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.

A Nova Scotian Autumn

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.

Judique Glencoe-Mills, Campbell MacInnis & Lime Hill Marblemount

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.