Fleas and Ticks

tick-and-flea.jpg

Recently I was hired by a publisher of Christian music curriuclum (Praise Hmyn Inc.) to do a spot illustration for a children’s song, “The Tick and the Flea”. My instructions were to depict a tick and a flea having a picnic on top of a Shitzu’s head.

Here’s the final illustration, sketched, inked, and colored in Photoshop. The client asked that we clearly see the dog’s face, so I couldn’t zoom in too closely. It was a real head-scratcher (pun intended). The only solution was to make the bugs about 1,000 times their actual size. Even then they were small, so I kept the designs very simple (i.e. four legs instead of six or eight) in order to read clearly.

Fleas and ticks are brown. I wanted them to stand out more so I used cartoony colors, which also gave me freedom not to be too literal with the designs.

The fur was fun to color. I used a hard Photoshop brush set at either 10% o 30% opacity (depending on the color) and then just built up my strokes. It’s always best to just suggest hair with a few strokes of highlight and shadow. If you try to paint ever individual hair you’ll go mad.

This is my favorite kind of illustration project: Simple, colorful, and lots of fun to draw!

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7 thoughts on “Fleas and Ticks

  1. Thanks, Cedric! Enjoyed this illustration and comment. I appreciate any advice I see from other illustrators concerning coloring. The advice on coloring hair and fur was much appreciated!

  2. Thanks. It was used inside a music book to illustrate a humorous song about fleas on a dog.

    You could ink this in illustrator, but it would be hard to get the same painterly fur texture. That’s why I used Photoshop.

  3. Very eyecatching. I would like to use this illustration in the flea and tick portion of my website. Please check it out and let me know if you think that this is appropriate and if I can have your permission to do so.
    God bless,
    Bill T.

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