Julia Malcolm - pet portrait and wildlife artist

Oil Paintings by Julia Malcolm

Portrait of a dressage horse and rider in oil paint


I have grown up using Windsor & Newton oil paints, so generally stick with them. I know how these paints move and work together so I feel confident using this high quality product. Oil paints are extremely versatile and come in a huge range of colours. However, I find I mix a lot of my own colours to match the particular colour of the animals coat or eyes. Even the most simple coat can be made up of four or five colours if you look closely.

Portrait of a sea dragon in oil paint

Sea Dragon

Oil paints are great with coloured animals, especially where more complex backgrounds are requested. Such backgrounds can be a garden, stool, stadium, etc which can be painted in with detail or blended to a more mute background. Another alternative background used more frequently with head portraits is a textured or patterned effect. This can be a very subtle stippling or brushed effect using colours which complement both the animal and the d├ęcor of the home where the portrait will be hung. I am always happy to lend a hand when selecting background colours for oil portraits.

Portrait of a dog in oil paint


The canvases I use are artist grade, acid free canvas mounted on a wooden frame. There are many sizes available prefabricated which suit most needs. In the event that a commercial frame does not suit the subject's dimensions, I am able to build a frame and hang the canvas myself at a small additional cost. It is always better to match the canvas to the subject size than force a subject onto an ill fitting frame. As oil paints are very durable, there is no glass required when hanging the portrait, just a frame of your choice.