The style in which Downton illustrates is wonderfully unique. He draws like any other artist; mirroring what he sees. But once his work looks right, he eliminates parts so it looks spontaneous and ironically, uncontrolled. Downton works mostly in water-colour or gauche, but for larger artworks he tends to use cut paper collage and proceeds to apply line using an acetate overlay.
During his career he has drawn various celebrities; Erin O’Connor, Catherine Deneuve, Liz Hurley, Jerry Hall, Paloma Picasso, Joan Collins, Dita von Teese, Iman, Linda Evangelista, twiggy and notable fashion designers.
In an interview, Downton spoke of his opinion towards fashion.
“Couture really is a parallel universe – I’ve heard it described as the kingdom of indulgence, which is true, but it is also extremely inspiring for an artist or illustrator; the worlds most beautiful women, designers working without constraint – the sheer theatricality of it all – there is a lot to draw!”
His works remind me of early vogue covers, but with modern attributes. Each illustration is delicate, personal and tastefully elegant.