Kachmarska Ira is an illustrator and architect out of Lviv, Ukraine. This burgeoning artist recently shared her sketchbook for 2018, revealing a new tendency towards color in her impressive, growing body of work. Previous work from Kachmarska has always shown a run of minimalism towards the use of color, relying largely on the play between swaths of black, the natural grain of the medium used and an accent of one shade of red or yellow. Her illustrations from 2018 show Ira leaving behind her attachment for black backgrounds and introduces new, dominant base colors to her skilled line work.

Ultra magenta drawing on sketchbook

Ira’s new affinity for color captures a greater sense of melancholic whimsy that beforehand had been far less pronounced, more dominated by melancholy. The inclusion of dominant colors influences the spirit of each of Ira’s pieces in the sketchbook. The first piece she presents depicts a scene of a melancholy woman with a long slender neck, standing in the foreground of a tree line, clouds overhead. A giraffe lurks through the trees as silhouette, kindred to the woman depicted here with her exaggerated neck. The trees, the clouds and the woman are all the grain of the medium Ira illustrated on. The rest of the space, the space surrounding the clouds and the trees, is all hand colored in giraffe yellow. It’s a whimsical package all-around with every element of the work influencing every other part, all of it dominated and determined by one specific color. As the sketchbook continues, Ira reveals a progression of scenes where this use of dominant color is played with and subverted. It makes the experience of viewing the series, one of exploration and discovery, constantly paying off.

Drawing of a girl with a long neck

Drawing of a woman in the forest

Purple drawing on purple pages sketchbook

Drawing of a factory

Drawing of a church in a sketchbook