Tag Archives: Process

Astronomically Correct Twinkle Twinkle

I’m very excited to announce the new Scientifically Correct kids book I made with Zach Weinersmith (SMBC) and Henry Reich (Minutephysics). Astronomically Correct Twinkle Twinkle is an illustrated astronomy lesson written in verse. Learn about black holes, why stars actually twinkle, and more in this fun, educational retelling of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The book […]

Zoe Sparks: Stuffie Rescue Squad

My new all-ages graphic novel launches on October 6, 2014 at www.zoesparks.ca To give a little bit of insight into my process, I thought I would share some of my sketches and show the stages I go through in creating the artwork. 1. Writing/thumbnailing I start with a story goal in mind, a short written […]

Skate Park Puzzle – May ChickaDEE Magazine

The May 2014 issue of ChickaDEE Magazine is now available, and I had the pleasure of illustrating the puzzle spread for this issue. This puzzle features a bike trail maze, which was a really fun challenge to create. I used to draw mazes in my school notebooks all the time, so this one brought back […]

Clubhouse Jr. March Cover and Rebus

I recently had the pleasure of working with the wonderful team at Clubhouse Jr. as I illustrated the cover and some interior illustrations for the March 2014 issue. When I’m working on a cover, I’ll usually work up a couple more concept sketches than I normally would – just to be sure we have the […]

The Explorers

I recently completed this personal piece and I thought I’d share some of my process. 1. I start off with a series of small thumbnail sketches to explore composition 2. Using my thumbnail sketch as a guide I produce a larger more refined sketch. At this stage I also do a quick value study to […]

Puzzle Spread illustration in November ChickaDEE

The November issue of ChickaDEE Magazine is all about China. I had the super fun job of illustrating the full spread puzzle page for this issue. Below is the final version – click to view larger (For demonstration purposes I modified it a bit from the version that appears in the magazine – removing some […]

The Pumpkin King

Happy Halloween everyone! Here is an illustration I recently completed for my latest postcard mailer: Here’s a photo of the postcard (front and back): I had these printed by Overnight Prints, as 5×7″ glossy with rounded corners. Ever since I first started printing them with the rounded corners I’ve not been able to go back […]

Waking Up The Farm

At the SCBWI Canada East conference I attended earlier this month, all of the illustrators had a pre-conference assignment. We were given the manuscript for “Wake Up, Rupert!” (by Mike Twohy) by Simon & Schuster’s Art Director, Laurent Linn. We worked on our sketches leading up to the conference and gave each other feedback. We […]

Experimenting with inking in Manga Studio

Above is a test of line work in Manga Studio vs. Hand drawn (with China Marker). I’ve been experimenting lately with Manga Studio for my line work. My usual process involves drawing and inking traditionally, but so far I’m really impressed with the line quality I can get with Manga Studio. I may have to […]

September Cover ChickaDEE Magazine

I recently had the super fun job of illustrating the cover for the back to school issue of ChickaDEE Magazine! It’s on sale now, so make sure to pick up a copy. While working on the sketches, I worked up a few alternate poses for the brain character that weren’t used in the final: I […]

“Inside Look” Puzzle Page from June ChickaDEE Magazine

In the recent June issue of ChickaDEE Magazine I had the fun task of illustrating some kitchen items for a puzzle page feature. Here are a few below – can you guess what they are? During this project I sketched out quite a few alternate ideas that were perhaps a bit too easy to figure […]

June Cover ChickaDEE Magazine

I recently had the pleasure of illustrating the cover for the June Food Issue of ChickaDEE magazine. Big thanks to Susan and her team at Owl Kids for the opportunity to work on this fun cover! While working out ideas, I sketched out a few alternate fruit characters that didn’t make the final cut. Here […]

Drawing on Comics: Developing My Visual Communication Skills

Early Influence I grew up reading comics. Every Saturday my buddies and I would ride our bikes to the local comic shop and pick up the new issues. It was a ritual. I remember the small sweaty store loaded with awesome artwork— posters, figurines, graphic novels, and the colourful display of comics with the wonderful […]

Illustrating Characters: Personality Goes a Long Way

No matter what type of illustration you are working on, it will probably include a character. When illustrating characters – animals, children, or adults – one of the most basic and essential elements is conveying their personality. Characters are the heart of great stories, and you are telling stories with your pictures, so being able […]

A “Thank You” card

As part of my follow up after I complete large illustration assignment, I like to send a small handwritten note of appreciation. I think that small personal touches like this can go a long way to building a good relationship with clients. Taking some characters from a comic project I am developing, I decided to […]

New promotional postcard design

Having recently designed my latest promotional postcard, I thought I’d talk a little about my process for those who may be interested. I make my postcards a little larger than the standard 4×6″, instead going with a 5×7″ size. I feel this has a better impact, and allows for more/larger images. Plus, the cost of […]

Creating a Snowflakes Strip – Part 4: Colouring

  Home stretch post! In the other three parts, I’ve covered the process for creating a strip from sketch, to pencils, to inking and scanning. Now I will go over my process for colouring a strip. When I colour a strip, I lay out all of the flat colours first, picking and adjusting the colour […]

Creating a Snowflakes Strip – Part 2: Pencilling

In part 1, I discussed my process for thumbnailing a strip. Here will go through my process for pencilling the strip at full size. I begin by scanning my original 2.5×7″ thumbnail sketch, and enlarging it to 5×14″ in Photoshop. I then print out this enlarged rough, and in the case of this double size […]

Creating a Snowflakes Strip – Part 1: The Sketch

I’m not sure why I waited so long to do this, but I figured it was about time I showed my process for creating a Snowflakes strip. It all starts with the script from Zach and James, which I will omit here to prevent any spoilers for this yet-to-be-published strip.   I draw all my […]

Making a Snowflakes promotional package

In the course of promoting Snowflakes generally and to book publishers, it’s a good idea to have a small promotional package that introduces the comic. Since Snowflakes is really into the heart of the story now, after over two years of updates, we’ll be making more of a push promotionally to book publishers and the […]

Designing my tear sheets

My tear sheets are one of my most important promotional pieces. These are available for download on my website, and will be part of the promotional packages I send out. In designing these, as with my promotional postcards, I focused them on my children’s illustration work. In order to present the different strengths of my […]

My promotional postcard design

I needed to design a postcard that I could use for my promotional mailings. My goal is to generate more children’s illustration work, so I designed the postcard with this in mind, using images I felt best reflected my work in this area. Instead of the standard 4×6″ postcard, I decided to make it 5×7″, […]