Monday, May 27, 2013

Godzilla's Paper Cranes: Part 1

WIP Color comp of new yet to be named Godzilla piece.
 Well, unfortunately things have been crazy busy in the work arena and I haven't been able to get back to the Boogervampire painting.  Probably won't be getting to it until my NEXT three day weekend (which is the 4th of July).  BUT this is the reason why, I actually have a work in progress post for a new painting!

Instagram post of the final sketch.
Little Godzilla, before he got soooo frustrated as an adult that he destroyed Tokyo multiple times, really doesn't care for humans very much.  He's taken to making 1000 paper cranes in hopes that once he completes all 1000 of them humans might disappear.  So yeah, sketch that I posted over on the Instagram and this color comp.

The show will be called "Paper Trail" and will open over at Monkeyhouse Toys in Silverlake, CA on June 29th.  Stay tuned for updates on the completed piece!

From the Kubrick Exhibit (left to right): Directors slates from  2001, A Clockwork Orange, the Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut; Storyboards from Spartacus; the iconic blue dresses of the little girls in the Shining, costume designs from 2001; and a matte painting from Spartacus.

In closing this week, I'd like to add, I finally made it to the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)! Simply wonderful show and tons of great stuff to satisfy the movie buff in me as well as the artist. What you don't see in the photo's above is examples of his photography which I found to be truly gorgeous. I don't know why I was so surprised to see that they were so lovely.

If you live in the LA area and haven 't been to the exhibit yet it's totally worth the $20 entrance fee, or at least I thought it was.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Boogervampire Mini-Painting Part 1

All 12 of the color comps for what will be a tiny 4x6 inch painting.  (9a is probably going to be the winner, FYI)

Greetings all!  Well, it's long over due, but I figured it was time to do a mini-painting featuring the Boogervampire himself.  As you can see, he's pretty tiny and kinda cute. :P  I've been having troubles figuring out a color combo for the painting.  I don't know that I've ever done so many color comps before, but I was having issues.  As you can see in many of the comps, it was difficult to find a combo that didn't cause his head or body to get lost in the background.  Thankfully #9 finally hit the mark and I think I'll be ACTUALLY be able to start the painting for REAL this week.

The Boogervampire loves his "Snotty Big Slurps" as much as I love my Super Big Gulps. 

I was recently invited to take part in a new paper themed art show in June, so you'll probably start seeing bits and pieces of in progress work for that piece soon.  Good news is it'll feature the bestest of friends, Frannie and the Creature from the Pink Lagoon again!  I'm excited because I'll have an opportunity to show what Frannie's bedroom looks like.

Check in next week for (hopefully) part two of the Boogervampire Mini-Painting.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Bats Day™ Wrap Up and Photo Dump

My wonderful husband, and "booth babe", Carlos making a funny face.  We never take serious pictures.  this is also the best pic we could get of the full spread.  You can JUST BARELY see the banner.  It is beautiful, btw.
Well, words can not properly express how wonderful my first Bats Day Black Market and Gallery999 experience was.  I'm still reeling from my first public outing as the Boogervampire. . . well as openly billing myself the Boogervampire.  We had such a wonderful time that we're contemplating doing it again next year and maybe even the holiday one if they should choose to have it again this year.

Take a gander at these horrible cell phone pics:

A detailed shot of the prints and original artwork I brought with me.  Yes, if you're wondering, I am super anal when it comes to presentation so my pricing signs matched my banner.  A lot of people thought the original of "He's So Dreamy!" was a framed print.  The museum glass I invested in makes it look SO NICE!!

Next to the prints and original artwork was my jewelry spread.  I totally forgot a price sheet for the necklaces.  Carlos helped build the stacked coffin display stand, and Natasha set it up because I was so nervous I kept knocking my own displays over.

Next to the jewelry display and at the very end of the table was the Bats Day™ Exclusive display and the brand new Mini Buttons!  The Mini Buttons were a hit, of course.  Especially the Kissing Bats and the Angler Fish.
After two hours I started getting an anxiety attack (first hour was tame, second hour things picked up) so my awesome friend and assistant for the day,  Tashi, went and got me a Midori Sour. . . Yes, even the drinks I drink are lime green.

Once I was relaxed (I'm a light weight, it only took half that midori sour) I went and visited other booths.  I picked up this ADORABLE Bats Day Exclusive ZOMs Zombie from Rick over at

Here's Tashi doing what she does best, modeling my wears and drawing.  She bought one of my very rare Spider Web aprons back a couple of years ago and was super stoked to have a place to finally wear it. 

Everyone of the people who stopped by my booth was a pleasure to meet and the flow of traffic was so steady that every time I ducked under the table to organize the mess down there someone new showed up and Carlos had to smack me in the back of the head so I'd come up from under the table.

Some of the more rewarding experiences:  A gentleman came by early on in the day and bought one of my monster kid prints and wound up coming back 6 hours later to buy another because he said he couldn't get it out of his head and that he needed it.  He also proceeded to tell me that whatever I was doing keep going it because he thought my paintings were great.  Then, I also got to meet in person a friend of a mutual friend and his significant other/friend who actually recognized my husband (because I'm elusive and don't post too many real photos of myself).  They bought some hair clips and once they got home realized that they had also purchased a print of my Gallery999 Star Wars piece.  Another awesome experience was (as I stated in one of the photo captions) when someone asked how big the original of "He's So Dreamy!" was and they were standing right in front of it.  They totally thought the painting was a framed print and lost it when they realized it wasn't.  I guess they assumed with the amount of detail I packed in there the painting must have been 4 times the size it was.  And finally, I got cornered by a drunk lady after the whole thing wrapped up for the night.  She was very friendly and her friend had come and bought one of the "He's So Dreamy!" prints earlier in the day.  I think she would have loved for us to stay and chat longer than we did, but we hadn't eaten in over 12 hours and were starving to death.  I could go on, but I don't want to bore you. . . but there is one last one.

Lastly, and deserving of it's own paragraph, I was happy to find out that my "Haunted Mansion Meets Star Wars" Tribute show piece sold.  I was lucky enough to go walk thru the gallery a couple of times when I'd take a bathroom break and I was so happy to see people's reaction to it.  More than once I saw women pulling their significant other's over to it impatiently to show it to them.  Overall I think most of them found it pretty funny.  It was so well received that Noah K. told me before set up that morning that people at the COSTUME PARTY the night before were already buying prints of it and trying to figure out where to stash it safely in their costumes.

As we entered the park for our last time in God knows how long.
 Needless to say, Natasha (Tashi) and I were totally exhausted.  In the weeks leading up to Bats Day™ the two of us burnt the midnight oil at a ridiculous pace.  I stayed up til 2am most nights and got up early for work the next day.  I know that's no new or strange experience.  Most other people who participate in these things do it too, but since I haven't done late hours in a while, it totally took it's toll.  How, you might ask?  Well, the day after the Black Market and Gallery999 festivities is the actual Bats Day in the Fun Park™ experience and the three of us just couldn't do it.  We were lucky we got out of bed in time to check out of the hotel.  We discussed things and decided it was best to go home and rest during the day since we had to work the next day, but to return to the park in the evening and hopefully get in some fun before the park closed.  See, the three of us just HAD to try to get some park time in, as  it was our last day before our passes expired.  :(

We did have a lot of fun.  Not as many people looked at us strangely this year, but I think that's because more and more people are starting to become aware of Bats Day.  That, and I'm what I call a "Lazy Bat". . . monster t-shirts, zombie hoodie and black chucks paired with comfortable, baggy jeans and occasionally died hair.  Besides, who would notice my dark side when wearing a hat like this?

Would you take me seriously in a hat like this?  No I didn't think so.
Hopefully next post I'll be further on my new painting featuring the actual Boogervampire, my avatar if you will.  I posted a sketch of him over on my Instagram a couple of weeks ago and I'm itching to get started on the painting.  Until then, thanks again for coming out to see me, being so wonderful and supportive, and most of all, reading all my rambling.


A wonderful crafting blog blogged about me and showed my business card.  A Little Known Craft has a fun blog worth checking out if you're a crafter.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Gallery999 Haunted Mansion meets Star Wars Blog Dump

The fancy framed version with a lovely black velvet mat.

So, contractually I was forbidden from showing any progress photos or the finished piece until after the Bats Day Gallery999 opening/event.  Since today is officially the day AFTER the opening I can now post everything online.

"Help Us Master Gracey, You're Our Only Hope"; 5"x7" Gouache 

As my regular followers know, I LIVE for progress updates.  I do it because, honestly, I just get so excited as things start coming together I want to show it off like a little kid!  Every painting is an opportunity to learn something new and expand my knowledge and I skill base and now that I'm not in school anymore I LOVE learning!!  When I was working on South Park they called me "Ask Jeeves" cause I was the inferior search engine.  It may sound slightly insulting, but it just means I know a bunch of random stuff, but I don't know everything and some of the things I do now aren't always useful.  And you know what, that's totally fine with me, cause then I get the opportunity to learn MORE. . . but let's get back on target.  Here are a couple progress and detail shots of the new Haunted Mansion Meets Star Wars themed painting "Help Us Master Gracey, You're Our Only Hope".

Halfway there!  Getting a nice glow on the tombstones.

The Bride's Glowing heart.  Master Gracey's tombstone was slightly altered the next evening so she would "pop" a little more.

For this piece I really wanted to try doing a limited color pallet so I could try to work on light sources.  Granted this has a few errors, but overall it turned out pretty damn good for trying something new!

Some things/problems I stumbled across during this painting that I hadn't encountered before:


Once again, too many ideas!  As with most people my age, I'm a huge nut for the Original Trilogy.  My favorite has always been Return of the Jedi because that's the one I remember my Parents taking me to the Drive In to see.  I will forever have the final battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker embedded in my memory.

Both the Haunted Mansion and the Star Wars Films are so iconic, so I really had to ask myself a million questions when I was trying to narrow my subject matter down.  Questions like: "Yeah that's funny, but how many other people are going to have the same idea?"  I admit, I did have the had the typical "Yoda, ObiWan and Anakin as the Hitch Hiking Ghosts" idea.  Also had a variant where it was a Gammorean Guard, Bib Fortuna and Salacious Crumb as the Hitch Hiking Ghosts, but the problem with those ideas is that they're very iconic and you can BET that everyone had the same idea in their heads.  Another idea that I knew would be overused by the other artists was the stretching portraits when it comes to Haunted Mansion tribute artwork.  I also had a few funny ideas for those too, but at the end of the day I really wanted to do something that didn't involve a pin up or Slave Leia or something I'd seen a million other people do already.  After a month of throwing ideas around in my head I decided to just settle on R2-D2 delivering Master Gracey a message from the 80's/90's version of the Attic Bride in the original Haunted Mansion's lost cemetery.

Bride and R2-D2 sketch (before the redraft).

Background layer of the first draft of the Lost Cemetery.

Second problem encountered: Horizon lines truly can make or break your composition's "story".

My thumbnail had such life and this 'feel' to it that was just perfect.  When I started my inital sketch I lowered the horizon line because I thought putting R2 and the Bride center stage, unobstructed would tell a better story.  WRONG, totally KILLED the feeling I was going for.  I wanted the viewer to feel like they were looking in on some private moment, not much different than when a viewer first sees Princess Leia and R2's interaction on the Alderranian Cruiser in the first Star Wars film.  You need to feel that separation.  As you can see in the first sketch, you were right up in their faces with them, and it just didn't feel the same.  Not to mention, R2 looked like he was towering over the observer, which is just silly.  After completely redrawing my sketch, using a blown up version of my thumbnail, things felt MUCH better.  And then it was off to color comps.

Digital composite and crop of corrected original sketch.

Third thing I learned on this painting:  the better the color comp, the easier the completion of the final piece.  I invested more time in my color comp, and I admit, it's still rough, but since I spent more time on it the thought did run thru my head of just turning the comp in.  So glad I didn't.

Photoshop color comp.
So, yeah, R2-D2 in the Lost Cemetery (which you can learn more about here if you're interested) with the tribute stones and the Round Eyed Attic Bride (which you can read more about here as well).  Having said that, I'd sincerely like to thank HGB2 over at the blog Long-Forgotten for all the wonderful posts he writes analyzing the different aspects of the Haunted Mansions and their histories.  A sincerely fascinating dissection of the ride.

Although the artwork was only on display May 3rd and 4th as part of the Bats Day Weekend festivities, artwork will be viewable on the Gallery999 Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Official Bats Day in the Fun Park™ Sugar Skull for Dia de los Murcielagos

Officially Licensed Bats Day in the Fun Park™ Sugar Skull
This year is the 15th annual Bats Day in the Fun Park outing happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo, as such, the people who organize the event chose to market the outing with a Day of the Dead theme.  This year Bats Day is also being referred to as "Dia de los Murcielagos" (which is obviously just the spanish translation of Bats Day).  Since my followers all know how much I LOVE drawing sugar skulls I contacted the people who organize the event and asked them what measures and permissions I would require if I wanted to make a special limited edition sugar skull for my table that was reminiscent of their logo.

Let me just say Noah K. and the rest of the organizers have been a pleasure to work with on this.  I submitted a proposal which included what I wanted to make, how many of each proposed piece I was planning on making and a rough sketch of my idea to them.  Happily they agreed to my proposal and after I signed the proper licensing agreement paperwork, I got into full swing with production.

Official Bats Day™ Sugar Skull Hair Clips.  Limited Edition of 25 pairs.

Official Bats Day™ Sugar Skull Digital Archival Print.  Limited Edition of 25 prints all signed and numbered.

Official Bats Day™ Sugar Skull Earrings.  Limited Edition of 25 pairs.
As you can see, I chose to stick with what I know in the form of merchansise.  There are three limited edition items that will be available at my table (table 19 if you were curious) this year: hair clips, earrings and a digital archival print (numbered and signed).  Each of the limited edition items are only being released in a run of 25 and will be available at the table on May 4th for the Black Market event.  If for any reason there are some left over, I've been granted permission to sell the remaining items in the Crypt of DOOM once Bats Day Weekend is over.

(Sorry for the Instagram bombing.  I haven't had space to set up my good photo rig since my husband started a new custom GI Joe vehicle project in my work space and I don't have the heart to tell him to move his project just so I can take pictures for the blog.)

Also, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you already know about the two new mini paintings I'll have available at the table.  For those that don't let me introduce you to a couple more cranky Candy Corn and an irate Rainbow Layer Cake.

Candy Corn 2013; Gouache, 2"x3"; 2013
Rainbow Layer Cake; Gouache 3"x2"; 2013
Both the mini paintings are framed in adorable little mini frames. Still determining pricing for everything, but anything new that doesn't sell at Bats Day will be available in the Crypt of DOOM shortly after.

Speaking of the event (not that I've stopped since January) if you decide to swing by the Anaheim Double Tree Suites to check out the Bats Day Black Market on May 4th, you can also check out the "May the 4th be with you" themed "Haunted Mansion meets Star Wars" tribute show in the same location.  I do have a new piece, which I mentioned a couple of posts back.  I still can't show you any images of the whole piece, but be sure to check back on Monday, May 6th to check out the post devoted to my painting "Help Us Master Gracey, You're Our Only Hope".  (I always have way too much fun coming up with the titles.)

What I will tell you about the piece is this. . . it's got a certain squat little trouble making droid in it and I finally got to use the neon red gouache I've had for a while but didn't know what to do with it.  ;)

Just in case you're thinking of turning out for the event, here's the details:

Where: Doubletree Guest Suites Anaheim Resort/Convention Center | 2085 S. Harbor Boulevard | Anaheim, CA 92802

Full details at the Bats Day Website.

Pagan Spring @ ELEU Salon in Burbank, CA
And finally, something NOT Bats Day related!  I'm participating in a small group art show at a Salon/Gallery in Burbank, CA thru the end of the month of May.  If you're in the area swing by and check out the awesome "Pagan Spring" themed artwork.  Since I've been so busy getting ready for the convention I submitted the Medusa series, including the never seen before in public "Soul" Medusa.