Paulina Barry’s art is all about the story. She creates a character and then reveals their soul in a single image. She is able to transform a picture into a narrative through her mastery of human expression.
Her stylized approach complements her subject matter perfectly. Part comic book – part anime, her art is bold, heroic, and yet thoughtful. Her use of vibrant, sometimes explosive color schemes, as well as striking black and white, augments the mood of the characters she portrays. Indeed, Barry seems to start, not with a concept, but with a feeling, and then builds a scene to best tell the story of that emotion.
In order to bring these scenes to life, Barry draws on her extensive technical skill. Though the majority of her drawings are fantasy-based, they remain rooted in the realities of form and function. Her characters, though stylized, are built upon a strong technical framework – keeping them both relatable and beautiful. Not even her choice of color is random but specifically chosen to create daring focal points and to enhance symmetry.
This technical skill is most evident, however, in Barry’s masterful use of shadowing. She places one inside her character’s mind through her use of light – or lack thereof. In Barry’s art, shadow is more than a tool to create shape and setting. It is a character of its own.
Barry is first and foremost a storyteller. Her strong technical foundation and instinctive understanding of the science of form supports her stylized approach. But, it is the vivid portrayal of human emotion that truly allows one to become lost in the artwork of Paulina Barry.
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