November 9, 2016

Why I Choose To Draw Animals

by Corrina Thurston



As I sit here in my studio, writing this post on a dreary November day, I can’t help but rejoice in the fact that my kitten, Juno, is curled up beside me. No matter how depressing or frustrating a day or week or year can be, animals, especially those closest to us, call to our inner optimist and help us to smile.

How Animals Affect Me

I light up every time I see an animal. It’s as if someone injected me with positive energy, and it doesn’t matter what species. My cat walks in the room and I smile. A squirrel jumps up on our deck, I stop and talk to it through the window. Even the lady bugs that are infesting our apartment right now bring a certain amount of interest from me.

If you ask me what it is about animals that causes such a reaction, I really can’t say. I don’t know what it is about them that makes me feel better, all I know is that they definitely do, unlike anything else.

Cooper's Hawk, in colored pencil.
Cooper’s Hawk, in colored pencil.

Why I Draw Animals

I draw animals because they fascinate me. I think they’re beautiful. Most of them I have no chance at seeing every day, because they’re exotic or endangered, or both. So I draw them instead.

Drawing them helps me to see animals on a daily basis as I slowly bring them to life on my drawing board. Stroke after stroke that goes into creating their fur, their scales, their shine, their feathers, brings me that much closer to seeing the animal I’m drawing. One of the reasons I’m so detail oriented is because I want to get the essence of each animal just right. I want to make sure they have that shine in their eyes and the tufts in their fur. I want them to jump off the drawing board with realism and vibrance.

Lemurs In colored pencil 16x20 inches big
Lemurs, in colored pencil

How My Collectors Feel

I don’t just draw animals for my own benefit. I know there’s a lot of people in the world who love animals as much as I do and I want to be able to give them the same experience I get in my studio by sharing my artwork with them.

Having my drawings of animals on my walls is the next best thing to seeing them in person, and knowing my collectors feel the same way is amazing. I put in so much effort to capturing the image of each animal in a certain way and it makes it all worth it when someone else can see that effort and appreciates the drawing for what it is, and wants to take it home to look at every day.

X-Large Framed Print of my Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing.
X-Large Framed Print of my Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing.

Because that’s what drives a person to buy art. Art is something that makes you feel good, something you want to look at every day. For someone to choose my artwork out of all the rest to hang in their homes and share with their friends, is amazing.

How It Can Also Help Animals

Most of you already know that some of the proceeds from some of my artwork go to wildlife conservation efforts, and animal welfare groups. I do this in a couple ways. Sometimes I take a month and donate a percentage of proceeds to a specific organization at the end of the month. Sometimes, I designate a specific piece of artwork to give proceeds from anything sold with that drawing on it to an organization.

For example, my African Elephant drawing is a very special piece. 20% of the proceeds from prints and greeting cards and other products sold of this drawing are being donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s elephant campaign, 96 Elelphants. 96 Elephants are killed every day in Africa for their ivory, and they are trying to stop it. So I created the drawing to bring awareness to the campaign, and what’s happening in Africa. So if you, or someone you know, loves elephants and you also want to support a great cause, I hope you consider buying a print!

Metal print of my African Elephant drawing.
Metal print of my African Elephant drawing.


Do you feel the same way about animals? What’s your favorite?


1 thought on “Why I Choose To Draw Animals

  1. This is so heart warming! I feel the same, I really like the black rhino but it’s critacally endangered. You can’t see a black rhino on the street can you?

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