Color Me In

One hundred years ago, this mule trekked across southern California, toting essentials for a team of biological researchers. Captured in a grainy B&W photo with his/her fellow mule and 3 scientists, I was to ready the image for t-shirt printing. I could already tell that the original photo, with its low contrast and detailed background of shrubbery, that it would look like a gray rectangle printed on a T-shirt.

Thus I resolved to redraw the five characters, in my own illustration style; pen & brush. And then to photoshop-color it in. It was fun to guess what colors their packing gear might be, knowing no-one could say it was the wrong color. I figure things were dull colored back then at the turn of the last century. Surely the power of dyes had not been extended to enhancing the looks of scientific and camping gear. I mean, even in the 90s I remember choosing from a relatively small selection of colors for a LLBean duffel bag.

To these characters I will add the drawings of Flying Squirrel, Scorpion, Vireo and Frog. I'm not quite sure how this will work yet; I was merely instructed to design a t-shirt that included this pic and those four animals, plus a selection of plants. A motley crew for sure, but somehow it will come together!