The Art of Outlander

Illustrations by Karen L. Robarge - (Reprinted with Permission of the Artist)

Find more of Karen's art at

I love the intimacy of this piece which symbolizes for me the comfort Jamie and Claire find in just being physically close. No matter what else happens, they are there for each other.

All the characters we know and love - all in one work.

Illustrations by aka.girlfrog.tumblr (@thenewredplaid)

(Reprinted with permission of the artist)


Art by Ellaine
(@joaellaine on Twitter or,

Our "resident artist" and blog contributor, Jo, is a self-taught illustrator.  Self-described as a night owl and book worm, Jo is also an analyst of fictional writing.  She has studied both German and English literature and much of her art is inspired by the characters from her reading.  We of the Outlander fandom are blessed with the inspired work featured here on Outlander Central's art page.  After one of her friends recommended the Starz Outlander TV series, Jo watched the first half of Season One and, like many of us, couldn't wait to see the rest of the story, so began reading the entire Outlander series.  Jo fell in love even more with the wonderful characters created by Diana Gabaldon.  The results of this love affair are the beautiful illustrations you see below.  Thank you, Jo, for allowing us to share your art here.  We look forward to more!  For our followers, come back often and check to see what Jo's come up with next or what she's recommending by other talents.  


These are sketches of my personal vision Claire and Jamie; what I think the characters will look like when I give them faces and distinctive features. I needed to do them also to keep a coherent and constant version of them for all future illustrations, but not based on the TV show. Giving shape to characters that I see when reading a book is not only to stick as close as possible to the book description, but also to transfer how I feel about them, how they kind of feel to me when I read. It's about not only how they look, but who they are and what kind of personalities they have, both of which should be visible on their faces. It is not an easy task, especially when you read a book after watching a show, (which had the luck to have perfectly cast actors!) But still, they are different in my imagination. However this imagination is never very clear; most of the time it's a blurry vision that needs to be specified when I put on paper.

Wild Strawberries - final version
Wild Strawberries:
One of the most time-consuming and detailed pieces, I did in a while. But I love the amazing 18th century costumes from the show, created by Terry Dresbach and wanted to at least try to do them justice, even if here they are only inspired by and based on Terry's work. And it's also not easy to create your own version of the book characters, when Sam and Cait are embodying them so perfectly.

This time I wanted to show them both a bit more as fighters (the knife and camomile flower in Claire’s hand can also symbolise her profession), people who have strong beliefs and opinions and are ready to fight for them. It’s this kind of ‘together against the world” attitude.

Wild Strawberries-first renderings

Both Sides Now

Both Sides Now: 
The most representative art for the story as a whole, this drawing is a metaphoric interpretation of Claire's life, bound to, and torn between, Frank and Jamie, her struggle is symbolized by the two rings going into silver and gold light wires. The hardest part of it was figuring out how to combine two dresses from two different eras into one. Done in Corel Painter and Photoshop.

Dead Man's Box

Dead Man's Box:
There are just certain scenes or passages which, while perhaps not so important for the plot itself, touch some nerve in you and become carved in memory as a mixture of something sad yet beautiful. The passage of Claire crying over the box with Jamie’s few belongings after she visits Wentworth prison was such a moment. Pencil drawing, colour and textures added digitally.

Fire and Gasoline

Fire and Gasoline
The first completed "Outlander” illustration, inspired by Claire and Jamie's fiery relationship at its very beginning and Sia's song "Fire meet Gasoline” - it's all about love and passion. Just listen to the song. Original drawing done in coloured pencils. (For your convenience, the video with lyrics is right here!)

Forest of Glass II

Forest of Glass I
Forest of Glass
For me, this is a very symbolic piece, inspired by the first book's finale. The idea for it grew and changed until I heard the beautiful song "Forest of Glass” by Tori Amos and then it all came together. If you love someone you will be able to follow them even into their pain and suffering – the Forest of Glass – that will also cause you pain and leave scars. But that's the price of love and of saving a tormented soul. Done in Corel Painter and Photoshop.

Here's a link to the lyrics and music, if ye'd like to listen: Forest of Glass by Tori Amos

James Fraser

James Fraser:
Sometimes a photo strikes you like a lightning bolt and wakens a strong need to turn it into an artwork. The rich and differentiated textures and fabrics, the look on his face, the overall mood made this picture beautiful material for a pencil drawing. Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser. (I dinna know about you all out there, but this one just stops my heart for a moment every time I look at it.)

Just Once

Just Once:
A jump to the second book, "Dragonfly in Amber” This is a symbolic take on the most heart-breaking moment, just before the Culloden battle. The title is a reference to a Polish song – a dramatic plea to be together with your beloved one for the last time. Done in coloured pencils.

May Child

May Child:
Rather a quick pencil portrait of Sam Heughan as Jamie, done on May the 1st, Jamie's birthday, and one day after Sam's birthday.

The Frasers
The Frasers

This portrait is a simple and humorous take on the more light-hearted side of the Outlander story, hence the style choice. The books have tragedy, but also a good share of hilarious passages and the characters have a great sense of humor. Done in Corel Painter and Photoshop.

Blood & Bone

Blood & Bone: 
‘Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone.

I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.

I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done.’

-Diana Gabaldon - “Outlander”

Random doodle which turned into a full-colour picture and another symbolic representation of Claire and Jamie's bond – the white tree entwined by the red branch (love). Pencil drawing with colours added digitally.

Have No Fear

Have no fear:
An intimate moment frozen in time – this image is about comfort, peace and feeling safe. Claire watching over Jamie's sleep is his safe place; she is someone whom he can trust absolutely. 
 This piece was inspired by the song "Have No Fear" by Bird York. Pencil drawing with colours added digitally. 

Vive Les Frasers

Vive Les Frasers:
Digital painting based on STARZ promotional materials for season 2 – The Frasers in France. Done as poster art for a charity event supporting Bloodwise. Corel Painter and Photoshop.


Who doesn't love Murtaugh?  His fierce loyalty to Jamie embodies, for this Wee Lass, the truest spirit of the Highlander.  Loyalty to clan, to chief, to Scotland, and for Murtaugh, the expression of his unrequited love for Ellen is the dedication of the rest of his life to Jamie - come what may. 

Art by Alessandra  you can follow Alessandra at @aless_ritratti on Twitter and on Facebook.  

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