Surfing the Sea

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Celebrating Canada’s 151st — Jul 1, 2018

Celebrating Canada’s 151st

hcd2018
Vancouver Burnaby, Victoria Johnson, Ottawa Carleton, Toronto Lester & Regina Bethune

Last year was Canada’s 150th year of independence, a huge milestone in its life. While this year is a little more muted, there will nevertheless be a patriotic, shining sea of red and white washing across the country as it celebrates its 151st birthday.

Following a similar theme to last year, I again used some of the main characters of Canadian Boys in this proud display of Canadianness. To be more precise – from left to right – Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Toronto and Regina.

Everyone is attached to the Canadian flag in some way or another – most are carrying the flag, but Regina is wearing something slightly different from her usual garb. She’s dressed out in the colours of the flag, complete with white maple leaves (since if they were red, they would blend in and not be easily noticeable). Since Toronto is a singer, I made it appear as if he is singing the national anthem, with his hand – and flag – on his heart.

You may have noticed that the characters look slightly different to how I’ve drawn them in the past, with altered designs and differing skin tones. This is part of an initiative to diversify my characters and art more, in order to not make them all look samey and look like they were drawn by a conveyor belt rather than by a human. It’s also a great way to show off Canada’s wonderful diversity that makes it a great country to visit and live in.

Happy Canada Day! 🇨🇦

canadadaysparkle

(IAMP) West Meets East (2015) — Jan 15, 2018

(IAMP) West Meets East (2015)

vicvanhaldar

(Continued from last week’s exhibition.)

The city fan characters of the IAmMatthewian Project are a dying breed compared to their newer Project Canada reincarnations. With the exceptions of Calgary, Edmonton and possibly Regina and Saskatoon, many of the characters have had a dramatic makeover in both personality and style.

You could then consider this drawing a sort of last hurrah for the older versions of Victoria and Vancouver before I finally started to draw the newer versions as of 2017. As the title implies, this is a meeting-up of the biggest cities of the western and eastern coast of Canada, and it’s also a great wordplay reversal of the common phrase “East meets West”.

From left to right:

  • Victoria
  • Vancouver
  • Halifax (Henry)
  • Dartmouth (Diana)

(I still drew the older versions of Halifax and Dartmouth as late as 2016, but mostly left the others to the past.)

This drawing is actually a redraw of another artwork I saw online by Misharoyuki on DeviantArt, which is seen below and was obviously re-interpreted into my own artistic style:

vicvanhaldariamp

Vancouver and Victoria’s Christmas Date: Chapter 4 — Jan 14, 2018

Vancouver and Victoria’s Christmas Date: Chapter 4

While Victoria laid out the turkey on a baking tray wrapped in tinfoil, she fetched some roast potatoes and mixed vegetables from the freezer, and gravy granules from the stockcupboard. She brought the kettle to the boil as she filled half of a glass jug with some of the gravy granules, pouring over the steaming water and whisking it together with a wooden spoon. Not wanting to waste any of the water, she used the remainder to make both herself and Vancouver two cups of hot cocoa.

Victoria set out the table and slid the turkey out of the oven. She carefully carved it into thick, juicy slices and dished out some of the potatoes and vegetables, finishing off with a drizzle of gravy. To apply the finishing touches, she set out a couple of mince pies onto a smaller plate in the centre – one for her and one for Vancouver.

“Van, Christmas Eve dinner’s ready!” Victoria called.

Her boyfriend came rumbling down the stairs, now in his sleepwear and thick insulated ruby-red cotton socks.

“You’re in your pyjamas already? It’s only five in the afternoon.”

“Well, in the winter it gets darker earlier, right? And darkness to me means pyjama time,” Vancouver chuckled.

Victoria tut-tutted affably, igniting the scented candles to release their festive fragrances, and softly dimming the light. “That’s what I love about you, Vancouver – you’re just so simple-minded.”

“I hope that was meant as a compliment.” Vancouver grinned at his girlfriend as he sat down and they both began tucking in to their turkey dinners. He gobbled his up with extra lashings of gravy for added meatiness.


“Now let’s relax – tonight’s a movie night,” Victoria suggested.

“A Christmas movie night,” added Vancouver, beaming.

She carefully carried the candles across to the sitting room, the aromas wafting over, and gently dimmed the lights there too. Just as she set them down, she remembered the mince pies in the kitchen, so she lay another two out on the same plate and poured a fresh glass of milk. She left them out under the Christmas tree, switching the decorations on for the magic touch.

Vancouver slumped himself down on the couch, tightly swathing himself in his silky-soft, berry-red blanket while Victoria draped her own black and rose-pink blanket over herself. She lightly tapped the power button on the remote, and the couple began running their Christmas movie marathon, watching one holiday-themed movie after another to work up their excitement for tomorrow. They could watch all the fun in the snow and on the ice from the balminess and comfort provided by the cocoons of their blankets.

By the time of the third movie, Vancouver’s eyelids were weighing themselves down, and he inevitably dozed off. Victoria watched the rest of the festive movie selection alone with her snoozing, snoring boyfriend slouched beside her.


Five minutes to midnight. Victoria pinged the TV off and gently tapped Vancouver. He managed to shake himself awake for just a few more minutes while his girlfriend snuffed out the candles, and he heaved his tired, sagging body after her up the stairs and into their bedroom.

Just as they both hit the hay, a forceful thud and the clattering of what sounded like hooves rang out from the roof. Vancouver and Victoria’s eyes widened in awe, but decided to think nothing else of it, falling fast asleep for their safety.


“It’s Christmas!”

Victoria was once again woken by her impatient boyfriend bouncing on her bed. She glimpsed back at the calendar from her pillow.

“You’re right, it IS Christmas.”

The couple made a mad dash downstairs to find the sitting room chock-a-block with presents of all shapes and sizes, the milk half-imbibed, and the mince pies nibbled into, leaving big bite marks on the shortcake pastry. They gasped in astonishment…

“Merry Christmas!”

Vancouver and Victoria squeezed each other in the tightest embrace, and they promptly sat themselves down under the illuminated Christmas tree, eager to open their gifts. Just as he was about to open his first present of the day, Vancouver scratched his scalp. His girlfriend whipped over to him, seeming stunned.

“Vancouver? Did you just… scratch your head?” she asked.

“Yeah, I did,” Vancouver admitted, smiling rather ashamedly. “Must’ve been all the heat. Dried my scalp clean out.”

“Oh Vancouver,” Victoria laughed, playfully slapping her boyfriend on the back. He laughed too, and they started to unwrap all their gifts together as the billowing snow twinkled outside with the gleam of many crystals.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Vancouver and Victoria’s Christmas Date: Chapter 3 — Jan 11, 2018

Vancouver and Victoria’s Christmas Date: Chapter 3

Vancouver and Victoria stepped inside a warm and comfy log cabin out of the biting winter cold, doubling up as a hot dog shack. They made their space in a corner decked with plump ruby red-leather sofas and armchairs, and embellished with fluffy down cushions of various shades of red from salmon through strawberry to mahogany.

“Hot dog, Van?” Victoria asked her peckish boyfriend.

“Yeah.” Vancouver nodded, breathing hot air into the palms of his gloves.

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Vancouver and Victoria’s Christmas Date: Chapter 2 — Dec 21, 2017

Vancouver and Victoria’s Christmas Date: Chapter 2

Vancouver and Victoria ambled hand-in-hand down the iced streets of suburbia, the fresh snow softly and pleasantly crunching under the ridges of their hard soles. The frigid air steamed their every breath into diamond dust-like vapours. Tiny snowflakes settled upon their shoulders, melting almost instantaneously with their accumulated inner body heat.

Reaching the junction with the main street, which was heavier with Christmas Eve traffic on their way downtown, the teenaged couple made shelter at a nearby bus stop. They tightly hugged each other, and Vancouver tucked his head into Victoria’s wrapped arms to protect it from the cold. Some stray snowflakes gusted inside the shelter and onto Vancouver’s hair just beside the parting.

“Oh look Van, you’ve just washed your hair and already you’ve got dandruff,” said Victoria, tapping at his crest.

“I do? Nah, it’s snowflakes,” chuckled Vancouver, and he lightly scratched at his scalp to brush the snowflakes off.

Victoria giggled. “Oh Vancouver.”

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