With a foundation of strong drawing being at its core before the introduction of layered, subtler details, there’s a broad range of depth in Jonathan Bartlett’s illustrations.
While his work may incorporate more traditional drawing aesthetics, there is still a large role for the digital stages of Jonathan’s process to play, as he explains below.
But it is possibly the characteristics of the drawings themselves that give his work the richness and range of tone that makes them so interesting to look at.
He talks us through this as well as what he thinks about his work being seen as using more traditional methods verses having been created digitally.
My approach to illustration is fairly average by way of combining digital and traditional materials. Photoshop, naturally, and my trusted Wacom Intuos 3.
I really fret over making sure the under drawing is spot on before getting into the coloring process, which I like to describe as a mash up of the principles of collage making and water-color painting.
I begin with flat colors and work my way up to the very last texture. It’s not uncommon for my files to have WAY too many layers.
Up until a few years ago, I use to have a great insecurity about admitting my images were digital, for whatever reason. But now more so than ever I think most people just ‘assume’ you’re using Photoshop and its tools. The traditionalists are the anomaly.
For what it’s worth, I go to great lengths to keep an unpolished and tactile quality in the artwork; I think it helps convey emotion, which is very important to my work.
© Jonathan Bartlett, 2016