Emma Leonard is an artist, illustrator and mother. You can usually find her in her home studio in Melbourne’s inner west  alongside her children and her beloved dog, Buffalo.

Leonard’s masterful use of oil paint has made us fall in love with her stunning still life paintings. She invites us into intimate domestic moments. We see ripe figs next to speckled handmade ceramics, an orange persimmon placed next to deep purple foliage all of which are painted with thoughtful colours that compliment each other perfectly. The surface of her paintings are rich and textural.

When talking about her creative journey, Leonard states: “My passion for art began as a young child but in my mid twenties I decided to become an illustrator. I have been a freelance illustrator ever since, specialising in portraiture and botanical illustration with clients including Mercedes Benz, Random House, MTV and Covergirl NYC however decided to pivot towards oil painting with a focus on still life after the birth of my second child three years ago. Now I happily divide my time between painting and illustration”.



Leonard’s constantly collecting from her surroundings and using her findings to establish compositions “I also usually like to include something from nature, like a stem of wattle collected on my morning walk or a few Birds Of Paradise blooms from outside my bedroom window”. She always begins the painting process with a warm raw sienna underpainting. During the underpainting stage, Emma plans her composition and preps a base that gives her artwork a warm glow. 


Leonard is influenced by old masters and contemporaries alike. She names artists Margaret Olley, Matisse and Dutch still life painters from the 17th century, alongside local contemporary still life artists Elizabeth Barnett, Sam Michelle and Lucy Roleff. 

See our collection of Emma's Paintings here.

Photography by Shannyn Higgins.