Illustrator, Welcome to Babeville
Wellington, New Zealand.
Your illustrations are so detailed and delicate, tell us about your process.
To get such intricate detail I need to draw from a photo, so my process usually starts with roping my friends into recreating some weirdly specific image in my mind so I can photograph it. I start by laying down the entire outline of the drawing, then gradually fill it in with colour - generally starting with a face and spreading outwards from there. I have a tin of 135 different coloured pencils, and each time I start a different element of the drawing - say, skin - I pick up to 20 different colours to make up the tone I'm after. Skin is composed of so many different colours, and different tones of colours - lilac, cream, rose pink, red, navy blue etc. so to recreate realistic looking skin I need to blend all these colours together seamlessly. My drawings are made up of endless amounts of tiny marks, all layered and blended together to create a smooth surface. It's a slow process, but as it's quite an intuitive thing for me I can kind of zone out and achieve a real sense of peace while doing it - it becomes almost meditative.
Have you always illustrated in this style, or has it developed over time?
I've always drawn somewhat realistically (or at least attempted to!) but my technique has definitely improved over the years, and most significantly in the last few years. I think being outside of art school and not having any specific deadlines has really given me time to, well, take my time. I haven't had to rush anything. I can practice drawing skin, practice drawing hair - and figure out the best way to recreate these in pencil.