Bram Stoker & The Brothers Grimm: Victorian Goth Love

Here are my latest illustrations for my Writers Portraits series. This series is a ode to my literary heroes of the (mostly) Victorian Era. These authors help us all celebrate our inner goth hearts and souls.

First off,  say a hearty hello to the Brothers Grimm!

The Brothers Grimm brought German and Eastern European folk tales to the world. Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm dedicated their lives to researching and rewriting some of the most macabre and spooky tales the world has ever known. Without their hard work, I wonder what kinds of stories we would be telling around the campfire and scaring our kids to death.

Debra Styer, A Moonlit Tale of Grimm, 2015

Grimm Sketch...Wilhelm on the left, Jacob on the right

Brother Grimm Print

Look into their eyes...Closeup

The next portrait is of the incredible Irish novelist Bram Stoker!

Bram Stoker, of course, is best known for being the creator of Dracula. Like the Grimm Brothers, Bram had a love of German folklore. Count Dracula is one of the most wicked yet loved literary characters of all time. Could you imagine a world without Vampires? Thank you for all the nightmares,  Mr. Stoker.

Debra Styer, Bram Stoker and the Vampire's Kiss,  2015

Bram Stoker Print

Bram Stoker Sketch

The original illustrations were hand painted in layers with watercolor and gouache over my graphite drawings.

The Brothers Grimm print and the Bram Stoker art prints are now available in the shop.

Who should I paint next?

William Shakespeare (The Great Bard): Writers Portrait Love

Just a quick post to show off my latest writers portrait illustration the unbelievably talented, William Shakespeare! He was really fun to draw and it was great to break out of the Victorian era for a bit and jump back a few hundred years to the Elizabethan Age.

Debra Styer, Much Ado About Shakespeare, 2015

William Shakespeare Literary Portrait

William Shakespeare Literary Portrait

It is a special challenge to draw portraits of people before the invention of photography. All of the existing paintings of him done are so different. For reference, I used the younger

Cobbe portrait

from 1610,

and the more traditional

Droeshout Portrait

from 1622. I suppose I like the older version of Shakespeare myself. I think we all have a certain vision of writing legends in our minds. I hope I was able to capture a good creation of the Bard.

Of course, he is now available in the shop! I hope you like him!! Hope you like him!

New Writers Portrait Illustration: Miss Emily Bronte!

Here's my latest painting in my Writers Portrait series, the lovely Emily Bronte! She is best know for writing one the classics of English literature, the heartbreaking book, Wuthering Heights!

Debra Styer, Emily Bronte and her Wuthering Heights, 2014

“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

When painting her, I imagined her standing amongst the windswept moors featured at the center of her book. She is hand painted with watercolor and gouache on illustration board. It was pretty interesting to try to get a good likeness because all the portraits of Emily are different. But I feel that my painting managed to capture a good glimpse of her. What do you think?

In reality, Emily Bronte died young, at age 30, of tuberculosis, and sadly didn't have much a love life of her own (that we know about anyway). But she managed to created two of the most passionate, yet sad, characters ever created. Heathcliff and Catherine will remain one of the worlds most beloved romantic, and tortured, couples in literature.

You can find my Emily Bronte art print in my shop!

Hope you like her! Who should I paint next?

New Writers Portrait Illustration: Lewis Carroll and the Cheshire Cat

Here is my latest portrait for my illustrated watercolor series, "The Writers Project". Say hello to Charles Dodson AKA Lewis Carroll one of my all time favorite writers. I was always in love with his writing as a teenager and as I grew older, I found a deep love of his photography.

“There is a place, like no place on earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am.” 
Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll by Oscar Gustav Rejlander, 1863

Lewis is now available here in the shop!

Bonus: I've included a few of my favorite photographs by Lewis Carroll:

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Xie Kitchin Asleep on Sofa, 1874

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Xie Kitchin Asleep on Sofa, 1874

Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell as "The Beggar Maid", 1858

Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell as "The Beggar Maid", 1858

Lewis Carroll, St. George and the Dragon, 1875

Lewis Carroll, St. George and the Dragon, 1875

Here's an very interesting article on reputation of Lewis Carroll through the years.



In other news

, I've started working at my

husbands' sign shop

part time. And I must admit, I think it will be really good for me. As a freelance illustrator, I spend a lot of time by working by myself. I think you really need to have the right personality be able do that well. I given my freelance illustration worldalmost four years of my life trying to make it work, and I think it does to some point, but now I am ready to get back to working and being around people. I truly am a people person. I think I have learned enough to be able to balance my illustration career with my job.

Quick question...Is anyone else more successful at getting work done when they have less time to procrastinate?'s to more work, excepting new challenges and finding a better balance in my life.

Introducing Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens...My New Writers Portraits!

Here's my latest illustrations for my series, "The Writers Project". I'm having such an amazing time creating  these portraits. It gives me time to study the faces of my literary heroes. It is kind of like reconnecting with old friends.

Meet Charles...

Charles Dickens started my obsession with the Victorian Era . He showed me people and world I'd never new existed  and he did it with such compassion. Something that seems pretty rare these days. He grew up poor and spent his life trying to help those he could.

"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to each other".
Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens in Blue by Debbie Styer 2013

Charles Dickens by Herbert Watkins, 1858

Charles is now available here in my shop!

And welcome Virginia...

Virginia Woolf has always been inspiration. Her courage and ability to speak the truth in her writing is both courageous and so sad. Virginia's writing paved a way for me find away of taking myself serious as a artist and a women. I'll always be thankful for her brilliant essay, "A Room of One's Own".
"For most of history, anonymous was a woman."
Virginia Woolf

The Sad Eyes of Virginia Woolf, by Debbie Styer 2013

This lovely Virginia Woolf print is also available in my shop.

I would love to do a bunch of these writers portraits. Who is your favorite writer? Maybe I'll paint them next...