Scratchboard Artist Cathy Sheeter: The Innocence and Beauty of Wildlife

Cathy Sheeter - Scratchboard Wildlife and Western Artist and Photographer
Wait a minute – Illustration Pages is featuring photographers now? Nope. You better hold on to your desk while you’re reading this because these aren’t photographs. This is scratchboard art created by artist Cathy Sheeter. Yes – that’s right – Cathy creates these gorgeous works of art by hand – every strand of hair, every highlight on the eyes, every whisker and every intricate pattern – all created by the artist’s gifted hand.

Cathy Sheeter portrays all of her animal subjects with the fondness and care of an artist who possesses a true love for wildlife. Her theatrical use of lighting not only adds drama to her art but also a sense of warmth. In Italian Renaissance painting this technique is referred to as Chiaroscuro, in which the artist employs strong contrast between light and dark adding emotion to a scene and also to attain a sense of volume in replicating three-dimensional objects.

Cathy captures the spirit of each animal within the reflection of their eyes. Looking into their eyes you feel as though they’re looking back at you with an innocence you’ve never seen before.

Her attention to detail is mind blowing and her art has a depth that cannot be replicated by photography. The depth of Cathy’s art lies within her ability to illustrate the tenderness of her subjects, showing each animal as an individual that has a story – a unique life.

On her blog Cathy explains how she constructs her compositions. Oh and by the way – Cathy has no formal art training. Yes, go ahead and read that sentence again. Cathy gives details on how she builds her original layouts often compositing more than 10 different photo references to arrive at a unique piece.

Cathy sells high quality limited edition giclee prints on her site. Now through August 15, 2010 – 15% of all sales will be donated to Oil Spill Relief Efforts for Wildlife.


  1. Thanks for featuring Cathy, her work is wonderful!

  2. Cathy is one of my favorite artists. She knows how to capture an animal's soul with her fine detail.

  3. Thanks for your lovely comments everyone and for featuring my work Lou!

  4. I love your work Cathy. Ever since I featured your art I've been thinking about going back to doing the pencil portraits I used to draw.

  5. I'd love to see them- both new and old :)


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