Sarah Tanat-Jones’ Considered Line Work and Selective Brushstrokes

Sarah Tanat-Jones uses bold ink marks to bring definition to her illustrations. She uses the movement and shifting of the brush over the paper to bring out the texture of the grain and mix in her personality into every aspect of her work.

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The strength in Sarah’s images is as much knowing when and where to carefully position a colourful brushstroke or dash of ink as it scaling back.

Her illustrations are vibrant and full of motion but also selective in the amount of detail, often bringing shading and depth with one quick swoop.

She talks about the way she works, her techniques, and the importance of providing the opportunity for mistakes.

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I’m a freelance illustrator. I do quite a lot of editorial pieces—last year I worked for the Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, the Washington Post and more, which was really enjoyable.

I am really inspired by printmaking, and have done a lot of screen print work in the past. At the moment, I use a mixture of hand drawn elements and digital.

I always start with drawing in ink by hand—it gives the image an energy that is hard to replicate using a computer. I like the organic shapes and marks, and mistakes that happen when working by hand, and I like the warmth.

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I want my work to feel as personal as possible, even for client briefs etc. I also love using colour—I’m always trying to hone my use of colour, it’s an ongoing process—like all illustration, I learn more every day I do the job.

I live and work in London, but I grew up in Brighton and went to Edinburgh college of Art, so I’ve been lucky to live in some lovely places. 

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© Sarah Tanat-Jones, 2016

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