For the next 12 days starting on Christmas Day and ending on January 5th (the traditional “12 Days Of Christmas”) I will be featuring 12 equine artists. Over 80 artists entered in the contest to be featured on our Facebook group Art Of The Horse (which has over 4,000 members!). I used this handy tool to randomly pick 12 of the entrants to be featured on TFS. Day twelve’s feature artist is Anna Howlett!
Cambridge, United Kingdom
I am a 20 year old artist from Cambridgeshire, UK. I have loved horses since before I could walk, and ever since I could hold a pencil I have been drawing them. This passion was hugely encouraged by my parents, who were always happy to hang even the most dubiously horse-like scribbles up on the walls, and encouraged less-so by my teachers, who all knew my reputation for drawing in textbooks rather than writing in them.
I started drawing, as most do, with a simple HB pencil and printer paper, and over time this has morphed into a love of multiple mediums, including pastels, oils, and even digital. I began my first steps into ‘serious’ art whilst still in school, drawing graphite portraits at home and getting a feel for acrylic painting during art lessons – usually drawing horses regardless of what the assignment was actually meant to be on!
When not drawing, I use to (and still do) pore over books on anatomy and animal art, as well as videos and references of horses in motion in order to attempt to understand just what makes a horse a horse, and how to transfer that to paper. I am also lucky enough to have my own dear horse who I often use as a (somewhat compliant, depending on how many treats you are armed with) model. I am lucky enough to live near Newmarket and various equestrian centres so that I am able to gather references and inspiration. Horse racing and dressage particularly inspire me, and I am passionate about the countryside. I am looking forward to sharing these passions to a wide audience though art.
For a few years I lost touch with the traditional side of things and worked exclusively on paintings in Photoshop, utilising a graphics tablet to hand draw the image stroke by stroke. Last year I re-found traditional media and fell in love with it all over again. I am currently producing paintings using oils and soft pastels, and, whilst I love the ease and versatility of digital art, I am adoring the tactile, tangible process of using real media again. It satisfies me to know that I have created something which will last, and may be treasured by a client for years to come.
I am currently in my third and final year of university. Although coursework is taking up much of my time, I am planning, preparing and investing in setting up my own art business this summer called Anna Howlett Artwork, where I will offer pet portrait commissions, equine and sporting art, as well as ceramics and textiles with my artwork on them.
I have had lovely feedback from all my commissioners and really appreciate all the support and advice I am offered from the Equine Art community. I am always inspired by the fantastic works of others and I am keen to work as hard as I possibly can in order to improve and develop my technique.
I cannot wait to be able to live my passion and realise my dream of working full time as an artist drawing these wonderful animals which we all love.