Petr, please tell us a bit about yourself and your creative background.
I live in Jablonec nad Nisou in the Czech Republic. I graduated in Visual Arts. I have been working as a graphic designer, 2D animator and video editor for more than 15 years. I’ve always loved drawing and digital art, and I am lucky to have been surrounded by creative people all my life.
We love the portrait illustrations you post on your Instagram account. What inspires you to create these characters?
Thank you very much. I am very happy that you like my illustrations! I’m inspired by nature, photos, books, my beautiful wife, movies, Instagram, people on the streets—pretty much everything.
“I try to draw regularly every day for at least a couple of hours. I think it’s the best way to make progress.”
You have a very distinctive style. How did you develop it?
Thank you. I like stylisation, lines in combination with a few colours and I try to stick to it. I try to draw regularly every day for at least a couple of hours. I think it’s the best way to make progress.
We can see that colour plays an important role in your work. How do you go about choosing colour palettes for your illustrations?
It’s intuitive. Most of the time, I actually work with just one or two colours and a shadow. Sometimes I experiment with lots of colour adjustment layers and blend modes and look for new colour combinations. I always have several colour variations of one drawing—in the end, I choose the one that seems best at the time.
Why do you choose to create these illustrations in Affinity Photo?
I like the workspace. It’s fast and very intuitive, and it works great with my Wacom Intuos Pro.
“I like the workspace. It’s fast and very intuitive, and it works great with my Wacom Intuos Pro.”
Do you have any favourite features? Which ones do you find the most useful for your illustration work?
For sketching and drawing, I use the Paint Brush Tool—I have a couple of favourite texture brushes I work with. I also like the Symmetry Tool a lot. I use it for portraits and sometimes for drawing environments and buildings.
Could you talk us through your creative process? How do you turn your ideas into the finished illustrations we see?
I start by sketching. Sometimes I have a more specific idea of the portrait I want to draw. Other times, I start with the environment I want to place the portrait in later. Then when the drawing starts to take shape, I try to simplify and clean it up a bit. When I’m happy with the basic black and white drawing, I add shadows, sometimes lights, to give volume to the characters and objects. Finally, I add colours.
Are there any artists or illustrators (past or present) whose work you particularly admire?
Yes, definitely: Moebius, Georges Bess, Stéphane Rosse, Dave Gibbons, Kilian Eng, Édouard Riou and Alphonse de Neuville, Manga and Anime artists and many, many more :)
What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not drawing?
I spend time with my family. We like to go on trips and meet with friends.
Do you have any creative goals for the coming year? Is there anything specific you would like to achieve?
To continue drawing and try to improve. I’d quite like to draw a more complete story, and also delve a bit more into drawing landscapes and environments.
“I’d quite like to draw a more complete story, and also delve a bit more into drawing landscapes and environments. ”