Frequently Asked Questions

Do you sell original art or prints?
Where can I buy your books?
Have you illustrated any storybooks?
Do you accept commissions?
Can I use your art?
Could you make an art tutorial?
Which art media and materials do you use?
Which camera and lens do you use?
Did you study art or are you self-taught?

Do you sell original art or prints?

Yes I do! I sell originals artworks in my own Art & Books shop. And a large selection of my art prints and other print products are available on Society6.

Where can I buy your books?

My self published art books – Woodlands, A Month of Ink and Dusk Magic Colouring Art Book – are available in my Art & Books shop. Other books that I’ve illustrated are available in various bookstores, depending on the publisher (online purchasing options can usually be found by entering the book’s title and my name in your preferred search engine). Please contact the publisher if you have more questions on a specific book’s availability.

Have you illustrated any storybooks?

Yes, I’ve illustrated some children’s books, fantasy books and folktales. You can take a look at some of my previous book projects in my portfolio over here. Find a full list of my publications here.

Do you accept commissions?

Not taking any new freelance projects right now, sorry! I’m currently focused on my own artwork and running my business. All in all, I have very limited time for freelance work. At the moment I am fully booked and not interested in discussing about my future plans.

Can I use your art?

Please do not use, copy or publish any of my work without my permission. All my artworks, illustrations and photos are protected with copyright. This applies even when the purpose is non-profit / non-commercial. However, some of my work is available for paid licensing – if you you would like to inquire about image availability and fees, please contact me at info@ullathynell.com and let me know which image(s) you are interested in and for what purpose.

Could you make an art tutorial?

I’ve published a couple watercolour tutorials for magazines: “Illustrating in watercolor with Ulla Thynell” , for Graphite magazine 6/2018 (in English) and “Luonnoksesta kuvaksi”, Kuvittaja magazine, issue 2/2019 (in Finnish).  Currently I don’t have enough spare time to make tutorials online, but you can find some drawing process videos in my social media. My account is @ullathynell on facebook, instagram and tumblr.

Which art media and materials do you use?

There’s no quick or easy answer to this: I work with many techniques and styles! I paint with different inks and watercolours on various types of paper; I sometimes mix paints with drawing tools like coloured pencils; I usually (but not always) draw by hand with ink pens, pencils, markers or such on paper or sketchbook; but I sometimes colour or edit my drawings digitally in Photoshop; I also use varied digital colouring and editing techniques – I might for example work on different types of traditional drawings/elements/textures and then combine and edit them digitally in different ways. I like to modify my style, techniques and tools based on what is available, or my current interests, or what style or art process suits best with whatever idea or project I’m working on. I’m often curious to try doing things a little differently than before to see where it leads me. Experiments and variation keeps things alive and interesting!

Here are some tools I’ve used a lot recently:

Drawings: Micron pigment ink pens, and/or Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 colour pencils, and sometimes also markers and gel pens.

Watercolours: I mostly use various Schmincke watercolour pans. I also like to use masking fluid to create negative space or highlights. I prefer about 300 gsm heavyweight, textured watercolour paper.

Ink paintings: For the backgrounds I use either Copic Various Inks (alcohol ink refills) with smooth drawing papers, or Zeichentusche ink bottles from Rohrer & Klingner with textured watercolour papers. R&K inks are also great for detailed painting with a paintbrush, similar to watercolours. I also often use mixed media with my ink paintings, drawing some details with colour pencils (Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901) or using other drawing tools like ink liners or Sakura Gelly Roll pens.

Papers and sketchbooks: I use a lot of different paper types, depending on the medium and size of the piece. For drawings I’ve recently use natural white Hahnemühle Nostalgie 190gsm paper and Royal Talens Art Creation sketchbook (the small, square book with rounded corners), and sometimes a bit more textured sketching papers with coloured pencils. For watercolour and ink paintings I prefer natural white 100% cotton 300gsm rough textured watercolour paper, from brands like Sennelier or Fabriano, and sometimes I also use Hahnemühle Bamboo 265gsm paper, which is a more fragile paper type (don’t use with masking fluid). For my experimental paintings with Copic alcohol inks I use smooth drawing papers, around 200gsm, but beware that the alcohol ink will bleed through, stain everything and the process is super messy and impractical (which is why I don’t usually recommend this techique for anyone). :)

Digital and mixed media: I often use Adobe Photoshop to edit my illustrations and sometimes I draw with a Wacom tablet. Most often when I use digital media, I combine it with scanned traditional elements such as my ink drawings or watercolour or ink paintings/textures that I’ve made.

Which camera and lens do you use?

I use Canon EOS 6D camera and Sigma Art lens, 50mm f/1.4 A DG HSM. I especially love taking phots with wide aperture during the long hours of the northern dusk, just before and after sunset. I photograph with raw image mode and usually edit my photos in Photoshop / Camera Raw.

Did you study art or are you self-taught?

A bit of both, I guess! At age 15 I went to Helsingin Kuvataidelukio, which is upper secondary school oriented in visual arts – so I studied lots of drawing, painting and art history at a young age. But I didn’t pursue a career in art right away. Instead, I studied theoretical philosophy, aesthetics and cognitive science in the University of Helsinki, and had some gap years after graduating, working in a job that didn’t have anything to do with art or my previous studies. I didn’t get seriously interested in illustration until my late twenties, after a long creative pause. I started to train myself in illustration simply by drawing a lot, especially scenes based on my favorite books, and just generally practicing different art techniques and styles and making up my own art projects. Around 2012 I made myself a portfolio and started working as a professional freelance illustrator. My first projects were children’s book illustrations. Soon after that I went to study graphic design in Helsinki Metropolia UAS, because I wanted to be able to design my own books and products, and get better at photography. I graduated in 2017.