1

In a time when design and artworks surround us all, the importance of doing things differently is what counts. Illustrator, Iain Macarthur from England, discovered a unique way to marry pencil and pen to create intricate patterns and lines that result in surreal outcomes.

CG: Your designs are surreal and make use of carefully crafted patterns. What would you say is your illustration style and how did you work towards achieving it?

Iain: My surreal illustration style is very diverse, sometimes it can be a combination of elegant photo-realistic drawings or wildlife animals created in organic patterns. I began drawing in this style during my college years when I was experimenting pencil with other materials such as paint, charcoal and ink. When I introduced ink into my pencil drawings I immediately became addicted to using it into my work. The reason why I was experimenting pencil with other material is that I wanted to create a unique and unusual look to my work instead of just pencil all the time. The combination works magic.

CG: Your designs are dark and mysterious in appeal as well. What do you generally try and communicate through your designs? Is there a story involved in your illustrations or is it merely a depiction of your imagination?

Iain: Most of the pieces I make don’t necessarily have a story behind them. I get a lot of inspiration from nature, wildlife and traditional native patterns and weave them into my work. Women also inspire me, and I enjoy drawing their eyes to make them look mysterious. When I merge the patterns into my female subjects I like to create it as a decorative element like jewellery or a headdress as I think that form works really well with the pencil drawings.

CG: You seem to use simple tools while crafting your designs. Tell us about what tools and techniques you use in your designing process.

Iain: I mostly use pencils and ink, usually pigment liner pens such as Staedtler pens or Uni pens. They generate really thin and delicate lines that help me draw intricate patterns.

CG: How has illustration evolved over the years? What other potential do you see in this design form that hasn’t been discovered yet? How do you plan on using your illustrations to enhance user experience?

Iain: This illustration form can be used in many ways as it’s quite a decorative and presentable style in more ways than one. The style can be printed on products such as clothing, posters and skateboards and can also be used as tattoos, to name a few.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

Order Your Copy!

In today’s international world, being a freelancer means being available to the entire world. No matter where you’re from, one needs to adapt to various clients and cultures to create a portfolio. Fil Dunsky, from Russia, with almost nothing Russian in his designs, uses humour and pun to make his illustrations work for brands all across. A little rendezvous gives more insight on how he creates what he does.

CG: Your illustrations are cartoonish in appeal. What is your style of illustrations? What would you call it? And what have been your inspirations during your design journey?

Fil Dunsky: For many designers, type of style is undefined. I don’ t know what my style is. All I know is that I put in a lot of love in my design, bake it and make it scrumptious so that the end user enjoys it. Through my design journey, my inspirations have been Oksana Grivina and Andrey Gordeev. Oksana was the first digital freelance illustrator I saw that mesmerised me. Ever since, I’ve been inspired by her work and learning her style and technique. And Andrey is my best friend who was the reason behind me leaving an office designer job to become a freelancer.

CG: From the look of it, your designs have a story. Where do you get such stories? 

Fil Dunsky: How designs manifest depends a lot on the task. Sometimes, the briefs are actually instructions that give less room for experimentation, and hence one simply has to recreate what the client imagines. No matter what the brief, the steps to arrive at an idea always remain the same. Boil the brief in your mind, sketch some ideas and then get one of them approved by the client before the chosen one is carefully finished. As for where I get my stories, well nature and creation are inspiring itself. Just look around. This world is so beautiful and full of stories, isn’t it?

CG: What would you say is ‘Russian’ about your illustrations? How has designing in Russia, enhanced your illustration style? How do you make your designs to relate to an international audience?

Fil Dunsky: I don’t think I have any Russian influence in my designs. I have never felt Russian, especially when the world has colluded and boundaries have been merged due to the internet revolution. Deep down inside, we are all international and there is no division that shows up in designs. Cultural influence comes from the client side at times, I feel. When I’ve drawn for clients from the UAE or China, they have specific cultural elements that need to be included. But that does not mean a designer needs to change his or her style.

CG: Your designs have a lot of elements in play. How do you create harmony amongst so many elements? How do you add your personal signature to all your designs?

Fil Dunsky: I’m just doing what I like, there is no struggle in that and nothing serious, pure humour and fun. I’m just playing.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

Order Your Copy!

Nature is blessed with a wonderful variety of things and one that captures the eyes of many are the animals. Created in various forms and having unique patterns, Richard Field, illustrates them in his own style using worldwide cultural influences. He elaborates on his nature inspired designs.

inspired
The Dark Owl.
inspired
The Travelling Turtle.

CG: What is the story behind what you do? How did you discover your talent and how did you work towards making it more than that? What were your inspirations? What were some challenges you had to overcome?

RF: Field-inspired, a play on the words ‘feel inspired’, is my name as an Illustrator. Having been inspired by so many things, it’s nice to do some inspiring of my own. My collection started when I was trying to make a bit of extra cash selling flash sheets to tattoo parlors around South London. Tattooists are always on the look out for new artwork to display in their shops. I used to work on black and white illustrations inspired by a variety of cultures around the world. My Native American, Mãori and folk art inspired illustrations caught the eye of a few people on Facebook and I decided to start adding colours and working on a new collection inspired by some of the nature’s most iconic animals.

inspired
The Bull.
inspired
The Stag Prince.

CG: Animals play a central role in your designs. Can you throw some more light as to why? How did you find inspiration in animals and their patterns?

RF: Isn’t wildlife the most wonderful thing we have on this planet? I’ve definitely chosen the best subject to illustrate. The shapes and patterns that it forms never cease to amaze me. It’s a great achievement to be able to put your own stamp on animals we see so often. I enjoy trying to add a bit of personality to them – the ‘Wise’ Lion or the ‘Truthful’ tiger. Nature is full of so much hidden beauty, the idea is to try to encourage people to take a closer look at the artwork and look beyond to read the halftones and patterns.

inspired
African Buffalo.
inspired
The Mountain Ram.

CG: Your designs have a striking contrast against black, creating an illuminated look and feel. How does that enhance the design?

RF: In my current collection, I work on black using a similar colour theme across all prints. By using strong, bold colours on black I hope to encourage the user to look closer at the detail. It’s not easy working on black, sometimes the colours can get a bit lost during the printing process – but I love the end result. Hopefully, people like how the artwork jumps off the canvas.

inspired
The African Elephant.
inspired
The Truthful Tiger.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

Order Your Copy!

Richard Field

Inspired by the beauty of the world around, Richard Field is an Illustrator from United Kingdom. In his latest collection, he puts his own stamp on some of the world’s most beautiful animals using layers of vector patterns and halftones.


Featured In


This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

Related Posts



Find Him Here


POST TAGS:

Faces are an interesting subject, and often we come across one that has an expression telling a story. Vivek Arvind Mandrekar saw one such story in  facial expression of Amitabh Bachchan and captured it by means of a digital painting. Below, he takes us through the various steps in order to tell and capture such tales.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

SKETCH & BLOCKING

It is an important step to follow before starting any painting as the image size will be little heavy to change anything later. So firstly, a basic raw sketch is drawn on a colour background which is further blocked through flat colours for defining shadows and highlights in different layers while keeping sketch as a guideline. The required areas are then dabbed for a smooth blending.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

SKIN

Step 01: This part is pretty straightforward, where blocked shadows and highlights are employed using basic selective skin tones.

 

Step 02: Further, various layers are painted using customised textured brush to obtain the final skin texture.

 

Step 03: The last thing missing from the skin is the realistic texture of pores and wrinkles. This is established using a scattered brush spread. Here, one must zoom in and out beyond actual pixels by studying the tiniest of areas to observe minute details with paint stroke of a customised textured brush. This is also one of the most time-consuming steps but makes all the difference.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

BEARD

Step 01: The beard area is under painted by blocking the base with a hard brush. Each strand is then painted by changing the size, angle, roundness and hardness of the brush with each stroke.

 

Step 02: The same is continued by altering the opacity and dynamics of the brush and by zooming in further to work on individual hair strands. This is one of the toughest parts to execute.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

HAIR

Step 01: For this part of the painting, both dark and light base is used as the base of the hair colour. Like the beard, here too each strand is stroked by changing opacity, angle and roundness of the brush.

 

Step 02: The base of each hair strand is then further built by applying a customised textured brush and painting each strand with a small hard brush to obtain the desired details.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

HAND

Here, basic blocking with shadows and highlights is used followed by rendering to create soft focus effect with the help of a soft brush.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

SHIRT

Once the beard and hands start taking shape, continue painting the shirt by filling in the creases with shadows and tones to achieve a proper compilation. Use light and dark tones to render the folds and blend with a soft brush. And finally, for thread stitch finish, use a medium hard sized brush.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

EYES & SPECTACLES

Step 01: The eyebrows, eyelids, iris and pupils are painted using a basic brush by adding textures and colours. This is then blended with different layers and softhard brushes by masking the glass. The glasses are not painted in this instance. Instead, a pen tool is used to draw and clip mask, after which the edges of the glasses are painted.

 

Step 02: Once the eye basics are ready, the veins are painted and a sense of depth is added using a technique of zooming into each detail. Following this, the edges of the glasses are painted in. A great person to get inspired for spectacle painting techniques can be obtained by following the work of SheridanJ on her Deviantart page.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

FINAL PHOTO

Once the painting of Amitabh Bachchan is ready, it is flattened and various dodge-burn tools have experimented for highlights and shadows. Furthermore, colour temperatures, balance and curves are also adjusted. Lastly, the background is worked upon through customised textured brushes and grading colours to a depth of field.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

Order Your Copy!

Vivek Arvind Mandrekar

Vivek Arvind Mandrekar is a self-taught artist and a Senior Art Director for movie posters.


Featured In


This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

Related Posts



Find Him Here


POST TAGS:

In today’s digital world, traditional techniques and practices of illustrating and painting are getting lost. For example, who gets to see oil glazed on canvas in a design that is not antique? Anand Radhakrishnan, an illustrator, explores traditional mediums to express the mysteries and to enlighten the darkness that people and the world carry with them.

Illustrations from A personal project, Chaavi.
Ink drawing for inktober.

Let the subject take control.

Style of a designer is determined by the content and subject that the artwork contains. Most believe that designers have their unique style, which some have, but the idea is to not pick a style and stick to it through out, but to make it a journey of discovery and surprise.

Value study in graphite.

A designer is always attracted by expression.

An expression is what designers are looking for when it comes to feeling inspired and figuring out the soul of their design. Nothing can beat expressions that human faces and body radiate. Every little pose or nuance says something about the state of mind of that very person, and as a designer, it’s fun to play with it. Look anywhere and you will see the outside world connect with your inner-self and it’s when they meet, the best magic happens.

Cover image of my project called ‘III’.

Sometimes, the old is the way to go.

Digital has changed designers and the way people look at artworks these days. But often working with traditional media is favoured in order to break the clutter and stand out to enlighten. Oil, ink and graphite are some favourites that can be combined with techniques like hatching, alla prima painting using oil, glazing, collages etc.

Value study in graphite.

Messy is what they call neat.

Upon first glance, any subject one observes has a sense of mystery and unknown about them. Those dark hollow spaces that our minds can’t fill, translate into an uncomfortable feeling that can be pronounced in design using patchy and messy textures. So even if the subject in your artwork is communicating the same thought that designer wishes to portray, the way it is expressed also counts. This makes the artwork more tactile and organic, which enlighten the viewer.

Illustration for A college project. Chaavi.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

Order Your Copy!

The Mahabharata has been told and depicted in various forms and formats. However, Freelance Illustrator and Concept Artist, Mukesh Singh, never felt satisfied and believed there was more to the story. In Graphic India’s project 18 Days, he illustrates the characters and their stories in a whole new light.

Jayadrath and Duryodhan

CG: Your artwork is a tribute to India’s rich mythology and culture. What gravitated you towards the subject of Mahabharata? As an illustrator, how do you relate to the story and the characters? How is it different from other projects that you’ve worked on?

MS: “Whatever is here is found elsewhere. But what is not here, is nowhere else”. This is the Mahabharata. It is the epic of epics, one that can be told again and again, generation after generation and still ring true. For all of their vain glorious powers, all the warriors, kings and queens are human, susceptible to the species’ frailties. Each character is a story in itself and the epic beautifully traces their lives from birth to eventual death. Read it with an expansive view of the affairs of men and Gods or choose your favourite character and walk with them as they make their way through life. Whoever you are, you will find something in the book to relate to and make of it what you will. At a personal level, compared to other projects, it was different in the sense that while I was already familiar with every major character it was also an opportunity to revisit them. But this time I was not part of the audience. I found myself set loose in a familiar world where I could not just wonder the what ifs, but also act upon my convictions.

The Mahabharata
Enter Man God

CG: Before you could manifest the story in your own style, how did you study the script and understand the storyline? Was it as simple as reading a book, or like a writer? Did you spend some time living in India and soaking in the environment?

MS: I was born in India and have stayed here my entire life. When it comes to Mahabharata, every Indian is familiar with it. I grew up, like most kids do, reading illustrated storybooks based on the epic as well following comic book version published by Amar Chitra Katha. Not just that, my father played a major role by narrating anecdotes from the scripture. This was then followed by television series, that gave 2D character form a 3D appeal. They had become real and have remained so ever since.

The Mahabharata
Markandeya Oracle Entrance

CG: You have given the Mahabharata a twist of your own. How do you describe your style? What was it that you experimented with and changed around? What remained the same?

MS: The modern audience has a keen and sophisticated understanding of the narrative design. They are beneficiaries of an accelerated volution of the storytelling process that started with the invention of the printing press and refined further with each succeeding generation of newer forms of communication mediums. Combine this with their familiarity with modern technology and it isn’t difficult to sell the idea of a hyper advanced civilization of a bygone era that could communicate across vast distances or wield destructive weapons embedded in something as small as an arrow head. I also trust their evolved sense of understanding to familiarize themselves quickly with an unfamiliar cast of characters.

If we shift our gaze from the core USP of Mahabharata, which is of course its multi-layered characters, to its fascinating world of highly evolved technology, it isn’t difficult to envision its larger than life aura. While other interpretations of this timeless epic have done enormous justice to its characters, few, if any, have looked beyond them to its setting, its environment, its grandeur, its scale, its theatre stage where the lives of its players played themselves out. I had remained dissatisfied with earlier visual interpretations of the Mahabharata world. Armed with these inferences, I immersed myself with world building of 18 Days. Some images I had carried for a long time in my head, some suggested themselves based on Grant Morrison’s scripts, the writer of 18 Days. It also helped that I had spent a lot of time with its characters, through the works of others and my own interpretation of their psyche. In 18 Days the characters have remained the same, at least as I see them. Their outwards appearances though have changed. I wanted the audience of today to identify and accept not just the character’s inner selves but their outer ones too, which are external manifestations of their inner selves.

Arjun Invokes War godes

CG: If you look through India’s depiction of the Mahabharata, it appears more colourful and vibrant. Any specific reason why you chose to work with dark shades and hues? What is the overall feeling you wish to create through your designs? 

MS: Impending doom perhaps? For all of their boasts and chest thumping, the characters meet their maker in the end. Some believed that they will survive the war. So they go all out heroic, in their quest to leave their mark on what they know will be an immortal event, this 18-day war. At the end, it was a pyrrhic victory for the Pandavs. Arjun questions the war in the beginning and Yudhistir in the end. What has changed?

Bhem Beserk

CG: This one’s fairly straightforward; how you do manage to make violence look so beautiful? What features and characteristics do you need to balance with to make your artwork come across that way?

MS: Ah! I don’t know how to respond to that. Violence can never be beautiful. If it appears beautiful, it is only during its build-up phase, when primal anticipation overwhelms the senses. The aftermath is always ugly. A mundane analysis suggests few things. Maybe the ornate designs in the drawings coupled with composition choices give it that sense of beauty. It also helps that the art itself isn’t hyper realistic. The line art based style may also have something to do with the pleasing appearance of the images. Or perhaps it is because I knew the inevitable fate of each character. I gave them their moments of glory.

Andhaka -Pimple

CG: No doubt people are smitten by India’s roots in history and culture. So after the Mahabharata, what’s next? In what other ways do you wish to explore Indian culture and mythology?

MS: As of now I am taking a break from stories based on Indian mythology and working on other things. But the intervening hiatus may be good. If I come back, I will hopefully have some new perspective. That is for the future though. We will cross the bridge when we come to it.

Bhem acepts Duryodhan’s challenge

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

Order Your Copy!

Heartbreak and sorrow are emotions that everyone would have felt at some point in their life. That’s what makes Katherine Dawson’s illustration relatable; ones that people can look at and go “Yeah, I know that feeling.”

But a closer look at her designs reveal that in the negative imagery lies a positive spark. The use of bright colours communicates a spark of optimism that motivates to carry on. Her designs exemplify how designers can use personal stories and inspirations to project unique outcomes to the world.

How Can An Organ Hurt This Much? The feelings of pain and heart break are represented though this touching illustration.
Heart Felt emotions
Life Is Unfair. The illustration is made using watercolours, coloured pencils and ballpoint pen.
Heart Felt emotions
Wraped Heart. Inspired by the low point in life, the colours in illustration are the indication to still remain positive.

Published in Issue 28

This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

 

Order Your Copy!

Anand Radhakrishnan

A freelance Illustrator based in Mumbai, Anand Radhakrishnan is a graduate from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, topped up with a couple of years of learning illustration at The Art Department. He is passionate about storytelling in any medium and derives inspiration from masters like Moebius, Alphonse Mucha etc.


Featured In


This Illustration Special is best to know why and how illustration as a popular medium is taking the design world by storm! From evolution of illustrations to its place in the world today, renowned designers and illustrators like Abhishek Singh, Mukesh Singh, Archan Nair, Alicia Souza, Raj Khatri with some international talent such as Fil Dunsky from Russia, Iain Macarthur and Richard Field from UK, who live and breathe illustration, would be the right people to gain some insight from. With many more talents to explore with great insights and excellent techniques, again a fully packed issue is waiting to amaze you!

Related Posts



Find Him Here


POST TAGS:

Pin It on Pinterest