In the style of… Louis Rhead

Rendezvous – acrylic and white gel pen, 280 x400 mm, 2013.
Rendezvous – acrylic and pigment gel ink, 280 x 400 mm, 2013.
Rendezvous – detail
Rendezvous – detail
Akaroa Harbour beachfront, 2012.
Akaroa Harbour beachfront, 2012.

I had something specific in mind when I started painting the Akaroa Harbour beachfront photo… and this painting isn’t it. Initially I was going to create a highly stylised image using simple shapes and patterns and fairly flat colours ― but sometimes I just can’t help myself… the temptation to layer colours and add texture is just too great. With Louis Rhead’s turn-of-the-century posters in mind (see below), I exaggerated the shape of the trees and the curve of the shoreline. He has also influenced the overall composition, my choice of colours and the romantic styling of the women in the foreground (although mine look more medieval than Art Nouveau).

I may have another go at painting this scene for next week’s Shoot it, Sketch it

Louis Rhead

Images from
Images from

English-born artist Louis Rhead (1857-1926) made a career out of poster design and book illustration in the USA. I love the Art Nouveau influence in these posters dated 1896-1900. The sweeping curves and stylised trees are beautiful. The colours are fantastic too.

In the style of… appears occasionally instead of my regular Shoot it, Sketch it posts. Using my own photographs as a starting point, I’m drawing inspiration from some of the world’s greatest illustrators. It’s not about slavishly copying someone else’s art; it’s an experiment in seeing things differently.

4 thoughts on “In the style of… Louis Rhead

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