Coming March 14 to a bookstore near you,
AN AFRICAN ALPHABET, written by Eric Walters, published by Orca Books and illustrated by me!
Here is the final cover art and a photo of the rough dummy. I sketched the dummy at half size and enlarged the images to be carved size as or larger. My next post will show the pile of carved linoleum that represents all 26 animals.
I was commissioned by Andrew Perro Design to create a mockup for a Canada Post stamp. To illustrate this portrait of Mathieu Da Costa, the first black man to visit Canada in the early 1600s, I researched his life as a free African employed as a translator by French traders and explorers. Da Costa spoke French, Dutch, Portuguese and possibly some North American aboriginal languages. My interpretation of Mathieu is a hand-carved linocut with digital colour.
This week in the on-going adventure of the making of art for Tomson Highway's inspiring cabaret, I take a step back to very preliminary character sketches. In this little gif, Mary Jane Mosquito is doing a lonely little ballet. She is about 5 years old and telling a sad tale of life as a little girl mosquito without wings. I like to sketch with felt tip pen rather than pencil to imitate the heavy black line of my lino-cut technique. My latest favourite drawing instrument is the Pentel Sign Pen. The book is set to be published in the fall of 2016 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
Last week I posted the linoleum carving for this spread from Tomson Highway's magical cabaret soon to be published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside. This week is the print that came from that linocut. This relief printing technique is virtually the same process you used when making potato prints in kindergarten, carved from the linoleum you might find on your kitchen floor!
For week two of THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF MARY JANE MOSQUITO, I am posting the completed linoleum carving, shown in progress last week. Linocut is a relief printing technique similar to woodcut. The parts that are carved out are negative spaces and the remaining raised surface is the art. This example has been rolled with black ink ready for printing. Next week I'll post the printed paper, a mirror image of the scene above.
This wonderful cabaret is written by Canadian playwright and musician, Tomson Highway. It is due to be published in the fall of 2016 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
I am thrilled to have been commissioned by Fitzhenry & Whiteside to illustrate a magical play by Canadian author and musician, Tomson Highway. THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF MARY JANE MOSQUITO began life as a cabaret and is soon to be published as an illustrated picture book for young adults. I have just finished the final art, sixty pages of digitally coloured lino-cut prints to complement Tomson Highway's wonderful story about a little girl mosquito without wings.
In anticipation of the book release in the fall of 2016, I am posting "Twelve Weeks of Mary Jane Mosquito." Each week I will give a sneak peak at some aspect of the process involved in creating the art.
For week one, a photo of my carving and printing supplies: three carving tools, a glass platen for the ink, and a brayer to roll it onto the linoleum. I use Graphic Chemical Co. Water Based Block Printing Ink and Stonehenge printmaking paper.
Below is a carving in progress, a double-page spread from the book. I always clamp down the linoleum to prevent injury and in twenty years of carving have never cut myself!
One trick to relief printing is to think upside down and backwards:)
What to do when unwinding after a hard day of lino carving? Why, digital finger painting, of course! I discovered Fresh Paint, a little app to mess around with on my tablet while chillaxing on the couch. I have had zero time to paint in oils lately and this app allows me to have the feeling of painting without the mess and psychological attachment. Knowing the images can only be saved at a low resolution gives me permission to play. I still enjoy printmaking but am excited to explore new techniques.
It was such a joy to receive these photos from two classes of enthusiastic young students at the Maple Bear English Institute in Daejeon, Korea. Their thoughtful questions about illustration brightened a wintry spring day.
Deo Gratias recently commissioned me to illustrate 11 saints that were made into flash drives. It is fun to see my lino-cut art transformed into 3D. This sample is Saint Michael and the rest can be found at deogratiasco.com
I am an illustrator with many years of experience in publishing, editorial, advertising and corporate. My illustration technique is linocut, printed and scanned with color applied in Photoshop. I love mixing old school and digital technologies and now am learning to paint in oils and with a wacom tablet. I'll post my learning curve here. Variety, the spice of life!