Edwin Penny was born in Bristol and studied Art at the Bath School of Art and the Royal West of England Academy. He worked initially as an engraver before departing for Hong Kong to study the philosophy of Far Eastern composition under a Chinese Master.
Edwin Penny paints largely from memory, as did the old Chinese masters, and this helps ensure the presence of that all-pervading sense of animation which is essential to any bird drawing of real worth. Watercolour is the only medium he uses: it suits him and the subjects he paints, as he feels he can achieve a greater delicacy and a more sympathetic effect.
Edwin Penny never uses photography as he feels it would deny him that freedom of vision, which results from an artistic link between eye and hand. Instead he works from sketches of line and movement and relies on direct observations of birds over long periods of time.
When once asked if he did ever take photographs, Edwin Penny’s reply was “If I could photograph birds that well, I wouldn’t have to paint them”.
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