Alex Heywood studied Animation at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, graduating in 2017. He has since attracted international attention for his unique digital artworks, featuring an extraordinary menagerie of curious yet familiar animals. Each of his illustrations creates an imaginary world teeming with quirky details. This exhibition in the Tower Building features a selection of his artwork alongside some unusual animals from the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum.

Here Alex discusses his artistic process:

“I use Procreate on the iPad to create my illustrations…  There’s something really freeing about pulling your iPad out of your rucksack and having your entire art studio in your hand. This allows me to draw anywhere without limitations. My art is heavily influenced by wildlife and the natural world, and I often find myself drawing in natural spots like forests, parks or in my garden.

I follow the same process every time I create an illustration. I start with a rough pencil sketch, very loose and lightly applied, just trying to lay out the subject matter and composition. As I become more comfortable and decisive with the way things are looking, I develop the sketch further, adding details and more accurate shapes.

The next phase is applying the line work or ink. Once I have decided that the sketch is done, I will go over it with a solid, darker line. This is also a good opportunity to slightly change any small details of the drawing.

After the line work is completed I go in with colour, making sure to use several layers so that different coloured aspects can be tweaked and edited. I play about with hues a bit to try and create a unity and harmony throughout all of the colours, but there also tends to be some heavy contrast in my illustrations, mostly to act as a focal point.”

The exhibition is running in the Tower building until the 17th of December 2021 Mon-Fri 9:30am-7pm.

‘Sea Mustelids’ by Alex Heywood

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