My portfolio

This website is effectively a blog but to make it easier for you to access all my images in one post, I have uploaded my favourites here for you to browse through, in no particular order.

Portrait of fairy queen holding lemons, mint with a bramble background
Graphite frame showing off the yummy way that the Victorians used to decorate.
Graphite illustration of Les Mills sportswear with gold background

A graphite and digital drawing of a mocktail containing tansy, rose, lemon and apple.
Hoorn – a city guide

Picnic in graphite and watercolour
Illustration for the Sunday Times on the cover of the Parent Power supplement

Graphite illustration of the amount of stuff consumers acrue
Graphite and digital illustration of pineapple
Editorial feature: “It’s all about shopping”

The year of the horse
2017 is the year of the rooster

Dogs in socks
A couple in love
Mixed media portrait of Debbie Harry, lead sinder of Blondie
Violet greenear hummingbird, watercolour. Sold
A private commission in progress. A pencil and acrylic painting. Spooooky!
British politician Boris Johnson in pencil and ink



The laughing nun

This is an illustration I’ve completed for a Dutch magazine illustrating the connection between religion and emotional well being. As I quite often do, I’ve linked detailed pencil work (and watercolour) with a block of colour for punch and drama. This time, I’ve added the block colour with acrylic but I often will add it afterwards digitally.

While I love intricate work, with the need to keep costs down as I am paid by the hour, I need to have an illustrative style that is appealing to art directors on tight deadlines!

A bit more about me and my work

Clara Nicoll – illustrator

I’ve shown examples of my work on this site but haven’t really gone into the things that make me love my job. So here are a few things about my style and my strengths, in no particular order:

1. Portraiture. We humans are amazing creatures and our ability to read other faces and distinguish expressions is so precise that in portraiture, there is no room for error. When you’ve been commissioned to draw an illustration of a celebrity or politician, it has to be exact. And I can do that. However, a slick car or something equally inorganic can be a challenge too but in a very different way.
2. Realism. Yes, I include splashes and stripes of colour into my work to create my art and give it my style but my precise work is usually the backbone of my pieces. There’s no point just copying, you have to add something of yourself too.
3. Other people. It’s a bit of a pity that I have two big likes work wise and they don’t gel together easily. I love illustration and I love interacting with people. It means that when I do meet people, I am able to get on well with them and work together.
4. My skin is thicker than a rhino’s. You wouldn’t do this job if you were a snowflake.
5. The state of deep mental absorption I get when I’m working. I’ve had other jobs in my life where I have sat at my desk watching the clock and waiting. And waiting. And waiting. One of my favourite things about illustration is the quietness that takes over and before you know it, your fingers are hurting and you’ve forgotten to blink for half an hour and there is someone on the page in front of you that you made.
6. Deadlines. I’ve never missed a deadline. I’m the person who will turn up for a train two hours early, just in case. I’d rather get things in early rather than leave to the last minute, and that has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
7. I like making stuff. That pride a child gets when they hold something up and shout, ‘I made this!’. Well, I still get that feeling every time.

You can’t put lipstick on a pig. I heard that rude expression somewhere. But this fancy sow is wearing a crown and looking fabulous!

Well, where do we begin?

The purpose of this blog is to showcase previous and existing work in my area of expertise – illustration. I have loads of great stuff in my office/cupboards/behind the sofa and have done great stuff for other people but none of that matters a jot if no one knows about it! Over the coming months I will be updating this blog with all manner of lovely things so please don’t be shy and say hi or send me a comment. It’s lovely to hear from you!

If you want to collaborate or commission me for any particular projects – you are very welcome to get in touch.

T: UK +44 (0)7854 346033 / NL+31 (0)627285702



A private commission in progress. A pencil and acrylic painting. Spooooky!
A private commission in progress. A pencil and acrylic painting. Spooooky!
Half way through the finished article