Sonny Ross’ illustrations are set apart by their bright colors and use of chunky textures. “I like to have fun in an image, even with a more serious tone,” he writes on his website. And boy, does he have fun.
“For the longest time I intended to finish school and go on to be a teacher, it didn’t occur to me that I could probably put some time into drawing and get better at it,” he admitted in an interview with Inky Goodness. But after putting in some time and effort, he got better indeed. Now, with more than 10k fans on Instagram and featured in The Washington Post, The New York Time, and The Guardian, his hard work has more than paid off.
“I never used to work digitally, basically doing everything in posca pen, because I don’t like the super clean-cut look of digital work, but when I started making my own brushes that looked natural I never looked back,” he says talking about his creative process. “The difficult part for me is making something look natural, personally I feel it can lessen a piece.”
Each piece begins with a quick sketch. “These help me to see the piece as a whole, to really shape the composition, which can make or break a piece,” he says. “When I’m happy with the basic imagery I do a larger sketch, take a picture of it, import that into an iPad drawing app called ProCreate, which is great for coloring and adding textures, I then choose between 2 and 6 colors usually to keep the whole piece solid and get to work. I export the finished piece to photoshop for any final tweaks then it’s done.”
Here are some of our favorite pieces by him: