We first saw Tania Dreelink’s striking wildlife drawings on Facebook and were struck by the life in her work. Here, Tania tells us about her work and why she loves drawing wildlife.
Hi Tania. Please tell us a little about yourself and your life as an artist.
I was born and raised in Belgium and I have a big passion for nature and animals.
My full time job is making portraits of pets and I’ve recently started drawing wildlife. It’s my goal to do my first exhibition this year.
How did your interest in drawing begin?
Having been interested with all kind of things to express my creativity since I was a child, I taught myself different kinds of techniques.
That is how I found out I had an affinity with drawing, especially with pencils and from time to time pen and ink drawings.
But the real daily drawing and painting started when I got the opportunity to make exclusive hand-painted eggs for Disneyland Paris and Los Angeles, but I wanted more.
I wanted to be able to draw live animals, in which I could bring out their souls as well. That’s how I started to draw pets for people whose dear ones had passed away or
who wanted to eternalise their best animal friends on paper. And since I’ve always had a huge love for wildlife, I began to make my own drawings and paintings as well. I’d take pictures of those animals that touched me in different ways.
Have you a favourite animal to draw?
There isn’t one animal in particular; every animal is unique and special in its own way. I choose them according to their way of being.
But if I have to make a choice then my preference goes to African animals such as elephants and rhinos, because of their charisma and their power. As well as the awareness that they deserve, some of them being threatened with extinction.
What are your 3 top tips for drawing animals?
Make sure you do some observing and studying on the animal you are about to draw. So you can let their natural behavior shine through.
If you want to create a real life portrait make sure you have a whole range of colours. Choosing the right colours when making a real life drawing or painting is very important.
Try to make contact with the animal’s soul, so you can bring out its lively true nature.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in drawing?
First of all, work with the material that you are drawn to. Pastel, pencil, oil paint, acrylic etc.
Try to practice as much as possible and don’t be harsh on yourself when it doesn’t immediately work out the way you want it to be.
When you feel you’re “stuck” in a drawing, don’t push it. Put it aside for a while and come back later to it, with a fresh view.
Use quality materials; your final results will be much better and profound.
And last but not least – have fun!
For more info and work please visit my 2 Facebook pages:
Or, my personal websites: