Blog Archives

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

A career influenced by Marvin-Cartoon of the Week


The Story Behind the Cartoon

If you look back on your career it is interesting to see how those early influences have played apart in life. One of my favourite cartoons from the age of around 12 was Marvin by Tom Armstrong. The strip is still available to this day and I used to copy the cartoons out of the paper. Here is one scene from a strip that I copied at the age of thirteen or so. This was how I learned to draw. Thank you to Tom Armstrong and many other great artists for playing a part in my career to this day. Enjoy!

About the Artist

Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration and design services specializing in cartoons and caricatures. Bruce has various cartoons and comics including The Pride Junkie Comic, Highway Blues, and Gymdazzled to name a few. you can learn more about Bruce or hire him for your next project at

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

T-Shirt Business Goes FLAT OUT!

As you may know I do a lot of work for a t-shirt company in Australia producing designs for trucking t-shirts. Every few months, the business started by two truck drivers adds another design and product to their portfolio. Get Trucked Oz recently had me design this image for their latest shirt and it is flying off the shelves with pre-orders.  Flat Out is the latest design featuring a truck from the fleet that founders drive for. If you would like to order a shirt or learn more about the company visit

flat-out-design If you want to hear the podcast interview with Get Trucked Oz check out

Cashing in on Creativity PodcastAbout the Artist

Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration and design services specializing in caricatures and cartoons. Vehicle and truck caricatures are part of the company’s field of interest and they have clients around the world. if you would like Bruce to help with your next image visit their website at

Who is in your network?

One of the things I love about traveling is the different people we get to meet that would not normally cross our path. It is amazing to see what creative people do with art in the form close to their hearts. I meet people every year on our annual adventure down south. Some are now old friends and others new acquaintances. I try to reach out to talk with artists when I see them and support them when I can. Here are a few pictures of my friends from this year. If you aren’t doing this already build your network from around the world, it will amaze you the talent that is out there!

About the Artist

Bruce Outridge is a cartoonist and illustrator from Southern Ontario, Canada.  His art specializes in comics and cartoons and is a business consultant and podcast host for artists. To learn more about Bruce and his art visit his website at To listen to his podcast for artists visit

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

Drawing in Pen and Ink-February 14th-March 7th, 2017

The beauty of the pen and ink technique is that you can explore expressive line in exquisite detail. Explore both traditional and innovative approaches to line drawing. Demonstrations introduce you to the different types of pens, papers and inks. Learn how to produce different strokes and how to create tone by using stipple, line and crosshatch techniques. This class will be held in the gallery space.

209A: Drawing in Pen & Ink Level 1

Instructor: Bruce Outridge
Tuesdays, 7 pm to 10 pm
Start February 14th, 2017
This classes is 4 weeks
Non Members cost $100.00 Members cost $85.00

Register directly with the Oakville Art Society at


About the Artist

Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, and instructor from Burlington Ontario Canada. He is available for workshops and classes on a variety of mediums and subject matter from cartoons and caricatures to Pen and ink or digital art. To learn more about Bruce or book him for your next class visit

What’s old is new again

If you have ever tried a new art supply like a brush or a pen and found you didn’t like it so you put it away? If you want to put some new energy into your work you may want to pull out that certain art supply and try it again. You may find it more comfortable or you have learned a new technique that may now work with that particular piece. It can add a new excitement to your work.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is an art instructor, illustrator, and cartoonist from Canada. He is the creator of the Pride Junkie Comic Series and the Drawing with Bruce Video Series. For more information visit his website at

How do you best draw?

I was with a private client the other day and the way he was drawing caused me to ask him if he had ever tried standing up to draw. Many times in my classes I let the students try drawing standing up using charcoal, using lap boards, and other types of instruments. Every artist has their own way of working. I myself hate to stand and draw and prefer a low angle to my drafting board. Others like their board at a 90 degree angle and standing up.

If you are having trouble with your drawing and find it uncomfortable then try working in another position and see if that helps. It maybe the trick to a new process for your art.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is an illustrator, art instructor, and cartoonist. He is the creator of the Drawing with Bruce Video Series and the Pride Junkie Comic Series. For more information visit his website at,, and

Finding Your Workflow

As an artist one of the things that you need to work on is your workflow. How do you create what you create? This is especially true when you begin charging people for your work. It is hard to charge for things if you don’t know how long it takes to create a picture. Even if you are not charging and are just learning you want to get comfortable in your workflow. That can start with little things like having the materials you use the most easily accessible. If you always have to dig your art stuff from the back of the closet you won’t be in a hurry to start painting. Use the same type of paper on all your work if that works for you. For instance I use 100 pound Bristol for all my projects that do not require water because I like the feel of the paper. I can also work faster because I know how the paper will respond. I use the same pen type so I can work faster. Working on your workflow will increase your speed, improve the finished product, and will help you hone your craft at a quicker pace.

Try it and see.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a cartoonist and illustrator from Canada. He is the creator of the pride junkie Comic Series, The Drawing with Bruce Video Series. To view more of his work visit,, and