An Interview with Joe Weatherly – Animal Artist


Joe Weatherly is an artist specializing in the drawing and painting of animals. His bold and vigorous style captures the drama of his subjects. Conservation of the natural world is something Joe is very passionate about and hopes his art motivates people to protect it and promote its survival.

Joe will be teaching a 5-day workshop for us this Spring, May 4 – 10, 2014. This will be the first time that Joe has taught a workshop for us, but he comes highly recommended. We are already busy lining up the models from local farms, and if we are lucky, maybe an exotic animal or two (besides our crazy dogs!).

Joe Weatherly has published several books; the Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals, Animal Essence the Art of Joe Weatherly, and the Joe Weatherly Sketchbook. We have several of these in our studio library and I’ve enjoyed viewing the rich and captivating images of this paintings and drawings.


Besides teaching, many of Joe’s paintings and drawings hang in private collections in Europe and North America. Some of his art clients include Nickelodeon Animation, Dreamworks Feature Animation, Universal Studios, Art Center, Laguna College of Art and Design, and The Academy of Art in San Francisco.

As the first in our new series of interviews with our artist instructors, I put before Joe a number of questions about his life as an artist.

How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I have been teaching for 16 years. What got me started was I wanted to make some money to travel to Europe so I got the idea to make a flyer and advertise a six week animal drawing class at a local zoo and the class filled. I really started to like teaching animal drawing because of my passion for the subject matter so I made a handout each week on how to draw a particular animal and these built up over time and that is how I got the idea to make my first book, “The Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals”, and ever since then colleges and art institutions have been hiring me to teach.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is being able to demonstrate my ideas and show people how I do it. I enjoy teaching a workshop or class where everyone really wants to be there because there is a common interest and energy that is an inspiration for all involved. I had some really good drawing teachers when I was learning my craft and they helped me solve a lot of problems and had great patience so I like to pass that kind of help on to my students because I know how hard it can be to obtain good information about drawing and painting.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

The three best reasons for taking a workshop are 1.) To obtain a lot of information in a short amount of time on a subject that you have a passion for or a desire to learn about. 2.) To get out of the studio and recharge your batteries and hear new ideas about a subject that you are already familiar with or are working professionally at. 3.) To study with a pro or a particular artist that you admire or want to know more about how they work and what you can learn from them.

What are you currently working on in your own art?

Currently I am working on a body of work consisting of oil paintings with various animals from North America, South America and Southeast Asia. The exotic animal pieces will go to a show in Paris France in 2015.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

My work is currently being exhibited at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont.

Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

My work is currently represented in France by Galerie Daniel Maghen. In North America, for the most part, it is sold to private collectors. I am looking to branch out into more gallery representation in the states. My advice to artists looking for gallery representation is to research the galleries first to see if they sell the type of work you make, and if so, send them a small portfolio consisting of 8-10 images that best represent your work along with any sales history or pertinent information.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I don’t sell my work in any online gallery but I do sell from my website.


What is your favorite art quote?

My favorite art quote is by Michelangelo, “Painting is a jealous mistress”.

Describe your studio.

My studio is quite orderley, I’m not a real messy painter. I have a room with a lot of windows and doors so plenty of light gets in. In addition to that I have track lighting above my easel so I can work with strong light throughout the night. I use a large art table made for the Disney Studios a long time ago that lights up from below. This is where I do most of my drawing. For painting I have a pretty big easel and a computer screen that I use for reference along with any drawings or color sketches I make.

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products

  1. Masonite panels
  2. Cheson 828 and 804 pallet knives
  3. Transparent yellow and red oxide oil paint
  4. Robert Doak “terra rosa” oil paint
  5. Grumbacher sun thickened linseed oil

Thank you Joe for your thoughtful and informative responses. We are looking forward to the workshop in May. There are still some spots available in this class, but don’t wait too long to sign up!


Besides the new feature of interviews with our artist instructors on this blog, we are also interested in highlighting the artists who attend the workshops. If you’ve attended a workshop of ours in the past and would like to be featured, including links to your website and blog, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you!

Gloria Loughman’s Multiple Images within a Landscape

Awarding winning art quilter, Gloria Loughman, a very popular teacher from Victoria, Australia, taught to a full house this past November. Gloria is the author of Luminous Landscapes, Quilted Symphony, and her newest book, Radiant Landscapes.


These pics will give you just a taste of this exciting and challenging workshop. As Cheryl Kosarek said, “This class was beyond expectations! Gloria is a world class talented instructor.”

Gloria will be returning to teach for us again in 2015 and a number of folks from this year’s class have already signed up!