Background design tutorial #2

Hi, my name is Leo de Wijs and I’m an art director and concept artist from the Netherlands, specialised in background design. I usually work on commercial projects that are difficult to share with the world. So when I find the opportunity to do some personal research and artwork I like to share what I learned.

Part 1. Inspiration.

Visiting the other kind of zoo.

For a recent animation project I was involved in making and supervising a lot of background art set in nature. This makes you think hard about what shapes, structures, colours and textures you... Read more »

Keeping an illustrated travel journal


One of the beliefs I hold dear is that the only way to grow and evolve as a visual artist is to study for the entirety of your working career. Some of my biggest inspirations – artists like James Gurney, P.J. Lynch and Wouter Tulp – make no secret of the fact that they spend considerable time on everything from plain air landscape studies to regular figure drawing sessions.

1. Get back to study

In 2011, a few years after graduating, some commercial illustrations jobs confronted me with the feeling that I had studied real life too... Read more »

On background art 1


If you’re new to this site: Hi! I’m a Dutch art director and concept artist and I spend most of my time working on a variety of creative projects in animation, education and business. It’s really interesting stuff I would love to share with the world all the time, but unfortunately a lot of what I make involves information my clients consider pretty sensitive, so I usually can’t. Still, I’d love to share some of my insights and fascinations with you – my dear readers (hopefully there’s more than one of you). I plan to blog whenever I find the... Read more »

Pictoplasma 2015


Pictoplasma is a fantastic multidisciplinary festival celebrating the ‘character’ in illustration, animation and design. I try to attend if I see the change – it’s always a great boost for inspiration and to find creative focus.

It entails 3 days of lectures by a great variation of speakers, an exhibition and aligned events. And what’s more, it’s held in Berlin, one of the most inspiring cities I know. In between lectures I took the opportunity to sketch my surroundings.

In between Projects

Earlier this month I’ve been wrapping up a big and important project, and now it’s about time to spend some quality time with my website and leave my plant friends alone for some time….