Having graduated at UCA Maidstone with BA Hons Illustration in 2007, Emma Colbert began working on portrait commissions and producing her own series of wildlife pastel paintings. She is now a leading animal portrait artist in the UK. Endorsed by Unison Soft Colour Pastels, she has created colour selections of soft pastels for them designed specifically for painting animals. You can read more about Emma’s Animal Unison sets here.

After discovering pastel at a young age, Emma knew this was the medium in which she wanted to develop. An equal love of animals has fuelled a love of painting them. Using pastels in a painterly way Emma creates highly detailed, vibrant work inspired by the beauty of nature and light.

Wanting to spend more time in nature, Emma currently lives and works in a motorhome with her partner Andrew and their miniature dachshund Brocci. This has opened up the opportunity to be at one with nature, rising at dawn to photograph the mammals she paints, and spending long days painting in her portable studio at the back of the camper.

Having toured around Ireland in 2015 the trio are embarking on a European tour in 2016, painting and blogging as they go. Although it is her aim to paint the inspirational scenes and wildlife on the trip, Emma will of course continue to produce commissioned portraits. As the work is often posted worldwide and correspondence takes place online most of the time, this will not be a problem to any client anywhere.

Emma was recently featured on the cover of Artists & Illustrators Magazine. She was also awarded the ‘Reader’s Choice’ award from Artists & Illustrators Artist of the Year exhibition 2016. Her work continues to grow in popularity with collectors worldwide. As a member of the Pastel Society of Ireland, Emma exhibits regularly in groups and throughout many galleries in the UK. With her current travels Emma hopes to broaden the reach of her art by demoing and exhibiting in the many countries she visits. If you are an artist’s society or group who would like to book Emma for a pastel demonstration please get in touch.

As a professional pastel artist Emma shares many of her techniques with other artists. She has embarked on a Patreon Channel which will take her Youtube channel tutorials a step further. For pastel tutorials, demos and reference images visit Patreon.

Emma says…

“I have always loved painting animals and pastel is the perfect choice. To paint animals I can’t imagine achieving high definition in the fur, yet a convincing softness, with any other medium.

I hope to continue painting wild animals and pet portraits for many years as it makes me happy! I get to put all my effort into making something that will be forever special to those who own it and bring a smile to many faces.

I must be honest though, my favourite subject to paint is definitely my own dog Brocci who features in many paintings. I know her so well, she inspires ideas, and she is patient with me when I need a model!”