Alison Garwood Jones

How I Drew This

July 6, 2021

Process Porn:

I drew this landscape in the @Procreate app using the “Peppermint” pencil ✏️ (in the Brush Library under “Sketching”).

Paul Cézanne was my guide. His angled brushstrokes had a consistent rhythm. They look like the wind blew them all in the same direction.

I prefer Procreate’s pencil tools to it’s oil brushes (at least for now). The oil brushes look too slimy and feel uncontrollable. Also, I don’t like digital drawings to look digital.

The Peppermint pencil I used here looks like hard colouring with a Prismacolor pencil crayon or an oil pastel.

I’d say the layers in Procreate (and Photoshop) have taught me to think in terms of building up a canvas in steps — from dark to light.

I still prefer to draw with real paper, pencils and brushes, but I probably would not have taught myself how to build up a canvas this way using the old fashioned methods.

This is quicker and less expensive, and fun because you can play it back!

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Butterflies and #ASMR

June 21, 2021

Sunday mornings.

Sometimes I flip through my sketchbook looking for drawings to colour.

Look, I found this butterfly!

Caran d’Ache soft watercolour pencils felt like the best way to add a hit of colour to her wings.

The colour melts into paint when you add water.

The rest of my day went well after this.


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Fur Bébés

June 16, 2021

Dog illustrations by Alison Garwood-Jones

There’s someone for everyone.

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Reality Bites

May 29, 2021

Winona Ryder and her Big Gulp in Reality Bites

Lainey and her Big Gulp.

#RealityBites, #TheNineties, #WinonaForever

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I don’t want to be good

May 19, 2021

I don’t want to be good (yawn), I want to do good (BOOM!) That means working with doers.

One of my latest partnerships is with Lakeshore Arts, a not-for-profit arts organization just down the street from me in Etobicoke.

From Monday to Friday, the LSA team is working hard producing an array of arts programming designed to knit together this vibrant community in healthy, inclusive, and sustainable ways.

Take a look at their Instagram feed, @LakeShoreArts, and you’ll see what I mean.

I designed these 3 “Care Cards” for their Spring Fundraiser. By buying a single card ($9) or the set of 3 ($25), your purchase will help LSA continue to offer FREE arts programming.

Lakeshore Arts Spring 2021 Fundraiser

Consider donating an extra $5, $10 or $50 to your card purchase.

To help the cause, I just bought back some of my own card designs. I’ve been on a card and letter writing tear during Covid (so Jane Austen). I needed a lift and I figured so did my friends, so out came the fountain pen.

To purchase your cards/ donate, copy and paste this link:

Lakeshore Arts Spring 2021 Fundraiser

Thank you for doing good.

You’re awesome.

Alison xo 

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Jane’s Walk Toronto

April 11, 2021

Jane's Walk Toronto 2021

Jane’s Walk is a grassroots movement focused on city building. It’s named after the urban activist and badass Torontonian Jane Jacobs.

Every Spring, to honour Jane’s birthday and her spirit of inquiry, cities around the world host volunteer-led walking tours that make spaces for people to observe, reflect, share, question, and re-imagine the places in which they live, work and play.*

Each event gives agency to and champions the voices of everyday people.

Jane’s Walk Toronto (Jane’s Walk Toronto) is happening virtually this year from May 7-9.

You can now sign up to lead a virtual walk.

The 3 virtual walk formats are:

• Live-Streamed Walks

• 3D Walks

• Self-Guided Walks

The Toronto organizers, Erika and Juan, have made the process super easy:

Go to and fill out a Walk Leader form, and they will promptly get back to you.

Walk submission deadline: April 30th, 2021.

*In between walks, if you’re in the mood to colour a picture of a Toronto neighbourhood, go to the resources page of and download my colouring page, complete with little kids jumping on backyard trampolines. I had to think fast and come up with a logo for my artsy adventures. I’m proud to be part of an event that gets our minds and bodies moving.

Alison Garwood-Jones and Jane's Walk Toronto 2021
Alison Garwood-Jones and Jane's Walk Toronto 2021

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Coco and Diana

March 31, 2021

Illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

Reading is my greatest joy.

This exchange appeared in Amanda Mackenzie Stuart’s biography on Diana Vreeland called Empress of Fashion.

Diana described the conversation in greater detail:
“Coco [Chanel] was a nut on armholes. She never, ever got an armhole quite, quite perfect, the way she wanted it. She was always snipping and taking out sleeves, driving the tailors absolutely crazy. She’d put pins in me so I’d be contorted, and she’d be talking and giving me all sorts of philosophical observations, such as ‘Live life with rigor and vigor’ or ‘Grow old like a man.’ And I’d say, ‘I think most men grow old like women, myself,’ and she’d say, ‘No, you’re wrong, they’ got logic, they’ve got a reality to them.’ — with my arm up in the air the whole time! Then, if she really wanted to talk, she’d [pin me] under both arms so I simply couldn’t move, much less get a word in.”

Use the Libby app for signing out books, everyone! It’s WONDA-FULLL as Diana (Dee-Ahna) would say.

Bisous! 💋


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Why my Shopify store is still closed

March 17, 2021

While my Shopify store @PenJarProductions is closed I’m watching how technology is changing fashion and décor. Here’s what it would take for me to start selling my custom-designed pillows and totes again.

We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada

We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones


We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones
We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones

We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones

We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones

We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones

We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones

We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones

We need Sustainable Textiles in Canada by Alison Garwood-Jones

Looop Recycling

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Teaching Art

February 22, 2021

Online Art Classes by Alison Garwood-Jones

The internet is a wondrous tool for learning new skills.

When I decided to set up an online classroom to teach my way of making art, Google presented me with the perfect teacher: @ClaraLieu. Clara is a visual artist and former prof at the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Founder of @Art.Prof, a free website for learning visual arts.

I found @ArtProf at a point when I was stuck. Hovering my iPhone over my desk wasn’t working. I needed some serious videography equipment. Clara generously shared her set-up and now I have a Softbox light, a streaming webcam, a Snowball mic and an extra tall light stand to hold my webcam (Clara’s hack: affix the webcam with a thick elastic).

Online art classes with Alison Garwood-Jones

I used my new set-up earlier this month to lead an art class with some alumni from @RotmanCommerce. When you have a class of 20+ it’s actually easier to demonstrate techniques online because each student has an intimate view of my drawing board and hand movements.

Now the possibilities are endless!

Thank you, Clara!


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The Great Escape

February 8, 2021

Nature Sketch By Alison Garwood-Jones

Nature has everything we need.

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