What do you do if you’d like a Matisse to hang in your dining room but haven’t a hope of buying an original? Well, if you’re Bob Venables, you paint your own. By experimenting with different styles, he’s turned the art skills he discovered, into a career as a pastiche illustrator.
Bob has worked on many high profile advertising campaigns, including the Profit Hunter ads for Artemis, which have run for over a decade. His influences are as varied as the styles he works in and he enjoys everything from American Lowbrow to the Orientalists, NC Wyeth, Hogarth and Van der Weyden. Parallel to his passion for recreating painting styles past and present, he also enjoys house restoration, studying and putting back original details and features wherever he can.
Originally from Birmingham, Bob worked in London and established himself on the advertising scene before moving to the Isle of Wight, where life is a little more relaxed. His daily school run is literally along the beach.
After studying Graphic Design at the Central School of Art and Design (now Central St Martin’s) and gaining a BA, Bob did archaeological illustration for a year and then became a freelancer.
Bob works in a whole range of media, depending on what’s required by the commission. On the traditional side he uses oil, acrylic, alkyd, watercolour, and pen and ink, but he’s also happy working digitally on his Wacom Cintiq.
Primarily a pastiche illustrator, Bob is adept at recreating just about any look – from 1930s propaganda-style posters to old maps, and from neoclassical still lifes to jolly 19th century book illustrations.