Of all the artists I follow, the one who most frequently inspires me to sit down and pour myself into a new piece while weeping softly onto my tablet is Lois van Baarle. Educated in Belgium and the Netherlands, she works as a freelance illustrator and animator. I discovered her work in high school and have been learning from her ever since.
What can I say about Lois? Honestly the two words that jump to mind are luscious whimsy (aaaand with that, my agent probably just slammed her head against her desk). She has the most incredible mastery of color and a distinct talent for underwater scenes. Sometimes edgy, sometimes sugary, always brilliant.
Her tutorials and progress videos have furthered my own artwork during a time when I don’t have the luxury of taking physical art classes. I’ve adopted some of her methods, particularly her technique of laying down a Multiply layer and then erasing bits of it to provide a guide for shading. Most recently, her work has inspired me to pursue more depth and dimension in my pieces. But more importantly, she inspires me to create. Her work has pulled me out of several art slumps, pushed me to break away from my comfort zone, and encouraged me to keep working even when (especially when) a piece falls apart.
Online, she mostly uses the username Loish, and you can find her work at her website, DeviantArt page, or Facebook page. She just recently put out an art book, as I’ve been subtly reminding my husband (“This. I want this for Christmas. Let me write it down for you. There, it’s on your bedside table.”).
So, thanks Lois, for your gorgeous work and fantastic imagination!
Emily B. Martin
Author and Illustrator