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Melancholia, Romanticism and Mystery: The Art of Mila Rosha

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Witches flying over haunted towns. Bats hanging from the rafters. Wilted roses clutched in mourning hands. The art of Mila Rosha captures a feeling of dark, beautiful melancholia in striking ink and graphite. Each piece is dripping in Gothic inspiration and design, begging to be displayed in antique, ornate frames.

A variety of pieces, including the pervasive mourning hand that features frequently in Mila’s work – image via Mila Rosha

Mila is an artist and illustrator based in Russia. After graduating from art school, she took a break from drawing for several years, but eventually felt a pull to create again – and we darklings are so very glad that she did. Mila’s work is reminiscent of Edward Gorey or Tim Burton, but has a delicate femininity that speaks to the romantically-inclined soul.

Decadent Valentine’s prints – image via luna_doom

As well as drawing from her own imagination, Mila works on commissioned pieces and projects. This Dear Darkling writer recently commissioned a couple’s portrait for my tenth anniversary with my fiancé, and Mila was the kindest, most attentive creator – she sent me regular updates, stayed true to our reference photographs and gave us a beautiful piece of art that has pride of place in our living room.

My commissioned portrait piece from Mila Rosha, and a collection of bat-themed prints – image via vvitchinghovr

Whilst many of Mila’s pieces are done in pen and ink, she also creates breathtaking graphite portraits of beloved Gothic figures and film characters.

Lucille from Crimson Peak in graphite- image via Mila Rosha

Edith from Crimson Peak in graphite – image via Mila Rosha

Katrina from Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow in graphite – image via Mila Rosha

Edgar Allan Poe in graphite – image via Mila Rosha

We were lucky enough to ask Mila a few questions about her artistic process and inspirations:

Dear Darkling: What are your artistic inspirations?

Mila: I am heavily inspired by old times, Victorian and Edwardian eras and medieval times. As I am an avid reader; I find a lot of inspiration in literature, I can get inspired even by a single phrase I read. Nature landscapes and the change of seasons, animals, old buildings and homes, people’s faces and bodies, flowers, of course, and the works of other artists, too. All in all I guess it’s fair to say that inspiration for me can come from anywhere.

Samhain drawing – image via Mila Rosha

What is your artistic process, from thought to finished piece?

Mila: It is very hard for me to capture the image in my head and do it justice on paper, but once I do capture it I sketch the idea very roughly on any piece of paper and then I start to draw on a clean sheet. I don’t do very clean outlines (and I probably should start to); I am very chaotic in the beginning stages of the drawing, and I change it a lot in the process. If the drawing is in ink, I sketch with a pencil and then I start to ink it. If the drawing is in graphite I do a very light outline and then start shading.

Three witches ink drawing – image via Mila Rosha

What would you like to do more of in the future?

Mila: As I’ve already mentioned, reading is my passion so I would love to do more book illustrations. This is probably my dream job. I’d also like to expand the range of my tools and add paints into it, and to start work more with oils or acrylics.

Bats and gothic houses; the perfect backdrop for any darkling – image via Mila Rosha

Any current projects you’re very excited about?

Mila: Yes! I’ve been working on a video featuring my drawing process from scratch and I will be uploading it very soon. Also I am absolutely over the moon to be illustrating Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which will come as a limited run bound by amazingly talented bookbinder Nate McCall. This work takes us a lot of time, and hopefully will be released later this year. All the details about these projects will be on my (and Nate’s) Instagram so keep your eyes out! 

Upcoming illustrations for Mila and Nate McCall’s Dracula project – image via luna_doom

We’re so very excited for all of Mila’s upcoming creations. To support her art and add add some beautiful, Gothic illustrations to your own dark space, visit her Etsy shop: MilaRoshaArt

Featured image via Mila Rosha

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About The Author

Charlotte Keighron is a UK based spook with a love of all things dark, occult, creepy and gothic. Find her on Instagram or creeping under a pile of books, embroidery and black clothes.

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