I've admired her art for a long time, I love the tiny miniatures she does as well as the bokeh she creates in the backgrounds on the bigger pieces - so I thought it'd be fun to get to know Shannagh-Leigh a little better! I got to meet her at HOYS last year, just after Charlotte had visited her stand and seen her painting of Freestyle and Blueberry. She has a lovely collie dog called Glee too!
How are you spending lockdown and what are you most looking forward to once it's lifted?
Mostly the same still working on commissions, I did however manage to get locked down at my partners house so I’m at his with his family. Luckily I still have my dog and my coloured pencils! I can’t wait to see my family, friends and get back to agility.
What/who would you dress up as for a fancy dress party?
Hard question haha I honestly love dressing up, I think doing zombie santa & zombie rudolf for Halloween was my favourite costume so far so I’d probably do that again!
What drawing/painting are you most proud of?
Honestly.. probably my MSJ Freestyle painting. I love working large and she was my largest coloured piece ever at one point
Who would your 3 dream dinner guests be?
This is a hard question I honestly don’t know and I’m always changing my mind.. I think the one I’m most set on is David Attenborough and if I could Bob Ross
What would be your dream commission?
A show jumping or cross country scene, head on or at a low angle. I think horses can look so powerful when jumping, I love the shapes they make id just adore to do one!!
What's your favourite medium to work in?
Ahhh this is such a hard question.. so I do digital, coloured pencil and acrylic. Most of my commissions are coloured pencil but I think my favourite is acrylic, I can work quite large with it and I have so much freedom with layering and my colours.
..and now a few questions for me!
What do you look for when taking photos?
That's quite a varied topic, it totally depend on what/where I'm shooting and the purpose of the image - but I look to make the subjects as natural, happy and as flattering as possible. Horses can look very odd if you get them from the wrong angle, or if they're turned slightly. If a horse looks relaxed in the photo, with a soft kind eye, it makes for a nicer image on the whole. Light is another massive thing too - you want the light to fall nicely on your subject, making the most of the light, even if it's backlit. I love experimenting with how the light works and how you can really play around with the feel of the image by altering how the light hits.
What was your favourite photoshoot?
Urm it's hard to pin point one in particular, I have so many lovely memories from so many different shoots. Photographing at the Royal Mews was a highlight for sure, and anything featuring Blueberry!
I've had some really lovely shoots with kids and their ponies and my favourite shoots are ones where they've had a horse for a large part of their life - you can always see the connection there.
Cake or biscuits? And what type?
I'm not a massive cake fan - ironically though my favourite biscuit is a jaffa cake - but I'd eat most things if they had enough chocolate on them!