Artist Interview - Emma Tildesley

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Emma Tildesley a Botanical and nature artist from Worcestershire in the United Kingdom.


Why do you do what you do?

I am fascinated by the natural world and enjoy nothing more than trying to accurately render the intricate patterns and details Mother Nature has provided.


You use so many vibrant colors, do you have any that you favor?

Yes, I really enjoy jewel tones such as deep reds, vibrant pinks, magentas, and icy blues, but in contrast, I am also drawn to very pale pastel colors too.


What inspires your art?

The plant kingdom is so complex and vast that I am constantly inspired by species I have never seen before. Animals are also a huge part of my life, and their personalities and mannerisms never fail to inspire me.


How and when did you get into art?

I have been drawing ever since I could pick up a pencil and have never stopped. There have been recurrent botanical and animal themes in my artwork throughout the years, and I have always gravitated towards realism as I am very detail-oriented.


How has your practice changed over time?

I used to only do art for myself, for pleasure but now I am a full-time artist and I also get to teach and share my techniques through online lessons with students via Patreon. It is extremely rewarding, and I love to be able to help people develop their creativity.


What’s your favorite piece of art that you’ve created? Why?

It must be a colored pencil portrait of my Bengal kitten Nala, it captures her inquisitive personality and is extremely special to me. It’s the only piece of my own work hung in my home at the moment.



What’s the best piece of art advice you’ve been given?

Don’t procrastinate, just do it. – Husband


What’s one art tip/technique you can share with us that you find really helpful?

Comparison really is the thief of joy. Don’t compare yourself to other artists, just take pleasure in the process more than the outcome.


Do you have any secret tips or techniques you use to salvage a piece when you make a mistake?

In watercolor, a Billy Showell Eradicator brush is your best friend. For not only removing minor mistakes but also lifting light back into areas where it has been lost. In colored pencil, a putty rubber is a great tool for gently lifting both small and big areas of pigment.


What is your favorite Strathmore paper? Why?

Strathmore 500 series, heavyweight mixed media, Vellum finish. Archival quality is extremely important to me as is the whiteness of the paper. It has a smooth surface that can take many, many layers of colored pencil and is nice and sturdy.


What art materials could you not live without?

Putty rubber, slice tool manual cutter for lifting vein and hair details, helical pencil sharpener.


What types of colors are you drawn to for your art and why?

I do like greens and all the many different variations of green. However, I am first drawn to a subject for its interesting or quirky features, that is what will catch my eye before color.


Who are your biggest influences (or who were when you started doing art)?

Allen Woollett, who is a master bird artist. Robert McNeill, Fiona Strickland and, Jackie Isard, who are continuous sources of Botanical inspiration.


What’s the most common art-related question you get from your followers?

How do you sharpen your pencils (I get asked at least 5 times a day) – So I had to create a video for them.


Website/social media links:

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