Raymond Sheppard

Master Illustrator

Publication date:
May 2010
Publisher :
Liss Llewellyn Fine Art
Editor :
Sacha Llewellyn, Paul Liss
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ISBN : 9780956713902

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Raymond Sheppard showed an early interest in both art and nature and aged 15 enrolled in the Elementary Course of John Hassall's Correspondence Art School where he was complimented on "his remarkable understanding of the correctness of drawing”.

Sheppard's talent for drawing wildlife gained recognition with the success of the first of his three books for The Studio Publications How to Draw Series. How to Draw Birds, published in 1940, not only ran to four reprints during WW2 but a further two reprints afterwards in 1948 and 1955 - a remarkable feat for a 27 year old artist. This not only provided Sheppard with a secure, if modest, financial income but put him on a stage alongside the highly regarded draughtsman of this genre John Skeaping (How to Draw Horses) and C.F. Tunnicliffe (How to Draw Farm Animals) both of whom were 12 years his senior.

In parallel to his work as an illustrator of wildlife, Sheppard, along with Jack Merriott as President, became a founding member of the Wapping Group. Limited to 25 members, The Wappers, as they were known, comprised artists from the Langham Sketching Club, (which did not meet in the summer months,) who convened along the river between Westminster and Gravesend, in the East End of London, to paint scenes along the Thames.

If Raymond Sheppard's drawings are to been seen as something more than illustrations the key is here: "An outlook at once poetic and intimate, whose technique was developed from a habit of contemplation”.