The art of illustrator Alice Duke has attracted my attention with her unquestionable ability as a draftsperson and the remarkable scenes she creates. From Liverpool in the UK, Alice is a recent graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art, which she says didn’t have a great impact on the style of her work, although it did manage to push her out of her comfort zone, helping her with her ‘professional development’ as an artist.
‘I began drawing seriously about eight years ago after discovering digital art online (places like conceptart and deviantart). Since then I have been practicing almost constantly. I was always most interested in doing concept art for the entertainment industry but in the last few years I have begun to move away from that. Right now I am attempting the freelance thing so
I take whatever work I can get, which isn’t a whole lot, but I’m getting by. My ideal jobs are those that initially sound kind of rubbish and weird. They allow me to push my work in new directions. I’m still developing my iconography and style’.
‘I prefer smooth paper but I tend to just use whatever is lying around. I like my pencils really sharp and spend a lot of time making that happen. I have this fantasy that I’m going to start painting with real paint again soon, I’m just waiting for the right time‘.
Alice’s work process usually depends entirely on the brief given to her. For client led projects, work usually involves quick sketches done in Photoshop until she achieves something she and the art director agree on, and then works from there until completion.
‘It’s very straight forward, I don’t have any special techniques that aren’t already online. I have one custom brush that I rarely use. If I am working on a larger project or personal work I like to start with a pencil drawing first, to work out the details and composition, which I then scan in and paint in Photoshop. There are a couple of step-by-steps of this process on my blog.
It usually involves making a drawing, scrapping it and starting again with something much, much better, then reworking the whole thing on the computer anyway. It’s time-consuming but worthwhile’.
© Alice Duke, 2009
Alice is currently working on some exciting projects, including concept art for a film pitch, artwork for an indie game and is in talks with someone about working on a graphic novel.
Good luck with it all Alice, I’m sure we’ll see much more of you!
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