Jane Eyre series

One of the projects I’ve wanted to tackle for a long time has been to do a series of illustrations for Charlotte Brönte’s  Jane Eyre. I recently re-read it and was amazed at how good it was. It’s a Victorian page-turner! I’m a big fan of the Victorian gothic imagery and the romantic melodrama. Having recently returned from a trip to England, I was also inspired by the moors, the tors and the hedgerows. Here are the illustrations:

Portraits for Commercial Observer

I was fortunate enough to be chosen by the Commercial Observer this past fall to illustrate 39 portraits of real estate bigwigs for their Owners Magazine. It was a lot of work and a tight deadline, but I’m very happy with how they turned out. I worked flat out for two weeks, day and night and weekends.

At one point my drafting table looked like this:

 

And here are the final portraits:

And don’t they look lovely in the spread!

 

Women’s History series

March was Women’s History Month and I decided to do a series of portraits highlighting some of my favourite women in the arts and literature.

Mrs. Doyle, the long-suffering housekeeper on the classic TV series Father Ted ,has a few of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen. Just thinking about them makes me laugh. Like when she falls off the windowsill…good Lord it’s hilarious.

Beatrix Potter is undoubtedly the most famous female illustrator of all time. Just like L.M. Montgomery above, her books have never been out of print. Peter Rabbit is an enduring character, and her illustrations continue to bring joy to kids (and adults like me) around the world a hundred years later. One day I hope to visit her estate in the Lake District. 

L.M. Montgomery is one of my favourite writers and our Canadian pride and joy. Anne of Green Gables is a modern classic; it’s never been out of print since its publication in 1908. I’m working my way through her archive of over twenty novels and hundreds of short stories. Her work has also provided me with the source material for two of my absolute favourite tv series of all time: Road to Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables (the 1980s series, not the recent crap, thank you very much).

Emily Dickinson-  the 19th century poet whose mournful poetry some people find depressing, but I like the melancholy of it.

Julia Margaret Cameron – one of my favourite artists, she took up photography in her sixties…in the 1860s! I started seeing her photography pop up on the web in the late 1990s, but didn’t know they belonged to her. I drew a lot of her photos in those days because I was drawn to the pre-Raphaelite Victorian tragedy of them (lots of Madonna/child poses). She is credited as being one the first “artistic” photographers.

Timelapse video

I’ve been wanting to make a timelapse video for years…but it’s always been complicated; first to film with a decent video camera, then find the editing software that will accelerate the frame speed, teach myself film editing, etc. And then the iPhone 6s came along with timelapse built-in! And the app for iMovie is free. How simple it now is! It condensed a two-hour process into 1:37 minutes. Technology is crazy amazing sometimes.

I thought it would be fun to film myself drawing one of my Victorian Ladies. All my illustrations are basically a five-step process: pencil, ink, watercolour and finally pencil crayon with gouache accents. Hopefully you get a sense of that from this video.

music credit: The Cello Song by The Piano Guys

Final illustration