Davide Rostirolla

Photography & Illustrations: Davide Rostirolla


Photographer, illustrator and graphic designer Davide Rostirolla discusses the inspiration behind his minimalist wilderness sketches.

What inspired you to start sketching? 

I'm a big comics fan and starting to draw was a natural step for me. When I was a child I drew at home all the time, every minute of every day I wanted to be drawing. When I was around 15 years old, me and my friends would go out and buy tattoo magazines and draw our favourite illustration on anything, anywhere. We would draw them on rucksacks, on ourselves, on school desks, anywhere. As I grew up I started to leave sketching behind for 2D and 3D digital illustration, but a couple of years ago I felt a pull back to pen and paper. I have been sketching and drawing for a while now and I don’t think I will ever leave them again. 

What medium do you use to create your illustrations? 

For my sketches, I use paper (typically 160g / m2), pencil and then pens with a very fine stroke. I rarely use A4 format and will always choose A5. This is because I prefer to use ‘small draw’; I like to keep my drawings focused on the detail of what I am aiming to portray. I like to use pens with a 0.1, 0.05 or even 0.03 thickness. I am a minimalist and I think this style is most apparent in my "Shadows" sketch series. For digital illustrations, I like to start with Illustrator for the base and then use Photoshop to add brushstrokes and textures for a more ‘handmade’ finish.

What is your favourite thing, or item to sketch? 

I would have to say that the real basis of most my work is the environment and the respect I have for it. I hope my illustrations inspire a similar feeling of respect from others for nature and the world around us. I am a sea lover and therefore I am naturally drawn to sketching waves, sailors, ships, fish; everything that can be connected to this world and yet is continually threatened by man. I also love the wilderness, and so it is just as instinctive for me to draw trees, animals and mountains. 

Do you use your photography to support your sketches? 

Yes, I generally use my photographs as a reference even though the final design is predominately influenced by my mood in that moment. I always travel with my camera and my works are hugely influenced by my surroundings and my experiences of different places and countries, and the pictures I take during my time in these different places.