Browsing Tag


Illustration, Inspirational Instagram

Amber Davenport’s Hypnotic Illustrations Welcome You to the Jungle

Jungle illustrations by Amber Davenport

One of my favorite things about Insta­gram is when illus­tra­tors share their work in progress. I love see­ing the process! Amber Dav­en­port, a self-pro­claimed “pat­tern lover,” shares her paint­ings in the midst of being created—including the her cur­rent palette. The acrylic pig­ment is used in busy jun­gle illus­tra­tions fea­tur­ing loads of flo­rals and crea­ture friends. Their dizzy­ing com­bi­na­tion of col­or and paint­ed tex­ture makes them a joy to look at and begs you to spend some time with them.

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Energetic Illustrations Summon You into the Middle of the Action

Illustration by Molly Fairhurst

Mol­ly Fairhurst gets back to basics in her expres­sive illus­tra­tions. Con­cen­trat­ing on form and the ges­ture of her sub­jects, the paint­ings have an ener­gy that draws you in, be it one of her 1,000 Tigers or por­traits of peo­ple in action. In my favorite of her illus­tra­tions, you get the dis­tinct feel­ing that you’re com­ing into the mid­dle of some­thing excit­ing.

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Illustration, Interview

Picture Yourself as One of These Painted Women by Rachel Jo

Illustration by Rachel Jo

Last year, illus­tra­tor Rachel Jo gave her­self an assign­ment. “I decid­ed to chal­lenge myself to do a paint­ing a day for a month in Novem­ber 2016 to real­ly get my style to show some con­sis­ten­cy,” she tells me in an email. “The pro­por­tions of my fig­ures were real­ly wonky and my col­or palette was all over the place.” The 30 days were “dif­fi­cult but reward­ing,” and it’s been a big help in her cur­rent endeav­ors and over­all career.
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Instead of a Crown, Regal Portraits Wear Nature as the Splendorous Opulence

Black Antoinette by Olaf Hajek

Illus­tra­tor Olaf Hajek is known for his gor­geous paint­ings that are a feast for the eyes. One his more recent series is called Black Antoinette, and it imag­ines Marie Antoinette—the infa­mous Queen of France—as a woman of col­or. The regal por­traits pay homage to his sub­jects’ beau­ty as well as the splen­dor of the nat­ur­al world. As their hair reach­es towards the sky, it’s com­plete­ly com­posed of flow­ers, birds, ani­mals, and fruit. Each illus­tra­tion is visu­al­ly over­whelm­ing (in the best way) and begs you to admire all of its fine paint­ed details.

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Fabulous Fashion Illustrations Redefining the ‘Ideal Body Type’

Isabelle Feliu fashion illustration

Last week, I fea­tured the work of Isabelle Feliu as part of my list of 16 fan­tas­ti­cal fash­ion illus­tra­tions. Since then, her paint­ings have been on my mind. Comb­ing women of all shapes and sizes, she out­fits them in fab­u­lous fash­ions from real-world design­ers like Vivet­ta and Guc­ci. The cloth­ing is con­tem­po­rary, but the Isabelle’s style of water­col­or paint­ings is rem­i­nis­cent of artists long ago. Matisse comes to mind—especially in the ges­ture of Isabelle’s fig­ures, as well as her use of bold, flat­tened shapes.

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Ceramics, Illustrated products

Wildflower Ceramics That’ll Make You Want to Frolic in a Sunny Field

painted ceramics by roootree

Inspired by wild­flow­ers, roootree (aka Kaori) illus­trates their col­or­ful beau­ty onto porce­lain plates, cups, and saucers. My favorite pattern—a mix­ture of tall grass­es and bright buds—seems undoubt­ed­ly inspired by this mead­ow of wild­flow­ers. Kaori has trans­lat­ed the end­less rows of flow­ers into lay­ers of col­or and tex­ture. Using a com­bi­na­tion of tight draw­ing and dif­fused shapes, she cre­ates the feel­ing of depth. It’s as if her illus­trat­ed ceram­ics are actu­al­ly made of a field of blooms.

Kaori sells her wildflower ceramics on Etsy.

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Meticulously-Arranged Artworks Reveal Adventurous Little Worlds

Little worlds by Celan Bouillet

Artist Celan Bouil­let cre­ates “lit­tle worlds full of ani­mals, green­ery, and adven­ture.” The col­or­ful, high­ly-detailed pieces fea­ture places that are every­where and nowhere. Sloths, giraffes, trop­i­cal leaves, and peacocks—all paint­ed at the same scale—occupy the same com­po­si­tion. They are, how­ev­er, so care­ful­ly arranged while togeth­er, they nev­er ful­ly inter­act. This is Celan’s design. “These mixed media pieces are high­ly detailed and manip­u­late scale along with pat­tern to cre­ate com­plex nar­ra­tives,” she writes.

To pro­duce these pieces is an exer­cise in metic­u­lous­ness. Every branch, rock, and ani­mal is paint­ed gouache on paper which is then cut out and placed on a back­ground. Celan’s com­po­si­tions are so seam­less that at times, it’s hard to tell—but her in-progress works on Insta­gram show­case her beau­ti­ful process.

Celan sells her work as large lim­it­ed edi­tion in her Etsy shop, The Bay­ou Botanist.

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Vivid, Ethereal Landscapes are Dreams in Painted Form

Becky Blair landscape paintings

If you’re in the midst of win­ter, Becky Blair’s land­scape paint­ings are a beau­ti­ful escape from drea­ry skies and frigid tem­per­a­tures. Fus­ing real­ism with abstrac­tion, she lay­ers col­ors, tex­tures, draw­ing, and print­ing to cre­ate imagery that are like vivid dreams. These rever­ies are inspired by her exten­sive trav­el through India, Aus­tralia, and Europe, and she, in turn, “reflects the expe­ri­ence, rather than the vis­age” of a place. Through her paint­ings, we are part of these moments, too.

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Artist, Illustration

Energetic Landscape Paintings Represent the Yin and Yang of Life

Kirsten Sims

Once again, Kirsten Sims has cap­tured an incred­i­ble ener­gy in her paint­ings that recall the spon­tane­ity of pen­cil sketch­es. Her lat­est series was cre­at­ed for the Tur­bine Art Fair in Johan­nes­burg, and they fea­ture vibrant out­door and indoor scenes that act as a yin and yang—the beau­ty of soli­tude, as well as the hus­tle and bus­tle of large groups. Each is live­ly in its appli­ca­tion of paint; the col­ors swirl and mix on can­vas, dif­fus­ing and abstract­ing the illus­tra­tions. It’s as if they rep­re­sent one long, fan­tas­tic dream… or bet­ter yet, a mem­o­ry!

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