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Meet the Artist - Will deBG

Filmmaker and artist, Will deBG turns his focus to film, literature and pop culture to capture beloved characters in a series of hyper-realistic portraits. 

His style shifts with each piece, moving through history and travelling the globe, taking inspiration from a wide library of artists, illustrators and movements. From anime and impressionism to classic illustration and video game concept art. 

We’ve worked with Will to create a special 55-piece Portrait Bundle, packed with TriBlend, Illustrator and Acrylic Paint markers, plus pencils and a set of 12 Illustrator markers in carefully curated shades to help you try new styles and begin your own journey in portraiture. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a UK-based, 20-year-old artist and filmmaker who just recently started studying film production at university. For my whole life I’ve been drawing and creating artwork and in 2017, I decided to start sharing my pieces on social media, this is when I really began producing more and more artwork in a range of different styles across a number of exciting new mediums. I now spend most of my free time drawing, writing or working on making films, as such, the majority of my artwork is illustrative and heavily inspired by the films I watch.

What would you say your motivation was for first picking up a pen, and how would you describe your artistic background?

I come from a very creative family, so for as long as I can remember I’ve been drawing. I still keep a lot of my childhood drawings. It wasn’t until 2017 that I first discovered marker pens for illustration and immediately took to them. Before I discovered markers, I primarily worked with pencil and fine liners, but upon finding them, I gained a renewed love of drawing and quickly sought to try other new mediums.

What or who are your art influences? What art styles or themes interest you the most and how would you describe your style?

I love so many styles and types of art that it’s difficult to pick any main influences. As I’m always looking to expand my portfolio of styles and mediums, I enjoy looking at and learning from a wide range of artists’ styles and although I don’t often find myself drawing in the same way, I am nonetheless inspired by them. For the longest time, my art was inspired by great illustrators like Chris Riddell, E.H. Shepard and Quentin Blake, as a result, much of my early work was done with fine liners and brush pens.

As I’ve gotten older, my tastes have expanded and whilst I can’t compare myself in skill nor style, the artists that always inspire me to create are; Andy Park, Drew Struzan, Simon Stålenhag, Ian McQue, Naoki Urasawa, Katsuhiro Otomo and Hayao Miyazaki. I’ve also always loved the works and feel of the great impressionists, particularly Claude Monet and Pierre August Renoir.

Where does a drawing begin for you? Can you take us through your process from start to finish?

Before I even touch a pen or pencil, I spend time searching for a reference or number of references I can combine to make the composition that I’m looking for. Then, I start with outlines. Often I begin with the shape of a face before then meticulously filling in the features. This is for me the most difficult part, until my line work is right, I won’t start with inking.

When the time has finally come to pick up the pens, I always begin with an eye and then build the image from there, rubbing out the line work as I go. I draw with the markers immediately to the finished level of detail and once I’ve moved on to another piece of the drawing I rarely return to adjust previous parts. On occasion, however, once the marker work is complete, I may layer pencil work on top to soften the image or increase contrast in certain areas. This can also be particularly useful for creating textures for things like hair and textiles.

The final part of my process will usually have to do with highlights. I use a white acrylic marker to add small highlights often only in the eyes to bring out the life in the drawing.

If I’m adding a background, this is done last. I regularly airbrush backgrounds and so will mask out the marker work before carefully spraying acrylic ink to create an out-of-focus style background. I find this helps to add a cinematic quality to the finished piece.

What’s your favourite artistic medium? Apart from markers, are there any other materials or tools you use to create your artwork?

Whilst the majority of my work is created using markers, I always love to explore new mediums and new styles. Personally, I feel no need to stick to only one medium and style when each allows for such a different look and feel. I very much enjoy using coloured pencils, Biro pens, watercolour and airbrush especially. Sometimes these can be used in tandem to create new effects and looks. 

If you could be anything besides an artist, what would you be, and why?

My main aspiration is to become a filmmaker. I have always loved to come up with and tell stories and for me, filmmaking is the most natural and intuitive way to do this. Furthermore, films and filmmaking are something that has always excited me greatly and that is why the majority of my work relates back to film. I also find my artwork has helped me to gain a greater understanding of story and composition, colour and lighting, all important to not only art but also film.

Meet The Artist - Portrait 55 Piece Bundle 

  • 24 Illustrator Dual Tip Markers, each featuring an accurate super-fine nib and a flexible Japanese brush tip.
  • Three TriBlend Brush Markers. Each marker holds three brush-tipped and blendable shades designed to layer and combine perfectly.
  • Illustrator and TriBlend Brush Markers are filled with premium alcohol-based dye ink to create seamless coverage and effortless blended effects. Layer up to increase depth or mix colours to create new hues, tints and shades.
  • 24 ColourBlend pencils, each loaded with premium wax-based pigment offering a rich and velvety laydown of colour. Perfect for sketching or adding depth to marker work.
  • Four Acrylic Paint Markers in classic gold, silver, white and black. These multi-surface markers can be applied to a variety of materials, making them ideal for mixed media and bold graphic art.

The Meet The Artist - Portrait 55 Piece Bundle includes: 

  • Illustrator by Spectrum Noir 12-Pen Set - Figure
  • Spectrum Noir TriBlend Brush - Woodland Walk 3pc
  • Spectrum Noir Acrylic Paint Marker 4pc - Essential
  • ColourBlend by Spectrum Noir 24 Pencil Set- Essentials
  • Spectrum Noir Illustrator Marker:
    • Black Brown
    • Brown Grey 7
    • Blue Grey 4
    • Blue Grey 2
    • Denim
    • Dark Blue
    • Smokey Blue
    • Vintage Blue
    • Sand
    • Sky Blue
    • Old Lavender
    • Hydrangea 

You’ll also receive a Spectrum Noir Pen Tray. This sleek storage device has been designed to keep your markers visible and accessible as you work, and will stack up to keep everything organised as your collection grows.