I’m a huge fan of thriftstores. Not only do I think it’s important to give a new purpose to old and discarded stuff in the view of all the junk we’re consuming, but it can be a great way of making surprise finds. And when did you buy yourself a stack of 7 books for under 10 euros? (13,40 US dollars).

I went to look for picture books with inspiring drawings in them. I found three in that category. John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat is a lovely book in pen, ink and watercolor. It’s delicately drawn and has a style of its own. It’s hard to believe anyone is patient enough to draw all those tiny lines within lines within lines…wow! Not for me, I guess, but if you look closely, it tells a lot about pen and ink drawing!

Then Nasredding Hodja is just one feast of (water)  color! I absolutely LOVE the style! Ufuk Kobas is a Turkish artist and her roots are clearly visible in this book. The way she so seemingly effortlessly drew the Middle Eastern patterns and the color combinations make this book have a very authentic feel to it. Unfortunately she hasn’t illustrated many more books, but she’s now an artist and has a style many Art Journalers and Mixed Media artists will love. I will definitely try Kobas’ style by plagiacopying some of her illustrations (or parts of them) to try out some techniques.

Last, but certainly not least is Marco en de Monsterhond (The Beast and the Boy, ISBN: 1558584447) by Massimo Mostacchi and Monica Miceli. The story is colored with wonderful ochres, greens and earth tones that make for a wonderful atmosphere. I can’t quite make out what techniques were used. Some sources on the internet say it’s watercolor, but I’m not quite convinced. It can be soft pastels or oil pastels…perhaps even water color combined with either of them. The illustrations are simple in style, but the use of color is exactly spot on! The colors prevent the simple drawings from being flat and too childish. They’re a feast to the eye. I’m definitely giving this style a try as well…

So…with three illustrations of my own waiting to be colored (pics later!), I have a huge bunch of work with these books by my side now! Better get busy then!