Creative Process & The Canon T5i

Recently I was approached by Canon to be a part of their True Originals campaign, a project showcasing various Canadian artists’ creative processes. I immediately jumped on board! I think it’s great that they want to feature the work of artists on their various outlets, and to top it off, I was given a Canon T5i to aid in documenting the way in which I create art.

One of the features of the camera that I’m particularly excited to try out is the HDR video recording. I’ve been wanting to make some high quality footage of how I paint, and now I’ll be able to give it a go. However, because of time constraints and the fact that I need to figure out video editing, I decided to document my creative process through the photos below.

The Process

Lately I’ve been inspired by old lithographs of birds like the kind you see in the famous Audubon books, and that’s what influenced me to create the subject matter of this painting. Typically, I like to start off with a detailed sketch; usually drawn digitally with my Cintiq in Photoshop. As you can see in the photo above on my second moniter, I have plenty of great references for my little warblers.

Once I’m happy with the sketch, I reduce the opacity of the line work to about 20% and then I print it directly on to watercolor paper. (I like to use hot pressed Fabriano paper.)

My painting medium of choice is gouache. It’s a water-based paint similar to watercolor, but more opaque. I find it can produce beautiful and vibrant colors!

I begin with the background elements like the branches and then the leaves.

Then I move on to painting the foreground objects, which are the birds.

To finish off the piece, I like to use pencil crayons to help define some of the edges.

And here’s the finished piece!

In terms of what fuels my creativity and passion for creating art, I’d have to say it’s as simple as wanting to make something memorable and beautiful. I think back to other artists’ work that have made a big impact on me, and I strive to make that same kind of affect on others with my art. Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into how I paint.

This post was created in partnership with Canon. For details about the Canon T5i, you can check out this link: #TrueOriginals

My Favorite Makeup Pouch + Giveaway

If you’ve known me at all, then you’ve probably seen my cat makeup pouch that I take with me everywhere. It’s the perfect size to fit all of my essential makeup (eyeliner, concealer, foundation, lip gloss) without being too bulky or too small; and best of all, it’s in the shape of a little cat face.

I bought this pouch at Aberdeen mall in Vancouver 12 years ago, which means I was only in grade 11 at the time! It’s actually held up remarkably well for how much use it gets, but sadly, it’s gotten really worn down with holes and a zipper that splits open with the slightest bit of tension. You can see in the image above what a difference there is between the new and old case! Because I love this pouch so much, I’d been searching for a new one on and off the last few years, but couldn’t find it anywhere…until it popped up on ebay recently. Ensuring that I’ll have these for the next 60 or so years, I bought 6 of them, and I want to give one of them away here on the blog. Just enter below!

I will never forget you, old friend.

Imaginary Friends Show

Gallery Nucleus is having an upcoming show called Imaginary Friends that starts April 19th and I’ll be a part of it! My piece is done in gouache and depicts an imaginary tea party where a girl enjoys the company of her fancy pet friends. Being in the middle of a very hectic work schedule, creating this piece was a nice and relaxing break.

It’ll be available for purchase on Nucleus’ site after the opening reception. If you’re in the LA area, be sure to check out the gallery!

pottery classes & Mermaid planter

Last year I took my first pottery class and had an amazing time; so much so that I just signed up for another round starting in April. Here are photos of a mermaid ledge planter I’d made, my favorite piece from last year’s class…her leafy hair has gotten a lot crazier from before!

Expect to see many more pottery updates in the next few months :).

Failed Cookie Cup Attempt

Josh’s friend made a special request for some edible cookie cups like these ones by Dominique Ansel Bakery. Naively, I thought it’d be fun, so I decided to give it a try. I used a speculaas cookie recipe since they tend to hold their shape quite well throughout baking. Then I tried making the cups by putting dough on the inside of a large muffin pan and also by putting dough on the exterior of a smaller muffin pan. Sadly, both methods didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.

I ended up with gross looking cookie butt holes and sad little hats. The hats could have been salvaged, I could have trimmed away the rims, but at this point I tasted the cookies and I didn’t even like their flavor. Being stubborn, I tried again the next day with regular chocolate chip cookie dough, but I refrigerated the dough in the muffin pan before placing it in the oven. That still didn’t turn out, and it was a sloppy mess.

If you want to see a much more successful try at making cookie cups, Wesley from Wicked Glitch cleverly used a silicone mold meant for ice (but is also safe for the oven) that allowed him to make really nice cookie shot glasses.

Even though I wasted a chunk of my Saturday and Sunday, there was one good thing that came of all this failed baking: getting these photos of our cat, Wheatley, wearing a sad little cookie hat.