“My name is Madalina; I was born in Romania but I lived two thirds of my life in Padua where, after the high school, I graduated in Economics and Management. Art has always been my plan B (thanks to the Disney movies and the anime). In 2017 I had the opportunity to collaborate with different realities and to dedicate a lot of time to drawing, discovering the magical world of watercolors. From a month I fully dedicate to the art of illustration. I’m following different courses of the designer Aaron Blaise regarding anatomy and character design. I previously took some courses about editorial illustration and fashion illustration at the House of Illustration (that soon will become the Quentin Blake Center of Illustration).
Where does your creativity come from? When I was a child I was obsessed with representing female figures. I had few toys but paper and pen were my best friends. Since 2017 I learned to paint with watercolor, approaching the world of illustration. During my training I understood how much illustration can be a well-rounded profession that requires multiple skills and flexibility. I am a self-taught illustrator but, despite this, nowadays I hold several workshops and I organize my online courses, thanks to numerous requests.
Which qualities drawing with watercolors involve? I am very attracted by foreign discipline….this is why I’m following some courses held by professors with previous experiences at Disney. But, to answer your question, I think you should definitely know the fundamental technical notions that characterize a successful work: the first is the three-dimensionality, a technique used to direct the eye at the center of the image and obtain at the same time a degree of depth and the second is a play of light and shadow, that is an underestimated element! With this you can make a scene as dramatic or playful at the same time, depending on how it is used. This helps the audience to understand the correct perspective from which the image has to be viewed (Yes, there is a texture behind every scene depicted).
Do you think that at a national level there is a “limit” in the educational plans of the artistic paths? I think in Italy there is a lack of “applied illustration” in the academic courses. It is okay to aim for abstract flat colors, but at the same time you need a basic criterion, a knowledge of anatomy. In my opinion, this allows you to be a well-rounded artist.
What medium do you prefer? I prefer watercolor. I often enrich it with details made with gouache, ink pens or colored pencils (also watercolorable).
How does your creative process happen? My creative process usually starts with an idea, an image I have in mind or a message I want to convey. Then his is followed by one or two drafts to fix on paper what I want to represent. I research reference photos to draw the various elements in a credible way and then I do several color tests to establish the palette of my illustration. I define the composition that best highlights the main subject and then finish the drawing. I bring it all back to cotton paper, proceed to paint, and finally scan in high quality, fixing the colors in Photoshop. (Sometimes I add details or other strokes of color with the graphics tablet.
Favorite Palette? I always use complementary color pairs in my illustrations. My favorite combinations are blue/orange or purple/yellow in different shades. My colors are often desaturated to create a delicate, nostalgic atmosphere.
What are the subjects/objects that you represent the most? Female subjects are never lacking in my art because I grew up drawing them and they are the best filter of what I feel and want to evoke in my work. I often relate them to nature, especially plants, both for the color contrast and for the sensitivity and beauty. Other subjects I love to draw are woods, villages, books and symbolic or fantastic characters (elves, fairies, mermaids…).