Before photography, it was up to artists to document plants and animals in scientific illustrations. Poland-based artist Vitor Velez draws inspiration from this age-old practice in his series of mixed-media illustrations. Using a combination of colored pencils, pens, and watercolors, he captures a breadth of wildlife.
From foxes to whales, these drawings cover a variety of species. Velez traces his love for nature to his childhood, where he honed his skills by copying illustrations from encyclopedias. Now, he makes his own notes that border the colorful portraits of animals both large and small. His artistic handwriting flies across the page, sometimes merging with the drawings in an aesthetic that is all his own.
In addition to rendering the full body of these animals, Velez also makes smaller illustrations of the details, like eyes and pawprints, which demonstrate his keen observation.
“I draw parallels between my art and scientific illustration with regard to the level of attention to the level of detail and singular characteristics of each animal I paint, but I also pursue a personal interpretation beyond a mere realistic representation,” Velez tells My Modern Met. “Through my journey, I have learned that every single creature holds its own distinct beauty, and I find myself falling in love with every single one I spend time observing and sketching.”
You can learn how to purchase original art and keep up to date with Velez's newest projects by following his Instagram.