Artist Update: Observational drawing advice from illustrator Stijn Felix

Rapid Fire Questions: Stijn Felix


I’m convinced that sketching from observation broadens your imagery.

Stijn Felix is a seasoned illustrator whose work has been commissioned by many popular Belgian media. From book covers, to editorial illustrations, album artwork and cultural posters: his work has a penchant for the dark, the devious and the melancholic but is always lit up by a subtle sense of humour. You can enjoy a selection of Stijin Felix’s work in Pictoria Volume.1, The Best Contemporary Illustrators Worldwide.

 © Stijn Felix

© Stijn Felix

Who are you and what do you do? 

Stijn Felix, illustrator

How would you describe your work? 

My work is versatile, has often a penchant for the dark and the melancholic but is always lit up by a subtle sense of humour.

How do you go about creating your artwork? Do you prefer to work digitally or with traditional media? 

I like the endless possibilities of the combination. I like to sketch, draw and paint on paper. Assembling a more complex composition, colouring and adjusting I do digitally. I make sure the result doesn’t become too clean.

 © Stijn Felix

© Stijn Felix

What are you working on at the moment? 

I recently did illustrations for two books with short stories. Last month I portrayed one hundred different people in one weekend during a drawing event. At this moment I’m doing the character designs for a long animation movie. This is a new and exciting challenge for me.

Who or what are the top five inspirations for your work? 

1. A task - I like tackling a problem.

2. Sketching people from observation - The endless variations in faces and figures, characters, expressions and poses.

3. I learn a lot of the work of masters of observation like Egon Schiele and David Hockney

4. Early 20th century cartoonists of the magazine Simplicissimus - The character designs with the caricatural silhouette shapes are marvelous.

5. Old Matchbox labels - for their primitive use of colour

What's one resource every artist, illustrator or designer should know about?

I'm convinced that sketching from observation broadens your imagery.

 © Stijn Felix

© Stijn Felix

What is the most valuable lesson you've learned during your time working in the creative industries? 

By nature I’m a procrastinator with a chaotic mind. I learned to stick with a daily work routine and I am more productive and happier ever since. Daily routine is a better motivator than willpower.

What is the hardest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it? 

The hardest challenge was to 'have a career'. Create a routine and if there are no commissions, start on a personal project. Keep on creating.

What are your professional goals for the next year? 

In my illustration work I like to continue to respond to what comes to me. As a personal project I will do more portraits and maybe a series of caricature paintings.

 © Stijn Felix

© Stijn Felix


Contact Stijn Felix


Email Stijn Felix

Follow Stijn Felix on Instagram or Behance

Visit Stijn Felix’s website


 © Stijn Felix

© Stijn Felix


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