Famous UK illustrator donates stunning new painting of Shelley’s crimsonwing to RFCG

11 May

Howard Robinson, one of the world’s top illustrators, has very kindly donated an exciting new painting and a limited edition of prints of the threatened and elusive Shelley’s crimsonwing finch to the RFCG

This is what Howard Robinson had to say in a recent e mail to the RFCG .” I have followed the RFCG since day one and have been only to happy to share my knowledge and images for the use of a dedicated group of people. I’m an artist and in a fortunate position to be able to travel widely studying and painting wildlife. I work as a commercial illustrator designing for all manner of products, many of which can be found in the gift shops of Zoo’s and Bird Gardens throughout the world. Having seriously studied and bred estrildids for some 30 years and wildlife in general being the main basis of my artwork it is only natural that birds feature prominently throughout my images.

Howard Robinson photographed on a recent trip to Soweto in South Africa. Photo Eelco Meyjes

The original is  a digital print, although I start off the painting in Gouache and acrylic paint I then scan this and can add the finer details using a Wacom and photoshop. You have so much more control to zoom in and for blending. It is recognised by the Fine Art trade guild that this one off final print is still the original artwork. This original is printed onto a hand made paper and signed.


World’s only known photograph of the Shelley’s crimsonwing. Visual courtesy http://www.gorilla.org

Although very little is known about the bird and even less visual material to work from I felt that I was in a privileged position as for some 10 years I closely studied and bred 2 of it’s very close relatives the Red Faced Crimsonwing and the Ethiopian Crimsonwing and so had some empathy as to how it may pose and behave.”

The plan is for the RFCG to use the artwork and limited signed prints to help raise some much needed funds for the group over the next couple of months. The programme will start by sending a signed print to various specialist finch  publications and clubs in the world, that in turn can be offered as prizes before the original final painting will be offered in a public auction at the appropriate time.

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is truly grateful for this wonderful gift from Howard, and we certainly are very excited and proud to post his finished painting on our blog
For more information on Howard Robinson visit : www.howardrobinson.info

6 Responses to “Famous UK illustrator donates stunning new painting of Shelley’s crimsonwing to RFCG”

  1. Brenton May 12, 2012 at 06:45 #

    Wonderful painting. How much will a print be?

    • eelcomeyjes May 12, 2012 at 08:33 #

      Hi Brenton, Great to hear from you again . To be honest we hadn’t thought of selling signed prints direct to our blog followers ( silly mistake , but a great idea ) If we do follow this fund raising opportunity route we will need to work out a fair price to cover freighting costs, bank charges as well as include a small donation to the RFCG. What do you think would be a fair minimum price for a signed print ? Thanks again for all your fantastic support over the years.

  2. Brenton May 14, 2012 at 05:17 #

    Hi Eelco,
    I think you should seek advice from the artist who would have a fair idea of pricing for a limited edition print. It would be good to have a limited ediiton with a decent print run, not too excessive in price but needing to make sure funds can be donated for the RFCG. Bird prints are good to give as presents and when framed are an excellent way to promote bird conservation to friends and family. The post office usually have special round tubes for posting prints and artwork. It shouldn’t be too costly in that particular area. If people wanted to insure the print +postage then you could give them that option via costing. Just food for thought, it is a very beautiful painting and image. Also, urgent re fundraising and education. Sad what is happening in the Mikeno section of Virunga National Park. Another ranger and troops killed in the DRC, trying to protect the park, both it’s animal and human residents.

    • eelcomeyjes May 14, 2012 at 07:55 #

      Hi Brendon,

      Thanks again for your valuable feedback. The DRC is a very tough place to be and we would never venture into the country to try and find the Shelley’s . Every time we do field work close to its border we have to double up our number of rangers to protect our field team.Rwanda ( even though large parts of it is French speaking which would complicate matters) is probably the only other country that we would consider if we felt we had exhausted Uganda.
      We discussed the pricing issue with Howard and he normally doesn’t give any of his original artwork away and always retains the copyright. The key thing for us would be to try and establish a price that would be considered fair, but at the same time cover all the costs and desired fund raising objectives.

      • Brenton May 25, 2012 at 10:47 #

        Hi Eelco,
        Keep me informed as to what is happening with the print. Always good to support the RFCG.

      • eelcomeyjes May 29, 2012 at 09:23 #

        Thanks Brenton will let you know as soon as I have some additional feedback from Howard Robinson

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