While now creating designs digitally, Leoni Bos still strives to find and work with the nuances of print and all that comes with working with paper. She talks to us in depth about the importance of her materials and process.
Leoni’s work highlights all the best parts of traditional printing practices but appears modern and fresh through her exploration of subject matter and palettes.
By working with a simple few but bright colours, overlays, and with an understanding of the innate characteristics of paper, Leoni creates gorgeously subtle yet bold images.
Below, she tells about the materials she uses and why they’re fundamental to her work, and about what she has and is discovering about working with paper and print.
I graduated from the academy of arts in the Netherlands, my major was fine arts. I was very much into linocuts and screen printing, and my paintings of that period already reflected a lot of influences of these forms of traditional printmaking.
Since then I gradually switched from painting to illustrating, where my somewhat repressed desire for meticulousness seemed more fitting.
All my illustrations are digital nowadays, but I love to stay inspired by printmaking. The clarity and simplicity, the charm of misprints, the paper’s texture and the way it effects the ink, the colors.
I construct my images by layering semi-transparent color areas, creating new colors. I rarely use more than 3 or 4 basic colors, including the color of the paper. T
he underlying paper itself is becoming more and more important to me lately.
I like to leave the essential parts of an image untouched, showing the (off-)white and the paper’s structure. I feel like developing this direction further this year.
Also, I want to explore the increasing urge I have to implement architecture, either interior or exterior, into my drawings.
I can’t do without perspective lines, and so I often leave them visible. Plants are becoming quite inevitable too.
But, when working mainly on commission, it’s not always easy to slip in structures & shrubs, but when I do get away with it, these illustrations often turn out to be my favorites.
Lately, my second favorite thing to draw is still life. This is a great way to arrange various described elements within the composition. And it’s always the best challenge trying to translate certain details into manageable objects.
I even feel justified to implement people into my illustrations now, by objectifying them into little statues. I always tried to avoid having to draw people, because without them I felt my drawings seemed more independent that way.
Creating an image that will first serve the article, but remains autonomous at the same time, is the ultimate successful drawing to me.
© Leoni Bos, 2015