Friday, January 31, 2014

More food in my latest Macleans!

I had too much fun drawing this plate of breakfast -- Including the mini ice cream scoop of butter on top of the toast! I don't think I'd ever draw a hamburger without a sesame seed bun. Something about those sesame seeds shouts hamburger to me :P.

This fellow was born on a freighter bound for Canada. He loved skiing in Quebec and sailing in Florida.  He loved chatting over breakfast with a good cup of coffee.

Also: I didn't know what a labradoodle was until now!

My second Macleans illustration where I made the sketch on my Surface Pro 2 (using Photoshop). I still like to ink by hand, so I sketch, ink, scan, and do the grey tones back on the Surface Pro 2. Doing the sketch digitally makes it so much easier for me to resize and move the different elements around to create a flowing composition. Here's the first one I did using my SP2.


-- Julia

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 Zodiac Illustrations for the National Post

Click image to enlarge.

 I've always wanted to do a series of Zodiac illustrations so when I was asked to do them for the National Post I was all over it!

Series are challenging and fun for a bunch of reasons. They have to look like they belong together but not look too similar. I like sticking with one colour palette when I do a series, so those colours have to be able to work together well and perform different functions.

Because I wanted to stuff a bunch of astrological info into each illustration, I created a template that all of the illos would follow:

1. The astrological symbol in red and yellow in a nested frame.
2. The animals/figures depicting each sign in the middle.
3. Background of the central frame is the element (earth, air, fire, water) associated with the sign.
4. Bottom left is the planetary symbol that governs the sign.
5. Upper left and bottom right areas for plants and flowers associated with the sign.

And of course when it comes to workload, all my usual time estimates had to be multiplied by twelve! That certainly made it kinda daunting :P.


Some of the illustrations got printed in greyscale inside the newspaper, so I redid the illustrations so they'd work well in shades of grey:

Which is your favourite? :)

-- Julia
Portfolio site

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Here's Dido-cat perched on my mom's favourite birdwatching chair. It's always a huge struggle between those two for possession of the coveted seat! The yellow scarf is silk and was my mom's birthday gift from me :). In the background on the left is an immortal Xmas cactus and on the left is a dormant fig tree. Mom gets figs, too!
-- Julia

Friday, January 3, 2014

Macleans on newsstands. First one using my new toy!

Here's my first Macleans illo where I used my shiny new Microsoft Surface Pro 2! I'll try and get around to writing up a review for it (I love it!) because I do have a bunch of thoughts. I will say this, though: I'm awfully tired of reviewers comparing it to an iPad and whining about how heavy it is. Cut it out! For a full-fledged pc it is light as a feather, and P.S. do some push-ups :P.
I usually sketch on paper and then move to my pc to revise things and then print out the result and ink that. But this time I was able to work out the sketch completely on the SP2 and then output my "revised" sketch for inking, skipping a step! I still like how a hand-done ink line looks and feels over a completely digital piece. Maybe one day I'll feel more comfortable using only my pc but for now I still like to use a paintbrush :).
I love these back page pieces when there are a ton of details to work with. This one went from doll clothes to baby clothes (she had two daughter, both with music-themed names, which is why there's a joined musical note on the onesie) and everything in between: frog-catching, nail-painting, xmas plays, Sudoku, soccer, Harry Potter, camping, and Ottawa's Tulip Festival.
Preliminary sketch:
-- Julia