Robert Gillmor, ornithologist and wildlife illustrator who drew the original RSPB avocet logo – obituary

His work over the years has included sketches, paintings, linocuts, book covers, posters, cards, and mugs — even soft furnishings — all of which showcased the beauty of the natural world. Always impeccably executed, it was usually bold in design, with clear lines and subtle yet vibrant colours.

The sheer volume of Gillmor’s output meant that most people would recognize his style, even if few knew his name.

Robert Gillmor was born in Mortimer, on the outskirts of Reading, on 6 July 1936, and attended Leighton Park School, a Quaker school. As a boy, he was an avid naturalist and learned to draw and print by watching his maternal grandfather, the wildlife artist Allen William Seaby.

Gillmor’s own first published illustrations, ink drawings of the Manx shearwater, appeared in British Birds in 1952 while he was still in school.

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