Dazzling Gold Leaf Details Illuminate Mysterious Portraits of Otherworldly Women

Fantasy Illustrations

Artist Nikolaos Kafasis—also known as Nikolas Tower—combines watercolor and gouache to create rich, character-driven fantasy worlds. His paintings feature unusual, mystical women surrounded by abstract backgrounds of flowing colors, and often, layered with details in dazzling gold leaf.

The artist draws upon several areas of inspiration in his paintings. His influences include motifs from Ancient Greek and Asian mythologies, as well as nature, anime, video games, and fantasy novels. Kafasis places his figures in mysterious, decorative scenery and intends to evoke “silent human feelings that cannot easily be expressed in words.” The visual language is its own swirling universe, or as Kafasis calls it, “a Cosmos in Silence.”

Kafasis documents the step-by-step process involved in each painting on Instagram. First, the artist sketches the rough composition and, once satisfied, then tapes the paper onto a drawing board. Afterward, he slowly builds the color in layers of watercolor and gouache. Once the painting is complete, Kafasis adds gold leaf to select areas of the design, enhancing the sense of magic.

Scroll down to see more examples of Kafasis's gilded illustrations, and, to purchase prints of his art, you can visit his website.

Greek artist Nikolaos Kafasis adds gold leaf to his incredible fantasy illustrations.

Nikolas Tower Golden Illustrations

The artist is inspired by motifs from ancient Greek and Asian mythologies.

Nikolas Tower Golden Illustrations

He incorporates abstract elements and flowing lines into his compositions of otherwordly women.

Nikolas Tower Golden IllustrationsNikolas Tower Golden ArtFantasy IllustrationsFantasy IllustrationsNikolas Tower Golden ArtNikolas Tower Golden ArtNikolas Tower Golden Portraits of WomenNikolas Tower Golden Fantasy IllustrationsFantasy Illustrations

Here's a peek into Kafasis' gold leaf process:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Nikolas Tower ✨🦋✨ (@nikolas_tower) on

Nikolaos Kafasis: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Nikolaos Kafasis.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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