Friday, April 18, 2014

Recent Macleans illustration

Here's a new Macleans illustration. Coincidentally it was for a friend's mother-in-law -- It's the first time I've sort of known the subject of one of these pieces. Janet loved skiing in Mont Tremblant (top centre is some of the ski runs on the mountain), played the french horn at the 1970 World Expo in Japan, drove her kids and their friends to various sports (she had the two licence plates "LTL TXI" and "BIG TXI"), reminisced about living in Kapuskasing, and loved knitting her new grandchildren hats and gloves.

I always feel privileged to get to honour a life in this way, and I was fortunate to get the chance to give my condolences to a friend with this illustration.


-- Julia

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring is coming?

Click image to enlarge.

Snow, snow, snow. Here's hoping things turn around soon.

In anticipation of that: Here's a nice, Spring-like game background for you! Complete with a nesting box, bird feeder, shed, water pump, and veggie patch! (From left to right: Tomatoes, lettuce, turnips, swiss chard, carrots, squash)

As I'm making these backgrounds I'm coming up with puzzle and plot ideas. I have a very vague outline for the story, but it's funny how creating the setting in turn creates ideas for everything else. Just by adding the nesting box, I thought of some story stuff and a puzzle or two :).

Here's the other game art I've made.

Hope you like it!

-- Julia
Portfolio site

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy Monsters

Spring is coming! Allegedly! Because in Calgary snow can happen as late as May or even later. These happy monsters are enjoying some cherry blossom viewing and a delicious picnic lunch. Each creature is a figure from Japanese folklore

And here is the annotated version:

White circles: 
Kasa-obake: One-eyed, one-legged umbrella spirit
Chochinobake: One-eyed, tongue-protruding lantern spirit
3 Hitotsume-kozo: One-eyed bald boy
4 Tanuki: Shape-shifting raccoon dog that enjoys sake
5 Kappa: Reptilian water spirit with monk's tonsure that loves cucumbers
6 Rokurokubi: Humanoid spirit with a stretchy, serpentine neck
7 Oni: Hairy, ogre-like demon with horns, often in tiger-skin loincloth
8 Bunbuku Chagama: A tanuki that shape-shifts into a tea kettle to help a poor man

Brown circles:
Mikan: Little easy-to-peel Japanese oranges
2 Kibi dango: Dumplings made from rice flour
3 Onigiri: Rice balls
4 Kappamaki: Cucumber sushi. Named for the Kappa's love of them.
5 Inarizushi: Pouch of fried tofu filled with vinegared rice 
6 Anpan: Bread filled with sweet red bean paste
7 Onigiri II: Differently shaped!
8 Strawberry: Sweet treat for after lunch


Bonus: Some adorable stickers I found in a Japanese bookstore in Seattle featuring some of the same folklore critters:

-- Julia

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Macleans illustration out

Here's the latest! The subject loved horses, show jumping, and racing. Not a lot of food in this one, although I suppose Clif bars somewhat count. I'm fond of Cashew Cookie Luna Bars, myself!

Weirdly this is my first Macleans back page illustration that uses two tones of grey in it. Here are the others I've posted. And here's another particularly horsey one.


-- Julia
Portfolio site

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014 Oscars Fashion and Make-up

Lupita Nyong'o. Click image to enlarge.

I haven't watched the Oscars in ages but I do love to check out the lovely dresses and sparkly bits worn by the celebrities after the fact! I'm a sucker for gorgeous dresses -- Fantasy princesses were the first subject matter I drew obsessively! 

Most of the lovely ladies did a nudey lip with more dramatic eyes and ultra subdued nails. My favourite make-up out of the nominees was probably Lupita Nyong'o's stand-out lip colour. I also loved how Lupita's yellow gold jewellery worked with her baby blue dress and her skin tone. 

Amy Adams. Click image to enlarge.

Amy Adams wore a terrific pair of earrings. The Oscars is usually a cavalcade of ostentatious diamond jewellery. I'm a bigger fan of coloured stones.  

Cate Blanchett. Click image to enlarge.

Speaking of coloured stones, I'm kinda crazy about Cate Blanchett's incredible opal drop earrings. My favourite thing of the entire Oscars. Most of the dresses were fairly muted colours, so I was glad to see a little creativity in the cut and embellishments on Cate's dress. 

Jennifer Lawrence. Click image to enlarge.

Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams both wore rich, saturated colours that suited them well.I really enjoyed Jennifer's pouffed up 'do; that's a tricky one to pull off. I like this shape of dress (including the puffy hip-things... Semi-peplums?) but I can't imagine sitting for hours in something like this. When I sit comfortably it's a very unladylike knees far apart situation :P. 

Which Oscar looks did you love?

-- Julia

P.S.: Thanks to the good folks at Julep for inviting/inspiring me to take a closer look at the awards! It was fun and I'm glad I did :).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Valentine's 2014 card

Here's this year's Valentine's Card! Starring the tragic and creepy Ice King and his helpmate Gunter. Love this show so much <3 .="" p="">
If only there were Adventure Time Lego sets, my life would be complete...

Last year's Adventure Time themed Valentine's card!

-- Julia

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spring Wishes

It's been hideously cold for the past few weeks so I thought I'd cheer myself up with some pretty Spring colours. After years of resistance I feel like I'm set to give in to this pastel thing -- there's a pastel sea green that I've kinda fallen for!

I'm a major lurker on the Sephora site and here are a few things I'd love to try. The palette's colours are so Spring but I hear the pigmentation of the shadows aren't so good, pastels in particular.

Lip stains are my favourite cosmetics product but I'm wondering if a cheaper alternative couldn't be made of beet root powder. I already use olive oil, honey, and quick oats on my face so some beets wouldn't be much of a stretch!

Here are my other cosmetics illustrations.

Anyone else coveting stuff from the new Spring cosmetics collections?

-- Julia
Portfolio site