History and humour marry together beautifully in the illustrations of Martin Hargreaves, and his versatile style has seen him creating everything from pastiche images mimicking the great masters to fantastical beasts and still life paintings. You’ll find his work in advertising, children’s books, magazines and newspapers, and even at Hampton Court Palace.
It’s no surprise to learn that Martin’s greatest inspiration comes from classical painters like William Hogarth, Hans Holbein, Rembrandt and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. In fact, he says that if he could travel back in time he would visit the 18th century, and alongside his love of Renaissance artwork he also loves classical music.
Martin works from a shed in his garden, with large windows through which he can see apple trees and the rolling hills of East Sussex. If he ever gets creative block, he likes to dig in his vegetable garden, or look after his many pets, which include two dogs, three horses, two guinea pigs and seven chickens.
Martin has a BA Illustration from Brighton Polytechnic (now Brighton University).
His approach and the media he uses vary from project to project, but he always begins drawing with a simple pen on paper until he has an idea of what direction the image will take. Martin works in traditional media – oil paints, watercolour, pen and ink – and is also adept at making changes digitally as required. The 2B pencil is his all-time favourite art tool.
Martin’s inspiration comes from the old masters, and the styles he works in follow on from that. In his portfolio you’ll see fine paintings that look just like Rembrandts, and others that are more like 18th century engravings or 19th century book illustrations. In short, he will come up with a style that suits the brief.