Meet local artist Alec Atherton

Alec in his studio

Local artist Alec Atherton loves to draw and during lockdown he was given the opportunity to spend more time creating a body of original pencil drawings which are now available at Heart Gallery

lec Atherton in Heart Gallery

Working with pencil and graphite gives him the freedom to express himself and his passions onto paper for others to see. He aims to capture the essence of each subject, whether that is in a furry animal or the face of an elderly man, he understands that each subject he draws has its own story which he embraces regardless of gender, background or even species.


Alec is fascinated by each of his subjects. Striving to understand each one as much as he can, building them up layer by layer in his mind in order to truly appreciate and capture them accurately. Only once he has dissected each subject, looking at various angles and watching the way they conduct themselves, can he begin to understand the expression or pose made in the photo he draws from, and only then will he begin to draw.

bumblebee Alec Atherton

Once familiarised, Alec begins by drawing the outline and major lines he uses to navigate himself. He aims to capture an honest expression of the subject, and his first main point of focus is always the eyes, which shape the expression of the whole drawing and set up the emotional bond between the subject and the viewer.


Following this is the lengthy process of building up layers and fine tuning the details in his subject. Depending on size, his drawings take up to 100 hours to complete.

butterfly by Alec

Alec’s drawings represent him and his quest for perfection. He doesn’t do drawings by halves, and never has. The detail he captures is from looking at the subject with extreme focus, not beginning his work unless he is clear in what the subject is portraying and how he can create the expression, texture and depth on paper with just a pencil and graphite.

Rabbit by Alec

Alec has chosen to create three pictures per each of his series; these series are titled Garden Birds, Insects, Woodland and Farmyard. His original framed drawings are available at Heart Gallery, Market Street, Hebden Bridge, as well as limited edition prints.

trio of Birds by Alec Atherton for Heart Gallery

Call in soon to see Alec’s framed originals on the wall in our Print Gallery and follow Alec Atherton on Instagram here. x