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Celtic Boltan is a freelance illustrator, she makes covers for books and private orders. It also has a YouTube channel, where it presents its fantastic characters in Speedpaint …

My name is Barbara, but I have been known online since 2006 as “Celtic Botan” when I opened my DeviantART account. I am and I live in São Paulo, Brazil.

I work as a freelance illustrator mainly with private commissions for people who want to see how their role characters come to life or specific characters from series, movies, plays, etc. 

In addition, I have a YouTube channel where I present my fantasy characters in Speed Paint.

In the past, I have illustrated covers and illustrations for Brazilian fantasy books “YA”.

Recently I designed a collection of illustrations for skateboards for Monster Sports.

One of my paintings was recently featured as the cover of Cellar Darling’s digital single, “The Prophet’s Song.”

My inspirations

I draw a lot of inspiration from music and musicians I like, favorite artists (modern and old masters), animations, movies and video games. 

My art usually features fantasy and/or surreal themes, often mixing opposite ideas or concepts.

For example, I have a painting I did inspire by the game “Ori and the Blind Forest”, but using the style and techniques I observed from William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s works, which are my favorite from the old-school teachers.

I am really drawn to the idea of the new and the old/traditional and digital/modern themes (like the game I mentioned) and old-school paintings. They are opposite, but at the same time they complement each other in a strange, but very satisfying way to me.

My work is also focused on character design and portraits. One of my favorite themes is again touching the idea of opposite concepts going together.

Like very young-looking fantasy characters that look extremely powerful and wiser than their age and looks, or characters that look both beautiful and disturbing at the same time.

Sometimes even with inspiration drawn from horror (faceless characters filled with stars or covered in multiple animal body parts, shiny eyes like a deity or a god, neon-bright and surrealistic colors, etc).

I also really enjoy painting musicians I like and people I know as fantasy beings, matching their music and/or personalities.

Follow imaginess on Instagram…

Technology, technical or software do I use

I started with traditional media when I was a teen, like colored pencils, ballpoint pens and watercolors.

I started to use digital seriously when I was 16, and I only got my first tablet when I was 19.

Currently, my painting program is PaintTool SAI and my tablet is a small Intuos Pro Pen & Touch.

I use Photoshop CS6 at the end of the painting process to adjust colors, add specific effects or text, etc.

The process is entirely digital with a few exceptions sometimes when I sketch something on my sketchbook and I want to polish that idea, so I take a picture, open it on PaintTool SAI and start working on it, as I did with a recent painting I did of Lizzie Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Why can My work be a source of inspiration for others?

I believe a lot of people like to watch my speedpaint videos to see how I went from a rough sketch or a blank canvas to a full, finished artwork.

In Instagram, I publish the thumbnails and initial layers of sketching I do on my traditional paintings for the same reasons.

I am often told from comments I receive that the way I use colors and paint expressions or specific areas (hair, eyes, hands) is something people really enjoy, as well as the way my digital work looks like traditional oil paintings.

The mix of odd and contradicting themes, as I mentioned above, and unexpected crossovers may also be inspiring to some of the people that follow my work.


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