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.

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

Jason and the Argonauts

I came across a still from¬†Jason and the Argonauts, which is a movie that had a profound influence on my formative years. I’d recommend seeing it for the Ray Harryhausen animation alone. So here’s my process.

I started with pencils.
pencils skeleton

Then I moved onto line work.
work in progress

Then I added some spot blacks
spot black

And followed by some ink wash.
inkwash

And finally I added a color layer and adjusted the levels in Photoshop.
jason and the argonaut skeleton fight

Pop by a Wood Chipper

I was going to document this step by step, but I was so enthusiastic about drawing my dad with the Fez I got him for Xmas that I forgot to document each step properly. I may go back and play with this image further, but for now it’s done.¬†This is an ink wash and brush pen team-up with a little photoshop color tint.

wood chipper man

Turnips, Artichokes, and Leeks

In an ongoing series of foods and cooking, I’ve drawn some of my favorite veggies.

I started with a few concept rough drawings:

raddish turnip

Then I moved on to pencils (not pictured) and inks:

veggies

Finally I added a wash and in photoshop, a greenish tint:

veggies

I’ve also made a meat chart:

meat

Double Indemnity

One of my favorites movies is Double Indemnity, which I first saw as a dumbass 18-year-old. Dumbass or not, I was able to appreciate the beautiful compositions and noir lighting.Recently, I watched this on a projector and I was able to take some very crisp reference photos. Here’s a process series!

double indemnity double indemnity double indemnity double indemnity