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Work / Illustration

Julia Petrova conveys mystery and darkness in her landscape illustrations

Moscow-based illustrator Julia Petrova uses watercolour, ink and liner for her finely-detailed drawings and each one takes around one or two days to complete. There’s a gloomy and mysterious atmosphere to Julia’s landscape-based illustrations and while she depicts buildings, cars and other human-made structures, there’s a distinct absence of people in her work. When humans do appear, it’s just the back of someone or a dangling hand, and this only adds to the intrigue surrounding Julia’s drawings, which capture moments just before or after something has happened.

Julia conveys a similar mood throughout her portfolio, and hopes to convey a world that is “strange and suspicious, full of many inexplicable things”, yet she doesn’t categorise herself as having a particular style. “It’s just how I see the world. I illustrate reality through the prism of my perception,” explains Julia. “If there was a style that describes the feelings you get when you see a mirage of an oasis in a desert, it would be my style.”

The illustrator enjoys the process of creating an illustration, “from the moment I see something weird and interesting, up until tracing a finished picture with the liner”. Details like building and leaf textures are added with pen after luxurious washes of purple and green hues are spread across the page, and this layering gives her work depth.

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Julia Petrova

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Julia Petrova

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Julia Petrova