Dear Santa..

by Patsyfox on June 3, 2024


Forget slippers, mani-pedis, facials and massages (I love all of those things), this Christmas I’m going up a shelf and asking Santa if he wouldn’t mind gifting me my new most desirable word – BRACHIOPLASTY. “Just do tricep push-ups!” my arse – my tuck-shop arms came curtesy of my mother and unless someone in a white coat brandishing a scalpel intervenes, they will be buried with me.

So it’s no wonder that my favourite of the set of illustrations I did for RePlastic Surgery happened to teach me the name of what would set things right…brachioplasty…sigh.

This project was fascinating as a challenge in terms of media and also the subject. I’m a fashion illustrator, we make everything fabulous! But these illustrations each represented a surgical procedure and needed to be real. Well, real but on the best-of-real side of the real-dial.

When I looked at the sort of illustrations the brief set as a standard, there was something missing from all of them, namely LINE. Eek! I am a line-girl all the way so I had to rethink my whole approach and method. To define edges with only watercolour and not simply do a lovely line sketch and throw paint at it (simplification of the process, but you get it I’m sure), meant wrangling the wild beast that watercolour paints can be, while trying my best not to let it look overworked. Oh and not to mention honestly showing the post-surgery appearances in a way that was both attractive and honest. Simples! But not really..

But as always is the way, I find a way through and learn a lot along the way. I was happy with the outcome, as was the client, so the images were sent off to find a home on their website. The only thing I will gripe about (and this is actually a big gripe for me because it has happened a number of times), is the client putting my illustrations on a coloured ground, and someone in-house doing a crude job of cutting them out. Please universe may this stop happening to artists! You can’t make a hard edge from the organic edges of watercolours that are painted on white paper – it simply is not possible. The best you can do is for the artist to use some fancy photoshop footwork to do it nicely. But for this you need to ask them and pay them. Letting your graphic designer do it is going to lead to heartache. Or heartsick as J-Lo called her recent tour-cancelling vibes. I would point you to the outcome but I’m too deep in denial – please instead just peruse my favourites of the set right here..


Breast-Lift-watercolor-painting-Angie-Rehe Plastic-surgery-beauty-illustration-Angie-Rehe