Looking at the works of classical master painters is a great way to get inspired and improve your own art. I often take inspiration from classic painters and illustrators.
One of the artists I admire is the 18th century British artist Thomas Gainsborough. In Britain, he was the dominant portrait artist of the second half of the 18th century. According to some of Gainsborough's own writings, he actually preferred painting landscapes to portraits, although he was mainly known for his portrait work. Gainsborough had an experimental painting style compared to other artists of his time. He painted quite fast with lively brushstrokes.
My personal favourite of Gainsborough's paintings is the portrait of Mrs. Mary Robinson (Perdita). This stunning painting hangs at the Wallace Collection in London. I fell in love with it the very first time I saw it in person a few years ago. The lady in the portrait has a very serene expression on her face and the colours of the painting are so calming. I try to look at these kind of paintings in a way that I could learn from them and improve my own art. In Gainsborough's paintings in particular, it's fascinating how he uses light and composition.
Thank you for reading! Which painters or illustrators are you inspired by? I'd love for you to share in the comment section below.