This illustration (above) by Melissa Castrillon is one that I’ve admired for a long time. I love the minimalist use of color and all of the delightful things that are hidden within the composition. It isn’t just about this big, castle-like house. There are small creatures romping around the oversized flowers and trees.
These busy landscapes are a recurring theme in Melissa’s work. Below, you’ll see other similarly-colored compositions and tiny lines. Much of it is screen printed with traces of offset pigments visible
Some of these images are available as prints in Melissa’s online shop. She also has ceramics for sale, too!
I enjoy a good flick, and so I was really excited to see that Ellen Surrey was painting these small illustrations based on film stills. The title and year are labeled at the bottom of each piece. So, if any of these paintings intrigue you, I’d encourage you to watch the movie! I’ve never heard of The Cat From Outer Space, but I know that I need to see it.
Ellen writes about this project, stating:
I watch a lot of movies, especially the classic ones. Because I love the look of these movies so much I usually take screen shots while I’m watching. These screen shots make for great reference but lately I feel as if I could be utilizing them so much more. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding what to draw and paint when that creative urge hits, so I thought I would start painting my collection of screen shots.
Each gouache painting is small (3″ x 4″) and on piece of watercolor paper.
Mia Charro is a designer and illustrator whose love of nature is apparent through her bright artwork. She also enjoys fairy tales and magic, and I’d reckon animals, too.
With all of these colorful, floral crowns, I totally want to make my own! That’d be a fun DIY project to make out of paper…
Mia sells a lot of these works as prints through her Etsy shop.
Daniel Mackie’s watercolor paintings depict animals that have lush landscapes contained within their bodies. A black cat with large eyes has tempestuous sea and giant ship traveling through its elegant body. Likewise, an owl features a moonlit path winding on its chest.
Navy tattoos are a source of inspirations for these illustrations. Daniel’s website, The DM Collection, further describes the process:
In order for the paintings to work with so much detail, the shape of the animal was key in the design, it had to be instantly recognizable as the creature it represented, here Daniel took his cue from Art Deco, keeping the shape of the animal as simple as possible. Daniel is a big fan of the printmakers of the Ukiyo-e period which was between the 17th and the 20th centuries.
These illustrations are available in cards, prints, notebooks, and more. Buy em here!
Lila Poppins is an illustrator and paper designer who uses her talents to create fantastic beasts, lovely blooms, outdoor scenes, and much more. In addition to sculpting with paper, she also directs stop motion films. Lila’s Tumblr features a few of these animated snippets, one of which is a combination of paper and 2D illustration. The film is an illustrated French poem written by Jacques Prevert and available to view on Vimeo (I’ve also included it below).
And, just a note: illustrator Clément De Ruyter is the person behind the character design of this creature. (Lila did the paper work, obviously!)
Get lost in the magic of Danse de Lune (formerly Art and Ghosts). She’s a UK-based illustrator who has a penchant for colorful folklore and dark, dreary skies. I love the multilayered, fantastical feel that these pieces have. They’re soft with a lot of visual oomph — just look at all of the tiny, intricate details! Danse gives us some insight to her work, writing:
The larger part of my work is concerned with the protection and welfare of nature, children, and non-human (occasionally magical) creatures: perhaps as a result of my earliest experiences and a sense of close identification with the hidden, nocturnal things which speak an unknown language. Animals concern me especially, whether magical or quite ordinary.
Dreams and the unconscious (Jungian) also play a predominant role in my work, alongside symbolism, mysticism, folklore, mythology and fairytales.
Check out Danse’s Etsy shop for prints.