Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Adding Gradients Before Painting Shadows and Textures

Once I have all my shapes filled with flat color I will want to add some gradients to some of the shapes.

I make my gradients subtle by using 2 colors that are closely related but usually not the same hue or saturation. This gives the shapes a slight illusion of color depth rather than having only cold flat colors.

For example on the muzzle area of the bear I pick the color I used for the flat fill and for the other color I slide the cursor on the color selector slightly up or down, left or right to find a color that looks just a bit different than the first color.

2 colors show at the bottom of the tool bar

Then I select the shape I want to add a gradient to. 

Once selected I click the gradient tool and choose the type of gradient I want. In this case I chose the linear gradient on the left.

I then drag my cursor across the shape in whatever direction I'd like my gradient to appear.

I use this process to make a few gradients out of some of the shapes that make up my cartoon image. I generally don't fill small areas with gradients.

You can see gradients on the muzzle, the tongue, the shirt collar and the nose.

Now the image is ready for the final step - rendering shading and textures using the Photoshop brushes. 

This is a follow-up to these 2 posts below:

1 digital inking painting

2 Filling Inks with Flat Colors 

Friday, April 07, 2023

Thanks to Journal Standard Clothing

A few months ago a Japanese clothing line approached me about illustrating some shirts and sending some art to display at one of their stores in Japan.


There still are a few shirts available:


They invited me to a special meet and greet event that happened on March 28 2023.

I was happily surprised to see how many Japanese fans Ren and Stimpy had. The event was packed for the 3 hours it took place.

Many of the fans were cartoonists themselves and some darn good ones.

These 2 pages were drawn by a 16 year old lad named Uni. He spoke perfect English and was extremely enthusiastic about becoming an animator. He draws better than I did when I was 16! I'm sure he'll have a great career. To see more of his work - @uni1015m


Rurumu is another cartoonist I met and she brought a big suitcase to show off some of her Ren and Stimpy merchandise. 

She posted a diorama she made of the opening scene from Stimpy's Invention on Instagram a while ago. She sculpted Ren, Stimpy and the mounted fish and built the room around them. Amazing.

Mina was there and she had a really good sketchbook of cartoons she drew. Here's her design for a holographic card she gave me.

Lisa was a big fan and she even had an original T shirt from the early 90s.

I met another cartoonist who gave his name as OPMM.


He has an exhibition going on now as well. I especially like his Rat Fink inspired figures with the erotic ears.

While I was in Tokyo I visited the Odd Job animation studio. They gave me a nice tour of their facility and were very proud of their own collection of vintage toys.

They have their own toy figure too and they gave me one which I eagerly added to my own nerdy collection.

There was a lot of gift giving and receiving during the week and here is a pic of some of the treats I brought back with me.

If you happen to be in Tokyo my exhibition is still going on until this Sunday April 9 2023.

The address is: 

Journal Standard Omotesando store (Cat Street)

5 Chome-25-4 Jingumae

Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001

Special thanks to Kishibi-san, Mami and Takayama-san and the Journal Standard crew that brought the event and collaboration together!