Shelly Perkins Illustration

Shelly is a freelance illustator undertaking work for a wide range of clients including BBC Wildlife Magazine, The National Trust and The RSPB. As well as commissions for commercial illustration work Shelly also creates a wide range of self initiated works which she sells in galleries throughout the UK. To speak to Shelly about commissioning a project then do get in touch with her via email: artbyshelly@gmail.com or phone: 07974652866.

I started my BA hons Illustration course at the University Of The West Of England, with no particular artistic style, just a good foundation in drawing inspired by my love for animals and nature. I left university with a 2:1 and worked as a designer in the education sector. I then progressed on to work as a 'in house' illustrator for a media company. I left the company in 2009 and set up as a freelance illustrator. Since then I have acquired a range of commercial clients, from local councils to advertising agencies, producing diverse commissioned works like illustrated map guides and company branding. My most recent commission it to illustrate a monthly column for the BBC Wildlife Magazine. My self initiated work has also progressed greatly over the last 2 years, I have an ever expanding list of galleries where I show my limited edition Giclee prints and sell my cards. People have responded to this work very positively. Pieces from my collections have featured on the front covers of 3 regional magazines and I have enjoyed lots of publicity from local press whenever my work is exhibited.

Shelly Perkins

My style was strongly influenced by contemporary illustrators whilst at university and I began to add to my skill in drawing with new painting techniques and the use of found and made textures. Collage has always been a popular illustrative technique and 'digital collage' was particularly fashionable during that time, however being a traditionalist at heart I always want to keep that hand drawn and nurtured look to my images, that organic edge you can only get from a hand drawn line or brush stroke. My style really took off from that desire, to use the best aspects of modern technology in collaboration with traditional techniques. The bulk of my illustration work is now assembled digitally, so no matter how I create my initial sketches and paintings, I always scan them into the computer to work on the illustration further. This allows me to compose my illustrations in a range of 'layers'. They become very detailed, sometimes comprising more than 100 layers in any one illustration. I also use textures and objects which I digitally capture to give another dimension to my illustrations. Once the different elements of the illustration are layered I start to work on uniting them together. I use as little digital enhancement as possible to create light-play and shadows. The bulk of the computer work is about creating a harmonious relationship between the characters and the background. I continue to develop my style...

European Regional Development Fund

The illustrations on this site are available to buy as limited edition, giclee prints. A selection can be found on my online store. For details of others please contact me at:

TELEPHONE: +44 (0)7974652866