Archive for the ‘painterly’ Category
post by Heather Ryerson
Grace Helmer uses strong brush strokes to create her rich, ethereal oil illustrations. The expressive color progressions in her paintings give the work a delicate, transient presence; the viewer can’t help but be caught up in the joy and beauty of Helmer’s brief captured moments. Her style is used to especially great effect in her animated pieces. Constantly changing textures and shapes create a depth and dynamism that one might feel could easily be drunk from the canvas. Helmer graduated from the Camberwell College of Art in 2012 and is part of the illustration studio collective Day Job.
Back in 2009 when I first decided that illustration was definitely the route for me, I was finally beginning to stumble on a lot of other illustrators that really governed my taste and aesthetic going forward. Interestingly, a lot of them happened to reside across the pond in Great Britain. Julia Pott, Lizzy Stewart and Gemma Correll are a few that come directly to mind when thinking of the geography, and are some of my favorite working artists to this date. Lize Meddings also happens to hail from the UK. I stumbled upon her work via Tumblr of all places, and am quite happy I did!
Lize Meddings is a Bristol-based fine artist and illustrator with a penchant for the color pink, animals, nature and all kinds of positive self-expression. She works in both analog and digital formats, showcasing wonderful brushwork and gestural figures. Since finishing up the Illustration program at Plymouth College of Art & Design, she’s become a self-publishing fiend–constantly working on the next comic, zine, print, bag or fine art commission. The idea of a creative block seems far and away from this one’s mind.
Lize is quite interested in the act of characterization, if that wasn’t obvious before. Her medium of comfort is a brush and some ink, but she also demonstrates a natural comfort around the use of color. I particularly love the way she draws eyes–very fairylike for some reason.
Something I’ve noticed about several British illustrators is the tendency towards a more “naive” aesthetic. While that might sound negative, it’s completely the opposite. There’s a unique youthfulness in Lize’s work that allows it to appeal to a wider, younger audience, all while the messages remain witty and cheeky. It takes a special person to turn reality into something appealing, and she does just that by focusing on the relatable, more beautiful aspects of life.
Follow along with Lize’s illustrative adventures:
Post by Heather Ryerson
Holly Exley’s expressive, saturated colour palettes feel realer than life. Her food illustrations beg to be eaten; her watercolour paintings of British wildlife threaten to flit off the page. Since graduating from Middlesex University, Exley has worked with clients Marks & Spencer, Whole Foods, Topshop, Chronicle Books, BBC Wildlife and more. She lives and paints in London.
In the midst of a world grounded in digital technology, sometimes we need a reminder that good things can still be grounded in reality. This is why we still go visit galleries and museums to see artwork in person (a habit I’m still trying to get better at). This is why we still give each other greeting cards, or why our desks seem to collect countless post-its over time. It can be as simple as opening a letter or unwrapping a present–interacting with real material still matters.
On that note, I’d like to introduce you to Anna Bond, owner and creative director of Rifle Paper Co.–an inimitable force in the stationery field and beyond.
While Anna now lives and works in Winter Park, Florida, she has roots in New Jersey and received a degree in graphic design in Virginia. After working as an art director and freelance illustrator for a couple years, she discovered (or rekindled, rather) her love for stationery design while illustrating some wedding invitations. As mentioned in her feature on The Every Girl, stationery was the optimal combination of graphic design and illustration that she had been searching for, and so she pushed onwards.
While there’s something to be said for art directing at 21, I admire Anna’s honest and expressive way of dealing with her expectations, realities, and how to improve upon them. She’s spoken before about the first launch of Rifle Paper Co.’s website, detailing product disasters, website crashes, international shipping issues, and taking turns panicking with her husband. Without sounding cruel or spiteful, it’s incredibly comforting to know that someone as ambitious and driven as Anna has screwed up before. And to me, there’s no better way to recover than by succeeding.
Nearly all Rifle Paper Co. products feature Anna’s hand-painted illustrations, which are often nostalgic in style with a pastel palette.
Some of Rifle Paper Co.’s selected clients and collaborative partners: Anthropologie (their very first!), Kate Spade New York, Hygge & West, Chronicle Books, AMC Mad Men, and Penguin Books. I think it’s important to note that the variety of clients reflects Anna’s ability to design for both traditional and modern brands, which can be difficult depending on one’s personal style.
Follow along with Anna and her husband Nathan’s exciting ventures at Rifle Paper Co.’s website, and take a peek at Anna’s portfolio here. You can also find her on Twitter. I particularly enjoyed her Day in the Life feature on Design*Sponge as well.
Mary Kate McDevitt is one of the most successful hand-letterers and illustrators working today. A graduate of Tyler School of Art, Mary went on to work at a design studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After 2 years, she moved out west to pursue a freelance illustration and design career in Portland, Oregon before ultimately settling in Brooklyn, New York, which is where she presently resides. While she previously imagined that she would work as an illustrator, dabbling in some lettering on the side–but it turned out to be quite the opposite. Her ever-growing client list includes Chronicle Books, CMYK Magazine, Fast Company, and the United States Postal Service.
She is specifically inspired by vintage type and techniques, including the ones of her own family. As a teenager, she discovered a plethora of handwritten letters that her mother and aunt wrote to her grandmother during college. She used this inspiration for her Your Handwritten Letters project, a daily hand-lettering exercise. Mary would hand-draw a letter of the alphabet and mail the original to a unique participant each day.
You can follow along with Mary Kate McDevitt on her website, blog, Instagram, Dribbble, and can also purchase prints through her Etsy shop. She also has two online classes on Skillshare that can be found here and here.
Post by Alice Palace
This is some VERY lovely work loaded with positivity by Miranda Skoczek – there’s beautiful painting, pouring, spraying, throwing, rubbing, stencilling, gathered imagery, experimenting, silhouettes, and big colour!
See more of her work
Post by Alice Palace
Claire Desjardins has a love of painting! Her personal mantra is that each of us is the maker of our own destiny, and her bold, colourful work exudes this energy…
See her website
To me, sketchbooks are the most interesting part of an artist’s body of work. They show thoughts and observations before they become hidden in a more complex piece. I love the finished quality to Nicholas Stevenson’s sketchbooks so much, I just had to share! I have such a weakness for saturated color palettes and hectic compositions. Nicholas Stevenson is an illustrator based out of London who works mostly in Gouache. When he’s not painting, he plays a lot of music. I highly recommend checking out his portfolio, and all of his other internet hangouts: Portfolio | Twitter | Tumblr | Behance | Music