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Colorful Inspiration For Gray Days: Illustration And Photography At Their Best


Breaking Out Of The Box
Colorful Inspiration For Gray Days: Illustration And Photography At Their Best

If it’s still snowy where you live, then you’re probably tired of the cold weather by now. Winter may be in full swing but that shouldn’t stop us from hunting for inspiration. While the gray days always seem to find a way to make us more and more anxious for springtime to finally arrive, it’s also a time we can use to reflect on our work and perhaps better decide what it is that we hope to improve or change in the next months.

Believe it or not, some of these photographs and illustrations are the starting point of a design that I create. They are the spark that sets the process of creation in motion. It doesn’t take much; it can be any part of an element that catches my eye, be it a particular color, style, texture, or anything really. You’ll find a bit of everything in today’s selection: Architecture, colors, some of the best photographs from 2016, and more. I hope you’ll like my playground! 😉

Drowning In Thoughts Link

I’m admiring the textures and colors here. Wonderful to get some new ideas for backgrounds.

1
Image credit: Kathrin Honesta2

Rooftop Link

I really like the style of Bodil Jane. This piece of beautiful artwork looks almost like a collage of separate items that is glued on a canvas.

3
Image credit: Bodil Jane4

Draw Everyday Link

Some good advice that I can totally get behind. Cleverly translated to something else you do everyday.

5
Image credit: We and The Color6

Shop Magazine — Karolis Link

The view angle is so well done in this illustration, as well as the shadow and light effects. A few other gems in here, such as the transparency of the bag on the desk and the wooden floor under the desk.

7
Image credit: Folio Art8

Vita Sackville-West Link

Beautiful book cover illustration. How deep she is in her thoughts is just so inspiring.

9
Image credit: Gosia Herba10

Fire In The Sky Link

A wonderful advertisement for planet Earth. Look at that fire in the sky! Purdy.

11
Image credit: Dan Rubin12

The Golden Bicycle Touch Link

One of my own pictures shot during a morning bicycle ride. The best kind! Those colors are just wow!

13
Image credit: Veerle Pieters14

Twins In The Forest Link

Creating hair is among the most difficult things to achieve. It takes a long time to get it right. That’s why I always study the ones who master it. The hair is simply gorgeous in this illustration, especially those braids.

15
Image credit: Ezgi Pamir16

The Best Photos Of The Year Link

Some fantastic photographs in this Strava collection of 2016. Hard to pick just one, but after much deliberation I chose this one. Isn’t it marvelous?

17
Image credit: Strava18

The New York Times Gift Guide Link

The first thing I noticed is the wonderful color palette. I’m also admiring all the different buildings created with very little elements. Imagine how it would look like if it was brought to life. Well, look here19!

20
Image credit: Florent Hauchard21

Sitting In Green Link

Perfect scenery for some daydreaming. The texture used in this illustration is awe-inspiring.

22
Image credit: Xuan loc Xuan23

The Law Of Attraction Link

Not your typical color palette. They really work quite well together. Lovely shapes, too!

24
Image credit: Martin Azambuja25

Modelle / BBDO Moscow Link

Using negative space in illustration is one of my favorite things. I’ve personally never done it, but would love to one day. This is one of those nice examples to look up to.

26
Image credit: Cajsa Holgersson 27

Jenna Arts Link

I love the style in which the illustrator doesn’t draw perfect characters. It’s an illustration style that embraces the awkward. Hard to pull off right.

28
Image credit: Eye On Design29

Tuff Shed Link

First thing I checked out was the pattern on the guy’s shirt. I also love the use of sharp angles for the arms, legs and other elements in this scene.

30
Image credit: Brian Miller3331

Tuff Shed II Link

Just like the illustration above, this one also features the sharp angles, but also some interesting textures. Look at how the shadows and highlights are applied. Truly amazing!

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Image credit: Brian Miller3331

Space: Planets, Stars, Rockets Link

The choice of colors and shapes are well considered here. Simple, yet effective.

34
Image credit: Tasty Vector35

Lofoten, Norway Link

Such an incredible spot! Beautifully captured with some gorgeous light.

36
Image credit: Fredrik Meling37

Jun Takahashi | Square Up Link

Speaking of the use of sharp angles and shapes, Tokyo-based illustrator Jun Takahashi uses this technique to create geometric sports characters. All this with a muted, contemporary palette of colors. His series is called Square Modern.38

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Image credit: Jun Takahashi40

Merkur Magazine Link

Some fine details in this cover such as the dotted stripes on the pants of the male character. Another is the tree bast structure.

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Image credit: Orlin Culture Shop4442

Merkur Magazine II Link

Very appropriate since we are still in the middle of winter. This snow landscape is just beautifully executed. Works so well with this pinkish mood/sky.

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Image credit: Orlin Culture Shop4442

Mount Fuji Link

Splendid shot! Stunning light, colors and lovely composition.

45
Image credit: Takashi Yasui46

Light Of A Spring Sunset Link

Beautiful smooth water and great sunlight colors.

47
Image credit: Aleksei Malygin48

Sports Link

What makes this interesting is the way this illustration is compiled: the mix of lines and fills, in combination with a limited color palette. Clever.

49
Image credit: Xoana Herrera50

5 Seasons Link

So delicate and beautiful! Colors, subtle use of gradients, everything is inspiring.

51
Image credit: Killien Huynh5452

5 Seasons II Link

I like the atmosphere in this fall like scenery. Many great details such as the way the collar and sleeve patterns are created. It creates a lovely accent.

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Image credit: Killien Huynh5452

IBM Data Vis Guidelines Link

This is gorgeous! Loving the colors for this first set of Data Visualization Guidelines from IBM. Great composition and geometry.

55
Image credit: Patrick Lowden56

Time Travel Destinations Posters Link

If time travel was possible it would look like this. Jurassic Age is part of the Time Travel Destinations Posters. There are a few more, and some are animated too. Go have a look57.

58
Image credit: Expedia.ca59

City Streets Link

Really diggin’ the stylized perspective. It creates a nice composition.

60
Image credit: Matt Carlson61

Tin Star BBQ Link

Great character in this clever logo illustration. That type is great – it really fits the tone of the logo.

62
Image credit: Steve Wolf63

NYU Travel Link

So many details in this colorful illustration.

64
Image credit: Owen Davey65

Business City Link

Admiring the simplicity in this illustration.

66
Image credit: Vilolett Stolz67

Colorful And Minimalist Miami Rescue Towers Link

If you love minimalistic architecture and colors like me, you’ll appreciate this work by Paolo Pettigiani. The new series is called “SHAPEGUARD”.

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Image credit: Paolo Pettigiani7169

Colorful And Minimalist Miami Rescue Towers II Link

A second one from the new series called “SHAPEGUARD” by Paolo Pettigiani.

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Image credit: Paolo Pettigiani7169

Bitch Magazine Link

Wonderful duotones at work, especially to create the feeling of the movement of the water. Those swimsuits are not too shabby as well.

72
Image credit: Eleni Kalorkoti73

Red Dwarf Sunset Link

For the sci-fi fans among us. A hi-tech village on a transparent hill, enjoying a dramatic red sunset of a class M red dwarf sun. Those gradients and the glowy sun is so perfect!

74
Image credit: Nina Geometrieva75

Sunset Curving Up Link

Talking about being in the right place at the right time. Sunset curving up a wave!

76
Image credit: Historic Lovers Club77

The Martian II Link

One more for the sci-fi fans. A special color palette and a great illustration style.

78
Image credit: From Up North79

We The People Link

Shepard Fairey, whose iconic posters supporting Barack Obama’s 2008 election and won him Design of the Year, has a new offering. The American graphic designer has applied the same posterized style and palette of red, beige and blue of the Hope imagery to three new designs, created for a nonprofit organization called ‘the Amplifier Foundation’.

80
Image credit: Design You Trust81

Feel Good Swing Link

Loving this muted color palette and the organic style.

82
Image credit: Michele Tenaglia8583

Lindy Hop Link

If you love your classics you’ll recognize the Lindy Hop in this wonderful illustration.

84
Image credit: Michele Tenaglia8583

Sky-High Images Of Los Angeles At Dusk Link

Creative Director and photographer Dylan Schwartz‘s point-of-view is high above the cities he photographs, capturing the bridges, sports complexes, and tips of high rises from the cockpit of a helicopter.

86
Image credit: Colossal87

Rolling Images Of San Francisco’s Fog Link

I’ve featured an image of San Francisco’s fog here before. The waviness is almost surreal.

88
Image credit: Colossal89

Charles Manson Link

When Charles Manson and The Beach Boys‘ Dennis Wilson meet. So beautifully stylized!

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Image credit: Owen Davey91

Sweater Friends Link

Such a great concept to have a panoramic scenery on the sweaters.

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Image credit: Make The Big Eye93

Rough Day At Work Link

How does one look like after a rough day at work? I think this illustration pretty much nails it.

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Image credit: Today I love This95

Hong Kong Link

Great view on the hustle of Hong Kong. The flow of the water is greatly executed. Lovely color palette, perfectly executed.

96
Image credit: MUTI97

Magazine Italiana Link

Riccardo is a regular guest here. Love how he works with flat colors and sharp-angled shapes.

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Image credit: Riccardo Guasco10199

Magazine Italiana II Link

One more of Riccardo’s recent work. Brilliant as always! I also love the retro touch in all of them.

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Image credit: Riccardo Guasco10199

Multicolored Architectural Photography In Spain Link

The Swedish photographer Jeanette Hägglund seems to have found a nice playground in the city of La Manzanera, near Alicante. She plays with the architecture, colors, and light and shadows. Be sure to see the rest of the series.

102
Image credit: Fubiz103

(yk, il)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/a329f_Drowning-in-thoughts-preview-opt.png
  2. 2 https://www.behance.net/gallery/29412079/Illustrations-of-2015
  3. 3 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/a329f_rooftop-preview-opt.jpg
  4. 4 http://cargocollective.com/bodiljane/Amara-Living-Property
  5. 5 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/4f549_Draw-Everyday-preview-opt.jpg
  6. 6 http://weandthecolor.com/steffen-kraft-illustrations/81944
  7. 7 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/4f549_Shop-Magazine-Karolis-preview-opt.jpg
  8. 8 https://www.behance.net/gallery/31179379/Karolis-Strautniekas-SHOP-Magazine
  9. 9 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/7382e_Vita-Sackville-West-preview-opt.jpg
  10. 10 https://www.behance.net/gallery/35685589/Various-illustrations-Winter-20152016
  11. 11 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/7382e_danrubin-2016-Dec-29-preview-opt.jpg
  12. 12 https://twitter.com/danrubin/status/814404688028254208
  13. 13 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/7382e_vpieters_2016-Dec-27-preview-opt.jpg
  14. 14 https://twitter.com/vpieters/status/813794757642244096
  15. 15 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/54e33_Twins-in-the-Forest-preview-opt.jpg
  16. 16 https://www.behance.net/gallery/43997885/twins-in-the-forest
  17. 17 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/54e33_Best-Photos-of-the-Year-preview-opt.jpg
  18. 18 http://blog.strava.com/galleries/best-of-photos-2016/
  19. 19 https://vimeo.com/196598514
  20. 20 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/54e33_New-York-Times-gift-guide-preview-opt.jpg
  21. 21 https://www.behance.net/gallery/46596251/The-New-York-Times-gift-guide
  22. 22 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/0c780_Sitting-in-Green-preview-opt.jpg
  23. 23 https://www.behance.net/gallery/46770419/Green
  24. 24 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/0c780_Law-of-Attraction-preview-opt.jpg
  25. 25 https://dribbble.com/shots/1438617-The-Law-of-Attraction
  26. 26 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/0c780_Modelle-BBDO-Moscow-preview-opt.jpg
  27. 27 http://www.cajsaholgersson.com/BBDO-Moscow
  28. 28 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/cd5b1_Jenna-Arts-preview-opt.jpg
  29. 29 https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/i-dont-draw-perfect-characters-why-this-dutch-illustrator-prefers-clumsy-limbs/
  30. 30 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/cd5b1_tuff-shed-preview-opt.jpg
  31. 31 https://www.behance.net/gallery/29345765/Tuff-Shed
  32. 32 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/4b51d_tuff-shed-II-preview-opt.jpg
  33. 33 https://www.behance.net/gallery/29345765/Tuff-Shed
  34. 34 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/4b51d_Space-planets-stars-rockets-preview-opt.jpg
  35. 35 https://www.behance.net/gallery/26627287/Space-planets-stars-rockets-Vector-flat-set
  36. 36 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/4b51d_Lofoten-Norway-preview-opt.jpg
  37. 37 https://500px.com/photo/49968096/lofoten-by-fredrik-meling
  38. 38 http://juntakahashi.jp/category/square-modern/
  39. 39 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/d438c_Square-Modern-preview-opt.jpg
  40. 40 http://juntakahashi.jp/2016/10/06/tarzan-no-705-lsdランの底力/
  41. 41 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/d438c_Merkur-Magazine-preview-opt.jpg
  42. 42 http://orlincultureshop.com/luxembourg/
  43. 43 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/e7fef_Merkur-Magazine-II-big.jpg
  44. 44 http://orlincultureshop.com/luxembourg/
  45. 45 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/e7fef_Mount-Fuji-preview-opt.jpg
  46. 46 https://500px.com/photo/191805707/mount-fuji-by-takashi-yasui
  47. 47 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/e7fef_Light-of-a-spring-sunset-preview-opt.jpg
  48. 48 https://500px.com/photo/191738935/light-of-a-spring-sunset-by-aleksei-malygin
  49. 49 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/e7fef_sports-preview-opt.jpg
  50. 50 https://www.behance.net/gallery/28025671/Sports
  51. 51 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/e7d93_5-Seasons-preview-opt.jpg
  52. 52 https://www.behance.net/gallery/46815917/5-MUA-ARTBOOK
  53. 53 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/e7d93_5-Seasons-II-preview-opt.jpg
  54. 54 https://www.behance.net/gallery/46815917/5-MUA-ARTBOOK
  55. 55 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/e7d93_data-vis-ibm-preview-opt.jpg
  56. 56 https://dribbble.com/shots/3226536-IBM-Data-Vis-Guidelines
  57. 57 https://travelblog.expedia.ca/time-travel-destinations-posters/
  58. 58 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/1cc6b_Jurassic-Age-preview-opt.jpg
  59. 59 https://travelblog.expedia.ca/time-travel-destinations-posters/
  60. 60 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/1cc6b_City-Streets-preview-opt.jpg
  61. 61 https://dribbble.com/shots/3201715-City-Streets
  62. 62 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/1cc6b_Tin-Star-BBQ-preview-opt.jpg
  63. 63 https://dribbble.com/shots/3203522-Tin-Star-BBQ
  64. 64 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/6f557_NYU-Travel-preview-opt.jpg
  65. 65 https://dribbble.com/shots/3230795-NYU-Travel
  66. 66 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/6f557_Business-city-preview-opt.jpg
  67. 67 https://dribbble.com/shots/3231227-Business-city
  68. 68 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/6f557_LAtowersmonimalist-preview-opt.jpg
  69. 69 http://www.paolopettigiani.com/shapeguard
  70. 70 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/d2401_LAtowersmonimalist-II-preview-opt.jpg
  71. 71 http://www.paolopettigiani.com/shapeguard
  72. 72 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/d2401_Bitch-Magazine-preview-opt.jpg
  73. 73 http://www.elenikalorkoti.com/Bitch-Magazine
  74. 74 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/d2401_Red-Dwarf-sunset-preview-opt.jpg
  75. 75 https://dribbble.com/shots/3200033-Red-Dwarf-sunset
  76. 76 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/d2401_Sunset-curving-up-preview-opt.jpg
  77. 77 https://twitter.com/historylvrsclub/status/817154690177757186
  78. 78 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/ab1b5_The-Martian-II-preview-opt.jpg
  79. 79 http://www.fromupnorth.com/design/96875/oliver-barretts-poster-for-the-martian/
  80. 80 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/ab1b5_We-The-People-preview-opt.jpg
  81. 81 http://designyoutrust.com/2017/01/artist-shepard-fairey-adapts-obamas-hope-poster-for-trump-inauguration/
  82. 82 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/ab1b5_feel-good-swing-preview-opt.jpg
  83. 83 https://micheletenaglia.com/feel-good-swing/
  84. 84 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/56bb3_Lindy-Hop-preview-opt.jpg
  85. 85 https://micheletenaglia.com/feel-good-swing/
  86. 86 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/56bb3_Sky-High-Images-LA-preview-opt.jpg
  87. 87 http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/01/sky-high-images-of-los-angeles/
  88. 88 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/56bb3_Rolling-Images-of-SF-preview-opt.jpg
  89. 89 http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/12/rolling-images-of-san-franciscos-fog-against-neon-skies-shot-by-nick-steinberg/
  90. 90 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/33b28_charles-manson-preview-opt.jpg
  91. 91 https://dribbble.com/shots/3238976-Charles-Manson
  92. 92 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/33b28_Sweater-Friends-preview-opt.jpg
  93. 93 http://makethebigeye.tumblr.com/post/127633887795
  94. 94 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/33b28_Rough-Day-At-Work-preview-opt.jpg
  95. 95 http://todayilovethis.tumblr.com/post/111189001566
  96. 96 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/0209b_Hong-Kong-preview-opt.jpg
  97. 97 https://www.behance.net/gallery/46058159/Hong-Kong
  98. 98 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/0209b_Magazine-Italiana-preview-opt.jpg
  99. 99 https://www.behance.net/gallery/47624585/Magazine-Italiana
  100. 100 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/0209b_Magazine-Italiana-II-preview-opt.jpg
  101. 101 https://www.behance.net/gallery/47624585/Magazine-Italiana
  102. 102 http://www.webhostingreviewsbynerds.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/72584_architecturespain-preview-opt.jpg
  103. 103 http://www.fubiz.net/en/2017/01/30/multicolored-architectural-photography-in-spain/

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Article source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2017/02/colorful-inspiration-gray-days-illustration-photography/

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