Artist captures the images of big cats on canvas

Fiona Champion has always had a passion for art.

Although the artist always drew as a small child she has been 'painting seriously', she says, for about 15 years.

She said: “Like many artists, I am trying to capture that perfect painting - so much of my work is traditional realist.

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“My favourite subjects for this being the big cats. However, I have been inspired by other artists and now I also 'play' with colour and texture - these paintings are brightly coloured and a lot of fun to produce.”

"My dog""My dog"
"My dog"

An example of this is her African Wild Dog painting, she also draws in graphite for more detailed work and uses ink to paint in monochrome leaving bits out to use the paper as part of the painting.

“These last paintings have been accepted on three occasions into the finals of the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition in the Mall Galleries in London. So my style is always evolving in one direction or another. My sculptures tend to be traditional.”

Fiona has found inspiration for many of her paintings on African safaris and visiting private breeding programmes for big cats.

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“I always paint what I have seen. It keeps the connection with my subject,” the East Preston artist said.

Savutis SovereignSavutis Sovereign
Savutis Sovereign

In November Fiona is booked to go to Uganda to trek to see Gorillas, but due to the pandemic she explains that she will have to wait and see if it goes ahead this year, but hopefully she will go next year.

The large traditional paintings can take Fiona up to two weeks to produce while the colourful ones tend to be much quicker and can be finished in a day.

“The pencil ones I tend to work on in the evenings and they can take months of an hour here and there,” she explained.

She adds that she also takes on commissions.

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One of Fiona’s favourite pieces is her painting called ‘Savuti’s Sovereign’.

“It’s of a lion walking straight towards the viewer,” she said.

“It’s almost life sized. It was inspired by a lion we observed in Savuti Botswana.

“I would have to say it’s my favourite, unless we count the portrait of my dog.”

To see more of Fiona’s work, visit

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