From elegant forest-fused women to fiery steampunk cyborgs, Chuma Hill’s female figures all share his trademark style; bold watercolor and dashes of ink layered over intricate (though paradoxically often simultaneously minimal) pen drawings. Usually nude, these women seem to flirt with the boundary between sexual and a different form of intimacy, with some falling on either side of the line.
Though the vast majority (and all presented here) of Hill’s figures are female, they are far from being identical; each is given their own identity, either through facial expression, the composition of their bodies, or their companions. The face is a particularly crucial component of Hill’s illustrations (and for people in general). While that may seem like an obvious statement, Hill pushes this simple fact to the extreme; his faces often receive the most attention regarding color and detail, while major sections of the body receive none at all. By fading certain details away, our brains are given the freedom to imagine the gaps, which in turn helps create a compelling image.
As previously referenced, nature is a commanding aspect in many of his figures, whether adorned by flowers and vines or actually composed of them. Animals, however, are also a recurring theme in Hill’s work. They aren’t just simple additions to the composition, though; Hill expertly weaves them into the figure, complementing the composition in color and in form, and in some pieces, the animal companions are so perfectly integrated that you may not even initially see them.
Hill certainly doesn’t feel restricted to purely natural elements, however. Interestingly, his other pieces fall on almost the opposite end of the spectrum, in the wonderful world of steampunk. These drawings are perhaps the most intricate, involving robotic limbs with the entire complex, underlying machinery exposed. The appearance of a baboon, while at first startling, quickly begins to make sense when considering the color palette, and is another excellent example of Hill’s ability to incorporate animals alongside his figures.