Illustrator Mercedes deBellard on her stunning celebrity portraits

Mercedes shared her portraits on Pinterest and Tumblr, and was given her first commission a few months later. She now works for Warner Brothers and Penguin Random House among other publications.

Spanish freelance illustrator Mercedes deBellard started drawing celebrity portraits and posting them online while studying for her degree. These were widely shared on platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr, and a couple of months later she was given her first commission. She now works for the likes of Warner Brothers, Penguin Random House and The Telegraph as well as a number of magazine publications – receiving high praise for her flawless, detailed portraits.

Now signed with Folio Illustration Agency and based in Madrid, Mercedes has been crowned one of this year’s up-and-coming illustrators. We can see why.

Her stunning portraits capture the soul and image of a person with an elegant, expressive style. Drawing everything from Twin Peak characters to Cara Delevingne, Mercedes has cut out a successful niche for herself.

Take a look at her illustrations in this feature. 

This image is part of her portrait series for Stylist magazine.

To create her artworks, she uses a graphics tablet and Adobe Photoshop. Every now and then she’ll start with a pencil sketch, and the digitise the image using pencil textures.

"I always start by looking for reference images, creating a folder full of things that inspire me," she says.

"It can be a colour palette, plant motifs or just some photographs of the person I'm going to draw. With all this material I start sketching, mostly in Photoshop. When I'm happy with the sketch, I can start the final art."

Image: Part of Mercedes' portraits for department store El Corte Ingles

But it’s not just portraits that Mercedes can turn her hand to. She’s always been fascinated by nature.

"Animals are what I like most in the world," she says. "I would love to focus more on the relationship between people and animals in my work. It is a very important subject for me." 

Image: From her #animalscompilation series

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Mercedes has recently finished a portrait series for Stylist magazine, and a personal compilation of highly-textured, and very adorable, animal drawings.

She’s hoping to expand her work into children’s illustration, so watch this space.

Image: Equilibrio 

For portrait tips, check out:

Image: Breaking Bad portrait for Cinemania

Image: For David Galan's Redry novel

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Image: Part of Mercedes' portraits for department store El Corte Ingles

Image: From her #animalscompilation series

Image: Portrait of actress Margaret Lanterman as the Twin Peaks character Log Lady.

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Image: Portrait of Tim Burton for Cinemania cover