Yliana Paolini's Neo-Traditional Menagerie

Yliana Paolini's Neo-Traditional Menagerie

Cute and cuddly critters to melt your heart.

With so many animal portraits in the neo-traditional style, an artist has to dig deep into their back of tricks to make their work stand out. Yiana Paolini does just that as she pushes her illustrations of birds, beasts, and fish as far as she can. She creates tattoos of members from the animal kingdom in a fashion that makes them appear full of life and incredibly inviting to the eye, so get ready to have your spirits uplifted by some furry and feathered new friends.

Though her animal portraits all feature the key aesthetic qualities — a mixture of line weights and heavily saturated, gradually blended colorations — that are expected in the neo-traditional style, she employs a few techniques that enhance the beauty of her body art and stylistically distance her work from the many others who illustrate adorable creatures in the style. For instance, notice how not all of her linework is solely in black ink. If you look closely at the fur and whiskers of the wolf above, for example, you'll see how she's laid out some of the lines in grey and white, which gives the canine an even more plush and soft appearance overall. 

Another way in which Paolini breaks the mold with her portraits is how she embellishes and accessorized them, virtually none of her tattoos feature a standalone figure. She tends to nestle her primary images among numerous other lifeforms to give them a more dynamic presence on their collectors' bodies. She goes the extra distance in her designs, surrounding foxes in holly buses, clams in coral, and all sorts of other creatures in bushels of flowers. Sometime she even incorporates manmade object into her illustrations of animals, as seen in the one of a Siamese cat accompanied by a pair of elegant scissors.

If you'd like your heart warmed by more of Paolini's cute critters, then patter your way to her Instagram. She works in Luxembourg and can be reached at ylianapaolini@gmail.com for consultations should you want your own animal companion. If you'd like to see some fine art as well, consider hitting up her website.

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