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Gravesend artist shortlisted for David Shepard Wildlife Foundation award

PUBLISHED: 14:25 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 19:13 14 April 2018

Paul Hinks with his painting of a buffalo. Picture: Paul Hinks

Paul Hinks with his painting of a buffalo. Picture: Paul Hinks

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An artist has earned himself a spot in a prestigious London wildlife exhibition after enterting his first competition.

Paul Hinks' painting of a buffalo has been shortlisted for the David Shepard Wildlife Foundation artist of the year award.Paul Hinks' painting of a buffalo has been shortlisted for the David Shepard Wildlife Foundation artist of the year award.

Paul Hinks’ painting of a buffalo has been shortlisted for the David Shepard Wildlife Foundation’s (DSWF) wildlife artist of the year award, held at the famous Mall Galleries in central London.

Lifelong Gravesend resident Paul, 47, a father of four, came back two years ago to the hobby he enjoyed as a teenager, after a 20-year hiatus working in IT.

He said: “It’s the first competition I’ve entered. When I got the email from the foundation I couldn’t sit down all day, I had to keep checking - unbelievable.

“I’ve spent two years hard at work practising away, and done a few commissions.”

Established in 1984, the DSWF raises money to save endangered wildlife and aims for harmony between all creatures in their natural habitats.

Half the profits from the works sold go to conservation projects in Africa, Asia and all around the world.

Paul said: “There is incredible work in this exhibition, not only painting, as it incorporates sculpture too.”

The DSWF said: “This collection of works that celebrate and champion endangered species is a reminder of how much we could lose if we do not protect the natural world and its wildlife.”

Paul’s artistic process is based on drawing from high quality still photographs, which he sources online. Paul prides himself on his incredible attention to detail, and the foundation’s judges seem to agree.

The shortlisted portrait of a buffalo, which has already been sold, was based on a reference photograph by Andrew Macaskill.

Paul said: “A lot of my work is well known for fine detail - I use pencils to get the most realistic effect.”

Paul and his wife Sarah, a teaching assistant, 43, will go up to central London for the May 1 private view, where they will meet the new owner of Paul’s award-winning work.

The DSWF wildlife artist of the year exhibition will be held at the Mall Galleries from Wednesday, May 2 to Sunday, May 6 and admission is through donation.

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