Thank you for visiting my website, which I'm at present (July 2016) updating and adding to. It contains a selection of paintings, drawings, prints and books on the natural world, a subject that has absorbed me so much over the years. Since leaving the Berkshire College of Art and Design over forty years ago, apart from six months with a design group, I have been a full-time, freelance illustrator, specialising mainly in insects and other invertebrates; I've yet to get a proper job. I've never really known what title to use for my work, whether I'm a scientific, biological, natural history or wildlife illustrator but at the moment I've plumped for the latter. My interest in the natural world has always been with me. Both my father and grandfather were keen countrymen, and some of my earliest memories are of exploring the countryside with my father, and visiting my grandparents' house in the appropriately named 'Cricket Hill' in Finchampstead, Berkshire, where I would race to a small cabinet in the corner of their living room, to stare at my granddad's modest collection of butterflies and moths.
So, it follows that my main interest in my working life has also been insects and other invertebrates. For the artist/illustrator there can be no area of greater diversity, with an infinite range of shapes, colours and textures, and with more species than one could ever hope to illustrate in many lifetimes. Of all the insect groups, butterflies are at the top of the pecking order of popularity, and although I have illustrated examples of all insect orders, it is only a few groups that attract enough attention to encourage publishers to give them the full, field guide treatment. Over the past twenty years, I've managed to cover most of these more popular groups, and have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most respected, knowledgeable and interesting people, who have inspired me to attempt to do justice to the subjects that they write of so eloquently and always with such enthusiasm.
As well as the invertebrates I also occasionally paint vertebrates - mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds, though not often the latter if I can help it, as some may know of the other 'Lewington' illustrator, my younger brother Ian, who is much better at them than am I, and who is one of the very best bird illustrators in the world. Take a look at his website Ian Lewington and you'll see what I mean even though I'm a bit biased! Sometimes, I stray away from the natural world, for example in 2008, when I was commissioned by Waitrose to paint Easter Eggs, but even then, they were made into a mini Easter egg field guide for chocoholics. It was galling that they printed 750,000 copies, which were seen by far more people than would ever see my 'proper' illustrations.
In addition to those illustrations that appear on this website, I have a huge number of other individual images, which may be used either for publication or as prints for framing. If you would like more details of any subject on the website, or any not shown, please feel free to contact me.
ORIGINAL ARTWORK FOR SALE - Field Guide to the Micro-moths of Great Britain and Ireland
For the first time, the original plates from the ‘Field Guide to the Micro-moths of Great Britain and Ireland’ are being offered for sale. This is also the first time artwork from any of the British Wildlife Publishing field guides has been offered for sale.
Most of the plates are as they appear in the book, however, some vary slightly. The original paintings are 133% larger than the printed plates, and when mounted and framed, they make pictures of about 400mm x 350mm.
The average price for each full plate is £300-375, although there are some smaller, less expensive plates available. They are signed but are un-mounted and un-framed; each full plate represents about 2 weeks work.
I will have some of the plates with me at The Birdfair in Rutland in August.
If you have a serious interest in any of the artwork, please use the ‘contact’ tab above for further details. For some examples, see under the Originals/Micro-moths tab above.
British Birdwatching Fair 19th-21st August 2016
Once again I really enjoyed the 2015 British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland, which was a great success. It was good to meet up again with so many friends and enthusiasts, and to get feedback about various projects I've worked on in the last few years. It was also useful to receive suggestions for possible new subjects to cover in coming years. For the fourth year running Phil Sterling and I appeared in the main Events Marquee, where we performed 'Moth Trapping Live - on the big screen'. My brother Ian also joined us on stage to operate the camcorder, the idea being that he would relieve me of having to operate the camera while also trying to control the moths and talk, all at the same time. Unfortunately there was a slight glitch with the communication between his camcorder, the laptop and the screen projection but we eventually got going. The result was the usual chaotic and unpredictable event with moths becoming active, me attempting to get them in postion for Ian to focus on, whilst trying to say something sensible. The event though seemed to be well received, with several hundred people attending. It was great (though not for Nigel the chief organiser) that at the end of the talk, many members of the audience came up to the stage and some on to it, to get a closer look at the incredible diversity of moths. I especially liked the idea of children handling moths and being absorbed by their beautiful markings. So, We've been asked to do it again this year. In addition to having my usual stand in the Art Marquee last year, I was joined by Ian and we shared a double stand, this was his first time back at the Birdfair for 9 years. This year however, due to his work load, he has decided not to have a stand but he will be visiting the fair.
Signed Mounted Prints
All prints, with the exception of proof-prints, are scanned from the original artworks and adjusted by me, so as to get the most accurate likeness to the original. Each one is individually printed on high image definition, Archival Matte paper using pigmented inks. These prints should last for more than 80 years without fading, they are mounted using Castile Ivory blackcore mounting board. Because of this attention to detail the resulting prints are always of a higher quality and detail than mass produced images and are of equal or better quality than expensive professionally produced Giclee prints.
Although I regularly add new original paintings to the website, I've decided that I cannot keep all the artwork I've done over the years so I'm prepared to offer more of it for sale. So, if there is a particular species you are interested in, I may well have a painting of it, as there are many illustrations I have that are not shown on this website.
The Summer 2011 issue of Atropos magazine has an article I wrote discussing the merits of artwork over photography for identification guides, from an illustrators point of view. Click on the image below to view the article, it seems the illustrations are best viewed on a PC rather than an iPad not sure why!
Finally, on occasions in the past, some website enquiries have gone astray, so, if by chance you haven't heard from me after a couple of days of having e-mailed, please contact me by phone on 01235 848451
Click here for archived news items.
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