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Featured Artist: Lois van Baarle

posted by Matt Ward on Sep 17, 2009.

Featured Artist: In this first installment of the Featured Artist installment, we will be getting to know Lois van Baarle (also known as loish), whose beautifully rendered and deeply textured art resonates deeply with a wonderful sense of whimsical fantasy.

Here’s another first on this blog – my first Featured Artist post! As you may be able to tell from some of my other posts, I’m a big fan of art, and even try my own hand at it from time to time. So, in an effort to support some of the many talented, up and coming artists, I will be featuring a new artist every 4 weeks or so!

So, let me introduce you to our first Featured Artist: Miss Lois van Baarle, aka loish.

Steel Turquoise

Steel Turquoise

Lois has a really unique style that fuses elements of comic art (with a subtle anime influence), with beautiful brushstrokes, detailed rendering and wonderful use of texture. Her work has an earthy feel, while much of her subject matter is either filled with or lightly touched by whimsical fantasy.

I had the chance to conduct an email based interview with Lois. I think her answers will shed some interesting light on who she is as an artist, and about some of the inspiration and techniques behind her work.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started into the world of art.

I have been drawing ever since I was small and always considered it a passion of mine. Drawing remained a hobby until I realized in high school that pursuing art as a career might be a good decision, so I went to study animation, figuring it would help me to develop the aspects of my art which were lacking at the time (story, dynamism, personality). So I studied animation for 5 years (1 year in Gent, 4 years in Utrecht) and now I am ready to start my career.



You have a very unique style. Can you tell us a bit about that? Do you draw upon any particular source of influence or inspiration?

I have a lot of different inspirations. As a child and also today, Disney has played a huge role. One of my main inspirations is Alfonse Mucha, an art nouveau artist. I’m also hugely inspired by a lot of french comic styles, particularly that of Aurore Black Cat. Via Deviantart, an online art community, I come into contact with a lot of artists that inspire me as well.

Pinup Ariel

Pinup Ariel

Most of your art seems to use textures. Can you tell us a bit about how you approach textures?

I started using textures as a way to make my digital painting look more organic and stylish. I also really enjoyed the ways in which textures can influence the color of the piece, changing the tint slightly and bringing it all together a bit more. Soon enough I became addicted and now I always use them. I definitely prefer more organic styles to slick digital painting, and I feel that textures help achieve this effect. Lately, I apply many different textures at an early phase and paint over them, integrating them into the piece more.

Cinderella Coloring Page

Cinderella Coloring Page

What about colour? Your art all feels very rich and earthy. Somehow, even your blues feel earthy. Why do you think you might be drawn to a particular colour palette?

I have definitely always loved the color blue. I find it refreshing and beautiful. So I’ve always used this color in my work. I started painting with more browns at a certain point, enjoying the organic effect it gave to my work, and with the added effect of textures, my work tends to have a very earthy feel. I like this effect so I stick to it.

I’ve noticed that several of your characters have at least partial dreadlocks. Is there any significance to this?

No, I just find dreadlocks extremely fun to draw. Also, it gives characters a more edgy look.

Smoking Fish

Smoking Fish

What can you tell us about you are currently working on?

Well, I just graduated (about 2 weeks ago) and will be receiving my bachelor and master’s degree in a few days. After that I figure it’s time to get to work! I’m not sure what I’ll be doing just yet. I want to work with comics as well as animation projects and freelance concept art, but we’ll see, I guess!



Any future plans you can talk about?

Not really… Except for the Trichrome Project, which is the project I began with my graduation work. It is a fictional company for which three animated shrots must be made. The first one, Trichrome Blue, is my graduation animation, but the other two have yet to be made. I’m very excited about creating them!

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Finally, do you have any advice for young/aspiring artists?

Always aim to be the best! It’s amazing how far you can get with practice and determination. Never give up :)



Thanks Lois, for taking the time to answer these questions, and for agreeing to be my first Featured Artist. I hope all you readers enjoyed this post, and that you will check out Lois’ website and her presence on deviantArt.  You can also check out her sketchblog, catch some of her animation on YouTube and follow her on Twitter.

As an added bonus, I’ve also included Lois’ Trichrome Blue short animation here. Be sure to watch this when you get a moment. It’s really beautifully done, and I’m excited to see the next two installments!

Trichrome Blue on YouTube

So that’s it for this featured artist post. I hope that you’ve enjoyed looking at Lois’ art as much as I do! If so, leave a comment and let us know which one is your favorite!

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Also from Echo Enduring Media:

An Unfolding Tale

About the Author

Matt Ward is a digital artist who lances freely under the moniker of Echo Enduring Media, and specializes in graphics design, illustration and writing. He is also the Creative Director for Highland Marketing, a creative direct marketing company based out of Waterloo, Ontario. You can follow Matt on Twitter

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Jan 18, 2011

Illusion Mage Review says:

I am certain that many artists are inspired by Disney, Lois and myself included. They have instant brand recognition not only in the animation artist circles but also among the wider public populace.

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