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Leila Duly is a textile print designer and illustrator based in East London. Her work incorporates floral, natural and wildlife scenes developed from pencil sketches and hand-drawn in ink. Leila is inspired by the English countryside, the vibrant flower markets near her home, Victorian etchings and a love of bright vivid colour.
How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I am a textile print designer and have spent most of my career illustrating flowers for the fashion Industry- I always loved drawing, and have been doing it professionally for the past 18 years.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I usually go to the flower markets near where I live in London. There is Columbia Road and also a couple of wholesale markets I like to visit. I love to draw from the real flowers and leaves in front of me, that way, when the drawing is coloured it really comes to life. I always erase the pencil lines after. I rough sketch in pencil first, working out layouts and composition. I do end up putting in quite a lot of detail, just to get the angles of everything right before I draw the final lines in ink.
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
I like to be at home, with peace and quiet, so I can concentrate. My very favourite place to sit and draw is my wooden desk which I’ve had since I was little, its so comforting and makes me feel relaxed!
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
A really sharp pencil and fineliner ink pens. I use a 0.05 size for the flower drawings.
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
I would say the Floribunda front cover- I had free reign to put in as many of my favourite flowers, I really enjoyed myself and my work space smelt amazing with all the fresh blooms!
If you are stuck for colour ideas, look up the real flowers and try a naturalistic colour palette, this will always look great. Try adding shading to the flowers and leaves to add depth to your colouring. You can look at my Instagram (@leiladuly) and Facebook @leiladulydesign pages to see other colourist’s version for inspiration, there are some beautiful, unique colourings out there that never fail to amaze me!