If you”re looking to get lost in a fantasy world, look no further than the illustration work of Ulla Thynell. The Finnish artist and illustrator blends traditional media like pencil and watercolor with digital art. This synergistic approach to art creates atmospheric images of fairytale worlds. Though they cover a range of subjects, her work”s light, airy lines and rich colors give each piece a charming feeling that recall classic fairytale volumes.
Digital sketch of a field at night
Much of Thynell”s work is inspired by the rich mythology of her native Scandinavia. It”s also inspired by the works of J.R.E. Tolkien. Thynell takes her stylistic cues from late 19th and early 20th century fantasy illustrators. While some of the subject matter could be interpreted in a darker, scarier way, Thynell prefers to keep her illustrations approachable for all ages. In an interview with Alex Hurst, she describes her relationship with Tolkien”s work as “meaningful and nostalgic.” This feeling comes out in her work, much of which depict images from Tolkien”s books. She also enjoys plenty of other fantasy and science fiction literature. Thanks to her 3-year-old daughter as well as her freelance work illustrating kids” books, Thynell also developed a taste for quality children”s literature.
King of the Golden Hall
Her illustrations also reflect the deceptive simplicity of childhood tales. On the surface, they seem straightforward. Yet like the tales themselves, they hide a complex network of details and undercurrents that suggest deeper themes. She balances areas of tight detail with washy, open spaces of watercolor to create engaging compositions.
Currently, Thynell is exploring the art of animation, which is a new venture for her. She”s still learning to master the medium. You can see her newest work as it emerges on her Facebook, deviantART, and Tumblr pages, or shop for items like prints, T-shirts, and tote bags on her Society6 page.