Surfing the Sea

Established 1995

Pictou Doing What He Does Best (2013) — August 13, 2017

Pictou Doing What He Does Best (2013)


Last week, I introduced you to the Denoon family, from the Canadian Boys series. Composed of son Pictou, mother Port Hawkesbury and father Stellarton, this family is not like others – they have each experienced their own struggles, while also looking towards a bright future together.

This is especially true of Pictou, the Denoons’ 13-year-old son. He was born by breech with a bladder condition, the cause of much embarrassment and haranguing throughout his young life, which still continues to the present day. Despite this, he has managed to find a reason to be alive and optimistic – and that is taking up cooking.

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New Characters: Jacksons Point and Georgina — August 12, 2017

New Characters: Jacksons Point and Georgina

  • Jacksons Point

Jacksons Point is a 23-year-old man of White English Canadian heritage. He has brown hair and dark hazel eyes. His outfit is chocolate brown, and he wears a pair of cinnamon-brown laced boots. He has a younger sister named Georgina.

Jacksons Point works as an artist specializing in illustration, and he uses a combination of black graphic pens and markers in a rainbow of colours to create vivid artworks which could almost come true to life. He is usually seen carrying his trusty marker-paper sketchbook together with a case filled with his graphic pen and marker collection. Whenever he feels a surge of creative juices, he will get down and drawing straight away on the spot.

  • Georgina

Georgina is a young woman of 20 years old and of White English Canadian heritage. She has dark blonde hair and light hazel eyes. Her older brother is Jacksons Point.

In contrast to her brother’s vivid and striking marker illustrations, Georgina takes a softer approach to making her art, using watercolour paints and ink for a relaxing sensation. She is usually seen carrying her watercolour-paper sketchbook, along with paintbrushes of various sizes and a watercolour paint palette, and she will usually start painting on impulse whenever she is outdoors.

The Denoon Family (2013) — August 7, 2017

The Denoon Family (2013)


If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you might have read my full-length story, Once Upon a Time in Canada. Telling the life story of 13-year-old Pictou Denoon, along with his resilient parents Port Hawkesbury Birchwood and Stellarton Bridges-Drummond, the novel also focuses on how Pictou overcomes his troubles surrounding his bladder condition and the bullying that unfortunately comes with it.

Since I talk about the Denoon family quite a lot but I didn’t really properly introduce them on this blog, I’m now going to do it here. The drawing above was the first one I drew of them all together, though I did draw solitary sketches of Pictou and Port Hawkesbury the previous year.

The Denoon Family (2013 Version)
  • Pictou

The Denoon family’s only son. At 13 years old, he has just about started his teenage years, yet he struggles with a condition most would have grown out of in early childhood. As a result, he has been plagued with bullying, embarrassment and low self-esteem throughout much of his young life. But he is trying to turn all that around by dreaming of becoming a cook, thus giving him a purpose and something to work towards.

  • Port Hawkesbury

Pictou’s long-suffering mother. Much of her time is spent caring for her young son, including changing his wet pants and teaching him to stand up for himself against bullies. She can be easily upset by the tiniest thing, usually if it’s about Pictou. She cares a lot for her son and husband Stellarton, who acts as her anchor.

  • Stellarton

Pictou’s father and Port Hawkesbury’s husband. He is more of a monitor for Pictou, watching over him closely and taking notes at every moment. He is the anchor to Port Hawkesbury, comforting her and occasionally helping with his son’s upbringing. He cares for them both.

After drawing this artwork, I’ve made it a sort of ‘tradition’ of mine to re-draw the Denoon family portrait every year, with my art style changing each time. These are all the versions I’ve drawn to date, which will be updated with every new iteration (due to my increasing use of Letraset Winsor & Newton markers and graphic pens, the next version of the Denoon family portrait will be drawn and coloured using those):






Letraset Winsor and Newton Marker Colour List — August 2, 2017

Letraset Winsor and Newton Marker Colour List

letrasetwinsornewtonpromarkercoloursTiny Pink Bullet FTU Pale Pink tick
Pink Dot Bullet - F2U! Pastel Pink
Dot Bullet (Dark Pink) - F2U! Baby Pink
Tiny Pink Bullet FTU Blossom
Pink Dot Bullet - F2U! Pink Carnation
Dot Bullet (Dark Pink) - F2U! Rose Pink tick
Maroon Dot Bullet - F2U! Fuchsia Pink
Tiny Pink Bullet FTU Cerise tick
Pink Dot Bullet - F2U! Magenta tick
Dot Bullet (Dark Pink) - F2U! Hot Pink
Tiny Pink Bullet FTU Dusky Rose
Pink Dot Bullet - F2U! Antique Pink
Dot Bullet (Dark Pink) - F2U! Carmine
Dark Pink Dot Bullet - F2U! Maroon tick
Maroon Dot Bullet - F2U! Burgundy tick
Dark Pink Dot Bullet - F2U! Crimson
Dot Bullet (Red) - F2U! Cardinal Red
Rose Red Bullet - F2U! Ruby tick
Red Bullet Poppy tick
Maroon Dot Bullet - F2U! Red tick
Dot Bullet (Red) - F2U! Berry Red tick
Rose Red Bullet - F2U! Lipstick Red tick
Orange Dot Bullet - F2U! Burnt Orange
Peach Dot Bullet - F2U! Ginger
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Spice
Orange Bullet Bright Orange tick
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Mandarin
Orange Dot Bullet - F2U! Orange
Peach Dot Bullet - F2U! Pumpkin tick
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Amber tick
Orange Bullet Honeycomb
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Apricot
Orange Dot Bullet - F2U! Oatmeal
Peach Dot Bullet - F2U! Blush tick
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Saffron
Orange Bullet Vanilla
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Pastel Yellow tick
Peach Dot Bullet - F2U! Mustard
Yellow Bullet Primrose tick
Tiny Yellow Bullet FTU Soft Lime
Yellow Dot Bullet - F2U! Buttercup tick
Yellow Bullet Tulip Yellow
Tiny Yellow Bullet FTU Lemon
Yellow Dot Bullet - F2U! Yellow
Tiny Yellow Bullet FTU Canary tick
Yellow Bullet Sunflower tick
Tiny Yellow Bullet FTU Gold tick
Yellow Dot Bullet - F2U! Ivory tick
Tiny Yellow Bullet FTU Satin tick
Yellow Bullet Almond tick
Yellow-Green Bullet - F2U! Pastel Beige
Dull Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Khaki tick
Green Bullet Lime Zest
Lime Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Lime Green tick
Yellow-Green Bullet - F2U! Pear Green
Dot Bullet (Green) - F2U! Marsh Green tick
Dark green bullet Olive Green tick
Dot Bullet (Green) - F2U! Moss
Green Bullet Meadow Green tick
Lime Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Apple
Lime Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Leaf Green tick
Dot Bullet (Green) - F2U! Bright Green
Dark green bullet Forest Green tick
Dot Bullet (Green) - F2U! Grass
Dot Bullet (AB Green) - F2U! Emerald
Yellow-Green Bullet - F2U! Green
Lime Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Lush Green
Green Bullet Pine
Dark green bullet Holly
Dot Bullet (Green) - F2U! Pastel Green
Dot Bullet (AB Green) - F2U! Mint Green
Yellow-Green Bullet - F2U! Soft Green
Lime Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Grey Green
Green Bullet Tea Green
Sea Green Bullet - F2U! Cool Aqua tick
Dull Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Duck Egg tick
Sea Green Bullet - F2U! Turquoise tick
Dull Green Dot Bullet - F2U! Marine tick
Dot Bullet (AB Blue) - F2U! Petrol Blue
Baby Blue Bullet Pastel Blue tick
Bullet; Blue Powder Blue tick
Indigo Bullet Denim Blue
Tiny Teal Blue Bullet FTU Cyan
Tiny Dark Blue Bullet FTU Aegean
Tiny Blue Bullet FTU Blue Pearl
Baby Blue Bullet Cornflower
Indigo Bullet Cobalt Blue
Dot Bullet (AB Blue) - F2U! China Blue
Dot Bullet (Light Blue) - F2U! Midnight Blue
Blue Bullet Arctic Blue tick
Baby Blue Bullet Sky Blue tick
Dot Bullet (Light Blue) - F2U! Azure tick
Dark blue bullet True Blue tick
Dark Blue Bullet - F2U! Royal Blue tick
Dot Bullet (Dark Blue) - F2U! Indigo Blue tick
Dark Blue Bullet - F2U! French Navy tick
Indigo Bullet Bluebell
Purple Bullet Violet
Tiny Purple Bullet FTU Prussian
smol purple bullet point thing Lilac
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! Lavender
Dot Bullet (Purple) - F2U! Orchid tick
Dark Purple Dot Bullet - F2U! Amethyst tick
My Purple Bullet - F2U! Purple tick
Dark Purple Dot Bullet - F2U! Aubergine
Dot Bullet (Purple) - F2U! Plum
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! Mulberry
Purple Bullet Slate
My Purple Bullet - F2U! Shale
Orange Bullet Putty tick
Tiny Orange Bullet FTU Dusky Pink
Peach Dot Bullet - F2U! Sunkissed Pink
Orange Dot Bullet - F2U! Salmon Pink
Pink Dot Bullet - F2U! Cocktail Pink
Peach Dot Bullet - F2U! Soft Peach tick
Orange Dot Bullet - F2U! Peach tick
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Mango
Orange Bullet Coral tick
Dot Bullet (Orange) - F2U! Sandstone tick
Dot Bullet (Brown) - F2U! Caramel
Dot Bullet (Dark Brown) - F2U! Cinnamon tick
:bulletbrown: Cocoa tick
:bulletbrown: Raw Sienna tick
Dot Bullet (Dark Brown) - F2U! Burnt Sienna tick
Dot Bullet (Brown) - F2U! Tan tick
Dot Bullet (Dark Brown) - F2U! Terracotta
:bulletbrown: Walnut
:bulletbrown: Henna tick
:bulletbrown: Chestnut
:bulletbrown: Umber tick
Dot Bullet (Dark Brown) - F2U! Burnt Umber
:bulletgrey: Ice Grey 1
Tiny Grey Bullet FTU Ice Grey 2
016 | Grey Bullet Ice Grey 3
:bulletgrey: Ice Grey 4
Tiny Grey Bullet FTU Ice Grey 5
:bulletgrey: Cool Grey 1 tick
Tiny Grey Bullet FTU Cool Grey 2 tick
016 | Grey Bullet Cool Grey 3 tick
:bulletgrey: Cool Grey 4 tick
Tiny Grey Bullet FTU Cool Grey 5 tick
016 | Grey Bullet Warm Grey 1
Tiny Grey Bullet FTU Warm Grey 2
:bulletgrey: Warm Grey 3
016 | Grey Bullet Warm Grey 4
Tiny Grey Bullet FTU Warm Grey 5
Dot Bullet (Black) - F2U! Black tick
Bullet; Black Blender tick






Canada Cool: The Provinces (2013) — July 31, 2017

Canada Cool: The Provinces (2013)


My first artwork of 2013 on this blog! 🙆🏽

Since I first began drawing, I’ve always loved the idea of printing my characters onto different kinds of merchandise, like T-shirts, tote bags, pencil cases and even mouse mats. (I once accomplished this in primary school, where I had a painting of mine printed onto a mouse mat, and it was used with my own computer for many years! I still have it somewhere around today.)

Although I mostly create characters for various purposes, notably for writing stories or drawing with, I had never before created them solely for selling merchandise. This gave me an idea – channel my undying love of Canada into creating a design range featuring the best of Canadian geography and culture. Not Canadian Boys or even Project Canada, but something a little different.

Taking a bit of The Provinces & Territories Show and Project Canada, I mixed the two together to make Canada Cool. So-named because of the dark sunglasses all the province and territory characters wear, which is the stereotypical ‘cool’ image seen in many a movie or poster, as well as packing alliterative appeal and a small jab at the famously bitterly-cold Canadian winters, the plan was to create merchandise featuring each one or more of the characters and a few things from their home province/territory. Due to a shortage of funds, however, I never did get around to actually printing and producing the merchandise, but I did draw a few artworks for the range.

And even though the characters were designed specifically for the purposes of being merchandised, they do have their own bios, each of which reflects their home province/territory’s distinctive culture and geography:

  • British Columbia

A coffee, marijuana and surfing addict. He uses his home as a giant greenhouse for growing his own ‘grass’ and smoking it. His favourite food is Pacific salmon, and he can never start the day without grabbing a cup of coffee from Starbucks or Second Cup (he thinks Tim Horton’s is too ‘mainstream’, at least in Canada). He loves to spend his summers surfing at the beaches on Vancouver Island, and his winters skiing and snowboarding in Whistler.

  • Alberta

A mechanic. He uses a lot of oil for his job, with the result that he has it splashed all over him, so he wears gumboots and carries a cloth rag with him. He makes a lot of money due to playing a small part in the oil industry. When he isn’t fixing cars, he loves to watch rodeos at the Calgary Stampede, sometimes riding on the cattle himself.

  • Saskatchewan

A wheat farmer. He spends hot sunny days out in the vast fields slicing away at wheatstalks with his scythe, tanning himself as brown as a berry. He always appears to be chewing on a stalk of wheat. While normally hidden from view, he has a scar on his stomach from when he tripped up onto the blade of his scythe, causing him to require stitches and hospitalization.

  • Manitoba

A shoveller. Every winter, he keeps drivers safe by digging away excess snow, and sometimes amuses himself by building snow sculptures with it. He also likes to enjoy the outdoors by hunting, fishing, or going to see polar bears and the Northern Lights in Churchill.

  • Ontario

The brash and obnoxious Ontario is a huge hockey fan. Having a decal of the CN Tower printed on his shirt, he loves to profess his ‘excellence’ at playing hockey, but he is in fact pretty poor at it. This doesn’t stop him bragging, however.

  • Quebec

A French-Canadian cook. He specializes in baking things such as cupcakes and cookies, but he also loves to make and eat his favourite dish, the quintessially Quebecois poutine of French fries, gravy and cheese. Though he is bilingual in both English and French, he prefers French more, even declaring it to be his only recognized language. He has a bit of a rebellious side to him for this reason, wishing for independence in defiance of the others who want him to remain Canadian.

  • New Brunswick

A sailor. As well as sailing the high – and low – seas, he has a part-time job as a lumberjack, chopping down trees in the forests with his axe ad hammer. His left arm is decorated with nautically-inspired tattoos, most notably an anchor and sea waves. For very special occassions, he likes to eat fiddleheads.

  • Nova Scotia

A fiddler and bagpiper. He brings music to the table and party with his sweet melodies, but he actually has quite a sharp tongue, and can easily become provoked if someone or something rubs him up the wrong way. His speech is marked with a strong Cape Beton twang, despite being ‘born’ in Halifax, from whose infamous explosion in 1917 he received his scars and burns. He is a huge fan of seafood, especially lobster and scallops.

  • Newfoundland & Labrador

A fisherman. Sailing out to sea daily to catch fresh fish, he is sometimes seen with a codfish in his hand. Many people have difficulty understanding him because of his very strong regional accent, leading to him being the butt of many bad jokes and stories.

  • Prince Edward Island

A potato farmer. He has a small connection to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, having the former’s Scottish heritage and the latter’s love of the sea. In addition to growing potatoes in the red-tinged fields, he sometimes goes catching oysters. He loves Anne of Green Gables, and his seaside cottage is inspired by her house.

  • Yukon Territory

A gold miner. He pans in rivers and digs underground with his pickaxe, very occasionally striking it rich. He goes places with his husky dogs, during which he may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. He often simply gets called “Yukon”.

  • Northwest Territories

A hunter. He carries a small moose model around with him, possibly to signify his hunting abilities, along with a sharp spear, which he hunts and fishes with. He wears snowshoes over his boots to help him navigate tough areas which are steeped in snow.

  • Nunavut

Another hunter, much like Northwest Territories. Also carrying a sharp spear, he can stab a target over half a mile away, and can swipe up a fish from below the ice in a matter of a split second. He uses a combination of huskies, snowshoes and his snowmobile to get around.

Following on is a a gallery of addtional artworks I drew for the design range, including a few designs for some city characters, who are a sort of spin-off from the province and territory characters, and who all also wear dark sunglasses:





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