Malika Favre

Favre's use of colour and shape to suggest object, faces, and scenarios with a minimal approach is really interesting.The power of suggestion is smartly employed, all the shapes together suggest thickly detailed scenes, where our imagination is allowed to give each piece a sense of largeness through the absence of lines and object boundaries.

Tove Jansson

This is such a full and rich scene, magical, busy, fantastical and in love with the moon and natural delights (something which I can relate to). There are so many little characters and they are all so important and special. This picture is very comforting. It reminds of when I think about the whole universe and how tiny I am inside it.

Nebojša Despotović

Struttura del Paesaggio, 2009
This piece is so full of magic. It's like looking inside a dream, in that it almost looks like a simple landscape but is just subtly warped and confusing and hazy. The textures, the snowy landscape, the shadowy feel, evocative of aliens, goalposts, and ghosts. This piece really shows how atmospheric a painting can be with strange shapes and a hint of a landscape.

Michael Carson

Carson has such a captivating painting style which walks the tightrope between simplicity and complexity. I love the forms and the soft brown/grey shades, the delicately introduced peachy tones on the skin, the subtletly and depth of the skin contrasted with the more simplistic, flat tones in the hair.

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

Janet and Anne captured the public's hearts from the 1950s onwards with their neotenized fairy tale illustrations. With such pretty and perfect scenarios, filled with cute children with rosy cheeks and oversized eyes they put their visual dream worlds into children's books and minds. My favourite picture of theirs is the one above because I love the relationships between all of the creatures, and how peaceful the children look. It's so enchantingly drawn, with lovely woodland colours and tenderness throughout.

Otto Dix

Cat in the Poppy Field (Katze im Mohnfeld), 1968

The messy, loose feel of the pastels is (like Karel Appel's work) playful. You can see the outlines through the poppy petals, the exposed bones of the piece. The colour choice is really interesting. The colours are bright and unblended, but without a harshness. They are quite soft colours used to depict quite a sweet scene of this cat with enlarged, cartoonish eyes, stalking through similarly enlarged flowers. It reminds me of Studio Ghibli movies. Quite a contrast to Dix's dark depictions of war scenes and stark portraits.

Karel Appel

Bedized Pudding Canadian Suite, 1979
What I love about Karel Appel's work is her bright, rich, brilliant colours and disproportionate characters - all big noses and primary colours. Her work seems to have such a carefree spirit to it - collaged and painted imps.

Each painting looks so playful and looking at them gives me a great urge to get out lots of coloured paper and paint and make a big, beautiful, fun mess.

Eva Stalinski - personality through movement

stalinski @ tumblr
There's a brilliant bendiness to these green folks (even their hair has it!) and I love it. The flow of it, extending even to the visible pen marks that make up the colouring, those really pleasing curves. Curving limbs are definitely something I've played with in the past and am somewhat returning to. A few years ago I drew my characters with long, curling limbs just like this, and there's a sort of inherent expressiveness to that which I'm trying to re-introduce to some of my work, in a more subtle capacity. Curling limbs suggest a great, sweeping movement. It's almost as if movement itself is personality.

Toad - Super Mario Bros. 3

Toad is a great example of a very cute character. What drew me to him most of all was his animation (as detailed above). The animation seems very nuanced. He seems to be a little worried, shouting like a kid. He is energetic and excited. He squishes down to a crouching form, a sweet little mushroom boy.

Toad is a colourful, expressive creature. The restrictions of pixel graphics have produced incredibly expressive work and show that simplicity of design does not denote lack of depth. The ideal cartoon form must strike a balance which allows it this depth of character in spite of its simplistic form.