Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Chessmates ©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, 2004
©Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, 2004

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law is a fantasy illustrator. The bulk of her work depicts fairies, dragons, foxes, and various nature themes. I can't remember when I was introduced to her work, but I can remember picking up a book in a book store back in 2004, and buying it just because I recognized her work on the cover. A lot of her paintings are for book covers, and I believe she has done some role playing book illustration as well.

This is my favorite piece by her. It is pretty typical of her style, with tiny intricate detail in the leaves and textures of the bark of trees, contrasted against pretty large expanses of salt speckled water color washes. Her color pallets tend to be a mix of earth hues, sometimes with some purples or brilliant blues thrown in to contrast whatever slightly yellow or orange hue the browns take on. Her pieces are generally very narrative and tell a story all their own without being accompanied by any text. I particularly love the narrative of this piece, which makes you feel like an ordinary forest just waits for you to turn your back, and then returns to its whimsical life it was enjoying before you interrupted it with your darn reality.


  1. This is such a pretty, whimsical illustration. There is way too much information here to absorb in one sitting, almost like a whole chapter of a book instead of just a sentence. I love the soft, translucent coloration. It seems to be a very well balanced piece, and the lines make your eye move around and downward. I would love to see this work bigger so I could see all the details, it's really quite lovely!

  2. While I do enjoy her flowing compositions, I wish she would push her medium further. It seems that most (if not all) of her pieces are in that light, soft style, which is the stereotypical watercolor look... I'd like to see her do something nice and dark for a change.

  3. Her pictures are amazing in terms of complex illustration. I love designs where there so many things going on in a picture, makes it feel like the painter/drawer really took time to make it. It choice of soft, elegant, and bright colors enhances the picture to show lively atmosphere.

  4. The style she uses, with the lines and coloring reminds me so much of classic story books.A very fascinating piece, rich with that certain type of playful fancifulness you don't see as much anymore outside of childhood.

  5. Am I the only one reminded of John Bauer's style here? Sure Pui-Mun Law's image is lighter and a tad more colorful, but the overall softness of lines, not to mention the subject matter definitely brings me back to the works of that Swedish genius.