Tablet Drawing

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What to get the man who has everything

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What to get the man who has everything

My husband’s birthday was a week ago, and he famously buys himself presents he wants RIGHT before his birthday. He also makes it a habit to spoil me so badly on my birthday that I can’t possibly return the favour (eg. taking me to Boston this year for my birthday). Since I didn’t have the resources to make any of our travelling dreams come true this month, I figured I’d put whatever skill sets I had to work and draw his childhood dream come true; I made Rory a Ghostbuster 🙂

We all have that one movie that completely encapsulates our childhood, and that movie was Ghostbusters for Rory. So what could be cooler than seeing yourself become your childhood idols? (Hopefully) nothing!

Using my tablet and Adobe Illustrator, I sketched out Rory using “marker-like” brush strokes and filled it in using a watercolour technique. I’ve used this technique before and mention it during an older post you can find here.

While Rory may not always be the most expressive man, I definitely got a big ol’ smile and chuckle when he opened it. Happy birthday my love!

Anyone looking for a custom portrait, you know who to come to! Christmas season is almost upon us (sorry for even bringing it up!) but it’s a fun, unique gift idea. Send me a message here on my website or email me at if interested.

Thanks for reading!

~ Manda Mac


Client Projects, Inspiration

Digital Love for Digital Portraits


Digital Love
for Digital Portraits

As a graphic designer, I knew I should be putting my skills to work when creating gifts for my 4 beautiful bridesmaids…but what to do? I thought it would be fun to create caricatures of them, I mean, who doesn’t want a cartoon version of themselves?! I then stumbled upon an old tutorial on Design Instruct that taught me some really cool techniques for creating digital portraits, it made the portraits take on more of a tactile feel like it was painted with watercolour and marker. I used Adobe Illustrator and my tablet and pen, and started sketching. While they were time consuming projects (I may be a slight perfectionist) the end results were even better than I had hoped. It was really fun trying to “capture” my lovely ladies, making sure I got that sparkle in their eye or that certain curl of their lip. I’ve already received a few requests to make more of these portraits so I thought I’d post and let all ya’ll know that this will be a service I can offer my clients. Let’s get digital!

For any fellow designers or artists that are interested in learning how to create these digital portraits, take a look at Miguel Cardona’s tutorial on Design Instruct: Make Watercolor and Marker Style Portraits with Illustrator

Connect with me through my website, my facebook page or email me at to inquire about getting a portrait done!