When creating a portrait, Florian Nicolle looks beyond the physical appearance of his model and works to capture their spirit. His mixed media portraits often focus on a singular part of the face, asking viewers to examine certain features closely, while others fade into the background. The results are mysterious and dynamic illustrations that dive into the soul of each person.
Nicolle's illustrations, which combine colored inks and pencil with digital enhancements, are a fresh take on traditional portraits. He spends a lot of time working for clients like Puma, Nike, and the NBA, creating sports illustrations. But his personal work and commissions show a different, more intimate side to the artist.
“I try to convey the mood of the person by drawing as few elements as possible,” he tells My Modern Met. “My lifelong quest is also to find the perfect balance between spontaneity and realism. That is to say that I want the illustration to grade as much as possible the freshness of the first brushstroke while having some important areas of the very realistic illustration.”
This balance makes Nicolle's work stand apart, giving his illustrations a painterly feel. Though they are thoroughly modern, the touch of realism he adds grounds each portrait and allows the viewer to connect with the picture. Scroll down for some of our recent favorites and discover the magic of Nicolle's artwork.
Illustrator Florian Nicolle is known for his evocative mixed-media portraits.
Each drawing mixes realism with spontaneity for a fresh take on portraiture.
“I try to draw the spirit of a person before their physical appearance.”