The Floral Intricacies of Pedro Tapa’s Muses Pedro Tapa is the digital artist whose winsome intricate series of illustrations featuring tousled women and reams of floral texturing are growing on Instagram. Delicately shaded and adorned with splashes of colour, Pedro’s process has refused the broader visual scope offered by art’s digitisation by sticking to the illustration aesthetic. For Pedro “we cannot dictate what beauty is”, and no topic is more extensively portrayed in his work than the beauty of the female form and figure, touched by light and shade, and framed by fringe and flowers. His take on the sort of female glorification we see in glossy magazines is reined back in to its illustrated basics, striking an unusual balance between a polished Ideal and a simplified naturalness. We got in touch with him to hear the ideas behind the work. The Plus: What particularly attracts you to female faces and figures Pedro Tapa: I am particularly attracted to the structure of their faces and the movement of their bodies, how the light and shadow shows the contours and the shapes of the faces. I prefer the facial expression to be neutral or just simply resting, without much obvious emotion or facial distortion. I am also particular with how the hair flows and how the light creates a glare against the hair. TP: Could you tell us a bit more about the people that you draw? PT: More recently I am looking at fashion magazines and scan the internet for inspiration. Most of the faces I draw are people I don’t know, or faces I have never seen before. But earlier on, I practiced drawing myself and friends and the people around me. TP: You are very sparing with your use of colour, how did that style develop? PT: In my other works, I use a lot of colour. I first started using this style some years ago while working on many of my paintings. I was sketching human figures and flowers using a brush and black paint directly on canvas and putting the colours later on, like in drawing. Then I just felt comfortable with it and eventually adopted it and used it often. Almost a year ago I began making digital drawings, but I want to maintain the same appeal that’s found in my paintings, or in a traditional drawing with a pen and paper. TP: Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? PT: Yes, I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We may or may not agree with everyone’s idea of beauty, but we cannot dictate what beauty is. It depends on how you see and understand things.