Wendy McNaughton// Research


Wendy MacNaughton is an American illustrator whose work varies from visual journalism to commercial commissions, with her main mediums being watercolour and pen. Her work is centred on telling other people’s stories and portraying undiscovered tales.

The relationship between the stark white background and watercolours is what I believe in making MacNaughtons work look incredibly professional and finished. Her composition and perspective is either flat images or main foreground with small elements in a background, with short, broken pen strokes creating a sense of urgency in a static format much like the work of other reportage illustrators however her work is more based on the visual journalism aspect of reportage illustration instead of the journey aspect of it.

Much of her commercial work has a sense of satire injected with the handwritten text in the pieces, I think that this skill to present a beautiful image on first glance with a humour explanation on exploration is what makes her work truly unique in the world of reportage illustration.

Lizzy Stewart // Research

Lizzy Stewart is a British illustrator based in London, her ‘reportage’ illustration consists of pieces that she produces on short trips around the world. Much of her work is created through pencil sketches, watercolour and ink, the mediums typical of reportage illustration, however, there is a different atmosphere in Stewart’s work. Her work doesn’t over complicate what she sees in front of her trying to make the compositions aesthetically pleasing on the page instead it’s almost like she works her way through systematically which in turn gives the pages their own individual meanings whilst she is on location. She allocates each place she goes it’s own selective pallet in a way and this coheres the pieces she creates whilst she is there reflecting the atmosphere she is surrounded by.

The work that she produces whilst travelling is a lot more minimalistic that the work that she produces in her studio in London, however, there is a clear relationship between the line and colour work throughout with the varied hand rendered textures. This ability to stay true to the hand rendered nature of her work is something I really admire in Stewart’s work and is something I hope to maintain in my own work as I develop in the coming years.

George Butler // Research

George Butler is a contemporary artist and illustrator. His work tackles international problems and current affairs with a delicate intricacy and wonder. His combination of ink, pen and watercolour leads to an incredibly atmospheric presence on the page with a stark contrast to his pure colour backgrounds.

His work remains incredibly hand rendered but still presents itself as professional and finished images, I think that this is down to the confidence in his line work. His work tells the viewer exactly where to look through the use of lines connecting the foreground and background.

Butler often flattens the three-dimensional world around him and doesn’t worry about making it realistic but instead capturing the atmosphere around him on location.

This ability to flatten and capture the first-hand atmosphere is something I would really like to incorporate into my own work during this project.

David Taylor // Research

David Taylor is a contemporary British artist who specialises in landscape painting.His work is mainly oil paint based. His work is very atmospheric with a strong focus on the sky and sunlight in relation to the land.  Much like most landscape artists, his work follows the traditional balance with the sky dominating two-thirds of the images. His work has a strong sense of raw brush strokes representing the land and sea.

A  lot of his work uses light sources to highlight certain colours within landscapes e.g red within hilltops or green within a seascape in the foreground. A lot of his work mimics the haze that I personally associate with the nostalgia of remembering a memory especially in the elements with very raw paint work barely touched by tools often adding to the atmosphere.

The contrasts between the lights and darks within his images add to the depth and creates a strong sense of time of day e.g a mainly dark image with small elements of light implies to me a later time of day such as dusk. The quality of trusting his brush strokes and not overworking them is something I want to be able to use in my own work in order to create a more naturalistic aesthetic.

Roger Colson // Research

Roger Colson is a British artist who specialises in landscape paintings. His work takes a lot of influence from the ‘changing weather on landscapes’. Much of his work follows the traditional outlook on a landscape with the land along the bottom and the sky dominating two-thirds of the scene. The lack of lines and details in Colson’s work is what makes it truly fascinating because you can always almost immediately recognise that his pieces are landscape based without the stereotypical imagery associated with the genre. His work doesn’t use perspective but instead uses colours to create a sense of depth playing with uses different tones to replicate a foreground and a background.

The lack of lines and details in Colson’s work is what makes it truly fascinating because you can always almost immediately recognise that his pieces are landscape based without the stereotypical imagery associated with the genre. His work doesn’t use perspective but instead uses colours to create a sense of depth playing with uses different tones to replicate a foreground and a background. Colson’s work is incredibly true to life in reflecting the intense colours and tones in the different times of the day with atmospheric light representation.

Nearly all of his work is produced with oil paints and I believe this lends a hand to creating such seamless gradients and opacity in brush strokes, using oil paints is something I may consider bringing into my own practice if I continue to study landscapes.

Tamara Shopsin // Research

Tamara Shopsin is an American illustrator and Cook who has worked with publications such as The New York Times and The New Yorker. What attracted me to her work was the playful nature of it, her work often has a satirical regard to the article it’s accompanying and makes the viewer want to know more.  She has a wide range of visual languages but this naivety to her work remains which contrasts the formal format of newspaper settings. Her colour palettes lean towards a more saturated spectrum with a white background. Although a lot of her work is processed digitally there often remains a hand rendered aspect to it, be it the pen stroke quality or the colour textures, this is something I want to explore in my own work and will do so by exploring more technological processes on Photoshop and Procreate (iPad drawing software).


The initial image I saw of Tamara Shopsin’s work.

Ping Zhu // Research


Ping Zhu is a Brooklyn based illustrator, her work is incredibly expressive and portrays a lot of energy. There is a certain rawness within her pieces as result of untouched brush strokes. Viewing her work has really encouraged me to embrace the rawness of traditional mediums, e.g paint strokes, lose ink drawings and when in context with blocks of writing it is a nice contrast. Alot of her work has either a white background or a dominant colour background, the notion of a dominant coloured background is something I would like to explore more and develop more confident colour palettes as a result.

I really like the way that she portrays quite hard hitting issues, e.g age discrimination, transgender experiences and branding. Some of her imagery is very powerful with a lot of exploration of scale and relationships between objects. This ability to explore more outgoing relationships in compositions is something I am going to focus on in the future.



Bill Bragg // Research

Bill Bragg is an illustrator  who I found through the New York Times, The Year in Illustration. His work is very visually appealing with the strong use of black to contrast the mostly bright and pastel colours that he uses. Alot of his work has very interesting compositions with their always being a visual hierarchy dependant on this use of black.

This is one of the articles Bragg has illustrated for The New York Times, this was the first piece that drew me to Bragg’s work because of the relationship between the black and the bright colours. This particular article is about the issue of anti-abortion in Ireland and how real women are suffering the consequences for. The beauty of this illustration is the fact it is an implying of the article instead of a brutal image for what could be a very personal and hard hitting article. The image is very intriguing because the less emotive aspect of it and how it contrast with the article’s title, the image isn’t a direct representation and requires reading the article which in turn I think makes it very effective.

Creative Conscious Research // Subject

These are a few screenshots from my research on what is currently being reflected on about mens mental health, a lot of the work being done is very proactive and encourages positive thinking and self-encouragement, especially on the samaritans website with the list of things to do that may encourage feeling better. This is something I would definitely like to consider in my own work, to implore a more positive communication.


Coco Fronsac // Research

Upon receiving my formative feedback for my second term field, I have become more aware of how I am lacking in artist and contextual research. I often find that I am finding research everywhere constantly but will always forget to take note and reflect upon what I have seen, this is definitely something I know I need to work upon and I am going to make it a priority throughout.

This is an artist Coco Fronsac, James has suggested to me within my formative feedback and it is one I am taking great inspiration from.

She takes found images and paints, draws and transforms them giving them a completely new life. Her surreal take on the images makes the mind wonder about what was really happening during the pictures. This is something I would like to explore in my own work especially relating to mens mental health and the hidden darkness.

This use of multi-media practice is something I have briefly touched on in my own work with my digital illustrations over my photographs from trips, however I would like to explore more into this practice with more physical work with found imagery and my own selection of photos.



(all images from : www.http://cocofronsac.com )