My wife and I spent the first 20 days of 2014 traveling through Peru. We had wanted to visit for years and we were so excited to finally get the chance to go.
Of course visiting Machu Picchu was right at the top of our list of things to do, but there were so many other places to see and activities to do. We filled up our three weeks in Cusco, horseback riding in the Sacred Valley, exploring ruins, hiking in the jungle down the Amazon river, dodging moto-taxis in Iquitos and relaxing on the south coast.
I packed a sketching stool and my sketching kit, complete with a small travel watercolor set, pens, pencils and two brushes. At Machu Picchu we hiked up Wayna Picchu, the large mountain overlooking Machu Picchu to the south. Back at the ruins we found a good place to set up our stools and set to work. This was a difficult sketch, not just because of the angles, small buildings and stonework, but because it was hard to look away from the view to mark it in my sketchbook.
I would recommend to anyone visiting Machu Picchu to stay as late as you can, when most of the other visitors have left (they started rounding people up for closing around 4:30). We practically had the place to ourselves (with the exception of what looked like the crew of a Japanese reality show).
This is a piece I contributed to the NOOK Collective Holiday Art show in Toronto this past weekend. The only requirement in creating my piece was to keep it circular.
I made a special trip to Toronto for the opening and had a great time seeing all the excellent work and catching up with some of my teachers from Sheridan who I haven’t seen for about 10 years! Thanks to everyone who came out to the show and to the organizers for inviting me to be a part of it.
If you’re interested in purchasing this piece please send me an email for more details.
I finished this illustration this summer for The Feathertale Review. I was asked to create end-papers for the book and was given complete freedom in what I wanted to draw. Since I’m on a bit of a logging kick I thought I’d work some more of that imagery into the piece.
Here is an image of the end-papers in print.
For the Los Angeles Times Sunday Business cover about Apple’s new campus in Cupertino, California. The campus is estimated to be the size of the Pentagon and according to the article, “Apple envisions the 176-acre campus as its own Fortress of Solitude that will cut off northeast Cupertino from the public.”
The art director, Derek Simmons, suggested I play off the imagery of a well-known Cupertino mural depicting its old storefronts, a granary and farmer’s fields. I wanted to show an older man painting over the mural of the Cupertino he knew with an image of the new Cupertino. A young woman plays on her phone in an “out with the old, in with the new” approach.
When I was asked to illustrate 10 people for a full-page spread for Popular Science magazine I got a bit nervous since I’d never drawn that many people interacting with each other before. I was excited for the challenge though and it was a lot trickier than I thought it would be to arrange these scientists into a laboratory composition.
The Brilliant 10 are ten people who in the last year have made great steps forward in different scientific fields.
One of the tricky parts was having each person engaged in something relating to their area of expertise. I had a lot of fun playing around with composition and poses to make them all fit comfortably over the two pages. Here are some detail shots below:
I recently drew these portraits for New York Magazine. Unfortunately a few days before the magazine went to print the story was killed so the portraits didn’t run. However, the art director asked for a straightforward tuxedo illustration to accompany a story about an elusive, out-of-style Pierre Cardin tuxedo. Happily this one made it to print (albeit without the blue lines).
While we’re talking about jackets, I thought I’d show this recent illustration of a leather jacket I drew for a Men’s Health column about caring for your leather jackets. It’s Fall jacket weather now, so break out those bomber jackets.
I’m a bit obsessed with logging imagery these days and have bought a few books and started reading stories about Canadian lumberjacks and their travels. It’s pretty interesting stuff. I even bought an old cant hook I found at a flea market nearby. So why not draw some of this stuff?
One of the stories I read was about a guy whose job it was to climb trees and chop off the branches going all the way to the top. When he got to close to the height of the tree he would chop off the top 20 feet or so and watch it fall to the ground below. This one logger was so incredibly fast at descending the tree that he would throw his hat in the air and race it to the bottom.
This illustration is about reaching that apex and taking in the view. More logging illustrations to come, I’m sure.
I have 6 portraits in the current issue of New York Magazine‘s sex issue. These folks are part of a roundtable of pickup artists who were interviewed in the issue. I’ve wanted to work with New York Magazine ever since I started promoting myself as an illustrator. I did a few portfolio drop-offs there back in the day and have had them on my wish list for quite a while.
This assignment came in with about a 16 hour turnaround time, so I was very relieved when the art director loved the sketch I sent in so much he suggested I submit my sketches as the finals. I’ve always liked how my portrait sketches turn out so I am more than happy to see them in print.
My wife and I recently moved to Westport, a village in Eastern Ontario. It’s a great little spot and we have a nice studio to work out of behind our house. It’s pretty ideal for my illustration studio and my wife’s letterpress studio. I’ll be posting some photos of that as it starts to come together (or if you’re so inclined, I post occasional photos of it on Instagram).
Our first sketch outing together was to the Westport marina where this old gas station caught our eye. We brought our dog Peanut along and he lay in the shade while we were drawing. A man came by and asked us to draw his boat, but it was a pretty boring speedboat and not as interesting as this old shanty. A few people came and went to fill up their tanks, forcing us to take a break for a few minutes until they moved their boats out of the scene.
There are a lot of interesting places to sketch around here, so hopefully I’ll be able to get out and do more sketching throughout the summer.