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Watercolor role in illustration

Watercolors PaintingWatercolor use for illustration works


Watercolor is maybe the most ductile painting medium, and in this case we want to show watercolor used in illustrations. Usually as a mixed media with ink, used for all kind of illustrations and cartoons.

Antonio Bernal is a Spanish watercolor illustrator based in Ireland. He has been working in a themed series of watercolor illustrations called The Man in the Hat, that you can see in his website The man in the Hat.  The style of the series is a bit cartoony, not pursuing realism with some influences from naive art and comic illustrators, presented as some kind of vintage travel journal, with a strong narrative element. You will find colorful, lighthearted, scenes that the Man in the Hat finds in his journeys.

Birds eye view print - Antonio Bernal

Birds eye view print – Antonio Bernal

Antonio tells us about his work,

“The Man in the Hat is a fictional character who incidentally appeared in my paintings when I started experimenting with watercolors, in Autumn 2011. At first, he was just an easy figure for my compositions, but as he kept appearing in my illustrations, he became the protagonist of the series. I’m a self-taught artist and illustrator based in Cork, Ireland. I like portraying quiet, light-hearted and beautiful scenes that the Man in the Hat finds in his amazing, imaginary journeys.
125 - Antonio Bernal

125 – Antonio Bernal

I use watercolor paints, ink pens and a touch of color pencils to achieve a colorful and lively style with a strong influence from comic books. Watercolor is my favourite medium as I love the transparency and brightness of the colors and how the ink complements them so well. As an artist, I find painting with a water medium is both great fun and very stimulating. The water creates shapes on its own and this adds  an spontaneity that reflects into the illustrations.

Out to Namibia - Antonio Bernal

Out to Namibia – Antonio Bernal

The series has a strong narrative element, but there is no story as such. Through the different illustrations the viewer is able to make up their own story, through the many different locations and situations presented in the illustrations. This apparent but non-existent plot provides a solid narrative background which enhances the story-telling feeling of the series, which is presented as a travel journal, so travelling scenes are a recurrent theme.

Stargazer Print - Antonio Bernal

Stargazer Print – Antonio Bernal

As an artist, I try to make my artwork and illustrations to convey feelings of happiness, calm, and a cheerful and whimsical atmosphere.”

Watercolors Painting

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