Realistic wildlife portraits
Ester Curini, "Guardando ad Est", acrylic on canvas, 36 by 60 inches

Ester Curini is a self-taught artist whose passion is to give a voice to animals through her realistic paintings. Curini is in the Evoke Contemporary Artist’s Spotlight through September 18, 2021. We asked her to share her inspiration with us, as well as her favorite art supplies for creating realistic portraits of animals.

Realistic wildlife portraits
Ester Curini, “The Cat of Many Names”, acrylic on Belgian linen, 72 by 60 inches (with my four-legged studio assistant Pepe, for scale)

Inspiration For Wildlife Portraits

BY ESTER CURINI

Animals are, and always have been, my driving force and inspiration.

Although I continue to be inspired to paint every kind of animal, like the thoughtful goat depicted in “Guardando ad Est” or “The Mighty Raven,” in recent years I have been focused on the most critically endangered and threatened predators in North America.

I am passionate about wildlife and habitat conservation. I aim to raise awareness of endangered species and to inspire viewers to take action to protect these animals.

In my portraits, each of my subjects is isolated on a white background. This is to put them in the main role rather than in a supporting one, to give them a strong and powerful voice. They need that voice, now more than ever, because the annihilation of wildlife has become an emergency that threatens humans too.

Realistic wildlife portraits
Ester Curini, “Standing Tall”, acrylic on Belgian linen, 72 by 48 inches
Realistic wildlife portraits
Ester Curini, “My Eyes, My Soul”, acrylic on Belgian linen, 72 by 60 inches
Paintings of ravens
Ester Curini, “The Mighty Raven”, acrylic on Belgian linen, 72 by 60 inches
Paintings of wolves
Ester Curini, “Through the Eyes of a Mexican Gray Wolf”, acrylic on Belgian linen, 60 by 72 inches

Art Supplies

My favorite canvas to paint on is the “Masterpiece Elite Portrait Smooth Belgian linen,” which is very smooth and great for detailed brushwork.

As for paints, I like Old Holland acrylics the best. Besides having a great color selection, these paints are rich and easy to flow.

I use many brush brands. One of my favorites is the Princeton Velvetouch brushes, which are easy to control and great for details.

Paintings of wolves
Ester Curini, “I Was Wild. They Named Me OR4”, acrylic on Belgian linen, 72 by 48 inches

Visit Ester Curini’s website at estercurini.com.

Related Article > On Drawing Harbingers of Seasonal Change


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