Category Archives: Art Tips

October is a great month for arts and crafts

With October coming up quickly and the Canadian Thanksgiving just a few weeks away there will be a lot to do to prepare for the Holiday. October can almost be called craft month with so many options available for families to create amazing art. Think about the month for moment, you have the beautiful colours of Fall, Thanksgiving with family festivities, and then the creative time of Halloween, all in one month. This is the perfect month to take your art to the next level. Here are some tips that will help you boost your arts and crafts and make your celebrations creative and unique.

Get out for some inspiration

The colours of Fall are one of the best reasons for living in the Northern United States and Canada. Team that beauty with beautiful weather and Fall is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy this incredible time of year. A sketch-walk or hike can be a great way to be inspired by the time of year. Just take a sketchbook, some pencils and coloured pencils or crayons and head outdoors to enjoy nature. If you are not the drawing type then take the camera or just go for a family hike and enjoy the colours. You will be inspired by the colours and it is a great way to collect items to enhance that family dinner.

Here is the sketch-walk I took at Crawford Lake if you would like to see how a sketch-walk works.


Get creative with pumpkin carving

Of course Fall wouldn’t be the same without pumpkins. Just pick some up while your are out for that nature or sketch-walk. Get the kids creating a unique piece for themselves by having them draw out their design and then cut out the pumpkin to create a 3-D work of art. Here is how to start drawing out the design.

Have the kids draw out their design and then transfer it onto tracing paper. Once on the tracing paper the drawing can be transferred onto the pumpkin with the rubbing technique. For the rubbing technique put carbon paper behind the sketch or colour the back of the tracing paper and then trace it onto the pumpkin.

As for cutting out a pumpkin I know nothing about that so here is a link to an article from Martha Stewart.

Draw out that Halloween costume

Oh sure you could go buy a Halloween costume but it is much more creative to design your own. Draw out those costumes in a sketchbook or paper and then go get those material to put it all together. The kids will learn drawing techniques and come out with a unique creation as well.

Here is a link to some drawing videos if you need help in that area.

So I hope that helps to make your October an experience to remember. Fall is a beautiful time of year to be inspired by art and get the whole family involved in a beautiful outdoor experience.

Enjoy Fall!

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a cartoonist and caricature artist from Burlington Ontario. The services of Bruce Outridge Productions offers live caricature entertainment, art instruction, and much more. To learn more about Bruce Outridge Productions visit

Improve Your Child’s Creativity with Art Supplies

Go into any office supply store and you will see a flurry of activity in the back to school section. Sale prices are all around and there will be many items to choose from. The tendency for most parents is to just get as many pencils and highlighters as possible to last the year. If you are the parent to a budding artist then you may want to take a moment to actually plan out the supplies you need for the year as this could be a great way to improve your child’s creativity.

We all learn in different ways, some need more visual clues and others take lots of notes. In fact it’s been reported that doodling improves retention of material. Don’t believe me check out this article on the a study done on the topic.,8599,1882127,00.html. Teaming the way people learn to how they like to take down information can help improve how much of the material is remembered, but also makes the review process much more enjoyable.

So how will this information help improve your child’s creativity?

First let’s look at the notebooks your child may be working in. You may want to buy your child those basic lined styled notebooks, but is that the best option? If your child is a budding artist it may be holding back some of that creativity with the lines. Think about the subject and it may be more beneficial to buy notebooks with blank pages and even possible with different colours. This way the notebook becomes a visual journal that is not only more memorable but encourages review of the material. I have included a picture of my sketchbook pages from a convention to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

Bruce's Notebook

What about the drawing instruments such as pencils and pens?

There are two major items that every artist puts energy into finding the best quality available. The item they draw or paint on and the item they draw or paint with. Quality paper or canvas and quality paint, brushes, or drawing materials are key to helping create great art. So when buying back to school supplies could you be helping your child improve their creativity with decent materials?

The best way to start is to ask your child if appropriate what they like to draw with. Do they draw more with pencil, pen, or marker? I myself rarely use pencil anymore. Once I started doing pen and ink work as a child I abandoned the pencil for the most part. Other artists I know use only pencil so it really is a personal choice.

If you are looking at buying colour materials here is a guide to help.

You may want to just pick up those big packs of coloured pencils or mega packs of highlighters but before you do let me offer another option. If possible buy the colours separately. This is why most art stores don’t sell their products in pack because many artists don’t buy their materials this way. Let’s say I need a red colour. The best way to buy that is to buy a red pencil crayon, then a darker red pencil, and then a lighter red pencil. This way you can colour a shirt red, then use a darker red for shadow, and lighter red for highlights. This technique can also be done in other ways with blue colours but it gives you an idea of the process of shopping for colours.

These tips can help not only improve creativity, encourage note taking, and improve retention of material. I have found it a great way to help remember information during conferences, seminars, and presentations. If you have a budding artist that likes to draw this may be a great way to encourage getting homework done and improving their artistic talent. Hey it couldn’t hurt!

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a professional artist /cartoonist from Burlington Ontario Canada. Bruce has been drawing since he was ten years and offers custom illustration and design services for clients specializing in caricatures and cartoons. To learn more about Bruce and his work visit his website at

Take a Studio Tour With Artist Bruce Outridge

I get asked all the time what my studio looks like. If you are struggling to organize your space then maybe this will help. It doesn’t have to be a large space, it has to be functional. Enjoy the tour.

About the Artist

Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration and design services for clients world wide. The illustration work is focused on caricatures and cartoons for customers holding events such as weddings and corporate work such as t-shirt designs and editorial illustration. Bruce produces everything from videos to podcasts and more. To learn more about the artist visit and check out the art and Bruce’s sketch walks under online art instruction.

Is it better to work in traditional or digital medium for my art?

Digital or traditional, that is the question?

Is it better to work in traditional or digital medium for my art?

Here is the answer, it doesn’t matter! There was a saying that a decent artist could work with any medium they are handed if they truly know what they are doing. That is true to a point, but if you have never worked in oils it would be hard to create a beautiful work of art. Not because you don’t have the knowledge of painting, but because you don’t understand the elements of the the paint and its characteristics.

I have been using a mixture of traditional and digital techniques for years and just this year went totally digital with my work, but many would not have noticed any difference in the work. That’s the point! The outcome is the same. The cool thing about being an illustrator instead of a fine artist is I can use any method I wish to get to the desired outcome where as many fine artist will work in the medium if their choice for the whole picture.

My technique in the past has been to draw the picture in pen and ink on paper, scan or photograph that drawing, and colour it on the computer. The change I have made this year is I now start the whole drawing on an iPad Pro using one program for the whole picture. It doesn’t change the final outcome it just makes my workflow for projects easier.

working digital

How do you evaluate if you should go digital with your art? Look at your workflow! If it will increase your efficiency, make the task of drawing or painting easier then go for it. For those of us that work with magazines and online publications digital just makes sense. In the old days we would do a illustration traditionally and have to rely on printers to get the image colours correct and mail our artwork around the country. Now we send a digital file with the correct colour settings and it goes by email. It just makes more sense.

If you are looking at going digital with your art check out your workflow first, decide on what makes sense, your budget, and go for it. You will be glad you did.

About the Artist
Bruce Outridge is a professional cartoonist from Canada. His artwork specializes in caricature and cartoons for the clients and publications. He is the host of the Cashing in on Creativity Podcast for those in the creative arts at . To learn more about Bruce and his work visit or

Sketching The Royal Botanical Gardens-Sketch Walk RBG

In this sketch Walk I check out the Royal Botanical Garden’s Cherry Hill Trail. The RBG has a great trail network filled with wildlife, beautiful scenery and more. In this video I show off some of the great parts of the trail and show you the spot I chose to sketch and how the picture developed. Get out there and enjoy nature through the RBG Trails. If you want to know what to take on a Sketch Walk check out my video on “Preparing for a Sketch Walk” click here. The Royal Botanical Gardens is located in Burlington Ontario Canada and is a leader in nature and gardening locations. You can learn more about them by clicking this link for Royal Botanical Gardens.

About the Artist

Bruce Outridge is an artist, cartoonist, and caricature artist in Burlington Ontario Canada. His services range from live caricature event service to art instruction and more. to learn more about Bruce, his work, or other Sketch Walks and online art instruction visit his website at

Illustration for trucking magazine out West kept simple

Just finished this truck illustration for a client out West for their advertising campaign. Check out in your western trucking advertisements.

Trucking-IlllustrationAbout the Artist

Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom design and illustration for editorial and advertising promotions specializing in caricatures and cartoons. To learn more about getting your vehicle caricatured visit

Check out the new Beef Bus Shirt Design

Just finished this t-shirt design for our Aussie client. Get your shirt from Get Trucked OZ when they are available.

Beef-Bus-T-Shirt-DesignAbout the Artist

Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration and design services for clients. specializing cartoons and caricatures. As a former professional truck driver he loves cartooning trucks in the industry. You can learn more about Bruce and his work on his website Check out his truck and car portfolio under the portfolio tab.

Draw with Bruce Coffee Cup Video

Here is another video on how to draw. Check out this video and others on the Bruce Outridge Production’s website.

Good luck with the Drawing

Manga Video 4 – Adding Colour

In this fourth video we add colour to the character. Almost done!

Manga Video 3- Adding Shadows

In this third video we add the shadows for the Manga character, Enjoy!