Happy Hallowe’en

DayOfDead_type

From the archives, something spooky for Hallowe’en, a wrap-around cover for Cricket Magazine. For the theme of Day of the Dead I created a hand-carved linocut print with digital color. BOO!

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The Buskers are Coming!

Busker17_blue

I have had the pleasure of creating art for the Sun Life Financial Waterloo Busker Carnival for several years. It is one of my favourite assignments and this year was no exception. It is worth the drive to Waterloo, Ontario to catch a bunch of awesome street performers working their magic from August 24 – 27!

Another Review for An African Alphabet!

Just received a review from the School Library Journal for An African Alphabet written by Eric Walters, published by Orca Book Publishers. More to see at suetodd.com!

SLJ_AA_review_excerpt

The making of a linocut illustration

An interest in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France propelled me to explore the lives of influential women from the period. I developed an interest in the fascinating life of Josephine Bonaparte and have written and illustrated a graphic novel about her  journey from a plantation in Martinique, through the Terror to become Empress of France. The rough dummy is complete and a few pieces of final art, including this scene of a Victims’ Ball. Legend has it that after the Terror victims gathered to dance wildly as a release from the horrors they had experienced under the Jacobins.  Women and men sheared their hair at the nape of the neck where the guillotine blade would have fallen. Women purportedly wore red chokers for the same reason. The historical accuracy of these accounts is contentious but it makes for an interesting story.

VictimBall_sketch
This is the preliminary sketch of the Victims’ Ball scene. I usually do my roughs in felt tip pen but this was so detailed I thought it might be more efficient to use pencil and eraser rather than continually retracing as the drawing develops. I got into the habit of working with pen on tracing paper from my days as a retail layout artist.
VictimsBall_lino
This is the scan of a detail of the inked linoleum carving. I am so accustomed to thinking in reverse after all these years in printmaking that I have trouble discerning reality from its mirror image. I can, however, read text backward with great facility.
VictimBall_Paper
I often use a textured background under my line work and colorize it in Photoshop with Hue/Saturation. This is one of my favourite textures, a scanned sheet of kraft paper. The process may look laborious but I have gained speed over the years and still enjoy the combination of hand carving and digital work. Variety is the spice of life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Orca Book Publishers

An African Alphabet Pgs 7-8

Coinciding with the launch of An African Alphabet, Orca Books has posted an interview about my linocutting technique, “Learning about Linocutting.” This board book, written by Eric Walters, introduces babies and toddlers to a unique collection of African animals.

The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito

Tomson Highway’s magical cabaret is now a 72 page picture book illustrated by me! It was such a pleasure to create 47 linocut illustrations to accompany Tomson Highway’s script about a wingless mosquito from Manitoba. The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary and challenging tongue twisters. Published by Fifth House/Fitzhenry & Whiteside.