Raymond Sheppard (1913-1958) was an artist and illustrator whose superb draughtsmanship and observational skills produced remarkable studies of birds, animals and other subjects.
Born into an artistic family, Sheppard was encouraged to draw and paint from an early age. He began to make a living in the 1930s illustrating children's and nature books, spending many hours observing and sketching at London Zoo. This work inspired the publication of three books written and illustrated by Sheppard that influenced a generation of wildlife artists: How to Draw Birds (1940); Drawing at the Zoo (1949); and More Birds to Draw (1956).
Working in a variety of media, including watercolour, pastel and pen and ink, Sheppard was a prolific artist, also painting landscapes, historical scenes and his family life, before sadly dying from cancer aged only 45. He was made a Fellow of the Zoological Society in 1949, and elected to the Society of Graphic Artists in 1947 and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 1949.
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