Digital illustration has been one of the most rapidly evolving art forms of recent years, as technology and software improves, and as artists push boundaries and realise the capabilities of computer-based image creation. This post presents a showcase of 20 beautiful examples of digital illustration from around the world to amaze and inspire.
1. Residential (Park) [Thomas E. Pringle]
There’s a touch of Gothic menace in the work of Danish artist Thomas E. Pringle. His material features dimly lit urban architecture, towering fortresses and decaying harbours, with rare glimpses of human habitation. This image shows a park area from Pringle’s Dark Sector concept series.
2. Less Trees Near Water [David Hockney]
David Hockney is one of Britain’s most important contemporary artists, and has always embraced new technology in addition to traditional mark-making techniques. Now in his seventies, he continues to be a pioneer, creating spectacular digital paintings and drawings, including many made using iPhone apps.
3. Untitled [Steve McGhee]
Ontario artist Steve McGhee creates epic illustrations of catastrophic man-made and natural disasters and their aftermath, such as this piece showing tourists visiting the remains of the Statue of Liberty.
4. Warning! Giant Quail of Death [Jake Souva]
This charming illustration is the work of Jake Souva, an artist who’s material lies somewhere between the fantastic and the absurd. Souva spends a long time hand sketching his designs and then digitally shaping and texturing the image in Photoshop, with beautiful results.
5. Yamantaka [Chris Parks]
Chris Parks works under the name of Pale Horse, creating richly coloured graphics, often representing ancient gods and monsters in a cool contemporary style. This image shows Yamantaka, a wrathful deity from the Buddhist tradition whose name translates as ‘the terminator of death‘.
6. Frozen Throne [Jeff Huang]
New York-based artist Jeff Huang specialises in digital illustration and three-dimensional modelling along with animation and time-based media. His work is futuristic and often verges into near-abstraction.
7. Gas Mask [Meats Meier]
Meats Meier is an award-winning digital artist and animator famed for his images of robots and future technologies. He has helped develop digital illustration as an art form and his work on films includes Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Hellboy.
8. J3Concepts [Jared Nickerson]
Jared Nickerson is a Vancouver-based artist with a bulging portfolio of brilliant digital illustration, including many commercial commissions and impressive personal explorations.
9. Dichotomy [David Waters]
David Water’s digital output spans a range of styles, adapting to client briefs and experimenting with different visual techniques.
10. Waterfall Castle [Frederic St-Arnaud]
Frederic St-Arnaud’s beautifully rendered architecture and landscape concept illustration is principally inspired [Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.]
11. Portrait of Nathalie [Erik Jonsson]
Digital illustration needn’t look overtly digital and often works best when involving elements of traditional drawing and painting techniques. Erik Jonsson employs brush strokes and splashes of colour to construct this great piece of portraiture.
12. The Mad Doctor [Mathieu Beaulieu]
Artist Mathieu Beaulieu made this image of a mad doctor in his secret laboratory using Flash and Photoshop.
13. La Rochelle [Radojavor]
This astonishing piece of digital art was created with European maritime oil paintings of the 18th Century in mind, and also aimed for historical accuracy. It’s an early morning in the year 1715, and the mighty ship Le Louis Quinze is seen in the French harbour La Rochelle, a remarkably atmospheric image.
14. Osvaldo Gonzalez
Osvaldo Gonzalez is a self-taught digital artist from Argentina who creates melancholy, dream-like illustrations, reminiscent of painting [the surrealists Salvador Dali and Odilon Redon.]
15. Shaddock Poster [123Klan]
123Klan is a French graffiti crew based in Montréal, Canada, who have created graphic and apparel designs for clients including Nike, Adidas, Lamborghini, Coca Cola, Stussy and Sony.
16. Tank Theory [Joshua M. Smith]
Joshua M. Smith works in Orlando under the name of Hydro74, producing masses of graphics, apparel design, fonts and sublime digital illustration.
17. Vue sur la Ville [Mark Verhaagen]
Dutch digital illustrator Mark Verhaagen produces sublime pictures of treehouses, flowers, spaceships and fantasy landscapes full of nostalgic childhood imagery and cute characters.
18. Dead End [Sebastien Feraut]
Sebastien Feraut, aka Niark1, creates eye-popping psychedelic illustrations populated with crazy robots, hybrid creatures and toy-town transport.
Artist George Patsouras specialises in portraiture, ranging from celebrity caricatures to delicately rendered faces such as this image, Project Barbra.
19. RX [Katie Owens]
Katie Owens used a combination of hand drawing, scanning and digital work on this vibrant composition, making the most of traditional illustrative methods and computer-based image making.