art Safari. I used a rigger brush for these, and was painting while it was raining, which is why this looks such a mess. (Bookings are now open for my 2017 Art Safari on the edge of Kruger National Park in South Africa.)

So watch out for my latest exploits and sketches from Africa – coming soon!
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Art Safaris with Alison Nicholls

2 New Spaces on 2016 Art Safari!

Someone’s change of plans could start your Artistic Flight of Fantasy…

That’s right – we now have 2 spaces available on the 2nd sold out 2016 Art Safari in South Africa. The dates are September 14-18 and the venue is the Klaserie Game Reserve in South Africa on the edge of Kruger National Park. Its prime time for game viewing and a perfect time of year for sketching. If you’re interested in joining me, don’t delay – we don’t expect these spaces to be available for long.

Africa-On-Foot-Safari

Dreaming of an African Art Safari…?

AFrica-On-Foot-Lodges

A perfect setting for art tutorials…

Africa-On-Foot-Safari

Want to discuss art, wildlife and Africa around the campfire…?

Elephant by Nigel Nicholls © 2012

Sketch elephants with me…(photo by Nigel Nicholls ©2013)

Elephant Drinking Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

Elephant Drinking Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

Check out the Art Safari details and get in touch with me or with Africa Geographic as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you!
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com
A donation is made to African conservation from every sale.

 

Artists Susan Fox, Karryl and Alison Nicholls with an emerald tree boa

An Exhibition In Images: Children Sketching Animals!

Part III of an exhibition in images features Children Sketching Animals. Chris Evers from Animal Embassy brought scorpions, an African bullfrog, a monk parakeet, an emerald tree boa and a rabbit. 25 local children arrived to sketch and sculpt with tuition from artists Alison Nicholls, Karryl, David Rankin, Susan Fox and Sean Murtha. All in a gallery packed with the artists’ wildlife art from Mongolia, Africa, India, Central and North America.

What could possibly go wrong?!

Children sketching animals at the Flinn Gallery

An emerald tree boa fascinates a young visitor…

Chris Evers from Animal Embassy

Chris Evers from Animal Embassy explains the rules…

 

David Rankin demonstrates how to sketch a scorpian

David Rankin demonstrates how to sketch a scorpion…

Sean Murtha watches over children and a monk parakeet

Sean Murtha helps children sketching a monk parakeet…

Monk parakeet poses perfectly

The monk parakeet poses perfectly…

Susan Fox explains how to sketch a bullfrog

Susan Fox explains how to sketch a bullfrog…

Alison Nicholls helps children sketch a tree boa

Alison Nicholls helps children sketch a tree boa…

Karryl helps children sculpt a rabbit

Karryl helps children sculpt a rabbit…

Sketching and sculpting in the gallery

Sketching and sculpting in the gallery…

Emerald tree boa with art by Carel Brest van Kempen

At the end we get to have a little fun…emerald tree boa with art by Carel Brest van Kempen…

Artists Susan Fox, Karryl and Alison Nicholls with an emerald tree boa

Susan Fox, Karryl & Alison Nicholls hold the beautiful emerald tree boa…

It turned out that nothing went wrong at all. The sketching and sculpting session was a great hit and (as far as we know) the snake, scorpions, frog, rabbit and bird all exited the gallery with Chris from Animal Embassy!

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio is at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut, and features field work and studio work from 7 Signature members of the Society of Animal Artists. Each artist works in a different region of the world: Alison Nicholls (Africa); David Rankin (India); Karryl (Rocky Mountains); Carel Brest van Kempen (Central America); Kelly Singleton (Alaska); Sean Murtha (Long Island Sound) and Susan Fox (Mongolia). The exhibit is on display until May 4, 2016. Wildlife Art: Field to Studio is curated by Lillian Lum, Claudia Schipper & Alice Sherwood.

Please come and join me for a guided tour of the exhibition!
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com
A donation is made to African conservation from every sale.

Strides by Alison Nicholls

Spot my New Cheetah Painting!

I’d like to show you my new cheetah painting, Strides, but I can’t – not yet!
It will be revealed in late March when it hangs in the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, CT, as part of the exhibition Wildlife Art: Field to Studio.

Strides-sneak-peak-ANicholls

See the full painting in March in the Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, CT.

In the meantime, enjoy the preview!

Flinn Gallery
Greenwich Library, 101 West Putnam Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830
5 of the participating artists – Alison Nicholls, Sean Murtha, Susan Fox, David Rankin & Karryl – will be present for the opening weekend and the following events:
Opening Reception: March 31, 6-8pm
Children Sketching Wildlife: April 2, 11am-12noon (registration required, details tba)
Artists’ Talk: April 2, 2-3pm.

The Explorers Club Lecture, New York City.
April 4, 6pm. Registration is required.

Artist Alison Nicholls

2016 Art Safaris Fully Booked!

There have been no flurries of snow here but there have been a flurry of bookings for the Art Safaris I teach for Africa Geographic!

Artist Alison Nicholls

Artist Alison Nicholls

We advertised 1 safari in September 2016, then added a 2nd, also in September. And as of today, they are both fully booked!

Its a great start to 2016, although I apologize to those of you who may also have been thinking of joining me. In the middle of the year we will start to think about the 2017 safaris, so let me know if you’d like advance notice of the details. And don’t wait too long!

Happy New Year!
Alison
Africa Geographic Art Safaris
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Lion Pride Field Sketch © Alison Nicholls 2015

African Wildlife Sketch #19 – Lion Pride by Alison Nicholls

This sketch was created, as a demonstration, during the 2015 Africa Geographic Art Safari in Kariega Game Reserve, South Africa. It was a cloudy day and we were watching a lion pride, when suddenly a mother warthog and her brood came trotting out of the bush, straight at the lions. One of the lionesses gave chase and they all disappeared, only to reappear a few seconds later, clattering down the track, with the lioness on the tail of one of the piglets. The chase ended in success for the lioness, but the male lion soon appeared to steal the kill from her. After the commotion died down, they all emerged from the bushes and lay in the open, where this sketch was created. The watercolor was added back at camp, as a demonstration of how I add color to my pencil sketches. It was an exciting start to our Art Safari!

Lion Pride Field Sketch © Alison Nicholls 2015

Lion Pride Field Sketch, watercolor by Alison Nicholls

All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches. 

The Original Field Sketch is watercolor & pencil on watercolor paper, 11×14″, priced at US$300. Limited Edition Giclées are available, priced at US$120 each. Only 10 copies are available, printed using archival inks on watercolor paper, 14×11″, all signed and numbered by me.

A donation will be made to African conservation from every sale.

Until Nov 22, I will be sharing 1 of my new African field sketches every day. The new sketches are shown to my newsletter readers a full day before they are shown here. Click here to Join my Mailing List and see the sketches as soon as they are released, or see them here 1 day later.

Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Tomorrow’s sketch is of a pack of painted dogs.
Until then…
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Atka, the Arctic wolf

October Wolf Sketching Session

This post was supposed to invite you to join me for my next wolf sketching workshop at the Wolf Conservation Center​ in South Salem, New York, but it turns out that the workshop is already fully booked.

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka, the Arctic wolf

I just returned from Africa, where I was fortunate to see and sketch several packs of painted dogs (African wild dogs). It will be great to continue sketching canids, and to compare their different body shapes.

My next wolf sketching session will be in the spring. Hopefully you can join me then!
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

Wolf + Sketchbook + Spring = Art Safari!

My next Wolf Sketching Workshop at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem will be May 3rd from 9am – 12 noon. Join me and learn how to capture a live wolf in your sketchbook! Any level of sketching experience (or none!) is just fine.

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

In addition to sketching several of WCC’s ambassador wolves, you will have a chance to see the critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Please contact me if you have any questions, or use the link below to sign up for the workshop. Spring is finally here, so join me for a wonderful morning watching and sketching wolves!

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka (above), Zephyr, Alawa, Nikai and I, hope to see you there!
Alison

Wolf Conservation Center
Wolf Sketching Safari, May 3, 9am-12noon.
$70 per person. Pre-Registration is Required.

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Join Me To Sketch Wolves!

My next Wolf Sketching Workshop at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem will be May 3rd from 9am – 12 noon. Join me and learn how to capture a live wolf in your sketchbook! Any level of sketching experience (or none!) is just fine.

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

In addition to sketching several of WCC’s ambassador wolves, you will have a chance to see the critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Please contact me if you have any questions, or use the link below to sign up for the workshop. Spring is finally here, so join me for a wonderful morning watching and sketching wolves!

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka (above), Zephyr, Alawa, Nikai and I, hope to see you there!
Alison

Wolf Conservation Center
Wolf Sketching Safari, May 3, 9am-12noon.
$70 per person. Pre-Registration is Required.

Art Safaris with Alison Nicholls

2015 Art Safari with Alison Nicholls Fully Booked

I’m pleased to report that the 2015 Art Safari I am leading for Africa Geographic in South Africa, is fully booked!

Art Safari © Alison Nicholls 2011

Sketching after lunch on the Africa Geographic Art Safari with Alison Nicholls.

Details for the 2016 Art Safari in South Africa will be available soon. You can also contact me, or Christian Boix at Africa Geographic, to arrange your own custom Art Safari, in a destination of your choice, for your own sketch group.

Art Safaris with Alison Nicholls

Sketching elephants on Art Safari with Alison Nicholls

I hope to see you on Art Safari in Africa soon!
Until then…
Alison

Read more about Art Safaris, including guest testimonials
Christian Boix: Africa Geographic.
Email: christian@africageographic.com Telephone: +27 (0)21 762 4974.

1 minute life drawing sketch by Alison Nicholls

Life Drawing is the Best Teacher – by Alison Nicholls

For many, many years I didn’t draw, sketch or paint people. Now I do, and I’m really enjoying it. Obviously my preference is to be sketching in Africa (see some of my African Sketches), but when I’m in the US I like to attend life drawing classes at the Mamaroneck Artists Guild in Larchmont, New York.

1 minute life drawing sketch by Alison Nicholls

1 minute sketch by Alison Nicholls

I have to confess that when the model turns to the longer poses of more than 10 minutes, I tend to pack up and leave, because my interest is in the very short poses that help me when I’m working  the field.

1 minute sketch by Alison Nicholls

1 minute sketch by Alison Nicholls

The life drawing sessions are open to non-members, there is a small fee to attend and there is no instruction. It is a very friendly group. We usually start with several 1 minute and 5 minute poses before moving on to 10 and 20 minute poses. The model is clothed, due to the window exposure. If you would like to join us, please contact the Mamaroneck Artists’ Guild for further details.

Mamaroneck Artists’ Guild
914 834 1117
mag2120@verizon.net

5 minute sketch by Alison Nicholls

5 minute sketch by Alison Nicholls

Until next time…
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com
Donating to African Conservation from every sale.

Family Diabetes Day at the Bronx Zoo with The Children's Hospital at Montefiore

Family Diabetes Day at the Bronx Zoo with The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore

I was delighted to join the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore for their Family Diabetes Day at the Bronx Zoo last week.
The weather was not particularly kind, with thunderstorms threatening, so we sketched indoors. Even so, it was great fun and the children had created a large pile of great sketches by the time the morning ended.

Thank you to Dr Rubina Heptulla for the invitation, to Jeniece Trast for all her help and to the friendly families and children who attended. I look forward to meeting more enthusiastic young artists next year!

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Learn more about the great work of The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.

Until next time…
Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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Nicholls Wildlife Art

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

Recommended for adults and children aged 13+.

Date: May 18, 2014

Time: 9AM-12PM

Fee: $70/person

Join me for a unique workshop at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, New York! We will start the morning with a brief discussion about my Conservation Sketching Expeditions and how I use art to support conservation projects like the Painted Dog Conservation project in Zimbabwe and the African People & Wildlife Fund in Tanzania. I will explain some of the special challenges faced when sketching wildlife in the field and will talk about how to overcome these challenges, whether you are sketching wolves in Yellowstone or elephants in Africa. Then you will be able to try your own hand at sketching WCC’s ambassador wolves! You will also have a chance to see the WCC’s critically endangered Red wolves and Mexican Gray wolves.

The materials listed below are my usual field sketching supplies. They dry easily, can be packed away quickly and (apart from my sketchbook) all fit inside a long pencil case. I do not work from an easel. You are welcome to bring whatever you like, but I highly recommend dry materials like pencils and pens or pastels. You will be doing a lot of short sketches as the wolves will be moving around. The idea is to capture the movement and simple shapes, not to complete a finished painting or drawing.

    • 11×14″ sketchbook with at least 20 sheets.
    • 2 or 3 pencils (HB, 2B, 4B) plus eraser.
    • Sketching pens (black or brown or grey looks great) or pastels or colored pencils.
    • Bulldog clips to hold paper down in case it is windy.
    • (optional) Field box of watercolors, plus small water container plus 2 or 3 brushes of varying sizes.
    • Hat, sunglasses, sunblock, raincoat, waterbottle etc to suit the weather.
    • (optional) If you have them you can also bring binoculars & a folding chair, although these are not essential.
 
Recommended for adults and children aged 13+.

Date: May 18, 2014

Time: 9AM-12PM

Fee: $70/person

I hope to see you there!

Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
Visit my Website
Join my Mailing List
Find me on Facebook
Nicholls Wildlife Art