This is a momentous day for Mars Will Send No More, and we hope you join us in celebration. Our new scanner arrived, replacing the old one that died last month after fueling the fires of our humble blog for more than three years. Its first mission: to scan the best of the postcards we drew on our trip last weekend! We formatted them for printing as 5×7 cards, and you can now find them in our Palm Springs Postcards gallery. Order one for yourself, or maybe a whole box!
We’ve been overjoyed with the high quality reproductions of our artwork on these 5×7 cards, from pumas and pastel planets to cosmic hands. They look great, and our printing vendor allows buyers to put their own custom message on the interiors. Nice touch!
Strathmore’s pack of 4×6 watercolor postcards fits in your jacket pocket perfectly. We took ours with us this week in search of fun things to draw. We also packed some Micron fine-point pens, bought on the recommendation of Peter Deligdisch. Peter’s use of line to make complex and intricately detailed drawings and abstracts inspired us. We recommend his small but engaging collection of artwork, Line of Thought, self-published through CreateSpace. For pocket-sized inspiration, you also can’t beat the small paperback collections of Lone Wolf & Cub. Goseki Kojima’s mastery of line and shadow provides an epic lesson in rendering.
Looking at that 1978 Silver Surfer book got us stoked to study another Jack Kirby hand. That, and our first painted Kirby tribute, Behold the Awesomizer, sold last week. Now we have a vacancy! This one will be on a bigger canvas though. (Behold the Original.)
As our Sharpie Fine Point Markers begged for mercy, we forged ahead with a few quick sketches of Gasmask Girl wandering the electric cosmos in splashes of Kirby Krackle.
A John Buscema panel from Thor #200 (Marvel Comics, 1972) inspired this painting. Measuring roughly 2 feet wide by 3 feet high, it comes on unframed canvas. The canvas comes from Fredrix, intended for use as a floor mat. It didn’t make sense to us how a loose piece of canvas on the floor would become a floor mat, so we nailed it to the wall for a couple weeks to paint on it.
Unlike the small pastel study from last year of this same panel, it wears a metal bracelet, hinting at the eye in a similar tribute to Jack Kirby. The detailed reflection lines on the metal became the focal point of the painting. Frankly, that results in a somewhat unbalanced piece, with the eyes drawn to such a low center point under the mass of the open hand. It may be worth coming back and adding another visual element to balance it out: a ring or rings on the fingers, or something held in the palm. It will decorate the kitchen wall until then!
Sometimes it’s fun to paint silly things. Case in point, the galactic banana.
We did the background last summer when we got some good training on basic color wash techniques. We enjoyed it so much that painting over it became nearly impossible. It suggested many grand epic things to us, most of which seemed to lie entirely outside our ability to execute. Do you ever have projects like that? Projects whose potential scope becomes overwhelming to the point where all progress stops? Maybe it’s time to stop being so serious about them, and just go bananas!
Banana may not be a masterpiece, and it may never enjoy its own page in an art history book with a polysyllabic discussion about the conceptual meaning of it all. But, it made us smile, and sometimes that’s enough. Here are some close-ups to enjoy.
NuPastels, Sharpie marker, and ink on toned tan paper.
We ran the above scan through a couple digital adjustments attempting to get a ‘stained glass’ effect. Did we succeed? Judge for yourself.
We also added some white to our Tiger drawing, trying to get those highlights to really pop before slipping it into a frame.
By the way, if you’re looking for cards for Valentine’s Day, we made a gallery of original greeting cards just for you. Featuring roses and love, they’re blank inside by default – but our print shop will print a message of your choosing inside the cards. Pretty cool! Show me the Valentine!
Scratchboard artist Joe Robertson’s work caught our eye at a local art festival last year. What a magnificient mountain lion he created! This print is called Mountain King. You can get one of your own online at Joe’s Art Gallery.