Graphic Design and Illustration.

Archive for ‘September, 2015’

Getting Ready for Inktober!

Inktober_2015 Banner

Inktober is coming up soon. For more information about what Inktober is about, follow this link. Last year, I chose a theme of sketching out whoever was walking by my window that day. It worked out fairly well most days. I only had to break the rules a few times. You can see the end results following this link here, and you can see a few of them with some quick colour dropped in here.

This year I wanted to do something a little different. Last year I designed a character for a local comic convention. It wasn’t chosen, so I felt I should probably use her for something else. So for Inktober, I am going to have the character, now dubbed Northern Lights, interact with various Canadian superheroes. To help me out with this I expanded to Canadian comic characters or characters that were created by Canadian based comic artists. I will also break the rules twice to cover some comic heroes that inspired the overall costume design for Northern Lights. The list will go as follows:

  1. Wolverine
  2. Captain Canuck
  3. Guardian
  4. Nelvana
  5. Scott Pilgrim
  6. Johnny Canuck
  7. Fleur de Lis
  8. Puck
  9. Deadpool
  10. Major Mapleleaf
  11. Red Panda
  12. Sasquatch
  13. North Star/Aurora
  14. Delilah Dirk
  15. Cassie and Tonks
  16. Superhero Girl
  17. Northguard
  18. The Grenadier
  19. Shaman
  20. Batgirl
  21. Mr Monster
  22. Ms Marvel
  23. Box
  24. Spider Gwen and Squirrel Girl
  25. Gary and Zii from Ménage a Trois
  26. Kid Thor
  27. Superman
  28. Hero Bear
  29. The Red Ensign
  30. Cerebus the Aardvark
  31. Northern Lights solo

At least that is the plan. Hopefully it all turns out well! FYI, Deadpool is kinda controversial. He apparently has claimed to be Canadian, but there is quite a lot about the character’s history that might be suspect, so who knows?

And now for my weapons of choice:


  1. Pentel Pocket Brush – my first brush pen. I was introduced to it in school 20 years ago and fell in love. A great pen that can create both fine lines and thick lines with lots of character.
  2. Zebra Disposable Brush Pen Fine – my new favourite brush pen. A much harder tip than the Pentel, and can still create a wide variety of line weights. The lines are more fluid and sharper than the Pentel as well.
  3. Tombow Brush Pen Soft – the softest tip of all the felt tip brush pens I will use this year. Good for medium to thick line weights. Though the thicker line weights break up a bit.
  4. Kuratake Disposable Pocket Brush Pen Fine – a softer tip than the Zebra and a generally heavier line weight as well, but cannot make quite as many varied line weights.
  5. Gelly Roll white pen – a white ink pen with a fine line. Goes down pretty good as long as the dark ink underneath is bone dry.
  6. An old fine line Sharpie. A really really fine line. Only good for small details or fixing up lines made from the other pens.
  7. Bamboo reed pen – I picked this one up from a local art supply shop that was going out of business. I have no idea what kind of lines it will draw. I am anxious to use it.
  8. On old pen nib – waaaaay back in the day, I was interested in calligraphy. I never really was very good at it, but I managed to inherit quite a few pen nibs from my grandfather. They were the pen nibs he would have used in grade school. Will be interested in how this one turns out.

This should be an interesting upcoming month. I am currently trying to sell my house and work has been very busy lately. Hopefully I will have the time to do all of this! Enjoy!

World Art Drop Day 2015


After a long hiatus this summer, this is my first real blog post in a while. But summer is pretty much over, and I am ready to start things up again. So here we go!

This past week, I patricipated in World Art Drop Day, where artists all over the world left little gifts for people to find. Just check out out the hashtag #ArtDropDay in Twitter, Instagram and most likely Facebook. Or you can go to this page where it all started.

Last year, I drew out a series of artist sketch cards and hid them in various locations while taking my son to his daycare. This meant a lot of outdoor locations. And a torrential rainstorm. Read about it here. This year I wanted something a little more durable.

I fist started out with the idea of vinyl stickers. And while I did find Some nice places online, it was just too much money for just a few stickers I would need. It’s not like I was plastering the entire city with stickers!

I decided to 3D print a figurine instead. I had already settled on a theme of robots and it seemed like a natural. I hadn’t printed out anything of my own in 3D for a while so it was a good exercise to do.

I originally started out with a sketch. I sketched out quite a few different robots until I settled upon the design of the pillbot.

Robot Sketch

Once I had a sketch done, I used my iPad and a program from Autodesk called 123D Design to build most of the parts.


Once I had all the main pieces put together, I put everything into a 3D program called Blender. Here I could fine tune some shapes and get him posed.

Blender Screen Shot

Once I had the little robot posed, I output an STL file and sent him off to be 3D printed at the nice folks at Shapeways. He is printed out on a very fine detailed translucent plastic. I then quickly gave him a very thin coat of primer to help bring out the details.

Little Prints

If I were to do it again, I would have attached the arms to the base for some added reinforcement. While it printed out just fine, one of the arms did break off and I had to glue it back on. Hopefully the people who found the figurines found them fully intact.

Thoses of you who are interested, these little guys are now for sale online at Shapeways. I have the same robot in a few other poses and I may make them available if there is any interest in these little robots. Follow this link to purchase.

Just be aware these robots would not make very good toys for very young children.  They are very small and fragile. The would be okay for a much older child (like a pre-teen or teen) or the young at heart.


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