water lily at springbank park, london, ontario

Right out of the Box (or Camera)

I love using Photoshop. Ever since I began to learn the program 10 years ago I have enjoyed importing my photos and improving (or completely destroying) them to test Photoshop’s filters. Despite this love of Photoshop there is something extremely satisfying about taking a picture and realising it doesn’t need any changes. This photo is an example of that happening to me.

I have recently purchased a Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens to augment my 18mm-55mm and 70mm-300mm kit lenses I’ve been using for the past 5 years. While I’ve taken decent images with these lenses I thought it was time to take a more advanced step into the world of photography and this lens was relatively cheap and has good reviews. I decided to test it at Springbank Park, London, Ontario.

There is a small garden at Springbank Park that has a water feature containing water lilies. I snapped some pictures of the water lilies and was immeditaly pleased with the results. I loved the pink flower contrasting with the water, I loved the reflection, and I loved the bokeh. I’ve taken too many flower pictures over the last few years but this one stood out from the others.

A water lily and it's reflection at Springbank Park, London, Ontario.
A water lily and it’s reflection at Springbank Park, London, Ontario.

While I enjoy Photoshop and continue to learn it (Photoshop is one of those programs you continuously learn, no matter your skill level) I always have a feeling of satisfaction when I take a picture I love right out of the box (or camera).

Adobe Illustrator: A Cat called Steve

Cartoon Cat drawn in Adobe Illustrator
This is a fellow of my acquaintance called Steve. Steve is remarkable. I’ve known cats who seemed very intelligent, I’ve known cats who were quite dumb, but I’ve never met one who is both to such a high degree. Yes, Steve is the smartest and dumbest cat I’ve ever encountered.

These peaks and valleys of Steve’s intellect make him the perfect subject for a cartoon/comic strip (think Sylvester). That doesn’t mean I’m going to produce one, since that would involve going through a ton of tutorials and re-learning Flash, but I can hone and practice my Adobe Illustrator skills designing a caricature. This drawing is my first go at creating a cartoon cat, and to be honest, I don’t think I’m there yet. It’s not “cartoony” enough and lacks a certain fluidity. The paws should be bigger and the face is too realistic. For my next drawing I will leave out the colour all together and focus entirely on the design and dimensions.

As for Steve, he has a bad case of cabin fever waiting for this interminable winter to end so he can chase mice and birds to his heart’s content.


Cartoon Cat drawn in Adobe Photoshop
I traced the vector illustration in Photoshop and came up with this black and white drawing. While it still needs refinement I find this drawing has more life and dynamism then the vector illustration. The next step will be changing the pose of the cat to be more natural.


Here is the tracing filled with colour. I’m pretty happy with how it looks, so the next goal is creating new sketches from different angles and positions using the same style.

Cartoon Cat drawn in Adobe Photoshop