Ricardo Fumanal: Illustrations


Spanish illustrator, Ricardo Fumanal has gained himself an impressive client list including Fred Perry, Revlon and Vogue as his work ranges between Fine Art and Fashion in his unique illustrative style. Fumanal’s professional areas delve within traditional drawing such as graphite, pens and ink to more media based work. I find his work completely mesmerizing as he refrains from allowing colour to interfere with his message/concepts. Fumanal intensifies his work with reality and clean cut drawings which I believe work well to communicate the message clearly with the audience refraining from misinterpretation to arise. I found Fumanals work extremely inspiring as it cleverly blends between reality and the illusions of fantasy that can be gained through illustration work. Fumanal’s work is often seen within advertisements and magazine editorial work, as I am working within this design area I found Fumanal’s work extremely interesting in order to understand how illustration can successfully communicate with the audience in this media area. Fumanal transforms images originally found on the internet into his own amazing designs, almost making them unrecognisable to the original. I do find his process interesting however I would personally be more appealed if he created the images from his own imagination rather than simply using one image and adding features to it, this is clearly a process that allows him to gain the realism within each of his pieces. A huge element of Fumanal’s work that proves successful is his talent to perfectly suit his drawings to the reason behind their creation. The message through his work of the product that the designer/client is advertising is clear in each illustration, this may be through colour, enhanced detail and/or medium. I prefer Fumanal’s back and white drawings to his colour designs as they add a large amount of seriousness and refrain from producing a cartoon style of approach. As my work has a serious tone to the issue that I am working with, this style of work inspired me greatly throughout experimenting with tones to use within my project. I believe that these tones communicate an extensive realistic message to the audience and the delicacy used within the illustrations clearly focusses on appealing to a more feminine audience. This could be a huge drawback if the client aims to appeal to a wider/mixed audience, like in my project I aim to communicate with a wide audience due to the seriousness and importance of the issue/concept.

In a lot of his work, Fumanal uses colour as a key element in order to highlight target areas of the scene such as advertising products and/or emphasising main words in a message. The contrasts of colour and black and white areas of the scenes depicted and created by Fumanal proves extremely appealing as the contrasts of colour attract the audiences attentions greatly and successfully gains their attention to then communicate with them. When looking at one of Fumanal’s pieces the purity of the white and bold, harsh black lining and shades work perfectly to attract the attentions of the audience. I find that the purity of the white creates an extremely simplistic/minimalistic scene, very successful for campaigns such as beauty, fashion and themes similar to this. This colour scheme would not work successfully with many projects however in a fashion illustrative style this design works very well. For my work for instance this design scheme may not work as it produces a clean cut, pretty, feminine approach to the issue.

Using intense detail in his illustrations, Fumanal is able to create a very realistic scene in order to communicate the message of the issue clearly with the audience. I find the sever shading and darkened tones very sophisticated and serious, however they are used in a less harsh tone. Personally, I prefer to delve within darkened tones like Fumanal however I believe that if used within an issue as serious as mine it may not work as successfully as a simple photograph and the seriousness of the issue is a main element that would be more successfully communicated through a photograph than through an illustration. Lines are crucial within Fumanals work. Due to the style and techniques that this designer uses such as the traditional skills and process, lines are kept simple and bold so that the features of the image are clearly communicated with the audience allowing the message to be clear and successful.

Main elements of this work that I find highly appealing is the use of black and white tones and intense shading. Fumanal’s work produces a graphic style but through illustrations and the heightened depth created by tones work extremely well to gain the audiences attention. Looking at a lot of this designers work I find the human images a lot more successful than the animals! It is clear to understand how this designer produces very fashion based scenes and styles of illustrations and I find them more successful than his advertising work. Described as having a “confrontation between figures and background”, I find that the beautiful contrast between tones and the elements between the foreground and background works extremely well as he uses a range of resources such as tropical items, spontaneous icons and tangling elements to create unique designs and scenes.

It is clear that in a lot of Fumanal’s work he is aiming to communicate the realism of the image and scene to the audience through a very soft, simplistic and extremely realistic approach. Inspirations within an artists work can be crucial to their imagination and the success of the work. A lot of fashion based media have been inspiring to this designer ranging from photography to catwalks and casting and this can clearly be seen in a lot of his work! I find Fumanal’s work successful when communicating with his audience however I believe that in an advertising format simple type would be a lot more enhancing and successful when communicating to the audience, to sell the product. For instance a simple sentence, or the brands name, slogan. I believe that this work could be furthered a great deal and could be improved to work better in the advertising media, in order to simply produce a nice illustrations that viewers may admire I believe that this designer creates his work well. When advertising a product I believe that using photography works a lot more successfully and illustrations work better to produce an image that looks appealing to the audience.


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