Call for reference photos of "The Little Guy"

Call for reference photos of "The Little Guy"

I’m working on a very special project at the moment (if I tell you, I’ll have to kill you…) that requires the creation of super-realistic artworks featuring “the little guy” - the unsung heroes of the animal kingdom; creatures that are often overlooked or ignored due to their small stature, shy nature or simply because they are not the Big Five

Think Bat-eared Fox, Pangolin, Duiker, Black-footed Cat, Tree and Ground Squirrels, Genet, Civet, Bush Baby, Mongoose… Think reptiles, birds and even insects

I’m reaching out to my followers for reference photos that I can use to paint from.

Here are a few things to take note of:

  • Photos must be your own or taken by a loved one - I only use photos with the express written permission of the photographer (because plagiarism is theft!).
  • Full credit will be given to the photographers - I’m always happy to share social links and websites!
  • You do not have to be a pro photographer and it does not have to be an award winning photo! However, it is important that it is in focus and not overly grainy. Cellphone photos miiiiight work, but sometimes the resolution is just not good enough to clearly show detail.
  • Only indigenous South African wildlife!
  • Not all photos make for good paintings, no matter how fantastic they are. And the way I select photos to work from has a lot to do with my gut instinct - it is in no way a reflection on the quality of the photography. I don’t want to upset anyone, so if you think you might be offended if I don’t use your photo, please don’t send it (she says with an awkward giggle)!

If in doubt —  please share your photo with me! You never know…! If you know any budding photographers (pro or amateur), please do share this with them.

If you have any questions, or already have a photo that you think will make for a lovely painting, please email me at


Here are a few of my favourite Little Guys:

 meerkat watercolour painting by the happy struggling artist

There is no doubt that the cheeky Meerkat is one of the wilderness' most charming and underrated little guys! You can find fine art prints of "Lookout" in store here.

pygmy falcon painting by the happy struggling artist

The Pygmy Falcon is the smallest raptor in South Africa. And yet, this little guy packs a big punch! This one-of-a-kind original watercolour Pygmy Falcon, entitled "Small Packages", is still looking for its forever home.

malachite kingfisher watercolour painting

This tiny beauty is a Malachite Kingfisher - a fantastic hunter, and so small and speedy that it is often missed! I still have some limited edition, fine art prints available of this beautiful bird, here.


To see more of my wildlife art, click below:

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