09
Dec

Here’s two murals I banged out down in Fort Myers last week for the brand new Tijuana Flats! Pretty exciting, since it’s my ‘home turf’… I grew up in the area and was super excited to do this one.

The reason for the hot rod Ford Model-T is that Fort Myers is known for the Edison and Ford Winter Homes.  Every kid that goes to school in Southwest Florida has gone, will go, or is perhaps going to the Winter Homes RIGHT NOW.  I must have gone there on a field trip at least 6 times when I was in school. I think it’s one of those things you’d probably appreciate more as an adult than as a 10 year old kid. "Oh, look. Old furniture. Yawn."

While people have different opinions on Edison (some good, some… not so good), I’ve never heard anything bad about Henry Ford.  I decided it would be neat to pay a little homage to the town, even in a slight away.

The photos above show some detail shots, some in progress shots, and some close ups on the racing decals I painted on the car, with shout-outs to friends or family (and boss!)… fun times!

My next mural is going to be something very different from what I’ve been doing.  More on that later.

17
Sep

I painted up these new murals at the new Tijuana Flats location in Jacksonville, FL.

My initial idea was “steampunk Iron Man”… I think I succeeded.  An art friend dubbed him “Furnace Bot”, which is appropriate.   I picked out this brownish paint for his body, but it turned out to be too dark.  I made an attempt to wipe the paint off the small section I had tested and I accidentally stumbled upon this sort of staining/painting effect for the metal body.  The end result was what I was actually looking for!

4+ years making art for Tijuana Flats, and I’m still learning new things.  That’s pretty cool.

300th post! Huzzah!

13
Jul

I’ve posted this before, but some of you may not have seen it… it’s a time-lapse video of me painting a mural for Tijuana Flats way back in 2009.  This was the 4th mural I had done for them at the time.  I’ve now done upwards of 40 locations for them in less than 4 years (I’ve lost track), my next one is a new location in the St. Petersburg, FL area next month.  (Hint, I think the mural will feature mummies. Lots of mummies.)

Enjoy.

03
Jul

Here’s a mural I just did this afternoon.  Started around 10:30 am, finished up around 6:30 pm.  That included two trips to the store for paint and lunch! (I had Bojangles, if you were wondering.)

My friends kid turned 2 this past weekend, and he’s getting himself a big-boy room.  His parents are huge baseball fans (as am I), and the entire room will eventually be decked out in baseball stuff… which is why they wanted a baseball themed mural on the wall.  Mom is the Philly fan, Dad is the Cubs fan.  Hopefully their child won’t pick the A’s or Giants as his favorite team… 

I could have gone and done something more kid friendly, but eventually he will grow up and I don’t want him to be embarrassed by what’s on his wall.  He’ll probably be embarrassed by it regardless, so whatever.

Happy Birthday, AJ! Sorry it’s not Mickey Mouse. You’ll thank me later. When you learn to talk.

12
Jan

Zombie Attack

Over the past 6 days, I’ve been working my ‘normal’ job as the artist/muralist for Tijuana Flats.  We remodeled a location in the Tampa area (Westchase, to be exact), and because it’s a remodel of a location that’s currently open, we have the super fun task of working overnights.  Usually 10pm to around 8 or 9 am.  Sometimes later!

This time around, the existing mural was pretty small, so the higher-ups wanted to expand the wall, and use existing non-mural walls for a new mural.  The only problem with this was… there’s a bunch of corners!  The wall jets out and has doorways and all sorts of craziness.

Being the professional that I am, I gladly excepted the challenge and worked up something that would work from any angle you would see the mural at.  Because, at some angles, you won’t see ALL of the mural at once.  Hard!

Here’s the wall layout, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about…

There’s the archway to the bathrooms, the hot bar (or, if you’re not on the up-and-up with Tijuana Flats, it’s a bar full of different kinds of hot sauce!), and then a wall with a tv.  So, what to do?

THIS.

Zombies!  I won’t lie, it’s loosely inspired by the Walking Dead.  More homage than anything else.  The far left side of the mural is less detailed than the right side, due to the fact that our Hot Bar logos and signs will be installed on the wall.  I didn’t want anything “important” being obscured!

On to painting.  I’ll spare you the backbreaking labor it takes to get this done, so let’s just skip to the finished product!

There it is.  Took roughly 2 and a half nights to finish it up.  I was under the weather the entire time, so that slowed me down.  However, I believe it’s one of the best murals I’ve painted yet!  You never really get to fully experience or appreciate the size of these things in photos.  If you find yourself in Tampa, you should stop by and check it out. 

Bonus if you like tacos!

26
Oct

The Anatomy of a Mural

I just completed my 19th mural (I think… hard to keep track at this point) for Tijuana Flats, down in Hollywood, FL.

Here’s how it all happens.

Here’s the store, about 3 weeks ago.  Mural wall has a coat of primer on it, but that’s about it.  The store is in complete disarray (as usual!), but that’ll all change soon enough.  That big wooden box here in front is actually the back of the Hot Bar.

Time to sketch.

Click the image for a wayyyyy bigger version!

Here’s my sketch for the wall.  This was done using my new fancy Wacom Cintiq tablet and Manga Studio EX 4.  I call this a sketch, even though to most of you, it probably looks like a finished illustration.  I’ve learned that while some stuff looks great at smaller sizes, sometimes it looks like poop when it’s on the wall.  You’ll see what I’m getting at later.

I’m pretty much given free reign over what I want to draw, and then it’s up to Big Taco (Brian Wheeler, the T-Flats creator and boss man) if he likes it enough to become a mural.

This time around, I just combined two things I like… Indiana Jones and girls.  Easy enough, right?  Easy basic concept for everyone of all ages to enjoy!

Big Taco liked it, so we move on to the next stage.

Click the image for a much bigger version!

This was last Tuesday night (Oct. 19). I use an old teacher’s projector that I purchased off Craigslist (I now have 3 different ones!) to get the mural on the wall.  I print out the black and white sketch onto transparencies (which cost an arm and a leg for a pack of 20), and then go straight onto the wall with a huge ass Sharpie marker

The marker lets me see the drawing on the wall under the paint, which eventually gets painted over with black paint.

Onto painting.

You can click this one for a big version!

Once I get all the base colors on, it’s time for shading (highlights and shadows and all that) and then onto the black outlining, which, in comic book terms, would be called “inking”.  The “x’s” you see are indicating where it’s gonna be black.

Getting close to being done!

BUT.

Bigger version! Clicky click it.

I hate the left side of the mural. It’s not working for me. It’s not as interesting as the right side.

As you can see on the sketch, it’s a broken pillar with vines creeping up it.  However, when I tried to paint the vines and the pillar, all hell broke loose and it ended up looking like… well… ass. Plus, it was kind of crooked too.  I hate straight lines.  So, when this happens, there’s only one thing to do.

Perform surgery on the mural.

A couple coats of white paint, and no one ever has to see how terrible it was.  Seriously, if I had left it, I would have been ashamed to ever step foot back in this location.

But what to put over here?  It needs to fit into this space, plus, it needs to fit into the theme of the mural…

Perfect! One of those blue goblins skulls on a stake.  That works.  Plus, it’s creepy.

And with that, it’s finished!

Click any of these for bigger versions.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of how this mural came together!

Upcoming stuff

Mark your calendars!

COMIC CON APPERANCES

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON
July 17-21, 2013
San Diego, CA

WIZARD WORLD: CHICAGO
August 8-11, 2013
Chicago, IL

TAMPA BAY COMIC CON
August 23-25, 2013
Tampa, FL

CINCY COMICCON
September 6-8, 2013
Cincinnati, OH

SMALL PRESS EXPO
September 14-15, 2013
Washington DC

NEW YORK COMIC CON
October 10-13, 2013
New York, NY

WIZARD WORLD: AUSTIN
November 22-24, 2013
Austin, TX

WIZARD WORLD: NOLA
February 7-9, 2014
New Orleans, LA

MEGACON
March 21-23, 2014
Orlando, FL

C2E2
April 25-27, 2014
Chicago, IL

More dates coming soon!


COMICS

VERY NEAR MINT Vol. 3
August 2013

Untitled Graphic Novel
2014

the VERY NEAR MINT shop!

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