Christine Vanderkaap was classically trained at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative art where she received an intensive drawing foundation. She likes to use that knowledge in multiple drawing mediums, effortlessly changing between the strictness of pen and ink to the forgiving, fluidity of charcoal.
I am an Austin based Australian artist with a passion for conservation, a fact that is reflected not only in my dedication to continuing classical artistic traditions, but also in my focus on featuring animals in all their majesty. I've developed my technique through intensive drawing training with an emphasis on capturing contour and realistic details. I often work in pen and ink, one stroke at a time, but also enjoy the fluidity of charcoal. Most of my finished pieces are black and white with the occasional colour embellishment. I focus more on the shapes and shadows in an effort to produce photorealistic illustrations of my subject matter. One illustration may take 100 hours or more. The backgrounds are usually left stark for a graphic effect, which creates an interesting contrast to my classical technique.
I have loved animals all of my life and find it very rewarding to highlight these creatures through my artwork. Where possible, I take the opportunity to donate proceeds from these pieces to the rescues working with the featured animal, be it wild or domesticated. My choice to use traditional drawing techniques in depicting everything from dogs to zebras to bees allows me to emphasis their beautiful details. I want my viewers to get lost in the pen strokes and connect with the personality of the animal, whether it's my loyal friend Winkie the dog or an endangered wild cat.
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