David Downton (1959) is arguably the most popular and recognised fashion illustrator working today with work appearing regularly in magazines such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. He also works extensively with commercial clients including Chanel, Dior, Tiffany’s, Harrods, Topshop and Bloomingdales. His deceptively effortless and beautifully stylised fashion portraits featuring (among many others) models Catherine Deneuve, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Dita Von Teese and Elizabeth Taylor, portray an elegance unattainable by photography and offer the aspiring illustrator a lesson in colour balance and restraint with ink and paint. Noted influence comes from lifestyle illustrators Bob Peak and Coby Whitmore who share a similarly inventive, almost abstract approach to line and colour. Downton was recently featured on the BBC program Inside Claridge’s in which the viewer is offered a glimpse into his current status as ‘artist in residence’ at the world-famous hotel in London.
Artist Spotlight is a weekly feature on the Wing’s Art and Design Studio blog where I share a selection of my favourite artists of the past and present, offering a brief overview of their work that will hopefully inspire you to find out more about these masters of illustration.