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The Island

This series of environment paintings was inspired by some of my favourite natural landscapes on Vancouver Island. Growing up in BC, much of my childhood was spent exploring the mountains, forests, and coastlines of the Pacific North-West, and this project is an homage to the environments that sparked my artistic journey. 

The primary objective of this project was to be intentional with my use of colour and light in order to capture the unique mood of each location. In addition to this, I focused on bringing out the 'personality' of these environments with my use of shapes and exaggeration. The challenge was not to just portray these environments as they appear in the real world, but reinterpret them to be 'larger than life', and reflect the sense wonder and mystery that I had as a child.

Process Work

A large aspect of this project was exploration and iteration within the thumbnail stage.  Below are a few examples of thumbnail sketches I created in the early stages of this project. While most of these sketches were never used in my final images, they were nonetheless incredibly useful in the process of visualizing and fine-tuning my compositions. 

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Cathedral Grove

This environment was one of the first images I created in the series. For this reason, this location underwent a lot of iteration and exploration as I fine tuned the style of the project as well as my creative workflow. So many of these thumbnails had potential, but as I experimented with compositions I decided to choose a nearly bird's-eye-view perspective in order to create a sense of awe and grandeur. I wanted to exaggerate the massive size of the old growth trees, and a consistent feature of all of my sketches were the beams of sunlight, which were meant to be evocative of light rays inside a large cathedral.  

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