Hitting the Oregon Trail

Terrific news to those of you that enjoy my cartooning: the second installment of Hitting the Oregon Trail is now available in my online store! It encompasses the first and the second issue into one, jumbo issue! People who saw the original 13-page comic may notice that I have colored this newest iteration of Hitting the Oregon Trail quite differently. Why did I do this? For many good reasons.


First, this new color scheme is significantly less labor intensive. The original coloring of this page took several hours, while the new color scheme took about one hour.
Second, I believe this new color scheme is more interesting than the original, in that the original was fairly representational, the colors used more or less corresponding to what they might be in real life, and draws attention away from the form, particularly the inking. The new, more expressive color palette emphasizes the inking. Furthermore, as the person who is actually doing the coloring, this color palette is more interesting to work with than the original one.

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Octopus Tattoo

I was approached to design a tattoo for a friend, with the parameters that it be an octopus playing the drums. It had been a little under a year since my last big octopus drawing, so it was perfect timing to get eight-limbed.

As for most of my large illustrations, I do a rough sketch first. Pending the approval of my friend, I can proceed from here to a larger pencil drawing.

I don’t always do such extensive pencils, but I don’ want to play it fast and loose with such a complex subject. Penciling will map out where light and shadows will go when it’s time to ink.
tentacle
When inking, I try to be mindful of the marks I’ve made with pencil to know when I have a hard or soft shadow, what kind of light source I’m supposed to have, etc.
octopus playing drums

Applying ink-wash is the most fun because it’s so much less time consuming the way I do it: I lay down some water with an aqua brush, drop the wash from an eye dropper, and let it mix itself.
octopus playing drums

Once I scanned the dried illo into photoshop, I change the levels , being mindful of the mid-tones that the wash has created. Additionally, I put a color layer in for a subtle tint.
octopus playing drums