Grieving on Social Media – The Illustration Process

In this post I will share images breaking down how I created the final full page illustration that I recently completed for Shameless magazine. I start by referencing my rough, and figuring out what I need to draw for the different parts of the illustration. In this case I drew a portrait for the profile pic, a landscape for the cover photo, and a candle for the candlelight vigil portion.


I draw all my components, then carve them out in lino, and print the lino blocks.

After I scan in all my prints, I digitally collage them together in Photoshop to create the composition. In this case I duplicated the candle several times, and stretched or squashed it to create some perspective. The candlelight circles in the background, I created digitally.


When I am happy with the composition, I add the grey tones. Usually at this point I add color, but in this case the illustration was going to be black and white.


Ta da! All done!

Thanks for reading!


Grieving on Social Media – The Idea Process

A couple weeks ago I shared an illustration I worked on for Shameless magazine, for an article about grieving on social media. Here is some of my idea generation process.

I started by playing around with gravestone imagery and combining it with the Facebook layout. I also drew some ideas with the social media icons. I used candle imagery to reference memorial candles at shrines or altars. I put the social media icons on the candles to reference memorials on social media, like a memorial Facebook page.

My first rough combines the ideas of a traditional newspaper obituary with a Facebook memorial page. My second rough combines the ideas of a traditional candlelight memorial, with a Facebook memorial page. I liked the juxtaposing of old and new ways of remembering people.


I did a full page and a spread for this project, and the art director chose the candle imagery for both illustrations. Above is my first draft of the rough for the spread. The art director had a couple ideas for revisions, so I sent a second round of roughs for the spread.


The art director chose the rough with the shadows.

That’s my idea process in a nutshell for this project. Little bit of back and forth with ideas with the art director, but that’s normal. Thankfully not too many revisions.

Thanks for reading!

Day in the Life


Another peek into my freelance/artist life.

Tuesday October 23

8:45am Wake up and get coffee

9:15am Admin work

10:20am Leave for networking event (Connect Now)

11:15am Networking event. I go to Connect Now monthly, which is a networking event for small businesses and entrepreneurs. They have lunch and learns, with different speakers every month, on business topics. I find it encouraging and nice to have an event to talk to other people on the entrepreneur journey.

1:30pm Shop downtown a bit, browse the comic book store, and pick up supplies for printmaking.

2:45pm Arrive at Dundarave. Work on etching and proofing for November group art show.

4:45pm Coffee break

5pm Continue printing. I printed the edition! Yay!

6:45pm Finish printing, done for the day. The plate I was working on, I had the most challenges with. So it was nice to get it finished.

Thanks for reading!


The Smoking Room – The Process


This is one of the illustrations I worked on for Broken Pencil magazine. It was an illustration for a short fiction story, titled The Smoking Room. The story is a semi-romance; a man meets a woman in the smoking room of their office. He falls in love with her; near the end of the story another man makes a racist comment toward the woman, and the main character doesn’t stand up for the woman. It’s a love story, but also brings in elements of race and discrimination.

This is the rough sketch I sent to the art director.


To complete the final illustration, I did my lino/digital method. I carved lino blocks for the woman’s face, and the cigarette. I used the smoke shape from my rough to create the smoke texture digitally.

Once I had all my elements carved and scanned, I collaged them together digitally in Photoshop to create the image. For the smoke texture, I use the shape from my drawing and a roller texture that I have in my texture files on my computer. I have roller texture scans in my files that I use in all my illustrations, as background texture or elements in the illustration.


Once I am happy with the composition, I color the illustration digitally in Photoshop, using multiply and screen filters.

That’s my process in a nutshell, hope you found it interesting!


Fairy Tale Print #2 – The Process


This is another image of the One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes fairy tale, also focusing on the part of the story where the goat entrails are buried in the ground and a tree with golden fruit grows. I started by drawing a goat, and also a tree. I played with putting the goat upside down (alluding to the fact that the goat is dead).

I did my lines with soft ground, to give the lines a pencil look. I did aquatint for the tree top, and some spots on the goat.

I added texture and shadow to the tree trunks with a roulette. I fixed some areas where the soft ground linework didn’t work by adding drypoint lines.

Once I was happy with the proofs, I printed the edition. I tried Hahnemuhle printmaking paper (the white paper in the photo) for the first time. Soooooo nice. I may have a new favorite printmaking paper. I usually print on BFK Rives for etchings.


I added watercolor to the fruit in the tree, to add color to the print.


To see this print in person, come to Dundarave Print Workshop on Granville Island in November. The show I am in with two other print makers will be up in the month of November.

Fairy Tale Print – The Process

For my One Eye Two Eyes Three Eyes print, I created it by etching a copper plate. I will take you through the process:


I start with the drawing and also used tracing paper to try the leaves around the border, to figure out my composition. I started my copper plate with soft ground because I wanted a pencil look to my linework. Soft ground is very sensitive. I etched my finger prints by accident!


After etching the pencil lines, I covered my plate with hard ground and drew the leaves around the border.


After etching those lines, I did aquatint on the tree top and eyes, and the shadows on the goat innards. I proofed my plate and decided I wanted some tone on the tree trunk and leaves.


I used a roulette to create tone on the tree trunk. I used the egg-shaped roulette to create random texture marks on the leaves around the border.


Once I was happy with the proof, I printed the edition. I then added watercolor to the prints in certain areas, as a way to add color.


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Promo Postcard – The Creation Process

This post is a continuation of my promo postcard idea and creation process.

Once I have decided on an idea, the next step is drawing the imagery and creating the linocut. This linocut is pretty simple, with only lines carved out. I wanted the pages of the book to be solid, and more substantial.


The next step is to print the linocut, resulting in this print:


I like the unevenness of the print, and the white texture on the pages of the book. Once I have the print, I scan it into my computer. I open the file in Photoshop and cut out the image. With this imagery I recycled some old book images I had created a couple years ago. I collaged together a couple kite images, with the strings and bows drawn digitally.

Once I have the kite images, it’s time to compose the final image. I copy and paste different elements, and move them around until I’m satisfied with the composition.


Once I’m satisfied with the composition in black and white, I add color to the image. I use the website ColorLovers to select colors and palettes. In this image I used a color palette by Joy_of_Summer called Compatible.


And this is the final image! I like how the colors pop, it’s very summery.

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