Waiting For Christine

In 2010 I edited some of Van Goghs paintings to simulate tilt-shift photography (link). Last year I was approached by the Canadian band Octoberman about using the concept in their music video for the song “Waiting For Christine”. I created about a few images for them and Ryan MacKeen animated them (and quite a few other images) to make this awesome video. Very cool!

Wild kids sketches

Some quick sketches of some forest-dwelling kids done for fun. Might do a quick illustration with these guys.

serena malyon illustration art children's book calgary artist

You won’t often see my pencil work, but I really do love the feel of it. Eventually I’ll find a way to successfully incorporate it into the final paintings.


I’ve been putting off scanning this for a few days because it’s so big, but I finally got around to it last night. This is a painting for an upcoming art show called “Vesuvius”. I give you “Frieze”!

serena malyon illustration calgary vesuvius charcoal ink spectrum 21

This painting was a little tricky because I challenged myself not to change anything digitally, so I could sell the original artwork. Making it polished was quite time consuming, especially as black ink tends to get very shiny when its over-saturated. The large areas of black had to be redone in charcoal, a media which helped give the figures a ghostly effect. I also used little accents of metallic watercolour, so certain parts of the painting glow in the sunlight. It’s pretty cool, as long as you try not to make it too gimmicky. I used it pretty lightly, just enough to give the painting some life. Overall, a great learning experience, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Vesuvius – Work in Progress

I’ve been working on a piece for an upcoming show with some collegues, so I thought I’d post my process. With every project I start with 20-30 thumbnails, trying to show different concepts and compositions. In this case, I was stuck on one idea for a while, and it turned out a little bit too cliche for me. You can see my fiery gods in these sketches. They worked as thumbnails, but I don’t think there was enough there to keep me enthusiastic about the concept.


After a while I decided to go in a different direction. Instead of showing some vengeful act of the gods, I needed something more solemn, a representation of the aftermath. I chose to go with some ashy giants, mournfully stalking through a ruined city.

vesuvius sketch serena malyon work in process

I started drawing my scene right away. For big, complex pieces like this, I like to draw on tracing paper. Tracing paper’s great because it makes erasing a breeze, which is good for someone like me who needs everything redrawn 3 or 4 times before they’re happy. In the photo, you can see where I’ve scribbled graphite on the back to transfer the image to Arches watercolour paper.

I took a photo of my finished drawing, printed it out on sketchbook paper and did some colour studies. This helped me determine the mood of my painting.

vesuvius colour roughs serena malyon work in progress

Here’s the work in progress on the final. I’ve been building up ink washes to get the textures I want, and soon enough I’ll be painting the city. Keep checking back for more updates!

vesuvius  serena malyon work in progress