Herb Leonhard was born in Germany but grew up in the United States where he lives today with his wife, son, two horses, four cats and a plethora of chickens. A childhood spent within the pages of beautifully illustrated books and comics led Herb to a love of illustration and artists including the Pre-Raphaelites, Maxfield Parrish, Alphonse Mucha and Brian Froud. Now with a career in illustration spanning over thirty years, Herb Leonhard has illustrated over fifty books and earned numerous awards and international acclaim.
How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I’ve been drawing constantly since about the age of ten, and I started by tracing and colouring characters from the Marvel Comics that I grew up with. It kind of all grew out of that seed.
Where do you get your inspiration?
All over the place really: music, literature, films and nature mostly.
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
I have a studio where most of the technical work is done, but the initial ideas and sketches can happen anywhere.
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
For the drawings I generally use Sharpie pens, the colouring usually Prismacolor pencils and the painting is acrylic on board (with a little digital “sweetening” added in post-production).
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
There were several murals that my wife & I painted on our favourite local book store featuring my dragons and fairies, it was more play than work and they’ve been very popular.
Don’t worry about staying inside the lines, paint what you feel and think outside the box.