This is the first painting I ever painted where I had the intention to give it away when I was done. This was difficult for me for some reason, as a lot of time and energy go into these things, and I'm enjoying their company so much. I have no desire to sell any of these pieces, so giving something away is somehow even more abstract(I've really learned to put a price on my artwork and time, being a professional artist will do that I guess). The target for this painting is someone really special to me, and I was going to be unable to go to his wedding (him getting married is the equivalent to witnessing a religous miracle, an alien spacecraft, and Bigfoot all at the same time... it was previously believed to be impossible, so missing his wedding is pure craziness). I painted this for Johnny Dimartile, a colleague and a friend, almost a brother, and a very very special guy. Obviously the concept is hell freezing over, which is appropriate in celebrating Johnny's wedding, but the double joke in there is that Johnny is a Catholic (An Italian Catholic, ash on the forehead, Pope is infallible, Italian Catholic), AND a loyal friend so he will undoubtedly feel obligated to hang this somewhere in his house... and I love the idea of a serious Catholic having a picture of the Devil up somewhere in his house. This painting is 12" X 12" acrylic on canvas, and is full of drybrush technique with the snow and ice everywhere. This piece took about 40 hours even though it's the smallest piece I've done, a lot of small details and a lot of drybrushing. Congratulations on your marriage Johnny!
Posted by Mark Cappello at 12:23 AM
This painting is of my favorite kitty. I had to put her down because of some serious behavioral issues, and in my last week with her I chose to paint a little homage. This piece is 18" X 14" acrylic on canvas, and I was definitely trying for a classic 'Golden Book' style of painting. Those little Golden Books (The Poky Little Puppy, The Little Red Hen, and of course The Saggy Baggy Elephant) had an awful lot of amazingly diverse artists working on them, and a lot of the artwork had an undertone of creepiness. The paintings were detailed, and usually very rendered, and I tried hard to treat Nero's fur with that textural brushy approach... she was a very fuzzy cat. This piece took about 30 hours, and it was actually emotionally difficult, but probably cathartic. I loved my Nero.
Posted by Mark Cappello at 12:09 AM
This piece was a lot of fun. I wanted to do something for my daughter, and she is such a musical little girl. She loves singing, dancing, and playing the harmonica (she calls it a 'hoo-hoo', so it's not uncommon for her to ask 'Where is my hoo-hoo?' when company is over). This piece represents her 4 favorite songs to sing and hear, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Wheels on the Bus, Incy Wincy Spider, and Baa Baa Black Sheep. The painting is 18" X 14" , acrylic on canvas. I tried to do a few different cartoon styles in there, a UPA background, Rain FX, and a few different character styles as well. She liked it, and she sang each song when she saw it. Her new favorite songs are Pop Goes the Weasel, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Wake Up Jeff (The Wiggles), and Cookie Face I Love You (My Mom)... so a new painting may be in order, but if I get into this habit how long will it be before I'm painting some boy band? The piece took about 32 hours, and it was worth it just to hear her sing one song.
Posted by Mark Cappello at 12:48 AM
My 3rd painting, Acrylic on Canvas, this one is my biggest so far at 18" X 36". I actually found it too big to work with, and I went with a rendering effect on the shadows (and shadows of shadows) which was painfully time consuming. It looks pretty cool up close, very textural, but the process is something I will likely avoid in the future.
As you can see, the small detailed (and controlled) brush strokes are meticulously placed everywhere. I wanted the painting to look flat with regard to colors, like a click and fill Photoshop style look, very clean looking with solid and flat textureless colors, so the little rendered details were very difficult to apply (for me) as they are not a brush effect but a solid color tone. I started experimenting with a 'looser' paint style on the gun only.
This approach was effective in giving the gun a gleam, and a metallic feel without straying to far from my 'cartoony' comfort zone. Other than clouds this part represents some of my drybrushing experimentation, and a 3 or 4 tone effect on the metal of the gun. I kept highlights and reflective highlights on some of the details to really try to sell the 'metal'ness of it all.
As you can see I also tried a frenetic outline around the image, sort of a boiling line effect. I have not tried to do this type of styling since, but as an experiment it had a cool effect that I may bring back in a future piece.
The inspiration behind this piece was the trial of the RCMP officers who had tasered Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at a Vancouver airport. Ever since the Maher Arar rendering and torture incident I've been disillusioned with our Federal Police force, and I was ashamed as the details came out throughout the internal investigation into Mr. Dziekanski's brutal death. The painting has nothing to do with either embarrasment, I just had the RCMP on my mind, and their uniforms are really neat. This piece took about 76 hours to complete, and I was pretty glad to be done with it when I finished.
Posted by Mark Cappello at 12:18 AM
My second painting, acrylic on canvas, 18" X 24", so, a bit bigger. I was listening to a LOT of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, and they had been debunking all of the Sasquatch pseudoscience, so it started with a doodle. I had a lot of fun with the texture in the clouds and trying to make a luminescent moon. This is Jen's favorite for some reason. This one took about 44 hours total.
Posted by Mark Cappello at 12:03 AM
This childish painting is acrylic on canvas, 10" X 20". He was the first painting I ever committed to canvas and he got me into non-digital painting. The name is a vague reference to what media I was absorbing while I painted him (a common theme to come), and at this particular time I was looking at, and listening to, a lot of crackpot internet conspiracy movies and podcasts regarding the 'Bilderberg Group' and their alleged stranglehold on the world economy and world politics. Utter nonsense of course, but the word 'Bilderberg' has a nice rhythm and cadence to it especially when paired with 'Cosmonaut'. He took about 30 hours in total.
Posted by Mark Cappello at 3:16 PM
I thought this would be a fitting first post seeing as how a section of this painting is used in the title banner for this blog. It's painted in Photoshop, probably the 4th attempted colour version of this scene I've produced, and it's for a series concept I created over 10 years ago. Time flies.
Posted by Mark Cappello at 4:51 PM