Sketching Ideas – The Call


I’ve been getting some ideas down for my next drawing. A few of you have asked me here and on Tumblr, on sketches & how I go about using them in my creative process for a finished piece…I know there are many artists out there (some among my personal favourites) who do amazing pre-painting sketches & drawings; I however don’t always do them. It depends on how much of the idea I have established in my head and how confident I feel about transferring that to paper. If I’m doing client work that’s of course out of the question, as you definitely need to do sketches and drawings before even thinking of starting the final product. Even for this next piece I’ll be doing, I know what I want in my head but I needed to get a feel for the placement and mood of the subject(s) for me to get started. Keeping to a ‘sketch’ however, is often out of the question for personal projects. It’s most often a starting point.

Anne the Series

The Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery were books I read in primary school; those thin $6.00 paperbacks (I believe from Bantam Books) with those lovely covers.  I remember a couple of adaptations to the screen over the years, most notably the one with actress Megan Follows was probably the most popular among fans. I was therefore thrilled to finally get to see a new version come to a series from CBC, simply called ANNE. Living in Canada, we got to see the series last month before its premiere on Netflix, which was a bonus in its self. 🙂 Having finished watching the first season and hoping it gets renewed for a second, I have to say I’ve found a new favourite in my collection of period dramas. I love the new take on the series, everything from the cinematography, to the cast, and costumes. It’s a beautiful adaptation, so take a look if you get the chance. 

I of course took the opportunity to create some artwork inspired by the series while I was watching the show…

Kindred Spirits_2017_ShaimaIslam
Kindred Spirits, colour-pencils & markers on paper, 7×11″, 2017

The cast chosen for this show were all equally talented and need I say adorable in their own ways, but I thought I’d choose Amybeth Mcnulty (Anne) and Dalila Bela (Diana) for this piece.

Gilbert Blythe_2017_ShaimaIslam
Gilbert Blythe, markers and microns on paper, 7×11″, 2017

I think everyone reading the books remembers why we loved Gilbert so much when we were growing up; childhood crush, a sweet & memorable character, what else is there to say really? 😀 I think Lucas Jade Zumann was perfect for the role and satisfied everyone’s expectations;  a hard role to take on, especially after the fans holding Jonathan Crombie’s version to heart all these years. I have to say though Lucas, just like the rest of the cast, has become a new favourite of mine.

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Catching Up


You often don’t get enough time to catch up on your favourite TV shows, especially when working in the art industry and often its never-ending work hours. So, I end up binge-watching a lot of shows. Recently I got around to catching up with latest season of Supernatural. There are many actors/actresses I watch the show for (humour alone being a reason) but Mark Pellegrino’s Lucifer is definitely a big reason. As of the latest episode (S12e15) however, I think I might regret hoping that he gets to keep his ‘vessel’ permanently…

Lucifer, markers & microns on paper, 9×12″, 2017.


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Breakfast of Champions

I finished this piece up recently and I thought it might be nice to share some progress shots along the way. This one was another personal project that I had an idea for a long time ago, but never found the time to sit down to see it through. I was glad I finally got to put it to paper. With Halloween around the corner, it seems I finished on time to show this one. All inspired from my nephew’s love of pancakes, everyday.breakfast-of-champions_2016_shaima-islam

from prelim. drawings to colour stages






Love of Hockey

As a Canadian, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise when I admit to being a huge hockey fan. Saturday Night Hockey has definitely become a ritual for me, as well as for my family and friends. Finishing all your work just before the weekend so you have absolutely nothing to do before the clock strikes 7pm, is amusing to some but guaranteed to be a very serious notion for others!  😀



I started creating Hockey art as a fun way to support my team the Toronto Maple Leafs, and in general all other NHLers I was a fan of. As seasons went by I found myself trying to get more creative in the way I represented certain players; whether it was through their personalities, nicknames, or their goalie masks.

The very first artwork I did was of goaltender, James Reimer. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Optimus Reim’ by Leafs fans, I was determined to create a piece that was bit more heavy on the details than I usually went for. To have Optimus Prime from Transformers was of course and option for this piece, but I thought it was rather too simple and obvious. I ended up choosing a rather curious and confused Bumblebee, and ended up loving the piece I did of my favourite goalie.


With the Leafs not making the playoffs for a couple years now, I would have to be satisfied watching other teams compete and get inspired from watching their goalies in action. There were 2 that stood out for me; Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen and the Sharks Martin Jones. I especially had fun creating the piece with Andersen, and wanted to include the aspect of Lego blocks from his mask; and I thought it only fitting as he is Danish. The concept for both Andersen’s and Jones’ drawings were to include some ‘additional’ help to their already superb abilities.

Hockey art is definitely a different turn from the usual fantasy art that I do, but it nevertheless improved my abilities with a micron pen. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do more after the Reimer piece, but people seem to enjoy them, and I’ve grown quite fond of making them.