Andrew Beckett’s passion for natural history shows through not only in the subject matter of his images, but also in their quality. Andrew lives on the Fylde coast in Northwest England, very near the Ribble Estuary, which is a constant source of inspiration for his work. One of his main interests is the diverse range of birds found in the British Isles, and he’s also inspired by Degas, Rembrandt, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and Charles Donker's etchings.
Andrew has a Higher National Diploma in Scientific and Natural History Illustration at Blackpool & the Fylde College. More recently, he has been teaching on the Fine Art degree course at the same institution.
When creating an image, Andrew looks at the form, proportion, structure and weight distribution of the creature, as well as its behaviour or interaction with its environment. He approaches a drawing like a sculpture, making direction marks, as though he’s skimming across the surface of the subject, trying to explain and emphasise the form.
Andrew achieves huge levels of realism and detail in each piece as he captures animals, birds, sea life and more in his watercolour and gouache paintings. He also works digitally using Photoshop, particularly for advertising and packaging projects.
When creating a piece of fine art, prior to painting, he painstakingly prepares the surface he works on, using relief and marbling methods to give the impression that the painting on the surface is coming out of the medium and into the world.