Chelle Destefano: Fantastically Quirky Watercolor Illustrations

By Cassie Rief in Featured Artists > Watercolor Paintings

When’s the last time you saw a Volkswagen Beetle play a rousing game of pool? Or have a picnic with a snail? How about hosting a bunch of dogs at Easter? If you answered “Never,” then you’ve also never seen the amazing work of Chelle Destefano. (And if you answered “Last week,” then I’ll have what you’re having.)

Jokes aside, Chelle’s illustrative watercolors are to die for. With a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and Applied Design, Chelle has created illustrations for the covers of two books, won a few prestigious awards, and completed her fair share of commission work. She considers time well spent when brainstorming odd settings and ideas that translate charmingly on paper, especially as they relate to vintage objects, dogs, bugs (the car, not the insect), old buildings and typewriters.

Take, for example, the colors within Volkys Play Pool, which have that perfect “dingy bar” feeling to them, from the yellow-tinged walls to the dim lighting.


Classic bugs crowd competitively around an old-school pool table, one with a pool cue propped up endearingly against its rearview mirror. If you look closely, you’ll even see a detailed border along the back wall featuring various bottles of wine to authenticate the scene. . . and a green, horned monster with hand on hip in the back window, too.

Chelle’s realistic work is amazing too. Here she shows a mom and pop operation, Tuck and Tackle Deli, which is unassuming and charmingly quaint in nature.


A mini farmer’s market sits colorfully out front of this modest country store, where one can buy groceries, fishing supplies and lunch in a single sitting. Chelle’s cleanly drawn lines and use of pure blue, green and white colors speak to the simplicity of the place and are very telling of its friendly personality.

And lastly, what portrays a more vintage scene than sepia? Found in old photos of family members from generations passed, the sepia tone alone takes one instantly back to simpler times.


Chelle artfully adds her own unique flair to this illustration in the curving lines of the bookcase and intricate patterns of the dated furniture and carpet. This drawing propels me back in time to when I used to visit my great-grandparents’ house, where patterns, colors and clutter clashed and collided until I felt smothered even in a large room. This drawing is nostalgia at its finest.

Want to see more? Then check out Chelle’s website. You’ll see all kinds of amazing illustrations, including her “Blue Ghosts” series featuring eerie settings and apparitions quietly infiltrating everyday activities. Trust me, it’s worth it. Head on over today!


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