Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Piazza Man Delivers!

Just finished this new Lucky Lefty piece. This is something new I'm giving a whirl- doing smaller pieces in mixed media, mostly marker. The background is orange acrylic paint, which had the unintended result of reminding me happily of Shea Stadium. The paint I used was transparent, so in order to get it even I had to put a ton on. Kinda like how Shea used to not actually get anything fixed every year, they just slathered on new coats of orange paint every season.
I love the source photo of Piazza that I based the piece on. Piazza looks so intense, but a little forlorn in it. The American flag patch on his hat (and blonde highlights) place this picture in 2001, after 9/11.

Updated 07/13/11: This is now available as a print on my Etsy shop: CLICK HERE

Monday, June 6, 2011

Own a Piece of LUCKY LEFTY!

After multiple requests about prints and buying my art I've finally got it together and started up an Etsy shop.

So check it out, I've got products available at various price points- high quality giclee prints for 30 bucks, and box canvas prints starting at $80.

All of the Lucky Lefty prints are available, including BIGGIE, KEITH, SANDY, GANGSTA, and more!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life After Death

I've been touching up the painting today, and finishing up the sides of the canvas (as seen in the the post before this). Sometimes the hardest part with painting isn't painting- it's stopping.
There's always imperfections that will drive you crazy, but as my buddy Matt Fried told me, "That's why it's a painting" as opposed to a photo.

This piece is for sale, by the way, so hit me up if you want Big Poppa up on your wall.
"Check it, we can do this every weekend. Keep banging."

Oh, I just remembered to spray varnish on it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Choose Your Weapon


Everybody's gotta remember this right? Magic vs Bird, and the classic Cons that they came out with in Lakers and Celtics colors. I remember really wanting the Magic ones. I don't know why, but for some reason when I was a kid I liked the Showtime Lakers. Don't get me wrong, I was always a Knicks fan, but for a little while there I liked the Lakers, too. It was probably an attempt to differentiate myself from my Michael Jordan/Bulls loving older brother, Zac.
I even had a James Worthy poster up in my room.

So a few months ago I got commissioned to do a Larry Legend piece for someone (Do you want a commission? You can have one! Email me at LuckyLeftyArt@gmail.com). It was my first foray into leaving baseball and painting other sports (not counting the sweet Mark Clayton on a jean jacket I painted for my little brother Perry when I was like 12). I had a lot of fun painting Bird and I got inspired to do a companion piece of Magic.

The Bird painting there is actually a print since I sold the original (it was a commission remember? Do YOU want a commission??).

Hey, if you like my art (why would you be reading this blog if you didn't?) now there's a chance to see it live and in person!
The art will be displayed at the sneaker and apparel store WEST on November 4th for about 2 weeks, or maybe longer.
That's WEST at


Check them out, cause they've got some ill shit there.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Evolution of Mex

Hello and a pleasant good afternoon to everyone. That was Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen's greeting at the beginning of games to viewers. If you follow baseball at all you know that afternoons and evenings have not been pleasant nor good for anyone who's a fan of New York National League Baseball. I think the Mets have 70 something million dollars on the disabled list and it shows. The only bright part of the Mets dismal season so far is the broadcast team of Gary, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez, among the best in all sports, if not the best in baseball. The three of them bring stellar combination of intelligence, candor and wit that is unmatched in the game. 
Keith Hernandez is the man, plain and simple. His excellence extends past baseball and into popular culture thanks to his classic role on Seinfeld.  As a kid in the 80's my favorite Met was Darryl Strawberry. No offense to the Strawman, but as an adult I'm all about Mex. When Michelle and I moved into our new apartment there was a spot over our TV that I scouted out immediately, and I declared that I would be painting a portrait of Keith. Michelle, reasonably so, thought I was insane. But sure enough, last week I went over to Pearl Paint and bought a whole bunch of supplies and began my first painting in years. I documented my progress via webcam and Twitter (DAVEKUSH, follow me) and now I put it all here.

This is my preliminary sketch, based on an awesome photo of Keith from, I think, the '87 or '88 season:
After that I put it on to the canvas. I had to rework the composition a little, to make it tighter. The first sketch was on 5 by 5 inch paper, below is what was on the canvas, which was 30 by 30 inches. After that was done I began painting the background:

Next up,, I got to the fun part, which was painting Keith. I was trying to approximate the look and style of my work on Sidney, which I do in markers. This I was doing with acrylic paints. I started off using a wash of very light grey paint and mostly water. I then began to build over that, adding darker layers. Also, you can see I began filling in the dots in the background with orange. 

And there it is, the completed painting. I added more darks, some line work and of course the awesome 80's Mets racing stripe on his sleeve. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Not To Draw Comics The Marvel Way?

Yesterday while waiting for Uptown train home from work (an experience weird in of itself, for this longtime Denizen of Downtown), I was thinking about How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. I first came accross this book in 4th grade at the Maplewood Elementary School Book Fair. I was amazed, it was like "Holy Shit! There's motherfucking books on this shit!? Fucking Awesome!" (apparently I had I cursed up a storm in 4th grade). Suddenly, I was studying this book, learning "the Marvel Way" of drawing comics. The book was incredible, teaching me my first lessons on proportions, anatomy and perspective. Lessons I apparently immeditatly forgot, but that's not the book's fault. I think the first encounter of this book is something that every American artist, from wannabes to pros, around my age would count as a seminal moment in their artistic lives. I also think this is a reason why a lot of American comic artists have fallen behind their international counterparts. Now let me explain, this is nothing against this book, which I believe really was a great help in teaching a lot of great artistic fundamentals.
This is also not a dig on American comic artists of my generation, many of who do amazing an innovative work. I'm just saying that there's a lot who are not, and while this book isn't the cause- it is in some ways the beginnings of it.
I've recently been reading The Neal Adams Sketchbook: Notes From A Master Storyteller . I wish I had read this 15 years ago. There are simple concepts that solve compostion problems that I've been struggling with for years that this book lays out simple solutions to. While The Marvel Way teaches you to, indeed, draw superheroes in the fashion of popular American publishers, it does little beyond that. That's not the book's fault, that's exactly what it advertises. The problem is, that many aspiring comics artists haven't read or tried to learn much more beyond that. As a result, we've got a generation of comics artists best suited to pin-ups done in a style canibalized from what came before it. Meanwhile, international artists are influenced by a multitude of sources, many from comics never really seen in the US, and from all types of artists and designers. The second coming of Will Eisner and Neal Adams didn't come from America, he came from Scotland. While many popular American superhero artists have been aping Art Adams for since the 80's, the Europeans have been studying Alphonse Mucha.
Actually, the biggest innovation in America's comic artists since the publishing of The Marvel Way was the impact that Japanese manga and anime artists had on them starting in the late 90's. I look at this as the beginning of us moving past recycling the influences of the past, of expanding our visual ouevre. Unfortunately, in many ways this extends to visual style only, and not to storytelling. Back in the day, the Marvel way (as in the way that Marvel actually made it's comics, not the title of the book) of drawing comics had a heavy emphasis on stroytelling, as well as style. Artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita, Jim Steranko and John Buscema (co-author of the book) would present stories in dynamic and clear ways. The tradition continued in artists like John Byrne, George Perez, Walt Simonson and many others. Then there was a long period where there weren't many new artist breaking in and leaving new quality marks on the medium. Of course there are exceptions, but many of these exceptions are older than my generation, even if their rise to prominence seems relatively recent- like Mark Bagley, Patrick Zircher or the late Mike Wieringo.
I don't mean to come off as too pessimmistic about my countrymen, as I write this of course I'm now thinking of many American superhero artists who draw from many sources of inspiration. Ethan Van Sciver combines the best of Neal Adams with the polish of Brian Bolland and a unique emphasis on design and a willingness to get his hands dirty with some nightmarish designs. Scottie Young brings the energy of cartoons and combines it with the flavor and grit of grafitti. Scott Kolins brings an innovative approach to linework almost entirely new in American comics.
How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is a wonderful, and rightly beloved book. But the right now I'm more into How to Draw Comics the Frank Quitely, Bryan Hitch, Edourdo Risso, Steve Dillon, and Alex Maleev Way.