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Sharif Tarabay

International painterly pastiche illustrator. Montreal

Sharif Tarabay
Sharif Tarabay is a Montreal-based illustrator. Originally from Egypt, his drawing skills gave him confidence as a child and he went on to study art at Concordia University. He ended up working for a design studio, but the long hours and desire for independence led him to set up at home and start a career as a freelance illustrator.

He loves 18th century art, music and antiques, and even goes so far as saying he was born in the wrong century and that the 1700s would have been ideal for him. It’s no surprise, then, that his ideal holiday would be to an old European city to explore its museums. He also enjoys playing football and coaching his three children in the sport.


Sharif has a degree in Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal.


Often working traditionally, Sharif uses oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels and coloured pencils. Sometimes, he’ll use a combination of traditional and digital media, using Photoshop to begin the image, then printing it out on cotton paper and completing it using acrylics or fast-drying oils. The best of both worlds.


Sharif likes to do realism with a painterly touch, keeping an arty sensibility to his work rather than attempting to compete with the camera. Preparation is important to him, and he makes sure he has good reference material, a solid drawing and a good composition when he begins. This helps him when it comes to achieving realism in a picture.


Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators (CAPIC) Award Gold in Editorial 1997 CAPIC Bronze in Self-promotion 1993 CAPIC Bronze in Self-promotion 1992 CAPIC Bronze in Advertising 1991
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