Last year I illustrated this 2016 O Canada Gift Set for The Royal Canadian Mint. How I forgot to blog about it is beyond me, as it is one of the coolest projects I’ve ever worked on. The sets are distributed through Canada Post outlets across Canada. I designed and illustrated both the packaging and the loonie for this set. We wanted a very Canadian package with a more hip and indie vibe to it. It wasn’t possible to actually print on Kraft paper so I included a Kraft paper texture that printed looking just like the real thing.
I also designed the packages for all of the other Gift Sets which included Baby, Wedding, Birthday and Holiday sets. I illustrated the loonie designs on each of those sets as well. Shown here are the images of my O Canada set, as it includes the most illustration and it’s the one I’m very proud of. It was my first time designing packaging. I spent a lot of time tweaking die-lines and colours to make sure everything worked out. I’m incredibly happy with how they turned out.
I’ve been drawing portraits of actors for Backstage Magazine every week since March. I’ve drawn over 40 portraits of actors like Jere Burns (great face), Holly Hunter, Ernie Hudson, Jon Voight, Ciaran Hinds and Sela Ward. I don’t often draw celebrities. I draw a lot of chefs and business people, so it’s nice to draw some famous faces once a week. Here is a selection of some of the portraits from this year.
This new coin for The Royal Canadian Mint celebrates the bravery of the Canadian soldiers who fought in the Battle of Hong Kong (December 8-25, 1941). The battle took place on the rugged jungle terrain of Hong Kong Island. The Canadians were extremely outnumbered but fought off the Japanese invasion as long as they could until they surrendered on Christmas day. Canadian casualties numbered 290 killed and 493 wounded, but many more would suffer as Prisoners of War.
In this coin I have depicted two Canadian soldiers in Pacific uniforms, running towards the enemy at the Wong Nai Chung Gap. They pass a pillbox in the background, running by the cliffs that fall down to the bay. A Mitsubishi Zero plane is hit and falls, smoking on the way down. Battleships move through the bay and the city is visible on the distant shore below the mountains.
I illustrated this in a square format to allow for the image to be used on the coin and on the packaging (bottom). It’s always an honour to design a coin that commemorates a historical event and celebrates our Canadian soldiers. The coin is available here.
I took a three week trip to Scotland in June fully expecting to work in about 8 plein air paintings. Unfortunately, as you may have heard, it rains a lot there. Finding the right time and place when it wasn’t raining proved to be more difficult than expected so I was only able to work on a few paintings.
There was one day on the Knoydart Peninsula after 2 exciting days of horseback riding when there was just a bit of mist in the air and I decided to go outside to do a painting. Well, when it isn’t raining and the air is still, the midges come out. They are these little fruit fly type bugs that bite a little, but are mostly irritating. I had squished about a dozen on my sketchbook page before I got a few lines drawn, so that was the end of that.
Here are the few I managed to paint when the skies were clear.
I’ve been hard at work on portraits, headshots and other fun projects over the last few months. Here is a little roundup of some of my favorite portrait projects.
I am very happy to share some portraits I did for the 2016 TIME 100 issue. I illustrated over 20 portraits for the TIME 100 issue last year (see here), and was excited to get the opportunity to do even more portraits this year.
This is a bit of a departure from my usual portrait style in that I was asked to add full color, instead of my usual two tone approach. It was a lot of fun to try and I’m really happy with how they turned out.
This was a total dream job from a little while back that I just kept forgetting to post. I was contacted to illustrate a drawing of NBA superstar Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder for a Nike t-shirt. The idea was to show him as an old school weather man, nice plaid jacket matched with basketball shorts, pointing at a map of the United States indicating some of the cities he’ll play where he’ll make it rain jump shots, make some buckets, etc… Kind of a silly idea, but it was a fun project. It took a while from the final to the actual production of the shirt and I think it looks pretty great.
I grew up wearing a lot of illustrated basketball t-shirts so this was always something I hoped to do one day.
They might be hard to track down at a sports store but if you want to own one I managed to find a couple new ones on eBay.
I’ve had a lot of fun this year working on some sports illustrations. The first three you see are for ESPN. I was asked to look at footage of Cam Newton’s touchdown dance celebrations and illustrate the major steps for each dance so they could animate the drawings. It was a fun challenge to break down each dance to its most important poses and then recreate them myself to use for reference.
I also illustrated a rather large infographic for Connected Rogers, illustrating stats and facts for this year’s NBA All-Star game in Toronto. I’m looking forward to seeing it!