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Andrew Beckett

Andrew Beckett

Andrew Beckett lives in Lytham St.Annes in Lancashire. He has undertaken commissions for a range of publishing and advertising companies in the U.K. and abroad. Andrew's illustrations are underpinned by sound draughtsmanship and his style is characterized by a realism which draws out the fundamental and distinctive qualities of the subject through the description of light and shade, colour and texture. He works in watercolour with body colour, or acrylic, on Arches hot-press watercolour paper. The illustrations are then refined in Adobe Photoshop. As a consequence of his passion and enthusiasm for Natural History and particularly Ornithology, Andrew's award winning wildlife art has featured in a number of eminent national exhibitions.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Andrew: A good way of channelling my art into an interesting and rewarding career and, I always loved looking at the pictures in children’s books, as opposed to reading the words! Question: Do you have any formal design training? Andrew: I studied on the Scientific & Natural History Illustration course at Blackpool and the Fylde College. Question: Where are you originally from? Andrew: Lytham St. Annes - on the Fylde Coast, Lancashire. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Andrew: Not travelled far - down the road to Ansdell (the only place in the UK named after an artist - Richard Ansdell RA), I can’t think of anywhere more appropriate to live! Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Andrew: I work from home on the first floor - good westerly light, full of natural history and art books, works in progress, a desk, an easel, and drawers full of art materials - organised clutter basically! Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Andrew: The students that I teach, my children’s drawings, the ever changing light on the estuary and the waders that pass through. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Andrew: The "Natural World" - particularly birds. Photography, Printmaking, and going to see live music.
Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. Andrew: A little while back I got involved in Co-op’s "Carbon footprint" campaign - illustrating huge footprints in the middle of ecologically vulnerable environments - it was thought provoking stuff and very rewarding. I also illustrated the Birdwatchers Yearbook cover - Lapwings, my favourite bird! Question: Who is/are your art hero/es? Andrew: Rembrandt, Degas, Bruno Liljefors, Lars Jonsson, Ray Ching, Charles Donker, Frank Auerbach and Lucien Freud. Question: Who is/are your musical hero/es? Andrew: Bowie, David Sylvian/Japan, Joy Division, Radiohead and Elbow – on the whole, a dreary bunch! Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Andrew: Ranthambore National Park, India - to see the Tigers (where they should be seen!). Question: What do you have bookmarked? Andrew: A selection would be; Lars Jonsson's, the SWLA (Society of Wildlife Artist's) & The Glasshouse Gallery (St Ives) websites. Question: What's your favourite quote? Andrew: I often think of John Constable's quote "I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may - light, shade and perspective will always make it beautiful."
Times Educational Supplement, Sainsburys, Scholastic, Marks & Spencer, Mizuno, Dorling Kindersley, Time Life, Usbourne, Co-op

Cafe: Chesters by the River, Skelwith Bridge, Ambleside
Gallery: Kettles Yard Gallery and Museum in Cambridge
Art Equipment: Pitt Oil Base pencil (soft) Faber Castell
Drink: Tea or a nice Wheat Beer
Shop: L Cornelissen & Son Online Shop, Great Russell Street, London
Magazine: Bird Art & Photography