More missives manifested in the Martian mailbox this month. We will let you guess which one came from mom… and which one did not!
Tag Archives: postcards
We may have ‘maintained radio silence’ in the month of April, but that doesn’t mean our readers’ postcards and messages went unappreciated. So, let’s kick off May with a few highlights from the Martian Mailbox.
Up next, a postcard made out of wood. Yes, we know paper comes from wood, but this isn’t paper. It’s a slab of wood with a squirrel on it! Now that’s how to do wildlife art.
Last but not least, we present a card from Mom, who recently picked up photography as a hobby and is learning all about digital cameras. This bird is a Cedar Waxwing, for those of you who haven’t seen one before.
Our little book of blank postcards had a few pages left after last week’s sketching adventures, so we put our set of Micron fine-point pens to work once more. They have proven so much fun to work with!
This batch of drawings includes a frog, done in memory of our little African Dwarf Frog that breathed her last just a week ago after more than four years of brightening our office. We did use a reference for the pose: the back cover of an old issue of Ultra Klutz. The original drawing of Diving Frog sold, framed, on eBay to an overseas buyer. You can still buy it as a 5×7 grteeting card or a small print.
This monster hand, below, rising out of the muck and murky water, comes from an old comic book panel by Ric Estrada. We did a marker study of it a few years ago, but our understanding of hand anatomy and rendering in general has improved since then. You can buy it as a 5×7 greeting card or small print.
These next two drawings come from one of our weird little hobbies: building virtual sculptures in 3D cyberspace. In a virtual world where one can create and manipulate geometric forms, we enjoy making gigantic metal sculptures with planetary themes. Then we “photograph” them as references for paintings and drawings.
Metal Don Quixote
Micron fine-point pen on watercolor paper
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’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!
Those clouds were really fun to draw and we might have gone way overboard on them once we got the hang of it. The lines are definitely influenced by cloud and smoke rendering techniques we have been analyzing from Michael Zulli, Alex Nino, Kieth Giffen, and others.
The color is Inktense. Derwent’s Inktense inks give you vibrant colors in a block form that you combine with water and brush. They work a lot like watercolor paints but as an ink. We have zero background in watercolor or ink brush technique, but they seemed potentially fun to play with.
For these postcards, we applied the inktense colors first, sometimes after a light pencil sketch for layout and design. Then, over the areas of color, we rendered the subjects with Sharpie markers.
Since the internet loves to hate Roy Lichtenstein for “stealing” old comic book panels, we will try to include some references here. Yes we are copying comic book panels! It’s fun, and we learn a lot about rendering technique from studying comics. When you want to be good, study the masters!
The rocket above is a study of a panel from 1953, a comic book called Atomic War, issue #4. Look, Roy, we even sourced the original panel :) By the way, Atomic War is so old that it’s now public domain. We got ours at the Digital Comic Museum. So, feel free to reprint it and make posters of it or whatever. You can even buy Atomic War comics t-shirts now.
Next up: Psycho Bear!
Psycho Bear comes from an issue of Weirdo published by Last Gasp. We sold the issue, but have a picture of the page, credited to R. Hayes:
We started our set with this hand in the eye, based on a sculpture at the Atlanta airport.
Next up, a smoldering planet.
Source? DC’s planet of Apokalips as rendered by John Byrne and Karl Kesel in the first issue of Legends in the 1980s. The earthy orange tones and sharpie fine point marker made us feel like we were inking Larry Stroman’s work on Alien Legion. That guy can sure draw a space-scape! This felt good, as our first four painted studies of Byrne’s Apokalips ended in utter failure. This one felt like a step forward in rendering technique.
Alright, Roy, here’s the original.
THOOM! So much fun we did it twice. It comes from a John Buscema panel in Mighty Thor #200. Buscema, one of our favorite artists, a kind of Jack-Kirby-meets-Frank-Frazetta, created our favorite art textbook: How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way.
OKAY ROY HERE IS THE SOURCE! Jeez.
Anyway, these are all stamped and ready to be launched into orbit from Martian Headquarters. Here are some more photos we took because we’re obsessed with the iPhone 5 camera after living without a decent camera for like 39 years. Look how nice they are in the window!
Intrepid internet adventurers may want to track down the set of cards that include these dinosaurs. We haven’t yet, and so they remain part of the mysterious collection of postcards we joyfully receive here at Martian HQ.
As a bonus, the bright colors look amazing in our black light chamber.
Witness today the awesomeness of Tuojiangosaurus!