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After passing through the filtering process of an Art Foundation course, like a marble on a track, I clattered into a career of graphic design. A quarter of a century later, my passion for illustration became stronger than my need to design graphics, so I became a full-time illustrator and quit the agency job to work from home. These days my time is split between illustrating other people's words and my own stories and providing imagery for licensing.

A photo of Pete Underhill at work in his studio

To me, the quality and accuracy of the drawing is crucial. It's the skeleton on which the flesh of tone and colour are hung. My work is predominantly traditional, pencil, vintage steel pen and ink and watercolour, though in recent years, developments in digital art have provided the interaction I need to enjoy the process and be happy with the results. Given the choice, despite digital art requiring no cleaning up afterwards, I still like the idea of waving around a traditional piece of work and saying "I did this!".

I'm lucky to have a studio in my garden where I can lock myself away to work, dress in silly clothes if I feel like it (every day is Dress Down Day!) and not be told off for playing music too loudly.

When I take a break from work, which admittely isn't very often these days, I like to produce oil paintings of interesting people. I find calligraphy relaxing, and practice when I can. I enjoy visiting art galleries and try to get to the BP Portrait Award exhibition every year. As a soppy romantic, I'm an enormous fan of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and popular Victorian art, particularly paintings of people. I have no time for the notion of modern celebrity, but I can genuinely well up in the presence of a painting I admire.

Illustration is my life and art is my world.

Let's Make Wonderful Stuff Together!

To discuss your project, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), complete my contact form or call me to leave a message on (+44) 1455 233442. I'm based in Leicestershire in the UK, work diligently to deadlines and budgets, and offer plenty of creative input along the way. Talk to me!