"When creating an embellished print, my aim is to improve on my original drawing"

GARY EXPLAINS HIS EMBELLISHED PRINTS

EMBELLISHED PRINTS - THE ORIGIN

 

Early in 2015 I had a 'lightbulb moment'. I was working intensely towards a big solo show, my first in 22 years. We'd secured the huge Mall Galleries and I felt something fresh was essential to offer my collectors besides original drawings and limited edition prints. Embellished prints were the missing link.

 

They were the smash hits at the 2016 exhibition with 54 selling for brilliant prices through the live and silent auctions. TV's charismatic character, James Lewis volunteered to join us as our auctioneer and with an audience of over six hundred, he had them hanging onto his every word. James brought his hammer down time and time again creating record prices for many embellished prints; Snow Leopard sold for £6,700, Jaguar for £5,250 and The Orphans for £4,500.

In the last five years I've drawn over 175 embellished prints for charity auctions and events and will continue to create them as long as collectors keeping bidding.

EMBELLISHED PRINTS - THE CREATIVE PROCESS 

 

Over the years I have set aside a few prints from each edition specifically for charities. After choosing one of these prints I spend many hours adding thousands of new pencil strokes, drawing across the whole printed image to achieve an even effect. Every time, the end result is a richer tone and more texture and most importantly, each print is unique. The lithographically printed limited edition becomes even more 'me' and much closer to an original drawing.

 

As you may know, I haven't completed any new drawings since early in 2015 when I finished 'The Incredible Journey'. I'd worked on that sporadically over four long years, writing my autobiography in between times. So for the foreseeable future, an embellished print is the closest you can get to an 'original' from me. 

 

EMBELLISHED PRINTS - THE MATERIALS USED 

 

 All my prints up until recently used the lithographic method and were printed onto Fabriano Five paper which is the same superb quality paper I use for my drawings. So drawing straight onto the prints made perfect sense.

 

My main tools for embellishing are Derwent onyx pencils. They are a fairly new invention by the company and give the equivalent rich tones of a 10B or 12B pencil but you are able to maintain a fine point without the 'lead' breaking or crumbling. I love using them.

 

As with my original drawings, I used a plastic eraser to create highlights in darker areas.

 

EMBELLISHED PRINTS - ADDING FURTHER VALUE

 

Whenever possible I use very low or high numbers or Artist Proofs (AP) for embellishing to make them extra special.

Also my friends Rula Lenska and Virginia McKenna OBE co-sign them adding further value to the print.

"With your help embellished prints are a brilliant way to raise funds for conservation"

EMBELLISHED PRINTS - COMPARISONS

NOT EMBELLISHED

EMBELLISHED

I have embellished two Swimming Polar Bear prints, one for my Mall Galleries solo show in 2016 and this one above right, for Born Free's latest online auction beginning on 27 November 2020. For this new version, I very much played with the ripples and accentuated them even more to give further depth and weight to the water..

NOT EMBELLISHED

EMBELLISHED

EMBELLISHED

Since 2015, I have embellished Heat & Dust five times for various charity auctions. Of course each comes out different as they are embellished by hand and I don't compare each one.

 

I have placed these three together so you can see the subtle differences between them. The one on the left is the standard limited edition without any embellishment at all. The other two have been embellished. You'll notice the dust is more pronounced on the middle one as is the background tone, which makes the white of the rhino appear even brighter. Some of the detail on the skin is more punchy too.

 

Helping Rhinos currently have a framed embellished print of Heat & Dust that they'll auction at their major 2021 event at the Natural History Museum. After that I will be embellishing one more Heat & Dust print for my 2021 charity exhibition in aid of Born Free. This is the last copy I have put aside.  

EMBELLISHED PRINTS - UP-COMING CHARITY AUCTIONS - REGULARLY UPDATED

"When you bid on my embellished prints, rest assured that 100% goes to charity"

SITTING PRETTY

BEGINS 27 NOVEMBER 2020

 

Edition number Artist Proof 58/125

Signed and numbered by the artist

Co-signed by Rula Lenska

100% in aid of Born Free

SWIMMING POLAR BEAR

BEGINS 27 NOVEMBER 2020

 

Edition number 11/850

Signed and numbered by the artist

Co-signed by  Virginia McKenna

100% in aid of Born Free

THE SPIRIT OF ELSA 

AUCTION ENDED - PRINT SOLD FOR £1,100

 

Edition number 1250/1250

Signed and numbered by the artist

Co-signed by Joanna Lumley, Virginia McKenna,

Rula Lenska and Martin Clunes

100% in aid of Sketch for Survival projects

OLD TUSKER 

AUCTION ENDED - PRINT SOLD FOR US$955 

 

Edition number 2/850

Signed and numbered by the artist

Co-signed by Rula Lenska and Virginia McKenna

100% in aid of Voice for Asian Elephants Society

CHEETAH CUB

 

AUCTION ENDED - PRINT SOLD FOR £750

Edition number 848/850

Signed by the artist

Co-signed by Remembering Wildlife founder

Margot Raggett and Rula Lenska

100% in aid of Remembering Cheetahs

THE SNOW BEAR

AUCTION ENDED - PRINT SOLD FOR £500

 

Edition number 2/850

Framed

Signed and numbered by the artist

100% in aid of David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

EMBELLISHED PRINTS - EXHIBITIONS & AUCTIONS THEY'VE SOLD IN

TWO SOLO SHOWS

2016 HEART & SOUL exhibition at Mall Galleries - 54 embellished prints helped towards raising £160,000 for Born Free & EIA


2018 LOVE & PROTECTION exhibition at Nature in Art - live and online auction of 50 embellished prints raised £40,512
for six wildlife charities; EIA, Animals Asia, Born Free, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, Nature in Art and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.


2020 SUN SEA & STARS... POSTPONED because of the coronavirus. It was to include many embellished prints.

CHARITY AUCTIONS & EVENTS INCLUDE

Born Free Ball at The Landmark Hotel
Helping Rhinos event at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS)
Voice for Asian Elephants Society film premier of GODS IN SHACKLES at the RGS
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Ball at The Dorchester
Remembering Rhinos book launch at the RGS
Animals Saving Animals event at the RGS
Born Free event organised by James Lewis at Holme Hall   
Sketch for Survival exhibition at OXO gallery x 2
Remembering Rhinos Kickstarter campaign
Remembering Lions Kickstarter campaign
Remembering Great Apes Kickstarter campaign
Remembering Cheetahs Kickstarter campaign
Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries Ball
Voice for Asian Elephants Society Ball
IAPWA event at the RGS
Project Rhino event at the Cavalry and Guards Club
Born Free Ball at The Royal Horticultural Halls
Bookmark literacy charity Ball at The Landmark hotel
Borana Conservation Trust Ball at The Hurlingham Club x 2
Most recently in three online auctions for Born Free and Helping Rhinos  


EMBELLISHED PRINTS - A SELECTION OF FANTASTIC PRICES REACHED

 

When more than one price is listed it reflects the number of embellished prints I've created since 2015.
 

SOULMATES    £1,250

THE SPIRIT OF ELSA    £1,200  £700

EMPEROR PENGUINS    £1,200

MOTHERS LOVE    £1,157  £1,000

THE SNOW BEAR    £1,125

TOGETHERNESS    £1,025

ELEGANCE    £1,050

JAFF    £1,000

ELEPHANTS AFRICANS    £1,000  

OLD TUSKER    £1,000  £1,000

IN DREAMS    £950  £940

PLEA FOR THE RAINFOREST    £950

PRIDE & JOY    £950

WOBBLY    £950  £900

SERVAL    £930

BROWN BEAR CUBS    £900

SLEEPYHEAD    £900

LEMURIENS    £900

ANGEL EYES    £900

SNOW LEOPARD    £6,700  £5,500

JAGUAR    £5,250

THE ORPHANS    £4,500

THE CHARGE    £4,500  £2,200  £2,100  £1,700

BENGAL TIGRESS & CUB    £4,500  £2,600

CHEETAH    £3,500

OSTRICH    £3,250

FRIENDSHIP    £3,000  £1,650

LOVE & PROTECTION    £2,500

IBERIAN WOLVES    £2,000

BLACK RHINOCEROS    £2,000  £1,050

HEAT & DUST    £1,900  £1,530  £1,500  £1,300  £1,100

JOY    £1,750  £900

HUMPBACK WHALES    £1,550

SABU    £1,550  £1,300

MASAI GIRAFFE WITH OX-PECKER    £1,525

SLEEPYHEAD    £1,300  £900

SUPREME    £1,300

FRIENDS    £1,300  £800