In the style of… Evaline Ness

The convention – ink and watercolour, 205 x 255 mm, 2013
The convention – ink and watercolour, 205 x 255 mm, 2013
Seagulls at Lake Rotorua, 2013
Seagulls at Lake Rotorua, 2013

I’ve only recently discovered Evaline Ness (although the illustrations in Sam, Bangs and Moonshine do seem curiously familiar). Her work is delightful and quirky across a wide range of styles and mediums. I particularly like the bold lines and restricted use of colour in the illustrations below. The reference photo is yet another one taken using my nothing-special cellphone ― which explains the appalling quality ― but it’s still good enough for sketching purposes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and I’m quoting photographer Chase Jarvis here), the best camera is the one you have with you. I’m starting to think it may be time to invest in a better phone… or a smaller camera.

Evaline Ness

Evaline Ness — illustrations from Joey and the Birthday Present, written by Maxine Kumin and Anne Sexton (1971) Images from
Evaline Ness — illustrations from Joey and the Birthday Present, written by Maxine Kumin and Anne Sexton (1971)
Images from

American artist Evaline Ness (1911–1986) has several claims to fame. As well as being an extremely versatile illustrator and author of children’s books, she was also a fashion model, a fashion illustrator and was, at one time, married to FBI investigator Elliot Ness. It sounds like a movie just waiting to happen.

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.

8 thoughts on “In the style of… Evaline Ness

  1. It’s still a good photo. Cell cams are just not there yet are they… A point-n-shoot pocket cam is much better but then you don’t get that instant gratification of sending the photo to your Instagram account. 😉

  2. I hadn’t heard of this artist, so I’ll have to check out more of her stuff. A neat style — and I like your work done in her style, as I think you captured the essence of the birds, pond, and hills.

    1. Hi and thank you. Please get in touch via my ‘Contact’ page and let me know what you’re wanting to do with the image (I’m guessing it’s for one of your fabulous digital paintings) and whether it would be for personal use or profit. And thanks for asking : )

      1. You have a couple of good photos, I am always looking for new material if you have any ideas. I am not selling my work because to be honest with you…no one has offered to buy so it’s just for the pleasure of creating art work..thanks for liking my work. The Dali one was created using artrage…a cheap, simple should try it….

      2. For new material, why not buy a little camera and take it everywhere with you? That way, when someone does want to buy one of your artworks (give it time, it’ll happen) it will be entirely yours to sell.
        [I’ll send you a private message about the Lake Rotorua photo.]

        Artrage looks cool… but I’m having too much fun being messy with acrylic, ink & watercolour to paint digitally — and I spend quite enough time on the computer as it is…

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