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Magic in a box with pencils: Anna Yvonne Gilbert’s fabulous illustrations

Beautiful princesses and mysterious princes, Santa Claus and his wife, horses with flowing manes, swans in golden crowns … and all this – with colored pencils! In this cozy, sophisticated and sometimes creepy world invites lovers of fairy tales artist Anna Yvonne Gilbert.

Anna Yvonne Gilbert was born in 1951. The artist’s childhood passed in foggy Northumberland, and, as you know, Great Britain presented the world with many brilliant artists who create their own worlds! Recall Beatrice Potter or Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale … Anna Yvonne Gilbert is in their lineup.

Anna began to draw in her childhood, and her parents supported creative fire in her – after all, Anna’s grandmother was also an artist. Anna ended New Kassel College of Art, and then continued to study in Liverpool.

Even then, Anna received the first orders from the Sanday Telegraph and several women’s magazines. For some time she was engaged in teaching, but her pedagogical career lasted only five years. Passion for creativity has won – since 1978, Anna began working as an independent illustrator.

Anna quickly found the technique that made her one of the most popular and recognizable illustrators – colored pencils.

Gilbert refused to work with paints and inks because she didn’t like dirt, mess and stains. Colored pencils, which require only sharp sharpening and a firm hand, perfectly answered Anna’s perfectionist nature. Her palette is very diverse – from deep and dark shades, deadly, earthy, to sandy and pearl.

Her works immediately seize the viewer’s heart, and, seeing them only once, it is already impossible to forget. I want to again and again consider all the amazing details – ornaments, golden curls of princesses, fringe and pearls …

The artist spends the whole week on one detailed drawing.

And a few more weeks – to create a whole pile of sketches, to search for sources of inspiration, to study historical samples … It is easy to see that the artist uses examples of real historical costumes, and not an abstract “princess outfit”.

Yes, and each princess created by Gilbert, has its own features, character, gestures and proportions of the body – as if they are the most real, real girls, each with its own history.

Anna draws characters from life, with this help family members and friends willingly posing in fabulous costumes.

Anna creates wonderful illustrations where swans in golden crowns fly through a book spread, wonderful roses bloom in enchanted gardens, and impregnable fortresses are visible in the distance. But its main and favorite theme is people in all their diversity.

The artist admits that in childhood she sometimes dreamed of becoming … a forensic psychologist! It is intrigued by the human psyche, emotions, motives of actions – and in her work she will pay great attention to the accurate transmission of facial expressions and gestures, which means feelings and character of the characters.

She created magnificent illustrations for fairy tales, known to everyone from childhood – “Wild Swans”, “The Frog Prince”, “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”.

If the “Wild Swans” seem to be filled with golden light emanating from the hair of Elsa and her seven brothers, then “Snow White” seems cold and eerie. And the illustrations for “Reed Hat” are so material that it seems that we are about to feel the elasticity of the heroine’s curls and the velvet of her dress, the edge of the mantle …

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