Friday, December 23, 2011

Check Under the Cars (sketch)

Blue drawing for a future painting:

Figure reference from Faestock

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Breakup

This is an in-progress illustration that I've been working on for a short-story project Throughout the year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Dresden Files

I picked up the first book of the Dresden Files on a recommendation back in the early fall of 2010. After that I read through what existed of the series within a couple of months, and I have been a huge fan ever since.
Having just completed the latest book in the series I thought I would attempt an illustration of one of the opening chapters of my favorite Dresden book, 'Death Masks'

earlier process shot:

Friday, November 11, 2011


This was another theater poster I completed for the play, Macbeth.

The director wanted the play to be portrayed in contemporary times through its visuals and style. The magic and witches of the previously medieval setting of 'Macbeth' were to be replaced with conspiracy and men in black government agents.

I was asked to have these characters surrounding Macbeth as he stares at his bloody hands.

I'll include more of the process of these posters in a future post.

Monday, October 31, 2011

An Ideal Husband

Theater Poster

This is a poster I illustrated for the play "an Ideal Husband" by Oscar Wilde. It is being performed by the Kitchener Waterloo Youth Theater later this year.

The director emphasized that the style they would be doing the play in focuses very heavily on the changing of costumes. He wanted a face peaking out from underneath a pile of various costumes and articles of clothing.

The plot of the play itself also has a lot to do with blackmail and shady dealings so having the 'dirty laundry' of a bunch of characters spilling out all over the place works nicely in a conceptual way as well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The talented illustrator; Khuan Tru interviewed me and published it on his website:

The link to the interview

Check out the other interviews he's done with artists, illustrators, photographers, and models

The Storm -- Painting Stage

Work in progress of my latest

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Storm -- Drawing stage

These are drawings for my latest projects

This is a character piece featuring the bunnies and blue haired girl from the IMC illustration in the previous post.

Opaque watercolors underpainting... (just trying out a photocopy onto a different piece of paper to see how it works out -- heavier paper):

Color paint progress.... still quite a lot to go...

I've re-initiated a project that I was working on back in 2003. More on that later...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Illustration Master Class Round 3

Here is how my Illustration Master Class 2011 piece has developed.

"... and there it was -- an impossibly long serpent that had devoured the world around it. When it went for the rabbits she had a feeling it might eat her first if for no other reason than convenience"

This is my very belated post about my Illustration Master Class 2011 adventure back in June.

On Friday June 10th at approximately 4:17am I was off to IMC again for the third year in a row.

IMC 2011 sketchbook (cover artwork by Iain Mccaig)

For this blog I'll focus mostly on the development of my own IMC assignment. Considering everything else that happened that week my painting might have only accounted for less than half of what I experienced at the Master Class. There's no real way to portray the other stuff (the lectures, the faculty, the people) without just saying a bunch of times just how amazing everything was.

Each faculty member from the list below gave at least one lecture -- either an inspirational one about their art careers going all the way back to learning to draw as children or about something practical (like composition, photo reference, or book illustration in general)
There were also the demos. They worked in the same studios as us during the week and when they weren't going around and helping us with our pieces they were demonstrating the process of their own illustrations.

I had never been to summer camp, but I think the air of developing friendships with illustrators and artists from all over (as well as those who I've looked up to for a very long time) could be considered something of a an awesome-illustration-with-friends-art-camp-on steroids.

What is The Illustration Master Class?

IMC is a one week workshop where you complete an illustration assignment under the guidance of some illustration and art directing heroes such as...

Greg Manchess, Iain McCaig, Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Rebecca Guay, Scott Fischer, Irene Gallo, Adam Rex, Jeff Mack, Scott Allie

--with guests throughout the week: James Gurney, Peter De Seve, Mo Willems

There were at least two times each day where a faculty member gave a lecture on a specific topic (like reference photography, colour theory, art direction) or told the story of their illustration career from the very beginning.

Assignment: There were a ton of great assignments to choose from (including a couple really tempting sci-fi ones -- Dune anyone?), but I chose the dragon themed cover. It's been quite some time since I painted any sort of a dragon despite how many fantasy-themed illustrations I've done the past couple years.

The assignment included completing a sketch and gathering reference before the first day of the workshop.

The Pre-workshop Process Show -- May 2011

The list of assignments were given out in May. I'm hoping to take some initial brainstorming I did back then and make more final paintings throughout the year.

Again I began with a scribbly thumbnail done while in a coffee shop over lunch. I refined the thumbnail with a loose pencil drawing which I completed as I gathered reference material.

As is the process of a lot of book-cover illustration this piece included a model shoot. Sometimes I'll photograph myself or friends as photo reference depending on the complexity or level of refinement in a painting. In the past I made small maquettes out of sculpey to test out lighting.

I had Alexis come to my studio and she brought her friend Miranda to do her make-up. While here she modeled for several other illustrations I'm working on as well that I'll probably be painting by the time this post goes up.
Alexis brought a lot of awesome energy to the piece and was great to work with. I had never worked with a make-up artist before and wound up being a really great experience. She knew tonnes about color and had a lot of great suggestions.

IMC Begins June 2011

My sketches for the critique wall

The campus

The studio

After some great input from the team of Iain McCaig, Greg Manchess, Julie Bell, Scott Fischer, and Rebecca Guay I was on my way to making my corrections and moving closer to final.

A personal photography/photo reference lesson from Dan Dos Santos, some drawing corrections, some reference gathering, and some more drawing corrections later and I was off to paint the dragon.

I recall some very uplifting words spoken by Iain McCaig as he looked at the latest rendition of my sketch before I dashed off to the photocopy place to get my 11x17" drawing enlarged to 22x30" for oils.

I applied some thinned acrylic on my drawing after transfering it to board. Once I had some washes down I sealed the whole thing in with a few layers of matte medium, sanded it, and then went on to oils.

I built some little sculpey bunnies to assist in getting the lighting right.

There's so much I'm not even covering. There were so many amazing lectures and demos by the faculty. I also met a ton of great people and continued friendships with a bunch of alumni IMCers.
It would of been really depressing to leave if it weren't for all the "see you next year"s on the last night.

Here's a sketch and a drawing I received from Greg Manchess and Iain Mccaig on the last night of workshop. Iain stayed up with us drawing until the sun came up. When I fell asleep he was still sketching for his students.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Latest Progress on "Circle"

Latest on the painting I've been working on:

Monday, August 15, 2011


I've been making some progress on one of my latest pieces. Here's a cropped shot of how it's coming along.

Reminder of what it's part of: (color drawing from a previous post)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Latest photos

Latest photography:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

IMC 2011 pre-post

I've been back from IMC for what seems like quite a while.

It was an amazing week. <---- massive understatement 

I had been writing a far more comprehensive blog post about my experience at my third Illustration Master Class, but due to the massive amount of art-making in the past week I haven't had the most time. Until I can get something more detailed together here is a shot of my dragon assignment from IMC 2011 and a photo from the last day of of the workshop)

progress shot

My dragon + figure(s) book cover assignment as it stood at some point during the last night everyone was painting in the studio (in progress)

Greg Manchess signing a student sketchbook on the last day

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Illustration Master Class prep

This is one of the the roughs I've been working on for my Illustration Master Class assignment this year.

Monday, May 30, 2011


New piece I'm working on:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brush Pen

Brush pen cafe sketching

and... ink drawing -- the beginnings of a new piece I'm working on.

Monday, March 7, 2011


One day a couple summers ago I decided to pick up an SLR camera and see what I could do. Here are some examples of my practicing with it. Street photography, portraits, and a former room-mate.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mr. Purrington revisited -- and process

I decided to finish off this one from last November.

I was interested in a different lighting set-up than my first version. I built a quick maquette out of sculpey and lit it various ways.
The piece began with a ballpoint pen thumbnail scratched out in my sketchbook.

Here is the underpainting -- messy acrylics.

The final of him done in mixed media.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Look Here! Show

I had a piece in the one-night Look Here! show that happened last Tuesday evening. My painting (as well as 16 other artists/photographers) was on display in the catacombs of the Stirling Room in the distillery district of Toronto.

18x24 framed - acrylic on watercolor paper

The show was associated with life-drawing events at the Keyhole Sessions. The model was Nymph Suicide who posed at a number of the drawing times. The final was painted from some combined reference I gathered on those occassions.

She also came out to Look Here and did a performance art piece with TKS Headrigger JP Robichaud.

A drawing by another artist I exhibited with (done by Rebecca over at Ballpoint Heaven)