Richard Whittlestone

Richard Whittlestone

Richard Whittlestone, a renowned British fine art painter

Richard Whittlestone, a distinguished British fine art painter, incorporates his distinctive touch in all of his paintings – a small depiction of a fly. He initially introduced this element into his early bird paintings to provide additional intrigue to the subject matter, and it has been a recurring feature ever since. However, spotting the fly requires a discerning eye as it is subtly incorporated.

 Hailing from Yorkshire, Richard’s upbringing on his family’s dairy farm profoundly influenced his artistic style. His grandmother, a biologist, nurtured and fostered his fascination with the natural world that surrounded him.

Richard’s love for animals began at a young age. He always had his German Pointer by his side and even shared his bed with a pet Magpie named Spike, who had a penchant for hiding silver milk bottle tops in Richard’s shoes! 

In an article published by the Huddersfield Daily Examiner on July 23rd, 1979, it was revealed that Richard started painting at the tender age of 5, showcasing a natural talent. Impressively, he sold his first artworks – a Bullfinch and a Chaffinch – at the age of 13. By the time he was 14, Richard held his first exhibition. Remarkably, he made his debut appearance with the Society of Wildlife Artists when he was just 22 years old.

In his teenage years, Richard bred Pheasants, Quail, Ducks, and Finches, solidifying birds as his true passion. Reflecting on those days, Richard fondly recalls building an expansive aviary with his father. It was here that he would spend hours engrossed in observing, sketching, and capturing their interactions on canvas.

 Every mood change, busy moment, and quite instance became ingrained in his memory, shaping his artistic approach. Richard explains how painting now involves imagining his subject’s circumstances and anticipating their every movement, thereby enhancing the overall authenticity of his work.

A significant milestone for Richard occurred on his 15th birthday when his parents gifted him an acre and a half plot of land on the family farm. With his own initiative, he meticulously fenced the area, created a wildlife pond, and meticulously planted hundreds of indigenous trees.

 Richard also took it upon himself to put up nest boxes, attracting and studying animals and birds that were drawn to the area. It’s essential to note that this took place in 1978, a time when grants and official encouragement for such endeavours were non-existent. It would be many years before this environmentally conscious practice became fashionable.

Richard’s passion for taxidermy played a vital role in his artistic growth. Through this practice, he gained a profound understanding of anatomy, from identifying feather tracts to grasping bone structure. He developed a keen eye for properly and accurately depicting the fall of fur and ensuring that his portrayals of live subjects were physically and artistically balanced.

By the mid-1980s, Richard’s wildlife paintings were being sold at the Stud Farm Gallery on the esteemed Chatsworth Estate. Interestingly, this former gallery now serves as the restaurant within the Chatsworth Farm Shop. He later expanded his sales to Harrods, where his artwork was displayed in their picture gallery. Additionally, Richard opened his own gallery in North Yorkshire, which created new opportunities for exhibiting and selling his paintings. 

He eventually returned to Derbyshire with his wife, Amanda, and in 2005, he established the Richard Whittlestone Wildlife Gallery in Pilsley, a short distance away from where his artistic journey began at the farm shop.

“Chatsworth has always held a special place in my heart,” shares Richard. “Establishing a gallery here at this spiritual home made perfect sense. The birds and animals that abound in this region provide me with endless inspiration, right at my doorstep.” While Richard’s clientele now spans the globe, it is noteworthy that he maintains a devoted following from those who purchased his paintings over three decades ago. His remarkable skills have led to numerous commissions from various companies, charities, and private individuals.

Despite winning the British Watercolour Society’s top award twice, in both 1989 and 1990, Richard’s primary focus remains on painting and exhibiting native wildlife in his own gallery. His artworks also grace the walls of the House of Bruar in Perthshire, Scotland, further solidifying his standing as an esteemed fine art painter. With each stroke of his brush, Richard Whittlestone captivates viewers and leaves an indelible mark on the art world.

Picture Framing and Glass options

Choose your preferred style of frame to match in with your decor. If you require a something else please contact us so we can help you select what you are after.

Glazing Choices are either a 2mm clear float glass or reflection control art glass with ultra-violet protection – This is what most our customers go for as it preserves your print and stops direct sun damage.

Whitehorse Gallery’s ‘Master Framers’ have accumulated over 30 years of experience, showcasing unmatched expertise in framing artwork.

The Team, having learned the family’s traditional framing techniques, possess the knowledge and ability to complete the job with precision. With expertise in both small-scale framed pieces and large commercial picture framing projects, they have the knowledge and skills to successfully complete the job on time and to the highest standards. Continuing a rich family tradition, they uphold the legacy. Ready to provide outstanding framing services.


We also have many years experience on fulfilling international shipments and make custom crates to suit so your artwork arrives safe in one piece, please contact us if you need it shipping aboard.

Art Hanging

Do you require your artwork to be hanged up on the wall, again if you are a UK customer this is something we can do for you at very little cost. Contact us today to get he ball rolling so we can book you in.