Blog Menu

Discordant Elements: The Art Portfolio of Ellen Cornett

A drawing of three figures with heads from ancient Egyptian mythologyWalk Like an Egyptian, Carbon Pencil

Ellen Cornett’s artworks live in an uncanny space between dreams and reality. The artist’s compositions combine discordant elements rendered in a detailed, realistic style, incorporating human figures, animal faces, and surreal collections of objects.

A pastel drawing of a mad hatter characterThe Mad Hatter, pastel


I love the sense of rich symbolism that I get from looking at Ellen’s artworks. In our previous feature, we looked at the element of darkness in the artist’s surreal tableaux. There’s certainly an undercurrent of drama and intrigue in these – Ellen renders parts of statues, human figures and animals on backgrounds that are sometimes up-front, and sometimes darker and more ambiguous.

A screen capture of Ellen Cornett's art websiteThe main page of Ellen's portfolio website

I enjoy the artist’s recent works in black and white. In these works, the artist tends to eschew backgrounds altogether, presenting her figures in stark negative space. Using carbon pencil, the artist builds up figures in a slightly softened photo-realistic style, allowing her hand to show through just enough to serve as a subtle reminder.

A drawing of a human figure with a fox's faceWhat Big Eyes You Have, carbon pencil

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

Read more of Dallas' posts

Easily build your art website

and focus your time on making art.


Try free for 30 days. No payment required.