Leather Paintings by Hokti


By Birgit Hein

Painting on leather has been a passion of mine for about fifteen years. The beginning works were actual hides with fur on them. They ranged from elk hides to fox hides. Originally the paintings were on the tanned side with a portion of the fur folded over the painted scene. This way, one could see the beauty of the fur as well as the art.

These days, I use leather without the fur. It can be a variety of color and type. It can also be a fine suede to a pearlized leather. Some art, the entire canvas is covered with leather. With other art, it is “puzzled” piece by piece or I just might use a portion of leather on the canvas. Either way, it can be difficult to manipulate due to the fact that it has give to it. Cuttings of the leather must be exact. It is a time consuming process and requires patience.

Needless to say, leather can be tough on brushes. All types and grades of brushes are used depending on the leather’s texture. The medium is casein; it is milk-based and will not bleed out on the leather. A problem with this particular paint is that once it has dried, the color of the pigment is not the same as it appears out of the tube! So one must understand the color palette well. Therefore, mistakes on leather are not always easily corrected. Casein dries quickly and it can be reworked with water for about two days. Once it has fully cured, in about a week, it is permanent and can be buffed to a shine with a soft cloth. It is a marvelous medium.




My current body of work has been a long time in coming due to events in my life in recent years. This most recent imagery consists mainly of birds and other wildlife, mostly on leather. The entire collection can be viewed at the Brentwood Library in December this year (2012).

I am all about the planet, so some of the proceeds from sales at that show will go to a charity that helps wildlife in peril. The paintings in the gallery you are seeing here are part of that collection. Some work is available in print.

Hokti is my artistic pen name. I hope you enjoy my work.



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