Leanne Byrom – The Wildlife Artist

Leanne Byrom has a passionate love for the natural world and the creatures that fill it, so it’s unsurprising that most of her art is of animals – mostly wildlife and birdlife and, more recently, sea life. 

Leanne tends to paint or draw animals that are true to life in their representation. She has been developing a monochrome series of portraiture work and her next plan is to paint animals in vibrant, almost rainbow-like colours. She explains, “It’s fascinating to me how the use of colour or lack thereof can impact or change one’s view of the subject.”

Her love of wildlife undoubtedly stems from a childhood spent in Salisbury, Rhodesia, which became Harare, Zimbabwe after the country gained its independence. As she grew up, she spent more and more time at national parks around the country, fishing and travelling to the wilder places where, as she describes, you “even had to pack the kitchen sink”. A move to the UK led her to explore the less populated areas of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall until, in 2014, Leanne moved to the Algarve.

Leanne finds inspiration for her paintings from the wildlife around her and also when she’s reading a book or magazine, surfing the internet, and even when out shopping: “I’ll often see an animal and think, ‘Oh, I’d like to paint that or something similar’, and then I set out gathering reference materials, learning more about the subject if I need to, and trawling through my photo storage drives. Most of her work is painted from her own reference photos (she studied wildlife photography for a while, too), travelling to far-flung places to photograph and then paint these beautiful creatures.

“I am truly blessed to have seen, photographed and interacted with so many different types of animals from around the world and I know that not everyone gets to have this amazing experience. Even today, I have a wealth of birdlife around me along with foxes, hedgehogs, wild boar, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, various snakes, spiders and lizards.”

Leanne is inspired by contemporary wildlife artists, the incredible work they have produced and the difference they make in the world today in terms of their contribution to conservation and education. She is drawn to artists such as Pollyanna Pickering and David Shepherd and the work of Julie Rhodes, Robert Oxley and fellow Zimbabwean Craig Bone.

Her passionate love of wildlife shines through her own work, and her aims are clear, “I want other people to see what I saw, to feel how I felt, to imagine themselves and immerse themselves into the experiences with animals through my work. I am very much against animals in captivity, being held or shown purely for human entertainment and against the hunting of animals as a sport. 

Ultimately, I want my work to provoke a thought and awareness to the magical natural animal world around us and contribute to rebuilding and preserving it for future generations to enjoy.”

Much of Leanne’s work can be ordered through her website and prints through her Etsy store. She is available for commissions for wildlife art and pet portraits. Whilst pet portraits can be ordered through her Etsy store, for anyone living in the Algarve, she prefers to meet in person and take photos of the pet(s) if possible.




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