Xavier Casalta – The talented artist with fantastic stippling artwork
I used to have a school assignment of making three illustrations with three different techniques. One I could only use dots, the second I could only use lines, and the third I could only use solid black areas. Needless to say, the stippled one was the most rigorous and it still gave me the shivers whenever thinking about it.
So I was totally baffled the first time I saw Xavier Casalta‘s artwork. Not only because it was stippling art, but also it was great stippling art. What he has there, is amazing. Every shade and every texture of every element in the drawing is clearly defined and in perfect harmony. Such meticulousness requires an insane level of patience and control. You can only stipple one dot at a time, and by the time you have stippled the one-thousandth dot or so, your wrist gets numb, your eyes see stars, and it’s just so easy to stray the next few dots and ruin the whole thing. But Xavier has done a terrific job ironing out every detail. The excellent quality of realism and hand-craft in his artwork is unmistakable, and I was just so happy to have Xavier talking about his niche.
Hi Xavier, for those who don’t know you, could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a 22 year-old artist from France. I essentially work with a stippling technique with a 0.10mm nib to create typographic compositions and illustrations. Typography is certainly the thing I’m the more passionate about!
I read that you started stippling by experimenting with typography. What made you decide to stick with this painstaking style?
I started with solid black, but I’ve always been attracted to realistic drawings. I tried different techniques and the stippling one appeared to be my favourite. Not the best one for productivity but the rendering is really interesting.
Could you describe a typical process of making one illustration?
I guess the process is pretty basic. I start with a simple sketch, with not a lot of details. Once it’s done, I start inking with a first layer to figure out how to place my shadows and volumes. I try to work on small zones to keep the illustration as detailed as possible. Once it’s finished, I clear the entire piece with an eraser.
I think the hardest part is defining and separating textures and tones. How do you manage to do that and not stippling everything the same?
I have no idea about that, certainly practice!
And last but not least, do you have any future project in mind?
I just finished an alphabet that I’ll release soon. It took 210 hours of inking, and each letter is created in a different style. Should be online in the next few weeks : )
Scroll down to see some of the best work (process included) by Xavier!