Tag Archives: postcards

sketchbook sundays

moms cards (2)

For today’s Sketchbook Sunday, let’s take a moment to spotlight these cute animal cards Mom sent us. In 2010, Mom had never had an email address. We encouraged her to get one, and then she started discovering the joys of Google – especially for finding images and materials for her preschool classes. Last year she took her first online course, a class in digital photography to support her animal photo enthusiasm. Now she is having her own cards made from her digital pictures. Pretty cool! Here are three of our favorites, below.

moms cards (3)

moms cards (4)

moms cards (5)

Readers of Mars Will Send No More may recall how we collaged our table with pages from old Jack Kirby comics a few years ago. The Kirby table has served us well, fueling our inspiration and filling our life with Kirby Krackle as we paint and eat. But now, it is time for a little refinish.

kirby table refinish (4)

Love those panels of people freaking out in a morass of cosmic crackle! But as you can see, the well-loved surface is now a disaster, and it’s impossible to even tell if the thing is clean enough to eat on or not at any given moment.

kirby table refinish (3)

So, we sanded down the big chunks with some 60 grit and a palm sander, then gave it a black and white starry cosmos finish with some old spray paint from a box of leftovers in a friend’s garage.

kirby table refinish (5)

kirby table refinish (7)

This week, our pillows arrived. Below you see a 20×20 throw pillow featuring the image of Meteor Mags playing piano in her black dress and silly pirate hat.

pillows (2)

The pillows are nicely made with a sturdy outer cover. The image is printed on both sides. They have a zipper on one edge. It opens to reveal a polyester pillow. The pillows in the 20×14 products are much cuddlier than the 20×20 products. They are stuffed more. The 20×20 is beautiful, but the 20×14 pillows are more snuggly.

pillows (3)

pillows (2a)

And that’s all we have time to share this weekend! Thank you for dropping by ~ and happy sketching!

Tiki Lives!

tiki on the road

In the misty dawn of the 21st century, a young human purchased an incredible vessel. Carved from glass in the likeness of the great Tiki gods, this sacred vessel cost merely twenty-five cents. First it served as a planter for small cuttings of succulent plants. Tiki served in this capacity on his second but not final cross-country journey.

tiki lives

Of his many travels and ill-advised drinking adventures, Tiki remains silent. He offers no more explanation than a frightful but strangely ecstatic smile. These days, Tiki’s brains are full of Sharpie markers and paint pens.

Please Select Your Offering of Praise to the Great Tiki:


More missives manifested in the Martian mailbox this month. We will let you guess which one came from mom… and which one did not!

more postcards_0001

more postcards_0002

postcards 13

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.

The fifth most influential man on Pinterest certainly has our number, as evidenced by this wonderful Jack Kirby postcard from the Jack Kirby Museum.

postcard jack kirby museum

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.

postcard squirrel

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.

postcard cedar waxwing

sketchbook sundays

frog card - Copy

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.

monster hand card - Copy

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.

planet monument card copy

planet monument card 2 copy

sketchbook sunday: palm springs postcards

metal don quixote card 5x7 - Copy

Metal Don Quixote
Micron fine-point pen on watercolor paper

Buy it as a card or print.

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!

abstract sculpture card 5x7 - Copy

krackle heart card 5x7 - Copy

inktense + sharpie postcards based on comic book panels

inktense cards - blast off

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.

Atomic_War_no.4_1953 rocket ship

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!

inktense cards - 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:

Weirdo Magazine Collection (14)

We started our set with this hand in the eye, based on a sculpture at the Atlanta airport.

inktense cards - hand with eye

Next up, a smoldering planet.

inktense cards - 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.

legends 1 -001

inktense cards - thoom 1

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.

inktense cards - thoom 2


mighty thor 200 -017

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!

inktense cards photos (1)

inktense cards photos (2)

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