I didn't have to give it any thought, I went for Chris Appelhans. I love the style of his work and his use of colours and light. his work is always a little dark, which I think I like because apparently my work always has a morbid side to it despite looking cute at first glance.
I first discovered him at uni, some time in 2003/2004 when a friend of mine showed me a short animatic he'd done about superman, and I've used him in my research for pretty much every project I do.
I can't find a lot of information about him, he doesn't seem to be that old, but has done concept art and character design for a lot of big films like Coraline, Fantastic Mr Fox, and, one of my favourites, Monster House.
Being a big fan of Alice in Wonderland I'm also a massive fan of the Alice in the Underworld images he did.
I'd recommend checking him out, he has some awesome stuff in his Doodles page, including this image which is one of my favourites...