Green, red, yellow, brown, blue… If you look in Luke Scriven’s paintbox you’ll probably find ‘cute’ hiding in there next to all the colours and brushes he uses. One of his goals as an illustrator is to make viewers say ‘awww’, which they do with regularity, and the Wiltshire-based artist has honed his unique style for the children’s market.
One of Luke’s favourite pieces of advice came from his grandmother, who encouraged him to draw and paint as a child. “You have to use the white of the paper to your advantage,” she told him.
Add his expert watercolour techniques and knack for capturing an expression in a few gestural marks, and Luke is able to generate narrative just like his heroes Maurice Sendak and Tove Janson. He has a BA Hons in Animation from Southampton Solent University.
Luke begins with a series of line drawings in pen that are usually more complex than his finished image. Working on a lightbox, he traces the main lines and transfers them to watercolour paper where he builds up the image traditionally using paints and waterproof pen. Once complete, the image is scanned, cleaned up and delivered digitally.
Luke’s soft, simple, scratchy, scrawly images are clear and accessible, with nuance introduced through his skilful use of light and shadow.
ITV, Armani, Tatler, FCB Inferno, Condé Nast, Ogilvy and Mather and Aberdeen City Council are among Luke’s clients.