Days 90 to 95 – Inspiration from artists I really admire.

This week I worked on two projects.  The first was to make a study of a full page piece from a Manga artist I really like (Makoto Yukimura) and the second was to work on a picture of my own design but in the style of a German artist I really like (Iraville).


The Manga I’m enjoying so much at the moment is called Planetes


It’s written and drawn by a super artist and storyteller – Makoto Yukimura.

Here he is…


The story is written as a slice-of-life take on hard science fiction – it’s fabulous!  The characters are complex and very accessible, the science is excellent and there are some great funny bits in it too which had me laughing out loud.

One of my favourite stories is when one of the main characters, Fee,  goes off duty in a space station and wants cigarette.  However a terrorist organisation is blowing up the smoking rooms in space.  The story chronicles her quest to have a quiet smoke.  (It’s the 3rd story arc in book one.)

The idea of an astronaut who smokes  really captured my imagination.

For this story Makoto Yukimura drew a full page of Fee smoking in her space suit.  I made a study of this brilliant image.  I find when I try to work in another artist’s style or work on reproducing one of their pictures as a study I get much more of a feeling for their work than from just looking at it.  It kind of takes me deeply into it – really close.  I love that feeling of studying every detail of something, especially something I find beautiful.

Here’s my sketch  (on the right) of Makoto Yukimura’s original picture (on the left) in my sketchbook.



Once I’d finished the sketch I tidied up my line work, inked it and added some grey ink to give it some tone.  The grey ink was waterbased so doesn’t go down as smoothly as the alcohol based stuff but I did the best I could with it.  (I have finally broken down and ordered some grey W&N brush markers and a blender pen.  Hopefully this will make my traditionally inked tones better in future.)

Here’s the finished study of Makoto Yukimura’s inspiring work…(Again Yukimura’s brilliant original work is on the left.)




The second artist I studied this week is Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde (Iraville), a german illustrator and character designer from Munich.  She has a beautiful YouTube channel here:

Iraville’s YouTube Channel

Iraville uses watercolour to colour these beautiful stylised images.  Her style is, as far as I can tell from a quick internet search, completely unique.  Here’s an example of one of her pictures…

Iraville’s beautiful original watercolour painting style.

I wanted my picture in her style to be of a turtle carrying a small patch of nature around on his back.  As part of the nature I wanted to have a little orange fox.

Here’s my sketch – outlined in black ink and coloured with prismacolor pencils…



Then I drew it again on watercolour paper and coloured it with my Winsor and Newton Artist’s Watercolours.  Here’s the final picture…(it actually has no blue in it but the scanner seemed to try to balance the picture and added blue which kind of reduces the vibrancy a bit.  I tried to sort it out in photoshop but without success.)


I think it’s possible to see Iraville’s influence in the painting quite strongly but I just can’t paint like she does.  Somehow it comes out different.  I like the way it turned out though.  One of the things which really worked for me on this one was the colour – it was one of those little break-through moments.  I have really been struggling with colouring things even slightly decently but this one doesn’t look so bad.  Perhaps I am finally beginning to understand how colour works?     🙂






4 thoughts on “Days 90 to 95 – Inspiration from artists I really admire.

  1. Thanks for your comment! I certainly find it really helpful to try to walk, metaphorically, the same path as those artists I really like. I think doing studies of pictures is OK and helpful as a training tool. That said, I also think being clear and open about the original artist’s ownership and rights as a creator is important too. Basically I never do to another person what I would not be fine with them doing to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the idea of working in another artist’s style is great to stretch your mind and your instincts. Maybe that’s why artists have been setting up easels in front of museum masterpieces for centuries and copying those great works!

    Liked by 1 person

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