Aren’t these beautiful illustrations by art student Sang Miao? Loose, gestural brush strokes depict nature scenes where walks in the woods turn into fantastical adventures with critters, candies, and ghosts. Take a careful look at these compositions and you’ll see all of the great details that each has to offer. What’s your favorite part?
Not every artist can make their sketches appear like finished works, and vice versa — not every finished piece can have the qualities of a sketch. Mathilde Vangheluwe is an illustrator who rides this fine line, and she colors her drawings with the soft hues of colored pencils, often leaving her initial graphite sketch visible. This technique is great way to add some shine and polish to something that can feel raw.
Check out Mathilde’s illustrated products in her shop!
Loris Lora’s illustrations are a wonderful fusion of contemporary imagery and a retro artistic style. Using gouache, a dry-brushing technique, and sometimes cut paper, she paints portraits of people admiring their surroundings, dressing in costume, and strumming on the guitar.
Loris was recently in a show at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, California. The exhibition was called An Open Diary, and it brought together artists who “share a playful sensibility and enjoy highlighting life’s small and oftentimes overlooked moments.” You can definitely see these instance in Lois’ work — she shows us that it’s not all about hustle and bustle. Sometimes, you have stop and appreciate what’s right in front of you every day.
Buy original art by Loris through Flower Pepper Gallery’s website! (Also: follow them on Instagram. They’re always posting great stuff.)
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a glimpse into my studio! Here’s a fun embroidery I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks. It combines two things I love: stitching and good food.
The [working] title for this piece is called Favorite Bites in Baltimore, and it will include a half dozen of my favorite things I’ve eaten while living in Baltimore. So far, I’ve completed S’mores in a Jar from Hamilton Tavern and the Dirtyboy from Bun Shop. Now, I’m in the middle of a slice of pizza from Joe Squared.
I’m planning on embroidering a few more foods, but narrowing down the choices has been really hard. Baltimore has some great restaurants!
(Follow me on Instagram to see regular updates of what I’m working on.)
For many years, I embroidered on paper. It’s not the easiest way to work, but it sure creates an interesting, unexpected effect that can act as a substitute for a pen, pencil, or paint. With this idea in mind, illustrator Izziyana Suhaimi combines drawing and thread in her series of portraits called Friends to keep you warm. The images are what you might expect from the title — people are depicted wearing colorful, whimsical hats and scarves. Izziyana draws their faces with a fine-tipped pen and adds a little shading. Then, she stitches and knits their accessories so they’ll never be without something on their head or neck.
(Thanks for the link, Marisa!!)
Nebraska-based artist Meghan Stratman fashions her colorful portraits into telling vignettes, as if you were looking at a film still or a comic book panel. “I am drawn to stories and lore in all forms,” she writes, “books, movies, video games, theatre, myths, and urban legends.” Subjects like ghosts, girls, monsters, and animals are paired with themes of friendship and loneliness, with a nod to urban decay and abandoned spaces.
Meghan’s beautiful illustrations are crafted out of paper with some tiny details drawn using colored pencils. Look closely and you’ll see all of the carefully-cut shapes and speckled paper. Lovely!
Check out Meghan’s Etsy shop called Bunny Pirates and pick up a print or postcard.
London-based illustrator Alessandra Genualdo paints fantastic gouache works that are a satisfying fusion of shapes and a limited color palette. She pairs pale pinks, mustard yellows, and fiery reds with blacks, grays, and whites, which are a great juxtaposition of cheerful and dull. And, I especially love it when she mixes these hues with her patterns and blob-like forms. They have a visual ease about them, making them feel contemporary and stylish.
Are you a zine lover? If so, Alessandra has made a few that are available in her online shop.
Aimee Bee Brooks is a recent art school grad who creates colorful illustrations featuring stylish vintage ladies and familiar objects.
“My work is inspired by the past,” Aimee explains. “I don’t have a strong interest in contemporary things. My artwork generally depicts items and people from the time periods I find aesthetically pleasing. I believe the items I surround myself with, the music I listen to, and the art I’m fond of have an affect on the work I create.” It’s this sentiment that I find so comforting about her illustrations. They’re often things I grew up (tape cassettes and all), and that I attach a certain nostalgia to.
Buy Aimee’s zines, scarves, pins, and more in her Etsy shop!
Mai Ly Degnan is a Baltimore-based illustrator and a former grad school cohort of mine. Since graduating in 2014, she has kept herself busy by drawing all sorts of curious ladies in strange lands. They’re great – her characters don costumes, have swim parties, and best of all, scheme! I love it when she releases a new illustration – it’s always a joy to see what her stylish girls will be doing next, crafted with a meticulous attention to detail.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Mai Ly’s Instagram is one you should follow. Check it out to see her sketches, illustrated products, and more.
In addition to illustrative prints, Mai Ly has made mermaid brooches. They’re all available in her Etsy shop.
Teresa Bellon is a Spanish illustrator who caught my eye with the young Frida Khalo piece that’s above. I love the color, simplicity, and shape design, in addition to the distressed printmaking texture that gives her works a hand-crafted touch.
Teresa’s illustrations often depicts jungles, oceans, and people generally on the go. I don’t know about you, but they make me want to get up and start moving!