Some recent quick illustrations of some players from the first quarter of the 2018-19 NHL season. More to come, as always.
I am immensely proud to be able to finally share these: the May 2018 Canada Post "Bees" stamps, featuring my illustrations.
Included in the set is the Agapostemon virescens, and the Bombus Affinis, with an appearance made by the Anthidiellum notatum on the Day of Issue sheet & ink stamp.
In conjunction with designer Andrew Perro, these stamps were produced to both celebrate and heighten awareness of Canada's threatened bee population. Featured on the stamps are the endangered rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinus), and the metallic green bee (Agapostemon virescenis). The rusty-patched bumble bee was the first bee species to be assessed as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, and has only been sighted at Pinery Provincial Park, near Grand Bend, ON since 2002.
Below are some of my development sketches - I actually have quite a familiarity with the Agapostemon, as they were a regular subterranean tenant of my parent's front yard when I was younger.
Again, I am beyond thrilled to finally be able to share these, and also very thankful to designer Andrew Perro and the folks at Canada Post for including me in such a great project.
So, if you get any mail from me in the next while, be sure to take a look at the stamp!
"Nevermore", a Belgian strong ale, is a beer that will be coming in 2018 from the Indie Alehouse. I'm excited about this - the beer will likely be delicious (early tastes indicate so), I was able to produce a new illustration for it (as seen above)...but most importantly, the release of Nevermore finally allows me to share this idea, and the process behind it, that has been in my brain, sketchbooks, and computers for almost 3 full years.
The first mention of "Nevermore" came in December of 2014, and was likely mentioned offhand to me as one of many names to come from a brainstorming session. It stood out immediately to me. Knowing the Edgar Allan Poe story, and the classic Simpsons halloween adaptation quite well, the image of the Indie's owner, Jason, with a raven on his head seemed too good to pass up. It would have humour, and be a nice "wink" to those more "in the know" both at the Indie, and int he Craft Beer world.
Of course, a style of beer had to be decided upon to fit the name, and thusly Nevermore went back on the shelf, for well over a year.
It wasn't until 2016 that Nevermore popped onto my radar - a style of beer was apparently to be determined soon, and as such, artwork should follow. Pictured above is my updated sketch from October, 2016.
Above are further developments on the sketch - I was unsure at the time if I wanted to pursue a more painterly look, or something more in line with my usual "style".
Eventually, I scrapped the profile view and set the bust facing head on, as I felt it would work better compositionally. At this stage, I was quite focussed on nailing down the likeness - the information in this sketch, and the following revision, would allow me to minimize and translate the detail into my usual flatter, graphic approach.
From there, it was off to Illustrator, and a few other programs.
At this stage, the shading has been applied, and the artwork placed into the final 18" x 24" file, which will later be printed. While I do enjoy hand-drawing type to go along with most of the work for the Indie, I opted to go with a readily available typeface for Nevermore, feeling that it would let the artwork stand out more. For Nevermore, I chose Bodoni Std, italicized poster weight.
Overall, I'm VERY happy with how the artwork turned out, and thus far, the prints look great. Most of all, though, I'm glad I was able to finally execute an idea that's been three years in the making.
As per tradition (and superstition, at this point) - an illustration of Carey Price for the upcoming 2017-18 NHL season. Go Habs Go!
Another fun motion graphics project, this time focussing on Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.
It's been a while since I've cracked into animated anything, so I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. Below is the static version, with a different BG. A pretty good Force Friday, I think!
Whoa! I'm honoured to have been asked to take part in the 10th edition of Gallery 1988's Crazy 4 Cult show. Ten years is a long time to run a show, and the list of artists they've had participate is a regular who's who of the lowbrow/modern pop-culture scene. So...being asked to contribute is a pretty big deal for me.
I'm a big fan of cult movies, and choosing one was actually somewhat difficult. I had to consider genre, actors (and my ability to render a likeness...), and even if the movie I selected would be "cult" enough.
In the end, I think I went a bit outside of the conventional box - choosing Harry Dean Stanton's character, Travis, as my focus, from the absolutely stunning Paris, Texas. Paris, Texas is a 1984 film directed by Wim Wenders, which - and I'm being quite non-descript here - tells the story of a man trying to reconcile with his estranged son, wife, and family. The performances are stunning, and are matched by the cinematography and score (by Ry Cooder).
I hope I did Mr.Stanton justice in my piece, which follows - along with some process.
I'll be in Los Angeles for the opening, which takes place on Friday, October 21st, at Gallery 1988 (West). If you're in the area, come say hi!
It's been a while since my last update...but...I have to talk about Netflix's "Stranger Things". It's been a long time since I've seen a TV show that's scratched my itch for a solid sci-fi tale - not to mention one that hits the Akira-meets-Vonnegut note that this one does. It was dman near a perfect show.
All that being said, I LOVED the character of Eleven, so I had to do this piece. I hope the forest Eggos mean what I think they do for season 2.
Well done, Duffer bros. and all involved.
The bat flip...that's the stuff legends are made of.
Every now and then I get around to doing a personal piece - and with all the excitement around Star Wars: Episode VII, I figured I would do a portrait of everyone's favourite astromech droid, R2-D2.
The painting itself is quite big (for me, at least) - 22 x 30 inches. It's always interesting finding ways to translate my digital style into the physical workspace; I definitely learn something new with each new piece.
Here's some process shots - from sketch to finished piece.
I'm very excited to finally share this - my work for Grolsch, celebrating their 400th anniversary!
It was early September when I received a call from Sarah, my contact at Grolsch - we had been in contact quite a bit over the summer, as I had completed a glassware project for Grolsch and had just completed some button and banner designs for their TIFF promotions. She asked me what my timeline was in the upcoming month or so - I had no set plans, having just come back from my honeymoon.
The team at Grolsch was apparently quite pleased with the work I had completed for them up to the point - my contribution to their glassware project and the aforementioned TIFF buttons and banners - and were wondering if I maybe had the time to go to Amsterdam, to, y'know, represent their Canadian market and contribute work to the Grolsch 400 project. I'd fly out to Amsterdam and spend 4 days seeing the sights, painting, and soaking in the amazing culture. What's more, the trip would happen in a mere 20 days or so from the phone call.
I said yes, of course.
Having never been to Europe, I was immediately excited (and, frankly, amazed) at the opportunity. To be chosen as one of 28 or so international representatives from Grolsch's worldwide markets made the opportunity to travel even better - perhaps the greatest combination of work and travel ever!
Amsterdam itself is a beautiful city. The houseboats, canals, architecture...everything there was wonderful. I spent the majority of my time there working, but did manage to take a sunny Sunday mostly to myself, biking around the city, and visiting the Anne Frank house (which was truly a moving experience).
The workspace Grolsch set up was...well, unreal. Set up in Amsterdam's North End - which used to house a massive shipbuilding industry - our collective studio was housed in a ship construction building, which is perhaps the largest single room I've ever been in.
As mentioned, I was selected as one of 28 (or so) international artists from Grolsch's markets around the world, and turned out to be the only North American. Russia, Poland, South Africa, and France were among the other countries represented, along with a large contingent from the Netherlands (obviously).
The atmosphere was something I hadn't encountered since my last year in school - a huge collection of artists, all working, talking, sharing ideas, and really having fun. It was electric.
I wish I could say that I actually paint more than I do, with most of my work being digital - the Grolsch 400 project really gave me the chance to cut loose and play around with painting ina way I haven't done in years. One of the most interesting (and relieving) things was how easy, and natural, it felt translating the images in my head onto canvas, and how (surprisingly) close it was to my usual work process. Over the few days, I produced two paintings that I'm VERY happy with.
I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention the fantastic generosity of Grolsch. Aside from the amazing workspace and art supplies, they were amazing hosts - a post-painting beer tasting session introduced me to the MANY varieties of Grolsch. There are like...6 different kinds. I had no idea!
As I said, I'm very excited, and very proud to finally share this experience - it's really something I'll never forget.
Here's my video segment for Grolsch 400:
And one of the special cans being produced - my work is featured on the 500 mL can, the 330 mL cans, and the 330 mL 6 and 12 packs!
As they say in Amsterdam - Cheersch!
Safe to say, I'm pretty excited for the Avengers: Age of Ultron - so I did this personal piece of Marvel's super-team! Also - Iron Man is very, very fun to draw.
Yep, another goalie. Carey Price is having a...well, ridiculous season for the Montréal Canadiens this year. So I figured I'd whip up an illustration of him in action.
Prints are available here: Carey Price 16" x 20" print!
Here's something I'm excited to share - a commissioned piece of my favourite NHL player of all time, the great Patrick Roy. Aside from my dad, he's the main reason I started playing goalie as a kid (and still play). One of my first memories of watching hockey was the 1993 Stanley Cup finals - seeing Roy wink at Sandstrom, I knew that playing in net was what I wanted to do.
As a small bonus, too, here's a tattoo I got a few months ago, commemorating that very wink.
GO HABS GO!