As I go through my sketchbooks, I have been scanning drawings from Dr. Sketchy’s sessions, which generally means I’m scanning in backwards order. These drawings are from the November 2012 session of Dr. Sketchy’s Ottawa, entitled “From Kiev, With Love.” Each of the three models was dressed and made up as a traditional Ukrainian Doll. Models Dee Dee Butters, Olexandra Pruchnicky, and Danniel Oickle put on a great session. Doll makeup done by Dee Dee Butters created a trompe l’oeil effect on each of their faces, and it was a unique challenge to visually discern between the doll features and the underlying facial structure of the model. The costumes were excellent, each piece of drapery creating an interesting silhouette. I used brush pen for my gestures – a practice I’m favouring more and more – and pencil or col-erase for the longer poses.
At the end of January, the monthly edition of Dr. Sketchy’s Ottawa had a Barbarella theme. It’s always fun to draw campy sci-fi vixens, so I packed up my sketchbook and off I went. The talented models – Olexandra Pruchnicky and Ella Modella – did not disappoint. Their costumes were well thought out; their poses dynamic. All in all a pleasure to draw. I opted to begin with gestures in greyscale brush pen, then moved on to conte for the 5 and 10 minute poses. It had been a while since I used conte, and I was a little rusty. To feel more in control of my drawings, I chose to render longer poses in pencil.
While I didn’t make it to many of last year’s Dr. Sketchy’s sessions, I did make it to a few. One of my favourites was July’s Comic Book Villainy, with models Edith Chartier and Jolie Stripes. Edith is an extremely talented costumer and seamstress, and her costumes for this occasion were wonderful. The models dressed as Dark Phoenix and Emma Frost from Marvel, and Catwoman and Poison Ivy from DC. I had been hoping for a comic-themed session for some time, as I love the combination of pin-ups and comics à la Adam Hughes.
Once again this past year, I had the honour of working on the poster for the annual Lumière festival. As with years past, there was a theme, and this year’s theme was stories. I presented the client with three concepts: one, a father and child with lanterns for heads, reading a book together as images float around them; two, an image of Scheherezade from 1001 Arabian Nights, against a sea of lanterns, and three, a pop-up book with a conceptual tree strewn with lanterns, with a figure climbing a ladder to place another. The client liked the pop-up book concept, but wanted the tree to look more like the trees in Ottawa’s Stanley Park. They also wanted more people among the layers of the tree.
I played a lot with this layout and background, using different brushes to achieve the look of a starry night sky and thick brushes to imply a stylized backlighting of the tree. I loved working on this poster – I always do. There is always something magical and fantastical in the mood I try to achieve, and I love to translate this mood to my finished illustration. I hope I get to work on it once again in 2013!