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Birmingham-based artist and illustrator Laura Tinald uses Indian inks to bring life to her figurative sketches of the female form.

History and Background

Laura inherited her passion for the arts from her father, and has loved drawing and painting since childhood. 

Her first inspiration was Disney, and she was thrilled when she discovered that an animator had painted each cell before transforming their drawings into magical, moving characters. Later, she became mesmerised by Pre-Raphaelite paintings, regularly visiting Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery with her parents before going home to paint with her father's finest paint brushes.

Laura completed an art foundation course at Bourneville Art College, before studying fashion promotion and illustration at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey. 

However, she believes that much of her craft has been refined by drawing and painting endlessly in her own time. She adds: “I was lucky to inherit creative flair from my dad, and I continue to hone my ability every day.”

Ideas and Inspirations

Laura says that 'Proserpine' by Rossetti is the painting that changed everything for her. Inspired by this piece, Laura spent hours drawing women with long, flowing locks to capture the same textures.

She explains: “I’ll never forget the first time I saw it, and the wonder it evoked. His ability to capture the curve of a woman’s lips, or the shine in her hair remains unrivalled, in my opinion."

Another of her artistic influences is the fashion illustrator, David Downton. She adds: “He has a keen eye for detail and can capture the essence of a woman’s beauty so perfectly, with so few lines. It is such a gift."

From Palette to Picture

Whilst Laura uses a variety of materials for her creations, she holds a particular love for Indian ink on Fabriano hot press watercolour paper. This is rooted in her early discovery of illustrators such as Quentin Blake and Ralph Steadman.

She explains: “I love the rich, vivid colours Indian inks achieve, and how easily you can manipulate them with such striking results.”

The ink splashes in her work are an impulsive reaction to when she feels the picture needs extra life. She adds: “I know lots of artists who like to add these splashes in post-production, or with a pipette and many attempts. But mine happen very simply and genuinely, which I hope adds a certain magic to my work.”