For as long as he can remember, Peter Hildick has been fascinated by the natural world. His lifelong passion is encapsulated in his wildlife pencil drawings, which capture the amazing variety that nature has to offer.
History and Background
As a career in art was considered ‘risky' in 1960s Britain, Peter joined the Royal Navy as a radio mechanic. For the next 22 years, he dedicated his life to serving our country.
Throughout this time, he drew for pleasure, occasionally selling the odd painting for a few pints.
After leaving the Royal Navy and taking on a job within the defence industry – where he still works to this day – Peter was discovered as an artist by Washington Green.
Ideas and Inspirations
Peter gleans inspiration from film, photographs, field sketches and live animals. Living only two miles away from a wildlife park, he can often be found visiting their newest additions.
He is also moved by the texture, shape and form of rocks and trees, often using this to create the foreground or background of his pieces.
He says: “I am inspired by anything natural. It is just the feeling of the moment which makes me feel inspired to draw.
“Subject-wise, I have no particular favourites and derive as much pleasure from drawing meerkats as I do from drawing tigers.”
From Palette to Picture
After sketching his initial ideas, Peter will decide on a composition. This will then be drawn full-size before being transferred onto the paper onto which the final image will be drawn.
Using a monochrome palette, he captures the vibrancy of the animal by altering the pressure and speed of his graphite pencil.
Peter explains: “In terms of technique, the artist has only a limited vocabulary. There is a pure essential line, a shade, and a texture produced by repetition of the line. These basic building blocks are manipulated.
“The softest leads can be blended or smudged into areas of gentle tone and an eraser may be used to reverse out parts of the drawing, thus creating subtle highlights or contrasting areas.”
Once Peter has walked his dog, he spends each Sunday listening to Eric Clapton whilst working on a new masterpiece.