Originally from Newbury, Berkshire, Richard Allen gained a degree in Graphic Illustration at Kingston Polytechnic (1987). After graduating he became a freelance illustrator working mainly in scraperboard for advertising, publishing, packaging and newspapers. Richard’s work slowly drifted towards his main interest of birds and wildlife, especially after winning ‘British Birds – Bird Illustrator of the Year’ in 1993.
Following a move to Essex in 1988, and more recently to Wivenhoe, the bird rich estuaries and marshes of the Essex coast have provided an endless source of inspiration, fuelling a passion for field-sketching. Richard Allen enjoys the immediacy of working directly from nature, trying to capture the life and vitality of wild birds, and the patterns of plumage, light, water and foliage.
This essential field experience has proven invaluable when working on paintings in the studio, illustrating bird identification guides and producing wildlife interpretation illustrations for nature reserves and visitor centres.