The wildlife paintings of Daniel Smith balance between scientific accuracy and artistic integrity. He studied commercial art for two years before becoming an illustrator. In the early 1980s he entered stamp design competitions, and after winning more than 30 competitions began painting for limited-edition prints.
Smith has never painted anything he has not seen for himself. “Almost everything begins out in the field — seeing, smelling, getting jazzed up,” he said. “Painting is fun and creative, but the real enjoyment for me is being out there, seeing the colors, getting rained and snowed on.”
In 2011, he won the People’s Choice Award from the Western Visions Annual Show and Sale at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, and the Bob Kuhn Wildlife Award from the Masters of the American West at the Autry Museum of the American West. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Smith won the Cynthia Post Buyers’ Choice Award from the Small Works, Great Wonders art show at the National Cowboy Museum. In 2013, he received the Victor Higgins Award of Distinction from the Quest for the West Show at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the 2021 Prix de West, Smith received the Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award.