Monday, January 30, 2012

Latest Macleans illo on newsstands!

First Macleans illo of 2012! Hope I can get the chance to do many more this year. The subject was a volunteer firefighter in British Columbia who died in the line of duty, two months after he got married. "You had me from before hello" is what he and his wife would say to each other as a sign of affection. 

Part of the pleasure of doing these jobs is being able to pull elements of a person's life together to create one harmonious image. I recently attended the funeral of a friend and that brought me renewed appreciation for these commissions. I feel very privileged to do them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Above the Belt!

I've gotten a bit behind in posting new work. Here's one I did for the holidays for the Weekly Alibi, featuring Duke Ellington facing off against Tchaikovsky in a battle of duelling Nutcracker renditions! Link to the article.

Christmastime is always a flurry of activity; visiting friends and family, making presents, etc. Add to that I had to pack and prep for being back in Calgary for the duration AND I managed to get a horribly persistent sinus/throat cold thing that lasted almost a month... But I'm all set now and ready to catch up with this darn blog thing!

Note the green and red colour palette! Appropriate for an xmas-themed illustration (just realized it now but I will pretend that was my intent all along :P)! I wanted to make the Nutcracker look a bit like Don King. I toyed with the idea of making them shirtless but I ultimately decided these dudes were way too dignified for that. 

And here's the weeny sketch I made. More of a thumbnail, if your thumb nail is 1.5x1.5".

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Film noir-y

This is the second illustration I've done for the Weekly Alibi that addresses allegations of police corruption and irregular goings-on inside the Albuquerque Police Department. This time the article dealt with a mysterious missing report. Mystery! 

I had fun using shades of purple in this one. I knew right off the bat I wanted the manila envelope to be golden yellow, and what better way to make yellow stand out than to use purple, its complementary colour?  

Here's the initial sketch, not far off from the final version. 

And the pre-ink version!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My parents are into birdwatching in a pretty big way. They have nice binoculars, but sometimes ducks are shy. So they bought a sweet Vortex scope. It's got awesometastic optics, let me tell you. Of course I had to include their new pride and joy in my latest card!

One of their proudest sightings this year was of a King Eider (pictured in the above card on the right, the left-hand duck is a Green Teal), an absolutely gorgeous duck that is apparently pretty rare in these parts. I made them souvenir-looking t-shirts for xmas, working from one of their photos. 

The meticulous little label on the photo is my mom's handiwork. They have eight giant D-ring photo albums full of bird photos that are just as carefully catalogued. My dad takes the photos and prints them off on their Epson PictureMate, my mom does all the record-keeping and the making of the lunches (taken on particularly long excursions). They haven't gotten to the point of keeping canned food in the trunk of their car yet. We shall see what 2012 holds.

I remember reading fairy tales as a kid that made mention of eiderdown. What a shame it would be to stuff such magnificent plumage into a pillowcase! After some research I've found that Common Eiders are the ones that fill the duvets of fairy princesses (eiderdown can be harvested without harming the birds, as they line their nests with those soft feathers). Were King Eiders safe, I wonder? That would be a major case of duck class warfare, or at least appearance-based discrimination!