A city surrounded by water and mountains, Vancouver really is beautiful. As you drive around, it’s hard not to fall in love with the giant trees and green spaces, the awesome cafes and restaurants and the unique buzz of energy in the air. Giant street art murals and hipster spots are nestled next to historic buildings on cobblestone streets in Gastown and in North Vancouver, suspension bridges wrapped around ancient trees make for the perfect big-kid playground. It’s a fascinating mix of new-age culture and old-world beauty, offering visitors a whole world of fun and food to explore. To help you plan an amazing trip, here are our tips on 31 awesome things you absolutely must do in Vancouver, BC!
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Summer’s high heat starts to fade away, giving in to cooler temperatures, warm clothes and browning leaves blowing in the fresh breeze. This makes the perfect conditions for an explosion of creativity, allowing me to experiment with more muted, earthly tones – and drawing characters in outfits that are more suited to the season.
Continuing a series of seasonal artworks starring (most of) the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life, which I began in the summer, the greens, yellows and blues of the sunny season transition dramatically into the browns, oranges and reds of the autumnal season.
Mushrooms sprout up from the damp soil and wooden logs, a classic harbinger of the fall, and the trees turn a beautiful, bright shade of red matching that everlasting Canadian emblem – the red maple leaf. Horse chestnuts also break out of their spiky green shells, revealing shiny auburn conkers that always litter the leafy floor at this time of year.
As per the season, everybody’s dressed up in warm coats, scarves and hats – Stellarton gets a golden star on his fall sweater, alluding to the first half of his name meaning ‘star’ in Latin, while the Scotsmen of the clan wear matching tartan trousers under their kilts (to prevent any neverending jokes about what they wear ‘under there’.)
Every leaf you see in this drawing was individually drawn and coloured, reflecting the uniqueness of every leaf in real life (though I did cheat somewhat and coloured in several of them with the same colour). I tried to give them different shapes in addition to the classic ‘maple leaf’ shape, like oak, birch and horse chestnut. There’s also some Maritime touches – fiddlehead ferns, a delicacy in New Brunswick, and mayflowers, the provincial flower of Nova Scotia.
Taking place in the same forest, but a little further down the path, the Cape Breton fiddling trio of Judique, Campbell and Lime Hill have a leisurely autumn stroll by themselves. They wear sleek black flowing scarves and trenchcoats with their kilts underneath, but surprisingly no trousers or visible undergarments. (I can assure you that they ARE wearing something under there – they’re really short shorts.)
I experimented a little bit with perspective in this drawing, giving the impression that the trio are walking towards the ‘camera’, or the viewer. This is another way I get up close to my viewers – making it seem the characters are interacting directly with them, and that they’re not just ink markings on paper. It makes them more human.
It’s been a long time since I last drew my Hetalia Canadian province and territory fan characters, but I’ve always felt that they could do with a few redesigning and renaming jobs. They were created as a result of all the influence that Hetalia and Project Canada has had on creating personifications of places, but I never really gave much thought to their looks or personalities beyond that of their homelands; I merely created them to make fun of the stereotypes associated with each one.
So I’ve finally gotten around to redrawing them in my updated style, adding some more traits and changing some of their ‘real’ names to something better – the others remain the same. Their detailed character profiles are a work in progress, and will be posted onto this blog when they’re completed.
- British Columbia (Victor Chan) – Wears badges depicting a marijuana leaf and a rainbow peace symbol. Has burns on his lower back to represent the wildfires tearing up the forests.
- Alberta (Edmund Ivanokov) – Now has burns on his back and shoulders to represent the devastating 2016 Fort McMurray fire. Still remains irreparably afraid of fire.
- Saskatchewan (Reginald Dordrecht) – Has a suntan, representing the province with the most hours of sunshine in Canada. Has a scar going up to just under his neck from his stomach due to having an accident with his scythe.
- Manitoba (Winston Polanski) – I changed his first name from Winifred to Winston after realizing the former was a girl’s name, and to avoid anyone mocking him for having that name.
- Ontario (Torrey Pearson) – Now has burns on his upper back, also due to wildfires.
- Quebec (Beckett Desrosiers) – Has burns representing the Lac-Megantic rail disaster which almost obliterated the entire town.
- New Brunswick (Frederick ‘Fred’ Maillet) – Frederick is his full first name, with Fred being a shortening. He now has a burn scar on his upper chest to represent the Great Miramichi Fire in 1825.
- Nova Scotia (Harold ‘Hal’ MacKinnon) – I’ve decided his full first name to be Harold, with Hal being the shortening.
- Newfoundland (Johnny O’Doherty) – Newfoundland and Labrador is a bit of a mouthful and a type-ful, so I shortened it to Newfoundland.
- Prince Edward Island (Charles ‘Charlie’ Smith) – Charles is his full first name, with Charlie being a shortening. I also changed his last name from Smitheram to simply Smith.
- Yukon (Whitney Keno) – Yukon Territory is also rather long to say and type, so I changed it to just Yukon.
- Northwest Territories (Yelena Gahcho-Kue) – Stays mostly the same.
- Nunavut (Ikiaq Nanisivik) – After getting a complaint that my Nunavut was too dark-skinned to be Inuit, I lightened the shade of brown I use for her skin to more accurately fit her ethnicity.