Elvis Presley, your hunk o’ burning love.

Random facts about Elvis Presley:

He made 31 movies.

He only played 5 shows outside of the United States. 100% of those were played in Canada.

Nicolas Cage is the only person outside of Elvis’ immediate family to have seen the inside of Elvis’ bedroom at Graceland.

In the 60’s Elvis had a pet dog and a chimpanzee. Because he was Elvis.

Elvis was abducted by aliens on August 16, 1977

He became supreme overlord of the Klatuu nebula on September 20, 1978. This was the fastest rise to power since the Glarkon debacle of Lerdnon 7.

Elvis’ first act of power was to abolish the stardate system and transfer all dating to the Gregorian calendar. He felt star dating was “like, too far out man.”

thanks to hollywoodscoop.com for the great facts. You guys are great.

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uncomfortable

I found a couple images from an old zine I made. The zine was full of drawings that in some way reflected the idea of being or doing something uncomfortable…

 

I think I may still make a pair of these. I want them on my desk…

As sketches go, some things should just stay in your sketchbook. Honestly though, what fun is that?

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Weird Al print over at the Etsy

That’s what the kids call it right? The Etsy? Ok, good.

If you’ve been following this here blog, then you may remember that I painted a painting of the incredibly talented and super hilarious “Weird” Al Yankovic a little while ago. If you wanted to, you could see that here. If not, that’s ok…I won’t judge you.

I reworked the image a bit and I am now offering it as a print in my Etsy shop!

I chose to give Al his vintage look back in the new image. This decision is coming partly from my overwhelming obsession with the movie UHF and partly because it just makes the image more “Weird Al-ish.”

At any rate, here it is!

“Weird” Al is a pop culture sniper. All in good fun of course!

If you are so inclined, and I do recommend it, you can go and purchase a print of this here painting here.

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Ikari Warriors arcade game art

So when I heard that the Summer theme for PaletteSwap was golden age arcade games I was like, “Whaaaaaaaaaat gurl?” What was weird was that there was no girl there, just my cat Mustachio and she looked at me like I was going to give her pets. I was like,”No Mustachio, this is my time. Go do cat things.” Then my wife came into the room and we started breakdancing. 15% of that story is true. I will let you decide which parts.

Alas, the PaletteSwap theme WAS Golden Age arcade games. I was and am still stoked.

I grew up in San Pedro, California. Why is this important? Because that means I was only a hop, skip and a jump away from Torrance and in Torrance resided the Del Amo Mall. What was in the Del Amo Mall you ask? A Game Stop? No! Game Stop wasn’t even a twinkle in the eye of a tiny nerdboy yet. What lived in a dark and greasy corner of the mall was far better.

Aladdin’s Castle

photo from snk-capcom.com

I actually just found out it was the testing center for new Neo Geo games too. Thanks internet!

Aladdins castle was a real video game arcade. As soon as you walked in your senses were going coo coo crazy. Your nose was greeted with sour b.o. as soon as your feet crossed the threshold. You cant keep a good nerd from sweating profusely when he’s playing Rushin’ Attack. Ears were met with the cacophonous sound of a hundred different games blasting at full volume and your eyes were full to the brim of colors, lights, and a huge array of multicultural nerdfare.

Of all those games I played back then I think Ikari Warriors was my chosen illustration this time because it most fits what I really like about the eighties, which take up the bulk of the Golden Age of arcade. I like, nay LOVE, eighties action movies. I actually can’t separate myself from the notion that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the best actor ever. I won’t attempt to justify that. I just lost some of you. I know that but it doesn’t matter. At any rate, Ikari Warriors celebrates the idea of two dudes taking down a whole army, armed with nothing more than a machine gun and a couple grenades. It was super fun and SUPER hard. I chose to model my characters after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris and what came of it is a poster for the greatest eighties movie never made.

Here are some shots of the original game:

photo from flyers.arcade-museum.com

photo from gamasutra.com

Did I mention that you only had a limited amount of bullets? What? Ridiculously hard game.

PaletteSwap’s Tumblr is here.

And heres some process shots…

Started out inking some of the are I wanted a bit darker than the rest. The foreground guy looked like he was having way too much fun at this point.

Dropping in some acrylic inks to flesh out my characters. Not happy with the expressions yet. I want them to feel ridiculous and they almost feel serious here…

more problem solving…hated the foreground characters face and tonal value so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and darken him.

almost finished here. Most everything is where I want it. At this point I just have to finalize the Schwarzenegger character’s face. My Chuck Norris lookalike is doing ok over there. Also value tweaks. Values are easy to make darker with a couple washes.

Finished Ikari Warriors illustration with hand drawn logo type woot!

Ok so I must say that while I was making the illustration, I also decided that I wanted to push it a little farther. I’ve never actually made any papercraft toys before but I saw a couple papercraft arcade cabinets pop up when I was searching for the game screenshots. I have always kind of admired the idea of making tiny versions of bigger things and I wanted to play with it. After following a couple directions from other papercraft sites on how to make an arcade cabinet, I decided to mock up my own version. I wanted the thing to be able to print large but not so that you’d have to get any wonky sized paper or use a larger format printer. The plans ended up printing on two 8.5″x11″ pieces of paper. I used a couple sheets of 110 lb. card stock because I wanted to make sure it stuck around for a while. I made the plans available at my Etsy shop for a nominal fee. The PaletteSwap blog is a non-comissioned art blog so we as artists don’t make any money directly from it. We just love what we are doing. However, I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to make this thing multi task for me as I put a bit more effort than just an illustration.

Anywho, these things look super cool on your desktop and if you spray them lightly with some varnish, they’ll last a long time.

Notice the quarters laying in the gutter of the screen. That’s arcade language for,”I got next game.” I also made the game screen reflecting up into the “plastic” above the screen. plans available at my etsy

plans available at my etsy

I am in no way sponsored by Westcott scissors or Elmer’s glue. haha plans available at my etsy

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New PaletteSwap!

A new PaletteSwap has just been posted! I’ll do a little process blog later but in the meantime, go visit the PaletteSwap blog and Tumblr!

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Captain America with a bit of process

Hello my peoples.

I recently worked on an interpretative illustration of Captain America Comics #1. The Covered blog is one of my favorite stops on the web and I have had work on there before. For those who do not know, Covered is a blog where artists will pick a particular comic book cover and reinterpret it in their own way. The original painting was actually for my brother’s birthday present. As a little boy, he used to think he really was Captain America and he’d run around throwing his imaginary shield and making punching sound effects with his mouth. Let me make a note here, every little boy I have ever met has known the proper way to make a punch sound effect. If you are a man, you’ve probably already made it by the end of this sentence just to make sure you haven’t forgotten how to do it. Yup, still sounds awesome.

Here are some process shots of the painting…

First, I mock up the drawing using my initial sketch as reference. At this point, all I’m concerned about is value. After this I tighten up my drawing.

Next I transferred the drawing and started inking her up. I like to paint in the darkest parts in black..

I add color using transparent washes some places and more opaquely in others. I tend to add the opaque watercolors in places where I want to “lift” the blacks up…

Almost ready with a few minor adjustments still needed

All ready and framed!

I’m also selling a print of the illustration that is a bit different than the original. I just felt like it should be different  because I wanted the original to really be his own painting. I like both versions though, and the print fits nicely into an 8×10″ frame. You can buy one here.

These are some shots of the print version of the painting…

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

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New Business Cards

Hello there!

I just received my new mini business cards from Moo.com and I’m so happy with them! It’s been a while since I have even needed business cards but since so much of my contact info has changed from my last ones, it seemed now was the right time.

I chose Moo.com because my friend at the day job, a talented multi-disciplined artist named Lindsay who runs Finger Zine Friday and Wood Brain, turned me on to them and my wife, the lovey and talented Christina over at Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe just had some cool cards done through them. What I love about them is that you can upload multiple images for your business cards with no added cost. Say, if i wanted a packed of 250 cards with 250 different images, that’s ok with Moo. Say what gurl? Yeah gurl, that’s right.

Anywho, here are my mini cards in all their glory.

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Jasmine

Hello again peoples. Things have been busy in the Main house I assure you. Allow me to apologize for the lack of posted postables. I actually have something to say about Mother’s day, which at this point seems like it was months ago. That’s alright, here I go anyway.

So I wanted to paint my mom’s favorite dog for her. I had a moment of apprehension about it. Painting animals in the way that I do always makes me feel like I wear wolf shirts. Not in the hipster, ah man wolf shirts are rad kind of way. I mean the completely oblivious to the fact that wolf shirts are now a hipster phenomenon and I just wear ’em because I like freaking wolves kind of way. I don’t feel the need to explain this feeling anymore. But I digress.

I wanted to paint Jasmine (that’s her name) for my mom because they were best friends. She was an awesome dog. She was very people friendly (unless you happened to be the mailman), loved to play ball, and she would just hang out with you and keep you company if you were sick or out of it. She was tough too. She was like a Timex watch…takes a licking and keeps on ticking. I remember she got poisoned by someone in the neighborhood one evening. My mom and I went outside and found her convulsing and foaming at the mouth. It S U C K E D. Apparently someone had thrown bones in our yard that had been soaked with poison. She was pretty physically messed up from it…she went blind and couldn’t run around as well as she could before.

You’d think that maybe something like playing ball would have gone to the wayside but she was a fiend for playing even after she couldn’t see. I don’t know how exactly, but my little brother taught her how to play catch again after she went blind. He would stand so that he was blocking the sun in front of Jasmine. Then he would raise his hand with the ball in it and toss it into her mouth. We think that she may have been able to distinguish light and dark because it really makes no sense otherwise. At any rate she was always super happy even playing ball with a shadow. Dogs are like that.

I knew that if I got my mom to cry, then it was confirmation that my portrait was on point. I didn’t have a good picture of her but I was determined to paint the portrait. I used a couple pictures my mom had around the house. One was a super dark, blurry Polaroid that I used for the pose and another was a very tiny picture I used for her coloring. I was able to breath some life into the painting and I even painted in her once cloudy eyes from memory. That was nice for me.

My mom cried. A lot. She got my Grandma and Aunt to cry. And then I felt just a little bad.

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She used to beat herself silly with this dirty octopus thing…

She was super goofy and a wonderful girl. We miss her.

I paint other people’s lost pets over at my Etsy.

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Sending out some goodies to you.

I’ve recently been selling a lot more greeting cards on my Etsy shop. I had just narrowed down my selection of stuff to a bit more focused group and it really seemed to bump up the sales. I was sending out card after card and maybe it was the fact that I was having to cut a ton of cardboard to wrap and send each order, but I started thinking about the way that I actually send my orders out. They were just very lackluster in the packaging department. Sure, the hard, cardboard I was sending them in did protect them but I couldn’t imagine that it was the coolest thing to see a little brown piece of trash in your mailbox when delivery time came.

At any rate, I decided to step up the packaging a bit. I wanted something to hint at the fun and ridiculous nature of the contents of the package so I drew up some artwork that reflected that and turned it into a package. Adorning my envelopes for the greeting cards I sell are some of my favorite childhood characters…Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian, Robocop, Chuck Norris as Lone Wolf McQuade, Mr. T and of course, “Weird” Al Yankovic. You may initially balk at the idea of having Al on there with all those action stars…

Go watch the Stanley Spadowski rescue dream sequence of the masterpiece that is UHF and tell me “Weird” Al doesn’t belong there. You know what? Even then, don’t tell me…I won’t listen.

 

With a few tweaks, I made the pattern into a useable desktop background for your computer. You can download them here:

1280×800

2500×1600

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Ron Swanson approves of this message.

What can I possibly say about Ronald Ulysses Swanson that hasn’t been said more eloquently in the hallowed halls of the Interwebs before? Nick Offerman’s portrayal of manly man Ron Swanson is just great to my wife and I. There aren’t many TV shows we watch now that we don’t serve the cable gods anymore. However, we do Hulu the proverbial crap out of Parks and Recreation.

Perhaps I can’t say it in words but I sure can try with some paint. I kept looking at this blank spot on our dining room wall and I decided that we needed some food related art.

Undoubtedly, Ron Swanson’s culinary leanings tend toward the meaty side of life. Whether its meat burgers made of meat, Meat Tornado burritos, or just a good old fashioned cookout, Duke Silver is a carnivore to the core. I thought it fitting to have him grace our walls with his semi-inspirational slogan for his signature dish, the Turf & Turf. It consists of one 16 oz. Rib-eye steak, one 24 oz. Porterhouse, a cigar and a glass of whiskey. By the way, although commonly thought to be the same, Rib-eyes and Porterhouse steaks are different. I did some research. I’d tell you the specifics but you should really look into the matter for yourself. You know, teach a man to fish…(for sport only, fish meat is practically a vegetable.)

I worked up a little print of this painting over at my Etsy shop. You can buy it here…because you are a free American. Unless you’re not. Then just buy it because you’re awesome.

 

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