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Portrait of Mary Anning

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

I did a portrait of a wonderful lady - Mary Anning for Portrait challenge 2019 back on Instagram. The prompt way scientist and I decided to go for Mary because I admire her as a person who came from humble beginnings but through self-thought and dedication became one of leading experts in the field of paleontology.

Mary Anning was a fossil collector and paleontologist known for important finds she made in the cliffs along her hometown of Lyme Regis. Despite not having a formal education, she became one of the leading experts in the field and her findings greatly contributed to important changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and history of the Earth. As a woman, she often didn't receive full credit for her discoveries nor she was eligible to join scientific circles - nonetheless, she was often consulted on issues of anatomy and about collecting fossils. She came to be known as the princess of paleontology.

If you want to know more about here you can watch a short video about her on official Smithsonian magazine website or read anovel about her life "Remarkable Creatures" by Tracy Chevalier.

I wanted a few important facts to come through in the portrait- Lyme Regis where she lived, her desctinctive wardrobe and tools she used, fact she used to write down and mark her finidings and of course fossil was a must. I also wanted to do letterning for this piece an incorporate it somewhere in the illustration.

Mary Anning sketch by iz.ptica

For the color palette I decided to go with earthy tones that compliment well with the color of her distinctive dress I found in reference photos. For the whole piece, I only used three brushes from my Waves brush pack you can download for free here which give the piece nice textures and more character.

Mary Anning portrait illustration by iz.ptica
Final piece

So happy how the portrait came out - next up Warrior Queen Boudica!


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