About the Artist
Fay Brotherhood BSc Hons MSc
Artist | Musician | Ecologist
Treading a fine line between impressionism and realism, my art is known for its attention to detail, texture and its bold use of colours; those hidden hues that fill a portrait with vibrancy and life. I blend an impressionistic, stippled drybrush approach with fine details from the school of realism to create a “rustic”, “rough around the edges” feel. My combination of techniques creates a sense of mood and mystery that you don’t get from photorealism.
My expertise is in animal and human portraiture. However, as a pagan and ecologist, the natural world is my passion and I express that in my paintings. I like to include fun little details - like spiderwebs or a mushroom… I like to give you a more than a mere impression of the wood; I like to fashion one that expresses the wood in all its Tolkienesque mystery.
I do more than reproduce photographs. I bring your image to life in a way no other artist can.
How did you get into art?
Since I was a little girl, I loved to draw animals.
I was lucky to have parents who loved nature; who took me walking and fishing and fungi foraging; who taught me how to find and identify wildlife.
So many kids don't have that these days.
As my interest grew, my collection of natural history books grew with it. It was copying their illustrations that got me into drawing.
Always pernickety about accuracy, my drawings had to be as anatomically perfect as I could feasily achieve (I held my animal toys to the same exacting standards and gave all my anatomically wonky horses and lions backstories about genetic catastrophe).
Unintentionally, my details focused approach to drawing spurred on my evolution as an ecologist. I could accurately identify many British species by the age of 8; a head start that was a real help when I started studying it!
To this day I find drawing the features of a species is the best way to remember it.
What are your qualifications?
I didn’t pursue an art-centric education. Beyond A Level I am entirely self taught.
Instead, driven by the need to understand the natural world that inspires me, I followed an ecology based one. I studied at Sparsholt College, Hampshire a BTEC ND in Countryside Management.
I gained my Bachelor of Science (with Honours) degree at Nottingham Trent University and finally achieved a Master of Science (with Distinction) at the University of Hertfordshire.
I followed that up with an ecological consultancy course and today balance my art and music with freelance ecology.
I specialise in bat work and botany. Here I am handling an adorable slow worm and weighing an adorable dormouse.
How does your ecology training make your work stand out?
It means when I weave nature into your piece, I know what I’m talking about.
If you’re from Hertfordshire you won't just get a wood… you'll get the Hornbeam woods native to the area. If you’re from Dorset, I’ll weave in the heaths and sand lizards that characterise the Studland peninsula.
Just like when I do an ecological survey, I will investigate your local area to find out its characteristic habitats and species.
My dad was over the moon with the picture. He said it is brilliant and the detail is amazing. He is thinking of getting you to do his other dog.
Katie - Springer Spaniel.
Book your commission today to get ahead of the queue!
You can email me or you can;
Like me on Facebook and tell me your ideas!