About Emily Dewsnap – Professional Artist in Yorkshire

I am a professional artist in Yorkshire. emily-dewsnap-artist-in-yorkshireNow based in Leeds, I was brought up in Glossop in the north of the Peak District in Derbyshire. I began painting and drawing at a very early age. And the myriad legends surrounding Glossop and the Peak gave me my first taste of the magic of folklore. For many years, my only subject was mythical creatures, particularly fairies and dragons. You can see this in my early work, where fairy-tale creatures infiltrate my pieces, from cat portraits to master studies.

This fascination with the occult has continued into my work today. Albeit in a more deliberate and organic way. 

Transitioning from a Derbyshire Artist to an Artist in Yorkshire

My environment is very important to me. I find ugly, busy or noisy places break my focus and stifle creativity. Which is why I chose to study at Bretton Hall, back when it was part of Leeds University. A stately home set in a nature reserve that was also home to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Until visiting Bretton, I had felt doomed to spend my student years cooped up in an ugly, brutalist building. City centre living has never been my style. Bretton Hall was my salvation from student-ville as most people in the UK experience it.

Strangely, I chose Creative Writing as my degree, feeling that there would never be a place for a self-made artist from a working class background. However, it became apparent that I could still make some extra cash drawing people’s pets and loved ones. Which is when I started taking commissions to pay my rent.

A Versatile Artist in Yorkshire

I sold my first piece of art when I was just 17 years old. A pencil drawing of a 50s New York cityscape. So the transition from a Glossop-based artist to an artist in Yorkshire was fairly straight forward. Back in my college years, my only marketing was word of mouth (the internet being a fairly new beast). So once word got around about my art services in Leeds, I was making enough money to get by and then some. Still, it would be several years (and many terrible jobs) before I realised that maybe I should take my art career to the next level and become my own boss.

Working on commission for most of my artistic life allowed me to explore different formats, and these days I usually choose to work in acrylic, graphite and digital media. I find that acrylic gives me that freedom to build up the paint like oils, thin it down to create watercolour-like washes, as well as creating both vibrant and more muted pieces. When it comes to graphite, I use the softest pencils I can get my hands on to really emphasise those dark shadows. And I discovered a love of digital paintings when I was laid up with kidney stones. Feeling lost without an artistic outlet, I turned to my iPad and opened up a whole new world of sketching.

Imaginative Realism with a Touch of Eros

My main focus these days is on figurative subjects with dark, magical and often erotic interpretations. I have a fascination for strong, mythical women and nature elements. I try to bring these subjects together into pieces that portray strength and beauty. Being an artist in Yorkshire has given me unfettered access to fantastically wild and beautiful landscapes, awash with wonderful flora and fauna.

Of course, Yorkshire also has its fair share of folklore and legends and I like to weave symbolism from different religions and belief systems into my artworks.

A big inspiration for me is Michael Whelan, an artist who creates fantastically detailed fantasy pieces. However, I also have a huge amount of regard for figurative artists like Lucian Freud and Jenny Saville and they have both been influential in my own work. I find that the combination of fine art and fantasy brings a whimsical element to my work. For that reason, I tend to flit between describing my mystical art as imaginative realism and magic realism (a genre usually confined to the literary world).

Background of an Artist in Yorkshire

I have a working class background, which I feel adds to my need to appeal to people from all walks of life. While many consider art to be highbrow, I strive to create a safe space for art enthusiasts from all backgrounds; a place where every question is valid and fine art is affordable. I thoroughly believe that art should not be reserved for the ultra rich – everyone who has a genuine appreciation of art deserves the chance to decorate their homes with it. Art should not be bought as a status symbol to be locked away in a case or paraded around, but as something to be looked upon and appreciated often.

Artist in Yorkshire that Ships Worldwide

Head on over to the art shop to browse my ever growing portfolio of mystical, whimsical figurative paintings, featuring fantastical creatures and surreal surroundings. I’ve always had an interest in mythological and fantasy imagery. In this collection, my love of flora and fauna meets my interest in the human body with extra dashes of magic.

If you have any questions about any of my pieces, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Art Commissions Closed

Commissions were closed in early 2020 to allow me to concentrate on my passion. After spending 20 years working for clients, I am now taking the time to create the portfolio I have always wanted to. While this may be disappointing, I hope that you are as excited about my upcoming work as I am and I’m looking forward to taking you on this journey with me.

Where Else Can You See My Artwork?

While I am not exhibiting physically at the moment, you are also able to purchase originals, prints and various merchandise on other channels.


See my work amongst other artists’ at Saatchi.


Redbubble do a stellar job of turning art into everyday objects, such as T-shirts and hoodies, soft furnishings, stationery and various high quality budget prints.


A selection of my originals are available through Etsy.

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I tend to send a maximum of one email a month with special offers, new discounts, important updates and art exhibition announcements. I give you my word that you will not be spammed with constant, unwanted emails.

My Art on Social Media

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