When I discovered Erin Kelso’s work on conceptart.org, I did my usual dig to see what else I could find about the artist, who was listed only as “bluefooted”.
I eventually found out that she also has a presence on deviantART, where she is also listed only as “bluefooted”, but no actual website or blog.
I eventually contacted her, found that she does have an actual name, and that she a PhD in evolutionary biology andÂ a Master’s in zoology and is working for a university; and her art is done in her off hours.
Kelso is largely self taught as an artist (though I think I saw in a post that she is taking a class of some kind currently), and takes her inspiration from numerous sources. When I contacted her, she confirmed my thoughts that she was influenced by artists like Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Gustav Tenggren and Gustav Klimt; and mentioned contemporary artists like James Jean, Jon Foster, Yoshitaka Amano, Michael Kaluta in addition.
Kelso does her drawings in pen and ink, and sometimes pencil, scans them and applies color and textures in Photoshop and Painter. (She has a brief Fake Watercolor Tutorial on her sketchbook post on the conceptart.org forums – about halfway down.)
It is the strong design elements and artful use of texture that make her work particularly appealing for me. I also enjoy the pen and ink and watercolor approach that carries some of the flavor of both drawing and painting; and her nice combination of Rackham-inspired line work with areas of Klimt-like textures and patterns.