Fresh fashion watercolours by Kelly Beeman that portray colourful characters in a vivid world

Kelly Beeman is a Brooklyn-based artist and fashion illustrator with an unmistakable style (featured previously). Completely self-taught, she likes to combine mundane objects and places with beautiful, mysterious subjects. "I enjoy creating contradictions; a very controlled painting, for instance, that is very expressive. Or a subject that doesn't quite fit in to her surroundings. Or maybe work that is very flat but extremely detailed, so you see something that is simultaneously very simple but very elaborate."

Her diverse body of work consists of simple, black and white contour drawings of nudes that evolve into fully-rendered watercolour paintings portraying a vivid world composed on clothing, everyday objects, nature, and interior spaces.

"Fashion for me is this very powerful tool that enhances the characters that I paint," Kelly adds. "So I use it to create personalities and stories. Before I started working this way, I was painting nudes, and most of my work still begins that way, with a nude figure that I 'dress' as the piece develops, usually according to whatever I feel that subject would wear.

"Because these subjects are invented, clothing is a major part of constructing them and transforming them into people with stories, preferences, opinions, context. Sometimes I enjoy putting them somewhere – backgrounds function the way the clothes do, conveying information about the person in the painting, but sometimes making them feel out of place too."

Kelly's work has been published in Vogue China, Vogue Korea, Marie Claire Italia, InStyle, Interview Magazine and Numero Tokyo. Clients include J.W. Anderson, Loewe and Tory Burch.

"Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes it's something specific – I recently went to the Prado Museum in Madrid and felt very inspired there by all of the Renaissance paintings – but usually I'm merely responding to my thoughts and don't feel especially 'inspired' in the typical sense.

"With my watercolours, I think of each new painting as a view inside a world that I am gradually making up and I am inspired by adding to it, expanding the view inside. Lately, I've been obsessed with 'found photos' and can't stop looking at some of those images will inevitably turn up somewhere."

Discover more of Kelly's work at


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