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. 


  1. this rules beyond belief. i've had the same image on my otherwise useless myspace page for years; he somehow looks even cooler than parker blazing up in his buccos painters cap. for sale?

  2. Nice work, Dave. One of the coolest things I've seen on the internet this year.
    Now can you do one of Bobby Bo smiling after striking out?

  3. Thanks for the kind words guys! I really appreciate it.
    Andrew- I love that Dave Parker picture, too. That's as gangster as it gets. No plans on selling it now, but it's going to be the first of a series, so def look for more.

    John Dermot Woods- haha, thanks man. No Bobby Bo though, I wanted to paint a Mets image that made me happy, not more misery to add to this season.

  4. retire #17 nice job. in sad times and seasons--count on the arts to be redemptive. -dogman

  5. I'm looking into the pricing of high quality box canvas prints of it right now.

  6. awesome, i think you'll find a lot of interested clients. you should follow up with kevin mitchell decapitating a cat... just kidding.

  7. I'm thinking Doc or Straw next. Who do you guys want to see? Also any images in specific?