What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Total Immersion


Iban Barrenetxea

Welcome to the weirdly-elegant, exaggerated world of Spanish-born illustrator Iban Barrenetxea. Though his use of texture and muted palette makes his works look like they were made by a contemporary of John Tenniel or Edward Gorey, they are in fact modern works of art. Rather than using pencil and paint, Barrenetxea in fact creates his gorgeous illustrations digitally. He does things with a Wacom tablet and Photoshop that I can only dream about.

Though he trained and formerly worked as a fashion illustrator, Barrenetxea prefers to work on book illustrations. His spin on children’s classics like Snow White, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and his work on more adult books by the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, and Henry James are all moody and whimsical and jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Acknowledging that he can be easily distracted, Barrenetxea likes to fully immerse himself in a single project at a time, trying to limit his surroundings and cultural references to things that inspire his current project. That must be a lovely way of working!

“If I illustrate Dickens, I only read things from the Victorian era. If I branch out, I get interested in other things.”

You can explore the wonderful world of Iban Barrenetxea on his website.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

10 thoughts on “Total Immersion

  1. Not sure if I would want to have any hang on a wall in my house but I can sure admire the art and effort that went into each one. One more time Donna got me to smile all day. Enjoyed looking at each one and could not pick out just one. I liked all of them. Hal

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful…..but I don’t have a clue how this is done. Great imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I look at these and my mind goes to Monty Python. Which is not a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the strong use of shapes and forms and the effective and efficient use of the limited colour palette. The subjects certainly possess and antiquated quality but there is also something mid century modern about them and, then again, something contemporary. Very skilfully done.


  5. I feel like I have seen some of these before–especially the bicycle one….I just cannot think of where or when.

    Liked by 1 person

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