19 Apr 2011

Artist 84: Carmen Ortiz

A brand new artist feature for you now, hailing from the beautiful Bilbao it's the phenomenal Carmen Ortiz.Carmen is that rare breed of artist who has bags of technical skill and an amazing eye for detail. Self taught, yet deft and light with her touch Carmen can distil a personality and tell a life story with just one image. She simply gets it, recognises what makes an expression and renders her subjects with such a tender grace they almost take you by surprise. She has all the clarity of an expert photographer but none of the waste, every line is cared for and her work is subtle yet has an earnestness that captures your gaze. As you lock eyes with her subject, she takes you to them, acting as a conduit you can construct your own idealised image of them. Great to have an artist who can stand up for mechanical skill over pure concept with such a beautiful technique and laser point accuracy. Certainly another bright star on the Spanish stage, It's the dedicated and skilful Carmen Ortiz.

Who are you: 
Hi! My name is Carmen Ortiz, I´m a self-taught artist born in Bilbao.

What do you do:
I do freelance work as illustrator for some magazines. I specialize in portraits drawn by hand, using graphite pencils. I'm skilled at drawing realistic, almost picture like portraits. I’m quite old fashioned in my process; everything starts with a pencil and a good photo. I like to capture features, expressions, personalities and light. Sometimes my illustrations are digitally enriched with a littletouch of color

I took some courses in web and graphic design and occasionally do commissioned works. At the moment I am focusing on selling my artwork, preparing some exhibitions and post on my blog every day.

How did you start:
I love to draw since as long as I can remember. I have always known that it was all I wanted to do. I used to spend my spare time drawing with my sisters. I began drawing portraits at the age of 14 trying to draw people pictured on magazines. I have always found people features fascinating. 

A Personal statement about you or your work: 
The road to becoming a freelance illustrator is a difficult one, but you don’t need permission or approval to be you and do what you do. My goal is to create images straight from the heart and improve day by day.

I'm used to working listening good music. Photographers such as Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Hedi Slimane, Rankin and Tom Hoops are a big influence on my work.
I also take a lot of inspiration from art, classic films, book and fashion.

My links:


  1. Wow, amazing technical skill! They really do have something surprisingly tender about them.

  2. Many thanks for your kind words and for featuring my work on your blog.