Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Trinidad Trip

Last summer, Craig and I were lucky enough to travel to Trinidad for one of his med school electives. One of our Trini friends and his wife hosted us at their house! 

We were blown away by their hospitality and the hospitality of their families. 

Here are some sketches and photos of our trip. 

That first photo up top shows a couple Trini staples -- Blue Waters bottled water and Odomos mosquito repellent. On the left is my trusty watercolour palette!

I painted the exterior of their house. I later got it printed on a plaque and mailed it to our hosts as a gift. My realistic watercolour skills are a bit rusty but I'm okay with how this turned out!


And here's an interior sketch of their living room. Fans are a common sight!

Before going to Trinidad I had no idea these electric anti-mosquito racquets existed. Now that I know to look for them, I've even seen them in Canadian Tire! They are a fantastic way to murderize mosquitoes and will provide many an evening's worth of entertainment. 

Here is a close-up of the Blue Waters and Odomos. I like how the bottle has palm trees imprinted on it. 

We saw a Trinbago Knight Riders cricket match! It was the shorter version of cricket, not the multiple-day kind.

Nighttime doubles from a street vendor. Delicious curried chickpeas in flatbread.

 Palm tree in our host's parents' yard. And guava from their tree!

 Two Trini snacks: Zoomers and Chennet.

 View from Mount St. Benedict.

A house by the beach in Mayaro.

Beautiful Mayaro beach.

Overall I think it was our best trip ever. We didn't make it over to Tobago -- Maybe next time?

-- Julia

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Latest for Macleans

Latest for Macleans! Flight is definitely a theme for this one. 

The sketches for these tend to crowd into the centre so I'll often trace each element digitally so I can resize and shuffle stuff about until it all works. Usually it ends up looking pretty close to the original sketch!


-- Julia
Portfolio site

Monday, November 7, 2016

Latest Macleans

 Latest for Macleans! I love drawing the great outdoors.

I finished this one digitally with no intermediate inking step. I still like doing the preliminary sketch by hand, though!


-- Julia

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hallowe'en for St. Louis Family magazine

Here's a fun one I did for St. Louis Family! The art director was super helpful and provided me with reference photos for the event from years past. So that carriage and that Cinderella were both really there!

Went on (American, and I assume St. Louis!) newsstands on September 27. 

-- Julia

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Latest for Macleans!

I did the sketch by hand, then took a bad iphone photo of it and opened that in Photoshop. After that it was all digital! Sometimes I use a paintbrush and ink and I did a recent Macleans illo with a brush pen -- But they all look fairly similar. Still, it's good to know I can produce decent results with whatever the situation requires.

Bad iphone photo of the sketch:

-- Julia

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Latest for Macleans

This illustration ended being in the same issue of Macleans as the Tragically Hip spread, so it's a twofer!

I used a brush pen (Pentel Color Brush) to ink this one. Usually it's a Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold II, 202 Size 1 brush with Speedball india ink. My friend Robin Nishio got me onto the brush pen and I gotta say it's kinda hard to put down. It keeps a super fine point and can go super thick. And great for sketching because it forces me not to overwork stuff!

Occasionally I'll do one of these 100% digitally but I do prefer finishing the illo by hand.


-- Julia

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tragically Hip for Macleans

I've been psyched to share this one -- a map published in Macleans paying tribute to the Tragically Hip and the Canadian locations mentioned in their songs. 

It was a challenge squeezing all of that stuff into the map -- hope it's not too much of an eyesore!

I've always loved the Hip. Favourite songs: "Nautical Disaster", "My Music at Work", and "So Hard Done By". I can't say anything about the band that hasn't already been said, but their music is magic and truly Canadian.

Art without layout:


-- Julia