Summer days slowly fading

Summer is coming to a close.

I made up this drawing last night after doing a teaching demo on using nib pens and washes in the afternoon. I usually don't work with these tools, but as soon as I did the demo I wanted to do more. You can make both fat and delicate lines with the nib pen. I was trying to tell them it is OK for the line quality to vary and have flaws/scratches… that the imperfections are what make an illustration have life. I could tell by their eyes that some did not believe me. Or perhaps the perfectionist comes out and that can be hard to let go of…

This is a great video by Danny Gregory on drawing breakfast - I felt this was a perfect example to show how varied line can create a beautiful and interesting drawing.

Peter and the Wolf

New work for the Symphony for Kids series at Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

This is the first of three I will be doing in this series. For these illustrations, I am working with a india ink and a brush at the beginning, scanning (in six parts!) and developing all the colouring in photoshop. The timing is pretty last minute for promoting this event, so you might not see it out and about as much as the other ones coming up :)

Lil' gallery at WD

Here are two newer paintings I did over the summer. I have a small wall space in the Woodward Design studio now where I am going to hang a few paintings as they get done, and if someone wants to purchase them, they can just buy off the wall.

For those of you who do not know where we are located, we are at #103 9942-82 Avenue, on Whyte Avenue, just above K & K Foodliner. They have really great chocolate, sodie pops and in-house made sausage! So, you should come by for a visit buy delicious treats and artwork :)

Old drawings from 2007

My version of #tbt… I've been going through a zillion old digital files at the studio and trying to get organized for some computer swapping. So, I've been looking through old illustration work. SO MUCH OLD STUFF. Impossible not to be critical of past mistakes… but also its nostalgic :)

This is Erin Woodward, circa 2007. I got the mole on the wrong side. Also a kid character I drew for a zoo book.


drawing and inking plants

I've been doing MANY bikes, runs, and walks throughout the river valley this summer. I'm trying to notice all the plants, and draw some with the help of botanical books from the library. I have some new illustrations I am working on for ABMI about biodiversity in Canada, so I feel like each walk is 'research' for work. I am so glad to have a giant forest accessible for me to use just blocks from my house and studio.

In other news, I will be doing almost exclusively illustration projects for the remainder of this year, and my two ladies at WD will be handling the majority of design clients. It turns out I will also be teaching illustration courses at MacEwan this Fall/Winter, too. 

So far, 2014 has been a whirlwind of new territory/experiences both personally and professionally. I am trying to navigate it all with kindness (to others and to myself), even when uncomfortable :)

NLT 2014

Working on creative for my oldest client (+10 yrs), Northern Light Theatre. Here are some sneak peak press images of the new season We try to do something new every year, often changing up the style/technique completely (see old seasons on the WD website). We've even hired other illustrators to produce the season images, while we focus on the art direction and design.

This year, I illustrated everything :) and I adjusted my style a little to try something new.


All I wanna do is make things with ink. I want more time to do more drawing, but feel its very tricky to create an adequate routine for this.Time is really annoying… I complain about it alot. I like too many different things and this has been my problem for a very long time.

Do you believe in this 10,000 hours to be an expert thing?

I feel that its one thing to spend that many hours actually doing a specific skill, but what about all the time we need to expand our visual library and brain? Research, reading, walking, playing music, honouring relationships, reflecting etc. How can we measure the time we spend that INFORMS the work, vs. the work itself?

Also, what about natural talent vs. practice? Also, who has 10K of time to spare? 

When I talk to students about drawing/making things, I compare it to yoga practise. Its ongoing. Until you're dead. Don't expect it to have an ending, ever. No glorious finish line. Just keep going forever and ever. It will often be awkward, difficult, and uncomfortable. Accept this. Hopefully then, you can savour the journey a little more.