Hilary Burn is a self-taught artist with a life-long love of wildlife and a particular interest in birds. In recent years her time has been taken up almost entirely by a 16-volume illustration project, which means she has not been able to exhibit any paintings, but she hopes to get back to painting in a couple of years time.
Hilary paints in gouache, which she finds a very flexible medium for paintings and detailed illustration work. Most of her paintings are done on watercolour board with a NOT surface. For illustrations she uses Fabriano 5 watercolour paper HP surface. Many of her larger bird paintings were done by painting the backgrounds from life in the field then adding the bird subject in the studio using her sketches, photos and film.
For Hilary's book illustration she has to research study skins at the Natural History Museum in Tring, Herts, which holds the National Bird Collection. Skins are photographed and transferred to her laptop for her to use later in the studio along with photos of live birds, gathered from many sources, in order to achieve a high level of accuracy.
1946 Born in Macclesfield, Cheshire
1967 BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Leeds
1968-71 Taught Biology to A-level in Leeds comprehensive school
1971 Began illustrating natural history books and painting birds as a hobby
1983 Elected a Member of Society of Wildlife ArtistsLive in rural Somerset
1972- Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries
‘Handbook of the Birds of the World’, Lynx Edicions
‘Wildfowl: An Identification Guide’, Helm
‘Crows and Jays’, Helm
‘Handbook of Bird Identification’, Helm
‘RSPB Book of British Birds’, Macmillan
‘RSPB Handbook of British Birds’