Shaw Nielsen’s illustrations just sing to you – and the songs they are singing are all about fun. From the primary color palette, to the imaginative characters, to the wonderful worlds in which those characters live, Shaw’s artwork is bursting with charm and driven by imagination.
Shaw explains his process as a mixed media method of creating illustrations, working both digitally and conventionally. He takes rough sketches and imports them into the computer. Next he’ll block out large areas of value and add scanned textures to them that he creates using traditional printmaking methods like screen printing and block printing. He works his way toward colors and details, finally adding pencil, pen, ink lines or found textures to complete his illustrations.
When working digitally Shaw prefers to use much looser drawings than he would if he were painting, or employing some other traditional medium that he believes leaves little room for error. Working on the computer gives Shaw the freedom to work without the fear of making mistakes. His thoughts are that incorporating something that isn’t planned into an illustration created digitally often adds to that illustration’s character, giving it more depth and personality. And Shaw’s illustrations certainly have a lot of depth and personality to them.