Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

The Great Nova Scotian Barbecue (2018) — Aug 29, 2018

The Great Nova Scotian Barbecue (2018)

The Great Nova Scotian Barbecue

With summer beginning to fade away into the earthy tones and scents of autumn, there’s no better way to send it off than a big family barbecue party. No-one does family gatherings better than the inhabitants of Nova Scotia.

As well as the usual burgers, hotdogs and steaks, there’s a Maritime twist – barbecued lobsters with a butter baste are the order of the day. Even the tablecloth has a Nova Scotian tartan pattern, adding to the patriotism.

I used a silver glitter pen to create the plumes of whitish-grey smoke billowing from the barbecue as it sizzles and crackles away with glowing coals and embers, represented with orange and yellow glitter pens.

There’s also some fun and relaxation to be had – Truro shows off his shooting skills with some basketball in the courtyard to a cheering crowd, while Amherst, Springhill and Lunenburg sleep off all the calories with a good afternoon nap. One of my favourite plants is the lilac and lavender wisteria vine, which I added twining itself around the canopy of the swinging bench where Amherst and Springhill are snoozing. It’s a common vine of the suburbs, where large fenced back gardens are the norm, though not usually on the beachfront like here.


Enjoy the final days of summer while it lasts – soon you’ll be in for six months of winter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Great Nova Scotia Parade (2018) — Aug 22, 2018

The Great Nova Scotia Parade (2018)

The Great Nova Scotia Parade

After taking a good break, I’m back with my usual schedule of programming! ๐Ÿ˜

I’ve made several achievements this year in terms of my art, like diversifying skintones and mixing up coloured pencils and markers to create a comic book-like look. I’ve also tried out drawing on a range of paper sizes and colours.

With that said, this may possibly be the biggest thing I’ve ever drawn traditionally. Like this large banner, it also stars the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life, hosting a patriotic parade of Nova Scotian pride. Partially inspired by flag parades seen at the likes of the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, the large area of the A2 paper gave me an opportunity to draw a myriad of characters across a wide space, adding more colour and helping more people to recognize them on sight.

There’s a bit of a funny story with this drawing; due to its huge size, I had some difficulty finding a scanner which was big enough to scan the whole thing without having to scan each half separately and stitching them together in Photoshop. Many scanners – including my own – only go up to A3, which is a commoner size than A2. After much trawling about carrying the poster everywhere, I eventually found an A2 scanner at a stationery store in the centre of the city. Costing me ยฃ12, the poster was so big – both in physical size and file size (14 megabytes!) – that I had to reduce its size down to about A4. This brings it down to a more store-able one megabyte, while losing none of its high quality or vibrant colours. I also bought an A2 project folder to shield it from dust, water and other dirty things which can splash against it.

This has taught me an important lesson, however; next time I want to draw something big, I’ll be sticking with A3. ๐Ÿ˜†

Nova Scotian Beach Vacation (2018) — Aug 8, 2018

Nova Scotian Beach Vacation (2018)

Nova Scotian Beach Vacation

With ever-rising temperatures, this summer is set to be one of the hottest on record – if not THE hottest. That means it’s important to keep cool (literally), so most of us will be taking the plunge at the beach or in the pool. Which includes (some of) the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life.

The beach backdrop is inspired by some of the seaside trips I’ve enjoyed this summer, most notably Camber Sandsย with its sandy grassy golden dunes. Of course, the sea is almost never this shade of turquoise where I live, but it’s a lot brighter and sunnier-looking than the boring greyish-green which is the common colour of the ocean here. The off-white crest of the waves evokes bubbly seafoam, while the darker shade of beige in the sand is meant to have been soaked by the neverending rush of waves, revealing some hidden nautical treasures.

Along with the usual favourites of mine, some characters I don’t usually draw in swimsuits have also joined in the beach party. Truro and Yarmouth play some beach volleyball on the sands, while Lunenburg snoozes out in the sun and New Glasgow tries to ignite a summer romance with Peggy’s Cove… but all in vain.

I never tire of drawing beach scenes, even in the dark cold depths of winter when I imagine myself in warmer climes. ๐Ÿ–๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ˜Ž

The Big Nova Scotian Banner (2018) — Aug 1, 2018

The Big Nova Scotian Banner (2018)

A Nova Scotian Way of Life Cast Banner

Possibly the biggest thing I’ve drawn digitally up to now! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

As I’ve become more and more experienced using Autodesk SketchBook, I’ve been challenging myself by drawing large banners of favourite characters. Although I’ve drawn them many times, I never quite get tired or bored of drawing the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life.

This is the most complete drawing of the cast to date, but still missing a few characters. Skintones are more diversified than previous drawings, allowing for more variety and more accurately showing their ethnicity and heritage. Some of the characters have had their outfits slightly redesigned to keep it fresher-looking.

Full list of characters shown here (left to right)

  • Halifax Davison
  • Dartmouth McKinnon-Graham
  • Jollimore Ferrison
  • Cole Harbour Raine-Bowes
  • Waverley Pillsbury
  • Sambro Ketch
  • Peggy’s Cove-Clam Pond
  • Lunenburg Cumberland
  • Mahone Bay Fairmont
  • Bridgewater Oakhill
  • Liverpool LaHave
  • Lockeport Demmings
  • Yarmouth Clements
  • Truro Deuville
  • Berwick Welford
  • Masstown McElmon
  • Amherst Croft
  • Springhill Horton
  • Joggins McClure
  • Parrsboro Jenkins
  • Oxford McCormick
  • Pugwash Morris
  • Tatamagouche Tattrie
  • Pictou Denoon
  • New Glasgow Munroe
  • Stellarton Bridges-Drummond
  • Trenton Allen
  • Westville Cowan
  • James River-Beaver Meadow
  • Antigonish Jackson
  • Arisaig Jackson
  • Port Hawkesbury Birchwood
  • Judique Glencoe-Mills
  • Campbell MacInnis
  • Lime Hill Marblemount
The Wedding of the Year 2018 — Jul 11, 2018
%d bloggers like this: