When needing inspiration I often look at one of my favourite art mediums and go from there. Watercolour painting is a versatile and flexible medium that allows artists to create their own colour opacity. It’s a fantastic practice in that it’s unpredictable and can be experimented with in so many ways, from technique to the materials used, to how much water is left on the brush. I always feel overwhelmed painting in watercolours because there are endless possibilities in what you can achieve with them.
Dan-ah Kim, a Korean film maker and artist who’s work really captures what illustration is all about. Her work reminds me of eastern folk tale illustration. Her paintings have an emotive presence through composition, colour and narrative appeal. These mysterious, beautiful illustrations often put the viewer in a voyeuristic position as though we are looking in on something that we shouldn’t. Kim often paints on wood panels, beginning with pencil and paint, then layering with other medias such as paper and thread. Check out her website to see more of her work.
I have frequently been posting about 21st century artists and their work recently, so I thought I would do a post about an artist from the early 20th century, who’s work I have come across quite a few times on museum visits. Mabel Royds, an artist who studied at Slade best known for her woodcuts. Her two most well known series of colour prints are her Indian and Tibet scenes from the 1920s and her woodcuts of flowers that came after. Its understandable why her later work became so popular to exhibit at the time compared to her earlier pieces as they are far more bright and glamorous. See below. The original prints are in the care of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum London.
I really like seeing pictures of animals doing human things or acting like people, I mean who doesn’t right? Lieke van der Vorst a Netherlands artist, the founder of Liekeland brings her animal illustrations to life by giving them human characteristics. Some are drawn with clothing among people, whilst others are doing everyday human things like working or traveling. In particular I like how Lieke draws the humans interacting with the animals like they are family. I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I look at her designs, very cute stuff! Lieke’s drawings have a whimsical earthiness and playful appeal about them; the way she uses colouring pencils and ink adds an overall sense of childhood nostalgia. You can find her work printed on prints, postcards, stickers and bags and occasionally on mugs, see via her website.
Gillian Blease is a freelance illustrator who gets commissioned by big publishing companies, supermarkets and other illustrators. I especially like her digital designs she did for Waitrose, as being a regular Waitrose food shopper I was happy to see such fun exciting designs in their magazine (see below).
Her illustrations commissioned by newspapers such as The Guardian, The Economist and The Financial Times are powerfully thought provoking, some of which are even controversial. What stands out in Blease’s digital images is how she puts two and two together whilst in-keeping a flat stylistic overall form. This website displays her portfolio of work.
This last image is a collection of flower designs that have been printed on coasters for Jenny Duff the designer.