Texture is an important part of the illustrator’s creative toolbox.

Adding depth, form, shape and shade, texture helps to lift an illustration off the page. Using texture with traditional media can evoke a vintage patina, while digital textures can create the impression of a huge range of tactile surfaces.


Irmela Schautz: The Book of Time

Irmela’s illustrations were commissioned by Prestel Junior, Penguin Random House, for a book by author Kathrin Köller for a book about time for children. The abstract illustrations use texture and pattern to great effect, with an aged patina conveying the sense of time passing. The work was created using Polychromos pen, mixed media and photoshop.

Irmela Schautz is an award-winning illustrator of books for children as well as general science books, literature, and magazines. She is based in Germany and teaches at the Academy for Illustration and Design in Berlin.

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Natsumi Chikayasu: Finding Yourself

Natsumi’s illustration was created in response to an article on digital platform Medium, about the phenomenon of moving home unexpectedly providing clarity about oneself. Using the metaphor of decorating a wall, this digital illustration was created using Procreate with painterly texture to visually describe the theme of finding yourself.

Natsumi Chikayasu is an illustrator from Japan. She graduated from Falmouth University in 2019 where she studied illustration. Her works often focus on science, feminism, and places and their people, drawing inspiration from her own experience of growing up in a multicultural environment.

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Robert Carter: Cost of War

Robert’s illustration for Legion Magazine accompanied an article titled ‘Cost of War’. Describing the incalculable and evolving cost of war of Afghanistan-related psychological wounds, the illustration uses texture and heightened contrasts to create a moving, powerful image. The contrast between the abstracted desert sand with the hyperreal figurative hand creates an unforgettable impact.

Robert Carter was born in St. Albans in England, moving to Ontario, Canada at an early age. He studied Editorial Illustration from the prestigious Sheridan College School of Art. Robert’s style combines a strong foundation in portraiture with a unique sense of visual and conceptual problem-solving. He now lives and works as a professional freelance illustrator in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

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Guituzi: Big ship

These illustrations for a picture book use texture to great effect. Painted in acrylic, the impasto-style brushstrokes, and high contrast between the black iron boat and swirling waves give a dynamic energy to the images.

Illustrator Guituzi is an award-winning illustrator from China. Big Ship was selected for exhibition by the China Artists Association and won the gold medal of 2019 BIBF Ananas international illustration exhibition.

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Peter Phobia: Neighbors of New York

Peter was commissioned by Link NYC to create ‘Neighbors of New York’, a project that is a tribute to a vibrant city and its people. Created digitally, the colours and texture add a warm, human quality to the illustrations, which were displayed on over 1,700 display screens around New York City.

Peter Phobia is a New York-based illustrator. Having spent most of his teens on a skateboard, he is deeply influenced by pop culture and everyday life observations. He is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, USA.

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Kate Winter: Lascaux

Kate’s illustrations for her final project as part of her MA in Children’s Book Illustration are based on the caves at Lascaux and the incredible prehistoric art that was found there by one young boy in the 1950s. The texture of the caves, and the sense of time passing is created through use of acrylic washes with overlaid pencil layers and a small amount of Photoshop. The work will be published in 2021 by Penguin Random House.

Kate Winter studied the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, graduating with distinction in 2019. She won the Ronald Searle award for Creativity in 2019 and her work is being show at the 2020 Illustrators Exhibition at Bologna Children’s book fair. Kate has a two-book deal with Penguin Random House and is represented by Paul Moreton of Bell Lomax and Moreton.

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Amelie Wang: Fei’s Flower Shop

Fei’s Flower Shop is a picture book dedicated to Amelie’s family. This book tells the life story of a young boy who always wants to open a flower shop. These elegant illustrations are created using Photoshop with handmade watercolour textures giving the illustrations a delicate quality.

Amelie Wang is a Chinese illustrator, currently pursuing an M.F.A. illustration degree at Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work was nominated by Adobe Top Talent in 2019.

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Flore Deman: The Narcissist

This was a commissioned work for Charlie Magazine to accompany an article ‘The Narcissist’ about how to recognise a narcissist and the risks for society of men with narcissistic characters in positions of power. The pieces combine a clever visual metaphor of a figure handing out balloons of his own head, with a limited colour palette and textured surfaces to clearly convey the message of the article.

Flore Deman an Belgian illustrator. Working as a freelancer for four years, her clients include Belgian newspaper De Morgen, US coffee brand Saison, and several Belgian and Dutch magazines.

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