10 incredible modern masters of fantasy illustration

Tran Nguyen leopard

Tran Nguyen says: "I'd like my visuals to serve as a buffer in getting through tough times"

These 10 artists have, over time, created portfolios of amazing imagery that never fails to grab attention and inspires us to pick up a Wacom (or that ancient relic - the pencil) and get drawing!

While their processes and styles vary, they all share a common goal: to become better, continue experimenting and progress their art.

While artists never stop learning and improving, and there are certainly plenty more masters under our rader - we think these talented individuals deserve a mention so they can continue to be inspired and inspire you on your own journey.

01. Ruan Jia

Rua Jia

Ruan Jia's "Bloodgaze" shows how the artist uses colour and light to define his whimsical style

There is a romantic, ethereal feeling to Ruan's work in which every part of the image feels like it's glowing. "This is because I love to add saturated colour to places where it is not supposed to glow," explains the artist.

"After deciding the key colour for the overall mood, I continue adding colour changes to my painting," he admits. "I love dramatic lighting, and I often make the light fall on the focus point, to make the main object stand out."

02. Tran Nguyen

tran nguyen

Tran likes to find a message and purpose for her art

Tran's paintings are figurative, surreal and contain a hefty splash of fantasy. "Fantasy encompasses a perspective that's perpendicular to reality," she says.

"I think depicting imagery that captures space which could never exist in our daily lives expands out imaginative capacity.

Tran loves to paint 'therapeutic imagery', where she aims to tap into a specific yet universal emotion that everyone can relate to.

"It's my hope that the viewer can relate, recollect and thus foster well-being from what they interpret."

03. Donglu Yu

donglu yu

Donglu Yu's "Medieval Lord" shows her rich appreciation of colour and form - expressing detail without having to spend hours creating it

Donglu began her career traditionally, first with private drawing and oil painting classes and then pursuing art at college and university where she studied illustration and animation.

"My grandfather is a Chinese traditional calligrapher. So I've been exposed to Chinese watercolour from a very early age," she says.

After her day job as a concept artist for Ubisoft, Montreal, Donglu teaches a digital art painting class at a local art school. "It's always a pleasure to witness the progress of young students," she admits.

04. Wylie Beckert

wylie beckert

Wylie Beckert fell in love with the fantasy community and found her style grew naturally

Describing her work as "dark and whimsical", with an emphasis on characters and storytelling.

"For me," she says, " developing an identifiable style been less a conscious choice, and more a by-product of the tools and processes I work with, combined with an eye towards continuous improvement."

05. Miles Johnston

miles johnston

Miles prefers to work in his moleskin with pencil - the traditional way - to drive his fervent creativity

English artist, Miles Johnston, was still a teenager when he caught the eye of ImagineFX's rising stars campaign. Four years later, he's still inspiring and creating, finding his feet in the online community.

"The whole online art scene feels like a cool, extended friendship group, and it's been exciting meeting so many people that I've known from online," he says.

Next page: 5 more incredible talents storming the world of fantasy illustration

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