English artist Marie Huntrods was born in 1974 and has been drawing since 2000. Marie specialises in pastel and graphite pencil portraits of pets, and she told us...

I've always loved drawing even when I was small and I loved art classes at school. I never studied at art college but instead I am self-taught - my mistakes have all been very valuable lessons! However, I am currently enrolled on a Pet Portraiture Diploma course with the London Art College.

My first "commission" was when I painted a portrait of a spaniel for a friend at work. Once other people had seen my work,they too wanted me to draw their pets. It took me two years before I finally plucked up enough courage (and motivation) to decide to set up a small business and a website and see if I could make a success of things.

So here I am! I am very passionate about my artwork - I currently work full time, and often I can be found doodling cartoon characters on my minutes, etc (I am always listening though - of course!!). I draw as often as I can - sometimes I get so absorbed into a picture that it is often well past midnight before I pack up and go to bed! I love producing my work and the best feeling is when a customer is completely happy with their portrait and they tell me that I have captured their pet perfectly - it is such a great feeling and this is what I strive to achieve in each portrait I produce.

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