Australian born, Heidi Willis is an entirely self-taught Natural History watercolour artist. Her work intricately illustrates our native and exotic plants, flowers, fruits and seed capsules, whilst her powerful & distinctive portraits of our spectacular bird life offers viewers an insight into the world as she experiences it. Painting full-time since 2003, Heidi quickly established herself as one of Australia’s emerging artistic talents. Her reputation as a leading natural history, wildlife and botanical artist is well established and her meticulous and intricate studies of botany and birds can be found in significant public and private collections around the world.
Heidi’s work has featured in prominent national and international exhibitions over her career. Highlights include The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize seven times to date, winning a Highly Commended award in the Works on Paper section in 2014 and 2016, resulting in her work going on the national tour with the prize winning entries. The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize is one of Australia’s most competitive, prestigious and richest art competitions and is held by the South Australian Natural History Museum. Several of her works have been showcased as a finalist at the Focus On Nature exhibitions, a leading international Natural History Art Prize held in the New York State Museum. Her work has also featured and won awards in both Botanica and The Margaret Flockton Award, hosted by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Recently, ‘The Great Romance’, a large Flamingos painting and one of the first pieces created in the new medium of acrylics for her, has just been selected as a finalist in the 2019 Birds In Art event. Hosted y the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum in Wisconsin, USA, the highly competitive ‘Birds In Art’ exhibition is widely considered to be the most prestigious event for bird artists in the world.
Her work is held in the permanent collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation PA, USA and the highly regarded Shirley Sherwood Collection. Her work has also been featured in several publications, most significantly Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Craft Arts Magazine, Colophon, SA Life, The Australian Financial Review, Good Weekend Magazine, QANTAS in flight magazine, International Artist Magazine and Artist’s Palette Magazine multiple times over, with her work featured on the front cover of Artist’s Palette issue 123, the front cover of International Artist Magazine, Issue 111, again on the front cover of Australian Artist Magazine, Issue 323, and again her work on the blue macaw painting out of her South America travels was featured in Issue 419 in 2019. In 2015 she was taken on by Australian Geographic as a freelance botanical illustrator where her work features in the regular Nature Watch section of the magazine.
Heidi freelances as a commercial illustrator for many wonderful clients around the world and is highly sought after due to the outstanding quality, reliability, consistency and diversity of her work. Some of the most notable commercial clients she illustrates for include West Hotel/ Hilton Group, Banrock Station, Australian Geographic, The Grounds of Alexandria, The Grounds of the City, Eldorado Food Company, Australian Government, the Sydney Parks Signage Project and many more. If you are in need of a reliable, consistent and beautiful botanical illustration, bird illustration or natural history illustration in watercolour, acrylics, graphite or ink mediums service, you’ve certainly come to the right place.
If you’d like to learn more about painting realistic watercolor or botanical illustration for yourself, a number of online tutorials are also available to you. With over 7000 students globally, her foundation course ‘Paint Realistic Watercolor and Botanicals – ‘Studio Basics’ is an online painting course that will assist you to get started in botanical illustration and realistic water-colour painting in Heidi’s own style. It will also establish the foundations needed to take Heidi’s subsequent ‘step by step’ painting tutorials in ‘Chasing Autumn’, ‘Magnolias’ and ‘Lotus’. Now is your chance to learn from a renowned artist and tutor, at an affordable price, at your own pace, and all in the comfort of your own home! Head to the Classroom for more information on these tutorials… It’d be great to have you on board!