Toronto FanExpo 2009…

By Art

…was awesome.  My first table at a show was a blast!  So much so that I booked another table for next year already.  The best part of the show was meeting so many people that love art.  A very special “thank you” to all the people that bought my book or even took some time to stop by my table for a chat.

I had the good fortune to sit between 3 unbelieveably talented people at the show.  To my right was Mark McDonnell, who kept me laughing for 3 days straight with all his crazy antics and note passing during class:

I could make a book with the number of post-it notes Mark passed to me over the 3 days.  Instead, when I sold enough of my own sketchbook I picked up this incredible book Mark was selling at the show:

He gave me a chance to flip through his personal sketchbook as well during the show.  I was blown away… check out his site here

Then the table to my left, sat 2 of the most talented and popular local artists I think I have met.  Julie Faulkner and Brian Evinou.  Julie, was there promoting her new webcomic “Promises Promises” … it’s awesome.  Go there… read and subscribe… then come back here and thank me.  Aside from that she was pumping out the most obscure requests for free sketches along with Brian 3 days straight…

Brian is like a people magnet.  I swear when the convention doors opened on Friday, the first person through them was there to see him.  I got the better end of the deal with a trade for his 2 books for my one (insert evil laugh here)

Here is Brian’s blog.

After the show on Saturday we did the dinner & drinks thing at Fionn MacCool’s.  Music sucked, burger was good, and the company was great!  It was one of my favourite parts of the show…

Looking forward to next years show already!!!

Oh WOW! Books!!!

By Art

I have a weakness and I am not ashamed of it.  Books… especially “art” books.  I was reading Chris Sanders blog (Lilo & Stich creator and artist).  In it he mentioned selling out his #3 Sketchbook at the recent San Diego Comic Con.

One of the boxes he said went to an awesome local bookstore here in Toronto called Labyrinth Books.  “Well then,” says I, “we must get that one book” especially since I am a huge fan of his art and the greatest Disney 2D film ever made.

Well it just so happens that an Adam Hughes sketchbook was also for sale there as well.  Now, since my sister has asked me to draw an AH! style Catwoman, I had to pick it up… for reference… I swear…

Okay… so at this point I know I am in trouble.  Now I am beginning to reason with myself saying, “Shane, you saved ALL that money by not going to San Diego this year… so you deserrrrrve a couple of new books that you would have picked up had you gone.  Besides, look at that book there…” which turned out to be this book here:

Now you might be saying “How To Art?!  That’s not even proper English!”  Well, this how-to book is in French.  “Shane I didn’t know you speak French!”  … I don’t.  If you have ever seen the artwork of the European artists, I think you would agree that learning another language is a small price to pay.

Here is the problem with Labyrinth Books… Its directly across from a HUGE discount book store called BMV.  Books that retail for $30 sell for $10 as an example.  Sooo, with that logic I bought 3 more books at $10 each simply because I didn’t have to buy them at full price!  Here are books 4, 5, and 6:


Now, I could have stopped there.  And I did for lunch.  So I walked up a few more blocks and had a beer and a burger on a patio and regained my strength.  (By this time, my stockpile of books was getting rather heavy)  In doing so, it drew me within a block of the infamous Beguiling book store AND I had been trying to get my hands on a copy of Doug Tennapel’s new book “Power Up”… which I did:

By no means were these the only books in my hands but they are the ones that stayed in my hands (this time)…

New books and music

By Art

I LOVE getting packages in the mail.  It doesn’t have to be a surprise either.  I ordered a couple of books online last week and coming home to see a BIG box sitting on my porch fills me with such excitement.  In fact knowing what was in it this time even made it more exciting.  Adding now to my currently 449 art book collection are these books (amongst one other that I ordered):

LOL… I can not express how inspirational Watterson’s work is to me.  Perfectly illustrated.  Funny.  Smart.  I know a lot of artists feel the same way.  It is a great day to finally get to say “I own that”

Speaking of inspirational … I was in the theater waiting to watch a movie called “Moon” (great movie by the way) when, in between two horrible country songs I heard what I thought was a song by Radiohead.  It turned out to be a group called Muse.  A song called “New Born” off their album “Origin of Symmetry”  … wow.  I was riveted to my seat and almost forgot to whip out my trusty iPhone and tag it with Shazam… later on that night I had the whole album.  The next day I lost track of how many times I let it play through.  Great music.  I will be making my way to the record store this weekend to pick up their entire discography.

Rebel without a clue (me)

By Art

… I JUST bought my first SLR camera! I am so excited to try my hand at photography. I found I really needed the ability to take my own high-res photos of textures for a recent job I was working on… and I had to settle on some images from the web… but never again… since I have this little puppy…

Toronto ComiCon….

By Art

Just a month and a bit away and I am working feverishly on my very first sketchbook. Its a lot harder to do than I first thought… but I am sure there is a huge learning curve that is coming with it.

New… well… everything!

By Art

Moving up in the world of blogging… finally have my blog hosted on my own domain!

If you have not had a chance to check out my new site… please do. Many people have told me the old site was a bit hard to navigate. I hope with the new menu system things will be a bit easier. Let me know what you think.

New MAC day!

By Art

(well for me anyway…) I am sitting here… typing this and looking at my trusty 3 year old Mac Mini… who is soon going to be getting the new job of becoming my web server. What a great little machine this little thing has been. I do not regret buying it. Anyone interested in a “starter” mac… I would highly recommend it.

But… when it
comes to graphics… I just needed more power. (Enter the Mac Pro)
Apparently its on a truck and on its way to my door today. I am giddy with anticipation… or maybe that’s the beer I am drinking to celebrate.

New Art

By Art

I am almost done with sketchbook 18… and I have a ton of images to scan, clean and crop. I have uploaded a few with more to come.



By Art

So here are some screen shots of the layers I used while making this Amelie painting (so far)

I started off with a blue background and used an airbrush tool to block in the shapes. I adjusted the size and opacity of the brush throughout. Then I rotated the canvas just a bit to get the angle I wanted and set the layer to overlay


Next I created a new layer and filled it in with a lighter blue. I also duplicated the above layer so I could later work it with a paint brush. Finally I created another layer and redefined some lines I could use as a guide when painting.

I began “working” on the duplicated layer with the oil paint brush and eye dropper to grab the different shades of blue I was creating. I tried to keep the brush as big as I could so I didn’t get hemmed down with details. What I wanted to do was create a tonal sketch. The image below shows all 4 layers. (1. The initial sketch 2. The blue layer 3. The line drawing 4. The “oil” painting)


I would turn the initial sketch and line drawing off (or reduce the opacity) from time to time to check the progress.


I needed to add some highlights and since the lightest blue on my painting wasn’t light enough for me, I created a new layer and laid down some transparent near whites… which brings you to the image I posted earlier.


Although I feel I still need to work out some issues with the oil painting… I wanted to see what she would look like with some colour. So on a new layer, I roughly airbrushed an even skin tone on her face… then fell asleep and haven’t had a chance to fix and finish this piece. 🙂


Just a small update on this image… I adjusted the position of the eye a bit:


Amélie Poulain

By Art

My favourtie movie of all time…

I have been stuck in New York City for the last 3 weeks working on computers. Last night for the first time I had some free time so I thought I would put it to some good use and did this little Painter/Wacom painting. What I am trying to do here is paint the values and get the image down right… then I am going to lay down some layers of colour.

But before I mess it up (any more), I thought I would post the rough underpainting.
Done in Painter with a couple of brushes in about 2 hours.

250,000 HITZ!!!

By Art

Today, Saturday February 14th 2009, marks the 1/4 millionth hit to my site… wow… talk about showing the love!

“Thank you” to all that have continued to to encourage and support me. I really do feel the best is yet to come.



By Art

You asked for it… you got it.

You can now subscribe to my blog… just click the link on the side bar and hook yourself up!

(let me know if you have any problems)

got iPhone? get Brushes

By Art

I am loving this app… its like turning your iPhone into a mini Wacom Cintiq

It’s called “Brushes” and its on sale for $3. Yes, I sacrificed a Starbucks coffee drink just to get this app… Actually, no I didn’t… I got them both. I am greedy like that.


By Art

I really love getting things in the mail (other than bills) Sometimes, I will purposely not buy a book at Chapters just so I can order it online… and pretend like I don’t know what it is when I come home to that brown, slightly damp, cardboard wrapping. And it was with that thought in mind that I bit the bullet and bought a subscription to one of my all time favourite (and extremely overpriced) magazines, ImageFX. One of these days I am going to get a piece of my art published in this mag…

If you like digital art, take a look at this mag… its great.

New Year with an old goal…

By Art

No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet. I have been up-heaving my life lately though, and I am happy to say I have finally settled down. I moved recently from the suburbs (yuck) of Toronto, into the city for the first time in my life… and I LOVE it. There is so much life and energy here, I regret not doing it years ago. The whole process consumed me entirely for most last year. I have neglected my art. Shame on me.

I intend to change that for this upcoming year and here’s how:

1. I want to draw something of value every day (despite working full time fixing stupid computers.)
2. I am seriously thinking of going back to an Art School here in the city or at the very least start attending life drawing classes again…
3. I am determined to produce something of a professional calibre and hopefully have it published.
4. I want to take an active role in reinvigorating the infamous Toronto SketchJam’s so many of us loved going to over the years.

So there you have it. Expect to hear and see much more from me in 09.

Painting #2

By Art

So this digital painting has some anatomy issues that I should have noticed before painting it up. I have to also figure out how to sharpen up these paintings a bit… still too blurry and maybe add a punch more colour. That being said, I am happy with this painting. I wasn’t intending to go this far with it, but am glad now that I kept coming back to it.

Hope everyone out there in Internetland likes it, and as usual I would be grateful for any criticisms for the next one that I will be starting soon.



A bunch of new pics… and dusting off my Wacom tablet

By Art

Okay… I have posted about 4 or 5 new pages out of my sketchbook that I could bear to publicly show. I need to do something different… I am getting into that drawing rut where I seem to draw the same pose over and over again… so I whipped out some reference pictures and started “doodling” on my Wacom tablet:

I am just about to battle my great nemesis… colour. I’ve got a great tutorial I dug up from an old Corel Painter magazine done by Dan Cox that I am struggling through right now…

A few new sketches…

By Art

I added the first 3 pages of my sketchbook to the site. I would also like to say hello to all the Imagevue people who have been checking out my site. I am seeing a huge number of visitors from there.


HUGE site update

By Art

Lots of changes made to the site…

A number of people have expressed a few navigation issues with the old site… I hope the changes are to everyone’s liking.