Pencils and watercolors

Maurice Wilson worked for over fifty years producing delicate studies of real and imaginary creatures and plants. He was renowned for his ability to portray creatures using very little reference material to aid the task, sometimes reconstructing long-dead creatures with only a few surviving bones as a guide. He worked mainly with water solvent inks, adding highlights in acrylic paints. After planning his pictures he usually began painting the dark areas, building up the main elements in watercolor and adding lighter areas with opaque pigments. The study on the previous two pages of fairies in a magic wood is in the early stages of painting. Unfortunately while producing this picture Maurice sadly died, aged seventy three years. This is his last, and as it is incomplete, his most revealing work. His huge knowledge of geological, geographical, botanical and anatomical detail made it possible for him to get a high degree of realism working from memory. Nevertheless he would frequently return to nature studies for some new aspect of reality and to maintain a freshness of vision. He believed that great care must be taken over truth to nature to endow the fantasy image with a high degree of realism.

Maurice Wilson

Illustration for a fairy tale, unpublished 173/4"x113/4 "(45cmx30cm)

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