Friday 22 July 2016

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 22nd July 2016 - "The Art of Loish - A Look Behind the Scenes" by Lois Van Baarle (3DTotal Publishing)

Our Second Book of the Week is a fantastic dreamscape of astonishing images put together by one of the most fascinating artists to emerge in the last two decades...
Lois Van Baarle is something of an internet legend. Already well known to DeviantArt regulars for her amazing flowing and glorious work, Lois(h) has put together her first compendium book of work stretching from her earliest childhood scribblings, right through to her mastery of digital painting.

I've loved Lois's work for years and I couldn't wait to share it with Charlotte as I knew this would be the sort of subject matter she'd absolutely eat up.

Lois specialises in painting amazing portraits, often from her imagination, sometimes from direct observation but always with a whimsical sense of fantasy about them. Her women have huge manga-esque eyes yet her distinctive style stands out on its own, instantly identifiable and quite unique.

Charlotte loved the fact that Lois has an obsession with mermaids, with underwater scenes and in most of her portraits there are fish and aquatic life bobbing silently past, or featured as a prop in some way (quite often alongside Lois's other mainstay, big cute cuddly cats!)

The main 'draw' here (if you'll pardon the pun) is the very thing that has won Lois an army of adoring fans. She has always shared her work online but more than that, she's also shared the processes, the trials and tribulations and the triumphs when something's gone right, or the woes when something's gone wrong with a piece. This is vital to budding artists, and it's delightful to see that she puts just as much effort into her tutorials as she does into her artwork.

Lois's work is gorgeous, whimsical and the colours are stunning
I found the book quite intoxicating, getting lost in each and every colour plate. The book is, as you'd expect, sumptuously illustrated but also very well written and described as Lois guides us through her constantly evolving and emerging prowess in digital forms. We both found it addictive to see how a few simple lines and scribbles could become such glowing and amazing finished pieces.

Needless to say as Lois goes from success to success, we'll hopefully see more art books from her. Sneaking a peek into someone's sketchy work and also being given a glimpse of their processes really is something I wish more artists would aspire to do. As it stands Lois has won a new fan, a little 8 year old girl who spends a lot of time drawing and colouring and now has a new art idol to look up to.

What a fabulous book! Find more of her work and some utterly brilliant tutorials over at

Charlotte's best bit: Her favourite Lois piece is the rather ghostly but nonetheless beautiful version of "The Little Mermaid"

Daddy's favourite bit: I'm just completely in love with Lois's work and there were so many useful tips to improve my own scribblings in here.

(Self-bought book)

"The Art of Loish - A look Behind the Scenes"

Written and Illustrated by Lois Van Baarle

Published by 3DTotal

Publication Date (Hardback): 7th March 2016