Gary Hodges was born in 1954, and has had a deep love for nature since childhood. In 1979 he began applying his keen sense of observation to his drawings and is now Britain's leading wildlife pencil artist.
He gave up his day job around 1989 to concentrate on his drawings and, shortly afterwards, began to publish his limited edition prints himself. By retaining control of every stage, from drawing, to publishing, to selling, Gary has never had to compromise on the very high standards he has set himself.
He is a genuinely sincere and generous human being who cares quietly, but passionately, about the conservation of the animals he draws. Through his drawings he has already raised his first quarter of a million pounds for charity and is well on his way towards the second quarter million - a phenomenal achievement for one individual in such a short time.
Gary Hodges drawings stand out from the crowd because he combines a remarkable technical ability with a deep feeling for the subject and a sensitive understanding of its individual character. His sense of design and composition, often focussing on only a part of the animal, always results in a striking image that demands the viewer's attention and thought. Others have tried to achieve the same effect in pencil, but the result often looks ordinary by comparison.
He may use very many different grades of pencil in a drawing. Each grade is put to good effect as he painstakingly builds up tones and textures, working on small areas at a time.
The range of textures he creates - tough hide, fluffy fur, preened feathers, dry scales - is extraordinary. Often there is a touch of humour - the big paw or menacing tooth - but in the end it is the eye that fixes itself upon the viewer. It is here that he begins each drawing.
His original drawings now regularly appear in Christie's Wildlife Art auctions -"Supreme" sold for £16,215 in 1998 and "Mother's Love" for £10,575 (double the original estimate) in May 2000.