“ Italian artist Ester Roi creates beautiful, photorealistic pictures that explore the interaction of water with nature.”
What is your process when you sit down to work?
My creative process always begins with “playing.” As ideas float around in my mind, I decide to experiment with the one that excites me the most. When I’m ready, I begin to play a “what if” game: “What if I splash water on that flower?” “What if I make it float upside down in a bowl of water?” “What if I let the water form ice crystals in the freezer?” As the game unfolds I take lots of pictures. I usually revisit those images in the evening and play with them in my editing program until I have one or more references that come close to my original vision. Sometimes I get surprised along the way and end up with a totally different but equally appealing result. After working out the composition and final drawing, I begin the “painting” phase while surrounded by hundreds of colored sticks in the form of colored pencils, artists crayon, and oil pastels. If possible I like to have something of the original still life right on my desk; the flower, the seashell, the pebbles used in the experiment. I regularly glance at my work in progress from far away, upside down or reflected in a mirror.
What kind of tools and materials do you use in your work?
The main tool I use to create my art is the Icarus Drawing Board, a portable, electric board for wax-based drawing media. It features two working zones, a warm zone and a cool zone. In general, I use the warm zone for mixing, blending, burnishing, and reworking; the cool zone for line drawing, layering, detailing, and finishing touches. Wax-based drawing media soften or even melt on the warm zone of the board. This is the perfect method to achieve the smooth gradations and dissolving hues that permeate my art. It’s a very innovative way to work with wax-based colored pencils, wax sticks, artist crayons, and oil pastels.
If you were to offer a piece of advice to an aspiring artist on how to succeed, what would you say?
Put passion in everything you do. Hard work can often compensate for talent, even in art. Once you get there, be generous and kind to your fellow artists. Don’t forget to play!
What is your mantra?
“It’s not the technique that makes the artist; it’s the artist who makes the technique.”
What style of art do you work in?
I’m slowly progressing toward abstract-realism. Nature is always the inspiration and starting point; however I like to manipulate the subject by pushing the boundaries of colors, form, and perspective.