It’s Spring already

Work continues on the children’s book. Like the previous one, I’m using photoshop to “paint” the pages. I’m still having a problem finalizing the main character though. I’ve done many colour iterations of “Starling” and am still not happy. Here’s one of the characters I’m more satisfied with (a woodpecker) although no doubt there will be more tweaks (in fact, I can see something I want to change right now):

Painting-wise, I’ve finished a little landscape. I bought a bunch of small canvases and decided that if I was going to fit painting in along with the daily grind and progress on the book, I was going to have to paint quickly and fast. I allotted myself an hour or so and managed to paint a landscape that was mostly satisfying. I left it on the wall for a week then took another half hour or so to tweak it. I’ve got 4 more 10″ x 20″ canvases to “play” with and took the leftover paint from this one and slapped it on a new canvas. Interestingly, it looks as if another landscape is emerging. This is quick landscape #1:

“Early Morning in the Valley” Acrylic on canvas, 10×20″

Seasonal Greetings

When gift-giving season rolls around, I usually make my own Christmas tags – except for last year when I rooted around all the leftovers from previous years and did a Christmas tag “retrospective” – haha. Can’t say I was in much of a mood this Christmas tag-wise but I tried drawing stuff a few weeks ago and ended up with some crummy sketches of shoes. They sat on my desk for a bit until the Big Day was almost upon me at which point I just put them in my scanner and opened them up in Photoshop to see if anything could be salvaged.

Surprisingly, they turned out OK. You can download a pdf of the tags for next year here. Print out on 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, take a ruler (metal preferably) and an exacto knife, match up the blue cutting lines at the edges and slice away.  Here’s a card design using the final illustrations:



Crossing back and forth across the Fraser over the past several months gave me many views of the moods of water. I started a painting quite a while ago about the view and the river, and now I think it’s done.

“Big River”, Acrylic Painting, 35″ x 27″

With all endings, there are new beginnings. Work on the next children’s book is starting up again. Here’s a little preview:

They’re looking and listening to something…what could it be?


Beautiful things

Often walking down the street on my way somewhere, I glance in shop windows and see beautiful things then wistfully wish I was at home so I could draw something like it. Then later on, I get home, start doing tasks and forget about the wistful moment. But not a couple of days ago. I saw some lovely vases in a window and wished I could try and draw something like them but I was busy…No, I actually wasn’t. I had a day off. I could just go home, pull out the paints and do something. So I did. A couple of vases…not at all like the ones I was looking at but a nice surprise anyway. Reminds me of roman glass.

“Vases”, watercolour, pencil crayon, pen and ink, approx. 30 x 21cm

Working on a new set of illustrations, studying birds – specifically, starlings. At the Art Gallery Outdoor Cafe a few weeks ago a friend of mine and I were inundated by them (and a few crows). I think they must have heard I was illustrating a children’s book about starlings so they came to model. I took 40 pictures, all great for reference. I got a few lucky shots as well:

Kind of an existential moment. What deep starling thoughts are going through your mind…?

An almost monthly Art post by Cindy Thom