Barry Patenaude is a Sydney-based illustrator who’s worked with an impressive list of clients, including Broadsheet, Vanishing Elephant, Pedestrian.TV and more. Usually, he pens summery and incredibly detailed scenes from an observational point of view in bright, eye-catching colours.

Recently, after a quick sketch of the beer can he was drinking from, a new series of sketches was born, celebrating the humble tinnie. They’re now available to buy to hang on your wall.

Broadsheet: How long have you been illustrating?
Barry Patenaude: I’ve always been drawing and sketching, ever since I was a kid – like most kids do. It’s really only been in the last three years or so that it has developed quickly and become something I’ve been able to consider focusing on as a career.

BS: What do you enjoy about illustration?
BP: I love how you can always get better. The more you draw, the more you develop, and you can do that forever!

BS: How did this project start?
BP: My wife and I went to Japan last year and the night before we were having a few Asahis (as research), so I just drew one in paint pen with the rising sun as a fairly unoriginal, cheesy reference to Japan. I enjoyed using the paint pens so much that when we got back I drew another beer in the same style and then another, so I started an Instagram account to get them out there. A beer fan from Monster Children must have seen it, because they shared one of the drawings to their Instagram account and it escalated from there.

BS: How long does it take you to complete a new illustration?
BP: Depends on the detail of the can design, but around 30 minutes.

BS: Does Instagram work best for you in terms of getting your work out there?
BP: Definitely. It’s been the main outlet. It’s also great because through Instagram I ask people what tinnie they’d like drawn so I’m always getting submissions of great-looking cans from around the world. It’s turned into quite a list. There is no shortage of tinnies out there! I’ll get to them all eventually.

BS: Why tinnies, not bottles?
BS: Just giving the little old can a chance! You don’t see them around as much as bottles these days. Plus, they’ve got much more surface area for the design and label. They also don’t break when you drop them.

BS: What has been the most requested beer?
BP: Victoria Bitter for sure, it’s like a cult.

BS: Which is your favourite beer to drink, and which is your favourite beer to draw? Why?
BP: As long as it’s ice cold, it’s my favourite to drink. My favourite to draw would be any tinnie that keeps its classic style. I recently drew a Cascade Lager from Tasmania. It was simple and striking, involved a waterfall and looks like it hasn’t changed in 30 years.

BS: Have a sweet beer-in-the-sun memory you can share?
BP: This may sound pretty unoriginal, but anything involving a day at the beach followed by an icy-cold beer in the sun is an all-time memory for me.

Purchase a print of your favourite Beer in the Sun at

Barry also takes requests via his Instagram account.