Surfing the Sea

Established 1995

My Story… — July 7, 2015

My Story…

Since I haven’t introduced myself in the last post, I’ll do it right here.

My Art vs. Artist

My name is Sabrina Gardiner, born in 1995 in the north of green England. From the fledgling age of two years old, I always loved to put my pencils (or at that time, a felt-tip pen) on to pieces of paper to reveal the machinations of my imagination to the outer world.

Once I’d grown out of the phase of scrawling uncontrollably about all over my canvases (which included walls), I began to morph those marks into intelligible characters. My specialism was creating fan stories of my favourite cartoon characters, personifications with flags and educational books.

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The big change came for me when I turned 11 years old and moved to the far-flung country of Colombia. During the year and a half I lived over there, some of the mainstays of my characters would develop, as with a fascination with the months of the year that would last me a good couple of years.

lnm07 lnm08

As I grew into my teenage years and returned to England, I needed to create more realistic characters while at the same time keeping that unmistakable fantasy feel. At this time, I had re-ignited my interest in geography after going on a road trip around the south of England, and so began on a mission to personify every place in every country, beginning with my green homeland.

swimmingpoolppl sheffieldliverpoolblackpool

Completing (or mostly completing) my personification throughout England, the next logical step would be to go stateside and get on to personifying the United States. But I added a new twist that I hadn’t done with England – personify each state as well as the cities and towns they contained. This allowed me to explore even deeper into the country’s geography by looking at the cultures of each state to see what made each one different.


But the real passion of mine started with me taking a detour at the cinema when the movies I was watching got mixed up. From there, I came across Canada.

Initially creating just one character as I did not expect to become too interested in Canada, the country suddenly began to take over, effectively ending my exploration of the States. At first I did not want to become interested as I wasn’t too much into Canada, but it then grew on me, eventually becoming my most favourite country.

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As I began to work more and more with Canada, a personal goal of emigrating over there began to form, which I still hold today and hope to realize in the near future. Every new artwork I create for the country makes my wish stronger and more determined to make my Canadian dream a reality.

Although I’ve been drawing characters for as long as I can remember, I only recently started to bring them to life on the screen. Initially creating short animations to hone my animating skills, these then evolved into fully-fledged episodes, one of which I am hoping to create a voiceover for. My ultimate dream is that these will eventually transfer to the small and big screens to capture the imaginations and inspire generations of animators to come.

And live in Canada, of course.

parrsborodance antigonishstomp


Copic Spectrum Marker Collection — May 23, 2018

Copic Spectrum Marker Collection


Maroon Dot Bullet - F2U! Cardinal Red
Dot Bullet (Red) - F2U! Crimson
Rose Red Bullet - F2U! Cadmium Red
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Chrome Orange
Yellow Dot Bullet - F2U! Acid Yellow
Yellow Bullet Canary Yellow
Tiny Yellow Bullet FTU Buttercup Yellow
Sea Green Bullet - F2U! Pale Green
Dull Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Pale Cobalt Green
Dot Bullet (Green) - F2U! Spectrum Green
Dark green bullet Moss
Yellow-Green Bullet - F2U! Green Grey
Lime Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Olive
Green Bullet Cool Shadow
Turquoise Bullet - F2U! Aqua
Baby Blue Bullet Pale Blue Grey
Tiny Blue Bullet FTU Pale Blue
Tiny Dark Blue Bullet FTU Phthalo Blue
Dot Bullet (Light Blue) - F2U! Process Blue
Dark blue bullet Prussian Blue
Pastel Purple Bullet Blue Berry
Dot Bullet (Pale Purple) - F2U! Amethyst
Pastel Pink Bullet Light Pink
Tiny Pink Bullet FTU Pure Pink
Pink Dot Bullet - F2U! Tender Pink
Dot Bullet (Blush Pink) - F2U! Salmon Pink
Crimson-Pink Bullet Emoticon Lipstick Natural
Peach Dot Bullet - F2U! Milky White
Orange Dot Bullet - F2U! Powder Pink
Orange Bullet Fruit Pink
Yellow Bullet Flesh
Pastel Yellow Bullet Chamois
Dot Bullet (Brown) - F2U! Brown
Dot Bullet (Dark Brown) - F2U! Dark Brown
:bulletgrey: Cool Grey No. 1
Tiny Grey Bullet FTU Cool Grey No. 5
016 | Grey Bullet Cool Grey No. 7
Bullet White Colourless Blender
Steven Universe Doodles: Part 2 (2018) —

Steven Universe Doodles: Part 2 (2018)

Part 2 of a dual exhibition on the cartoon Steven Universe. Part 1 here.

As before, this may contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t seen the show.

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Steven Universe Doodles: Part 1 (2018) — May 16, 2018

Steven Universe Doodles: Part 1 (2018)

Steven Universe. The cartoon that changed Cartoon Network… and possibly the whole world.

First airing in 2013, the story of a human boy and his alien ‘mothers’ may seem like a whimsical Saturday morning cartoon to the casual viewer, but it’s much deeper than that. The titular character – Steven Universe, born Steven DeMayo – is actually half-human and half-Gem. His adoptive mothers – Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl – are Gems, a race of alien humanoids who are all named after precious gemstones.

(A word of warning – Steven Universe is heavily serialized, and many things have happened in the show since it first aired, so there may be spoilers aheads.)

Continue reading

Stereotyped Canadian Province Doodles (2018) — May 9, 2018

Stereotyped Canadian Province Doodles (2018)

Stereotyped Canadian Provinces Doodles

Drawing and sketching on the go is a great way to help me warm up, entertain me and practice my art skills while outdoors (as long as the weather’s good). I recently got myself a few sketchbooks and a set of sketching pencils, so they can be easily carried around in a backpack or tote bag and taken out whenever I feel a pang of inspiration.

Due to the hot weather in recent weeks, I’ve been out of the house nearly every day, usually at the park. It gives me some much-needed exercise and vitamin D, while at the same time still allowing me to gain inspiration from the surrounding land and cityscapes.

This doodle was just one to be drawn out in the sunshine; it came about when I was reading a book on Canada (as you may have expected), and I imagined the ten Canadian provinces as literal personifications of stereotypes popularly associated with them. To keep it minimalist, I didn’t write the provinces’ names, but rather identified them by their flags. I also didn’t draw the territories as there wasn’t enough space.

I was mostly influenced by my time with Project Canada, but I also used some of my own knowledge of provincial stereotypes and symbols to doodle these characters.

Top row

  • British Columbia – hippie, weed smoker, coffee fanatic, outdoors enthusiast (rollerblades)
  • Alberta – cowboy, rancher
  • Saskatchewan – wheat farmer

Middle row

  • Manitoba – eternal winter
  • Ontario – bigwig, loves money, politician
  • Quebec – French speaker, smoker, snobbish, arrogant, proud

Bottom row

  • New Brunswick – sailor, lumberjack, fisherman
  • Nova Scotia – Scottish, bagpiper, fiddler, wears a kilt with sporran
  • Newfoundland (& Labrador) – fisherman, great sense of humour, can take bad jokes
  • Prince Edward Island – small, red-haired, loves Anne of Green Gables (doll), potato farmer

Since non-Canadian readers may not immediately recognize the flags, I’ve put up this handy reference:


(IAMP/PC) More City Doodles (2018) — May 2, 2018

(IAMP/PC) More City Doodles (2018)

A major new change has come to the weekly exhibition: from now on, doodles and drawings created in Autodesk SketchBook will be included! SketchBook combines the best of Photoshop with Microsoft Paint to quickly and easily create with artists’ favourite tools, including pencils, drawing pens, paintbrushes and Copic markers.

While any colours can be used in SketchBook, I prefer colouring with the Copic palette, as it brings my digital art closer to how it would be if it had been coloured traditionally – with a black inking pen and markers (not necessarily Copic).

To try out these exciting features, I drew some more doodles of some of the city fan characters from the IAmMatthewian Project (Project Canada).

Lucas Wilson, Etienne Maisonneuve & Vernon Mann

First up is a redrawing of this doodle, starring Toronto (Lucas Wilson), Montreal (Etienne Maisonneuve) and Vancouver (Vernon Mann). With bold black outlines and more muted colours, this version is much cleaner and less louder than the other. In an attempt to diversify my artworks, each of the characters are given differing skin tones, which due to the wide Copic range of colours is easier than ever. The characters’ names are written in a custom downloaded font to add a more personal and professional touch. As before, their outfits are based on the hometowns’ flags, which can be seen in the aforementioned post.

Calvin McCall & Edward Murphy

Fan favourites Calgary (Calvin McCall) and Edmonton (Edward Murphy) – both created by Hapo on Tumblr – also get doodled. The patches on Calgary’s Stetson hat were created using the rough pastel tool in black, while his spurs are sprayed with grey glow paint to give a silvery sheen. Diverse skin tones are also played with in Edmonton’s brown flesh, where previously I had coloured him with white skin. By colouring him brown, this is more faithful to Hapo’s portrayal of Edmonton.

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