Tarja Barton Illustrator

SONSI 2016 Exhibit at Grimsby Public Art Gallery

Grimsby Public Art Gallery will be hosting the SONSI 2016 Exhibit during September 17 and November 6, 2016. Along with my own illustrations, there will also be beautiful illustrations on display by 9 other SONSI group members. If you’re in the area, come and visit the exhibit to view nature illustrations created by members of the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators. The Gallery is located at 18 Carnegie Lane, Grimsby, Ontario.


Sketching at the Ramsay Wright Zoological Laboratory, Toronto, ON

This past Saturday, June 11, 2016, I had an amazing opportunity to visit the Ramsay Wright Zoological Laboratory at the University of Toronto. As a member of the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators (SONSI), I was able to spend the afternoon sketching and photographing their zoological specimens. Their collection includes bones and skulls, dissected wet specimens as well as taxidermy mounts.

Pigeon Sketch for WordPress

Boreal Chickadee in the studio


Work is coming along pretty well. Today I have been working on the branch using watercolours. Actual size of the illustration is 17 inches wide by 11.25 inches high.

Boreal Chickadee



There is no question that this bird illustration is time consuming, but I am hoping to create a realistic representation of it. In order to accomplish that, the illustration will require many layers of colour.

Boreal Chickadee in progress

As I work on the feathers, I am already thinking ahead about how I will illustrate the branch.Boreal_Chickadee-May10-web

Ready, set, colour…

The tedious process of illustrating feathers has begun. I’m using .2 mm embossing stylus along with Faber-Castell Colour Pencils.colour-pencils-IMG_1007-web

Boreal Chikadee Illustration

The Boreal Chikadee Poecile hudsonica is an extremely rare visitor to Niagara Region. I’ve chosen to illustrate this particular bird for its beautiful colouring. This illustration will be mixed media using graphite, watercolours and Faber-Castell polychromos colour pencils. The size of the illustration will be w: 17 inches by h: 11.25 inches. The hope is that I will be including it in the SONSI 2016 Exhibit held at the Grimsby Gallery. The show opens September 17 and runs until November 6.

Boreal Chikadee

Boreal Chickadee Illustration


Another bird illustration in the beginning stages. Rough sketches first and then I’ll transfer to watercolour paper and begin illustration, most likely with watercolour and coloured pencils.

Currently searching for Caribbean style graphics, deciding on colour scheme and fonts for Bryan and Levi’s wedding invite. I love this stage of the design process! Can’t wait to reveal the rough layout ideas!

Wrapped up another artshow

Today was the closing of the SONSI artshow which was held at the Balls Falls Conservation Area. Next show will be at the Grimsby Public Library later this fall. Hope to see you there!


SONSI Travelling Exhibit 2016 at Ball’s Falls

As a member of the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators (SONSI), I would like to invite you all to visit our Travelling Exhibit currently at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area.

The Natural and Cultural History of Southern Ontario, Illustrated
Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators
Travelling Exhibit 2016

January 16 – February 28, 2016
Ball’s Falls Conservation Area
(west of St. Catharines, between Vineland and Jordan)
Centre open daily 9 AM – 4 PM

SONSI Travelling Exhibition is on the move

The members of the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators (SONSI) are in discussions with another conservation area to organize dates for the SONSI Travelling Exhibition. The travelling exhibition contains illustrations from several of the SONSI members, which will be open to public as early as December 2015. Event dates to follow… More information about SONSI, please visit http://www.sonsi.ca.

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