Tag Archives: art

The Great Meteor Mags Draw Off Features Trey Baldwin!

Trey Baldwin sent us a joyously anarchic drawing of Meteor Mags for The Great Meteor Mags Draw Off! Finely crafted with black Sumi ink and white Liquitex marker, this meteoric masterpiece just made our day.

Trey Baldwin is the artist and co-writer of the web comic Collapsar Comics. Collapsar’s main storyline is a comedic science fiction tale about a lazy, inept space mercenary named X-ray and his disastrous misadventures. And you know what? We love space mercenaries! Trey also showcases his artwork at turbolard.wordpress.com – so click that linkage and prepare to get rocked!

meteor mags and patches by trey baldwin

BONUS POINTS to Trey for including Patches the space-loving cat – not to mention a UFO with an anarchy sign, striped socks, and soooo many star tattoos. TREY, YOU ROCK!

We’re accepting submissions to The Great Meteor Mags Draw Off all month long. So, artists of the world, just dig our post on how it works and get those pens, pencils, and digital stylus thingies fired up to draw some anarchy. It’s fun, it’s free, and it fills you with glee from your head down to your socks.
Long live the resistance!

Attention Artists: The Great Meteor Mags Draw-Off Has Begun!

Attention artists! Are you looking for some extra exposure for your project this holiday season? Then join us in The Great Meteor Mags Draw-Off! Here is how it works:

We will spotlight your project on our blog this month if you send us an original drawing of our character Meteor Mags. Drawings may be ink or pencil, paint, digital, or any medium you prefer. Bonus points for including her calico cat, Patches!

In return for your immortalization of Meteor Mags, we will plug your website, comic book, podcast, or any other project that is dear to your heart. Simply email your artwork to Matthew@MarsWillSendNoMore.com along with a brief statement about your project and any hyperlinks you want to include.

Artists retain all rights to their work. We will post the image here on our site – with full credit – and repost it to Twitter, but will not otherwise reproduce it in any form without your prior written consent.

For character design and visual elements, you can see our Meteor Mags posts here on Mars or visit the Meteor Mags website directly for even more ideas.

Happy Holidays, and Long Live the Resistance!

meteor mags character sketches_mags24

sketchbook sundays

sketchbook sundays meteor mags (2)

All we wanted to accomplish this week was capturing this outfit and pose for Meteor Mags. But after making a photo reference and dutifully consulting John Buscema’s anatomical guidelines, we hit a wall. Literally, a wall. What kind of masochist designs an ornate wall for the background of a simple character study? Sigh, guilty.

But her headphones are so cute!

sketchbook sundays meteor mags (3)

So rather than tackle the monumentous task of rendering shadows on a stone wall, we took a break to render a totally different pose with more dramatic lighting. This paper just soaks up ink, taking three or four coats of Sharpie to achieve truly solid black in the large areas.

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Fortunately, at this point in the sketching adventure, a CD from our new favorite band arrived. Dig this cover to Bigger Cages, Longer Chains by The (International) Noise Conspiracy. Revolutionary rock and roll anthems? With artwork of armed females in gloves and glasses? CRANK IT UP! That’s the kind of inspiration we need.

bigger cages longer chains album cover

Ok, but first let’s play with some color, because drawing thousands of lines by hand for midtones is just exhausting sometimes. It’s kind of a weird hobby to have, if you think about it: drawing line after line after line. On the other hand, with some good tunes, it can be quite the relaxing focal point for your mind.

sketchbook sundays planet rough

Once we knew Mags was listening to International Noise Conspiracy in her headphones, we returned to the wall and started drawing those lines glorious lines. So many lines.

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Looks good, but should we call it done? Or does that wall need some graffiti?

Let’s go with graffiti.

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At this point, we realize our dependable little scanner can’t adequately handle these 9×12 pages. It’s a very comfortable dimension to work in, and our results seem to be showing improvements. But the damned things are just too big! They’re HUGE! Okay, not huge, but we definitely need to save up for a scanner that can handle not only the 9×12 paper but also 11×17 sheets of bristol board.

Until next time, happy sketching!

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sketchbook sundays: portrait of albert einstein

portrait of albert einstein - Copy

Albert Einstein peers reflectively in this black and white drawing created with Micron 05 fine-point pen and Sharpie marker. From a 300 dpi scan.

sketchbook sundays

guitar 15 card

These 5×7 greeting cards made from a scan of the acrylic painting Guitar #15 came out very pretty. With the gloss finish on the card, the colors seem especially brilliant. You can buy your own and put a message inside. We picked a quote from Albert Ayler, a ‘free’ jazz saxophonist that blew Coltrane’s mind back in the day: “Music is the Healing Force of the Universe.”

Okay let’s see what’s in the sketchbook files today. These are in-progress photos of some ink drawings we’ve been working on for the Meteor Mags series. Ink still seems magical to us. The transformation from a pencil rough to bold black lines is like a form of entertainment for us, so we snap a few pics along the way.

meteor mags sketches in progress (1)

The one above got messed up in the ink phase, but we liked the pose so much we kept going and finished her figure. We patched up the stray ink lines with some white gel pen, thinking it might still work out as a digital image if we scan it and touch it up. That’s the funny thing about ink – you don’t really get second chances with it. Screw up, and your hours of work are dead in the water. It’s quite intimidating at times!

meteor mags sketches in progress (2)

Below, a few more shots of Mags in progress in various poses, and of course above you see Patches in progress for the “cover” illustration to her story Patches the Immortal.

meteor mags sketches in progress (3)

meteor mags sketches in progress (4)

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guitars 21 and 22

We have some large canvases to do more paintings in our guitar series. But, we also have all these used student-level canvases and almost empty tubes of paint from our other projects. So, let’s see if we can make something pretty for our walls out of them.

painting studies 2 (1)

Our art teacher had given us a tube of magenta to try last year, and its become one of our favorite colors to paint with. This was a somewhat sad occasion, as we used up the last little bit of that tube on this canvas. But we like space and cosmic stuff, so we imagined the creative forces: nebula and star formation and supernovae giving birth to the molecules of everything we are. Bob Ross liked to make worlds on his paintings. We like making universes.

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The colors really pop out with a glossy spray-on lacquer finish in outdoor light.

painting studies 2 (2a)

Starving! Time for a sandwich. Since we are so into pumas, we decided to try eating deer. A nearby store carries frozen ground venison. We have had some wild deer meat in Michigan, courtesy of the deer hunters there, but this stuff must be farm-raised. It’s nearly indistinguishable from beef and makes delicious puma-power sandwiches.

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The next painting used up the last of our art teacher’s yellow tube of Liquitex paint and the rest of a very lovely Van Dyke Brown made by Holbein. Also in the mix: mars yellow (a kind of brownish yellow) and violet.

painting studies 2 (5a)

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Even after a pretty background of copper, black, and van dyke brown, this one said to add more layers. How about a black wash, sprayed with rubbing alcohol several times as it dries, to make hole where the colors underneath show through?

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It looked sort of muddy indoors at this point, so we took it outside. Suddenly all the colors popped out.

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Oh look, some new white gel pens arrived! We have been looking for something to draw in white combined with drawing in black in Sharpie. These came to us recommeded by a sketch artist on Reddit.

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Let’s see if the pens work on a painted canvas.

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The colors dont stand out so brilliantly indoors, but it’s a lot nicer than the old painting on it from a year and a half ago. That’s the great thing about student-level canvases. You can feel free to experiment and explore. And if you hate the results, just paint over it with white and start again!

painting studies 2 (7a)

some more of them were destroyed

Here are a couple new studies of a Jack Kirby tribute, along with some notes about making them. Enjoy!

painting studies 1 (1)

The last year and a half of painting left us with some odds and ends: almost empty tubes of paint, canvases that had a small defect, and paintings that never panned out. So, what if we take all this clutter and try to work out an idea for our next project?

painting studies 1 (1a)

We got some house paint from the hardware store – interior acrylic, semi-gloss, ultra-white house paint makes awesome primer. Can you get gesso for $30 a gallon? You can at Ace Hardware lol. Anyway, we primed the shit out our gnarly old canvases and got some blank slates for experimenting with.

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Then we were like, let’s just make huge colorful messes and not worry about how they turn out.

painting studies 1 (2a)

Our art teacher had given us some paints to try last year – like a bold, comic-book style yellow from Liquitex. It looks great in washes so let’s make some.

painting studies 1 (3)

Our art teacher also warns us not to fall in love with our colorful backgrounds. But, we always do it anyway. We just hang them on the walls for a few days and enjoy them as purely abstract art.

painting studies 1 (3a)

Why not try using Sharpie marker to draw the black areas on the canvas? We are working from a marker sketch of an old Jack Kirby comic book page. The working title of the piece we have in mind is a quote from the page: “and one of them was destroyed!” So all we need is black shapes on this canvas, really.

The small one came out okay. Well, we did two small ones, and one was a total disaster. It went back in the primer pile! But the other was pretty close to what we imagined, so let’s tackle a big one.

painting studies 1 (4)

painting studies 1 (4a)

These color washes came out especially nice. The yellow is a Liquitex artist paint and the dioxazine purple is Basics from the craft store. They mixed in really interesting ways with the white hardware store paint and splashes of water.

painting studies 1 (4b)

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Oh, look. Mom sent us a little card with a puma drawing on it :) It now has a place of honor among other pumas we love, near the 150-watt Hafler power amplifier that drives our studio monitors.

painting studies 1 (5b)

Speaking of music, somewhere in the middle of this color explosion we got a request to be a DJ at a kind of internet fundraiser party. There was a 1960s theme, so we made a set list of freakbeat from the UK and some American retro rock. We stopped by Big Lots and picked up inexpensive yet highly psychedelic socks for the occasion.

painting studies 1 (5d)

It went over well. The attendees from the UK had some touching memories to share about hearing those freakbeat tunes on 45 RPM vinyl as kids. They shared some fun stories with us. In the midst of this cultural exchange, we also managed to raise enough funds to plant seventeen trees in Costa Rica as part of a non-profit reforestation project.

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It was truly far out, man.

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Ok so let’s paint some more! After sketching only the most basic guidelines in pastel on the canvas, we just freehanded the marker.

painting studies 1 (6a)

It looked cool with the marker but just wasn’t quite there yet. So, we took black arcylic paint and went over almost all of the Sharpie. Then, we added washes of ultramarine blue and violet to the “sky” in the background, and some watered-down white to the clouds to differentiate everything a little better.

painting studies 1 (6b)

Normally we don’t like buying spray stuff, but we had accidentally come into ownership of some spray-on lacquer finishes. What the heck, let’s spray these suckers and hang them on the wall.

painting studies 1 (7)

That leaves us with an unfinished color wash, perhaps for one more comic-book themed study.


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