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Michael Leonard (b.1933)
Coloured pencil on textured paper.
Signed and dated 1974
Born in India in 1933 to British parents, in 1945 at the end of the war he returned to England to complete his education. In 1954, after two years of National Service in the army, he went to St Martin’s School of Art in London and studied Commercial Design and Illustration. By the time he left Art School in 1957 he was already working as a freelance illustrator and for many years was busy producing artwork for books, magazines, advertising and the press. Lunch hour visits to the National Gallery fed a growing ambition to make pictures for the wall rather than the page — work that would be experienced in the original rather than in reproduction.
As an illustrator he worked in a small studio attached to the offices in Soho. Meanwhile at home he experimented, trying to discover his style as a painter. Some of this work eventually came to the attention of Fischer Fine Art, and in 1972 several of his paintings were included in one of their group shows. In 1974 he was given his first One Man Show and after that, gradually left illustration behind.
His work includes portraits and nude studies either painted or in pencil, all carried out in meticulous detail giving each work a photo realistic intensity.
See the works of Michael Leonard on his website michaelleonardartist.com