Artist Research – Ronald Searle

Ronald Searle was a suggested illustrator to look at by my mother, and upon an initial Google image search I didn’t think I liked his work. However, I found the book ‘Looking at London and People Worth Looking At’ by Searle and Kaye Webb in the library and fell in love with the characters and scenery he created. I think I prefer this kind of work because of the realistic, raw scenes he drew from, unlike the ‘fantasy’ children characters which initially came up with his name online.

His work has prompted me to consider working details into my work with a dip pen, instead of using ink in thick washes like I usually do.

I restricted myself to concentrate on his landscape and streets compositions as I usually only pay attention to portraiture, but I’m definitely going to come back to Searle’s work in the future for inspiration.

Finding a new light to an artist’s work by finding one of their books, before dismissing them as soon as I see an online image, has enlighted me to make sure I use the library resource thoroughly to look at a practitioner’s full range of work. If I hadn’t broken out of the ‘easiest’ research route and done this, I may not have discovered an illustrator who I predict will become really important to me as I figure out my style and way of working.


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