Illustration Art process by Mark Nagata

Well it’s been a long time updating this blog ( you can find the latest goings on via my Instagram: @maxtoyco or ! ).

I completed this portrait of Max recently .. so here’s some step by step pics of the process 😉



2015-10-06 17.54.49

While on vacation I took this picture of Max. From time to time I paint a portrait of Max … and I wish i had done more of him thru the years. He’s almost 18 and I thought it fitting to capture this image in a painting for him. I gessoed a board leaving some strokes and sketched his image using a number 6H pencil.

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Using various pencils and stumps the drawing was finished. I sealed it with spray fixative, so the pencil would not mix with the paint layers to come.

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Using watered down acrylics mixed with matte medium, I brushed yellow ochre first ( not shown). I painted in left to right stokes and left some areas not fully covered. I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying.

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Each additional layer of various blue acrylics darkened the piece.. which is what i wanted. I’ll pull out the lighter areas later on.

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Close up.

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Using colored pencils and acrylics brushed now pull out highlights and lightening up areas. I wanted the ear bud to be a focal point. While i don’t use them, obviously kids in his generation are growing up with them.

2015-10-07 17.01.44

Close up

2015-10-07 17.36.52

Washed some red over the face .. than back to pulling out the highlights again.

2015-10-08 17.00.36

Almost done, some minor adjustments left .. but over all I’m happy with it. Added some subtle red around his head as well.

2015-10-08 17.00.58

You can see the texture at this angle.


The final piece, varnished and ready for a frame. About 9×12 inches. September / October 2015.  Artist: Mark Nagata

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Nyagira Cat Kaiju T shirt Pre Order


Designed by artist Javier Jimenez (  ) , we’re in pre production on this new Cat Kaiju tee shirt !

NyaGira_sampleTee72You can Pre order one now here :

More news can be found on the Max Toy web site or follow me on Instagram : @maxtoyco

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Cat Kaiju Nyagira custom Art Toy show Max Toy Company

Its been forever since I’ve posted here, but you can always follow my posts on and of course Instagram @maxtoyco !!

Today, I’m posting Preview images for our online only custom Cat Kaiju Nyagira show via, April 10th, 2015 ( Friday ! )


Each artist was given a Mini or Micro sized Nyagira soft vinyl figure to customize. Kaiju Cat Nyagira Stands aprox 3.75 inches tall, with 6 points of articulation.

A Max Toy/Monster Boogie production, original toy sculpted by Makino-san of TTToys, and cast in Japan by Master Shimizu-san at his vinyl factory.

I think you’ll agree with me that the artists have really made some Amazing Cat customs !

Of note, the paints used on most of these figures contain glitter and rainbow type effects that my poor photography simply can not pick up .. in person you will not be disappointed !!

UPDATED: 5/12/15


Seth Longmire



Nyagira looking regal with custom sewed robe, check out the fantastic details !  SOLD


Nyagira in wonderful colors with hand sewed belt, amazing combo !  SOLD


Martin Hsu



Black Cat Nyagira with flowers, cute as only Mr Hsu can do !  $250



Orange Tabby Nyagira with flowers and designs, Purrfect for Spring Time !!  $250


Ralph Cosentino


Ralph_groupBack_web Ralph_groupWeb

Nyagira is in Battle Cat mode with huge gun, comes with micro Nyagora with flip up visor ! Tough pair but cute, too !   SOLD


Brian Mahony / Guumon


Toxic Claw Nyagira looking vicious , toxic and shiny !  SOLD


Metallic Burn Nyagira .. too HOT ! Features and painted metallic paints carefully layered. $100



Jay1_frontWebJay1_backWeb Jay1_closeWeb

King Nya-Gora Nyagira painted with metallic paints. Watch out for the Guts !  SOLD

Jay2_frontWeb Jay2_sideWeb


Double Trouble Nyagira. Two heads are better than one ! painted with shiny metallic paints ! SOLD


Javier Jimenez

King_web JavierKingfront72

Nyagira is the “King of Ruin “ … a scary Cat ruler !  SOLD

JavierBellFront72 JavierBackBell72


Nyagira is a “Lost Soul” … but looking fierce with eye patch !  SOLD


Todd Robertson / Mechavirus

Todd2_frontWeb Todd2_sideWeb


Artist Todd Robertson / aka Mechavirus does his magic on this mini Nyagira, check out tiny mecha !  $75

Todd1_backWeb Todd1_frontWeb


Mini sized Nyagira with detailed Mecha ! Amazing details as always !!  SOLD


Michael Devera / Obsessed Panda

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Tiger Stripe Nyagira ! Meow ! Wonderful colors and stripes !  SOLD

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Leopard Nyagira sporting stylish hand painted spots and glitter coatings.  $120


Bob Conge / Plasebo

yellow_nyagira_tank_c yellow_nyagira_tank_b


Yellow Nyagira Tank. One of a kind hand painted mash up custom with color changing motion activated LED unit and glass eyes. Cat Attack !  SOLD

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Blue Nyagira Tank. One of a kind hand painted mash up custom with color changing motion activated LED unit and glass eyes. Cat Blast !   SOLD



Bot1_front72 Bots1_side72 Bot1Back72Bobcat Nyagira. Amazing Mecha Construction Destruction Cat ! SOLD

Bot2_front2_72Bot2_side_72Bot2_back72Bot2_front72Samurai Nyagira cat ready for battle ! Awesome details and paint work !  SOLD


Candie Bolton

CB_1_web CB_1a_web


Cloudy Nyagira features awesome hand painted cloud designs over metallic colors.  SOLD



Flame Nyagira is HOT ! Hand painted flame designs over metallic paints.  SOLD


Matt Walker / Dead Presidents Design

MattChili_side72 MattChiliBack72 MattChiliFront72Chili Pepper Nyagira

Painted with multiple custom Monster Kolor mixes. Clear Coated and HOT !!!     $100

MattSunsetBack72 MattSunsetFront72 MattSunsetSide72

Sunset Nyagira

Painted with multiple custom Monster Kolor mixes. Clear Coated  Dreamy !!!    SOLD


Ryan Young

Ryan2_front72 Ryan2_side72


Maxx-Cat , with hand sculpted aves apoxie details. Awesome homage to Captain Maxx !   SOLD

Ryan1_front72 Ryan1_side72


Crazy Cat Bear done up with numerous metallic layers of colors !  $100


Mark Nagata

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Devil Nyagira, with flames and horns over metallic paints. Is he good or bad ??  SOLD

Nagata2_back72 Nagata2_front72


Galaxy Naygira, features hand painted Galaxy and Planets over a metallic painted base … Spacey !  SOLD


These customs are now availablevia web store !

Good Luck and Meow !!!

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Junx Max Toy custom Eyezon show auction Japan

Sorry for not posting but have been simply too busy 😉 That’s a good thing .. but wanted to post these awesome customs that are now on auction via Yahoo Japan !! These were done for a recent Junx show in Japan … enjoy and good luck bidding on them ! Most recent updates are via Max Toy Company web site and Instagram – @maxtoyco

2014-10-26 08.46.38 2014-10-26 08.46.32 2014-10-26 08.46.17 2014-10-26 08.46.112014-10-26 08.46.11 2014-10-26 08.45.54 2014-10-26 08.45.37 2014-10-26 08.45.302014-10-26 08.45.20 2014-10-26 08.45.11 2014-10-26 08.44.51 2014-10-26 08.44.122014-10-26 08.14.29

2014-10-26 08.56.262014-10-26 08.46.542014-10-26 08.47.002014-10-26 08.47.072014-10-26 08.47.132014-10-26 08.47.282014-10-26 08.47.352014-10-26 08.47.412014-10-26 08.47.472014-10-26 08.47.522014-10-26 08.47.572014-10-26 08.48.022014-10-26 08.48.082014-10-26 08.48.142014-10-26 08.48.222014-10-26 08.48.372014-10-26 08.48.502014-10-26 08.48.572014-10-26 08.56.08apologies if I missed any customs  😉

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Tokyo Cat Fight ! Mark Nagata customs

Here’s some better pics of the customs I painted and/or sculpted that will be offered at the Tokyo Cat Fight show July 5th-6th, 2014 at the Design Festa building, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan  😉

Using Monster Kolor paints with Aves Apoxie sculpt.

If something doesn’t sell I’ll bring it back and post to the Max Toy web store 😉

AlienCat_FrontPrediCat72Guts3 Guts4 Guts5 GutsKingClose1 KingGutsFront1CatLee_web ChewCat_web DarthCat_72

LeiaCat_web  FrankBride_web  MechaNeka_72 Micros_web

Donut_web Negs2_web NyagiraGroup72  TMNT_front72

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postcard-4inx6in-h-frontsee you in Tokyo  😉 !!

Posted in airbrush, art show, art toys, cats, custom toys, design festa, Japanese toys, kaiju, kaiju toy, Max Toy, Max Toy Company, monster kolor, negora, painting, soft vinyl | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo Cat Fight Show !!!

I’ll be in Japan for this fantastic Kaiju Cat themed show ! Will post my customs for the show in the next few days … !


Meow !

Posted in anime, art show, art toys, cats, collectibles, custom toys, design festa, Japanese toys, kaiju, kaiju toy, mark nagata, Max Toy, Max Toy Company, monster kolor, negora, painting, soft vinyl | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Space Ghost Cartoon Network Studios show Mark Nagata art

Here’s my in progress pics for the Space Ghost painting I did. It’s on display at the Cartoon Networks Studios but the show is not open to the public ;-P Many thanks again to Chogrin for inviting me to play … contact him if you have interest in this painting !

Gonna keep this one short on text as I’m busy with other projects but here you go !

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photos of me in basic pose 😉2014-05-02 20.12.25

my thumb nail design with idea for Space Ghost, final pic I tweaked in photoshop and drawing the figure onto the board …2014-05-02 21.37.06

rough pencils here .. I just use a HB pencil …2014-05-03 11.40.28

refining the figure …2014-05-06 14.24.57

full pencil under drawing complete, lightly sprayed with fixative to seal in the drawing.2014-05-07 12.02.46

working from the back ground forward … adding all the spacey stuff  😉2014-05-07 12.04.33 2014-05-07 14.01.27 2014-05-16 10.36.50

removing all the masks now onto the figure …2014-05-25 15.51.17

I’m using acrylics with an airbrush and hand painted details ..

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more progress …. the body will become slightly lighter once i add the highlights …2014-05-30 13.05.23-1

Just about done .. hard to see but I toned down the white around the figure to allow the whites in the figure to stand out.. also added some grey to the corners to draw your eye back in to the center…  2014-06-02 21.49.20framed and ready to go  😉

2014-05-30 13.05.49-1 Space Ghost !

16×20 inches on illustration board by Mark Nagata.

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HELLBOY 20th Anniversary show at Hero Complex Gallery curated by Chogrin

Excited and honored to amongst a wealth of super talented artists in this upcoming tribute show to Hellboy. Its an official show backed by both Hellboy creator, Mike Mignola  and Dark Horse Comics being held at Hero Complex Gallery, and curated by Chogrin.

Hellboy72Here’s my portrait of Hellboy, done in acrylics with gold leaf on illustration board.

FinalHellBoy72And below some pics of how i painted it below. I thought about doing this as a straight portrait of Hellboy, maybe something he could hang in his living room  ;-P The likeness is a blend of comic and movie versions as well.

2014-03-02 14.42.29Using hot press Crescent illustration board, just HB pencil to rough in the face.

2014-03-02 15.23.31 2014-03-02 17.01.05Adding some shading …

2014-03-04 13.30.48 2014-03-09 16.57.39 2014-03-10 12.35.04I knew i wanted to have a Klimt like design that also transitioned to some tentacles … roughing in those shapes …

2014-03-10 13.09.21 2014-03-13 10.56.25pretty much done with the pencils at this point. Sprayed some fixative to seal the pencils, time for paint …


2014-03-13 11.15.59 2014-03-13 11.17.47Working with watered down acrylics, sponge and brush to wash a light orange/red color over the whole art work.

2014-03-13 11.22.49Adding some darker reds, purples as well …

2014-03-13 11.29.05Pulling out some highlights with sponge …

2014-03-13 11.54.56Here’s how it looks so far … i call this the awkward stage .. the under drawing is barely visible .. but i can see enough ;-P Used sponge to add some texture to Hellboys face, too.

2014-03-13 11.55.05 2014-03-13 12.17.02Slowly pulling out highlights with water and brush … slowly darkening up areas as well …

2014-03-13 18.00.53It’s subtle but doing the same ..starting to tighten up areas too …

2014-03-14 10.29.21I’ve got the face to a halfway point, but want to put the background in, so i can adjust the face values better .. so I’m masking of the head and shoulders…

2014-03-14 10.40.29 2014-03-14 12.05.28Spraying the background ….

2014-03-14 12.48.35Ive also worked a bit on the tentacles …

2014-03-14 14.39.45Time for the side bars … I wanted to use gold leaf, so used liquid mask and sprayed the dark purple down… and applied the gold leaf over the design …

2014-03-14 14.43.16 Below, masking off the face to start spraying and working on it …

2014-03-14 17.10.522014-03-17 10.33.19 2014-03-17 10.33.19It’s hard to tell but I’m slowly working away on the face, shoulders … 😉

2014-03-17 11.08.29 2014-03-17 12.30.58Adding blue reflective light, green reflective lights … etc …. and below the final piece. Its also has a light varnish over it. I find that by doing this the over all colors and contrast brighten up.

FinalHellBoy72And below, framed 😉 Painting is on it’s way to the gallery and will be for sale via Hero Complex Gallery web site once the show opens.

As much as I make my living now making Kaiju toys and custom painting them, my true love is illustration and I look forward to participating in more shows coming up .. and exercising that part of my brain 😉

HellFramedLinks to the event:

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Japanese Toys ! Talk and Tour at SFO

Thanks to the Japan Society of Northern California and SFO Museum, you can buy tickets to see the Japanese Toys ! exhibit plus attend a talk about Japanese Toys ! The event is April 22nd, 2014.


Full details and how to purchase tickets are on the Japan Society web site HERE and HERE too !

I’m also looking forward to meeting the Bandai toy designer, Tsuyoshi Nonaka as well !

The exhibit will end this month having been extended. There’s also a nice plug via CNN too !

See you there !

Posted in art show, art toys, Bandai, bullmark, collectibles, comic con, custom toys, giant robot, Godzilla, Japanese Toy Store, Japanese toys, kaiju, kaiju toy, Max Toy, Max Toy Company, paint masks, painting, Ultraman | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Interview with artist Candie Bolton

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of helping upcoming artists and toy makers along the way. As I get older, I think I get more pleasure from helping artists or at least pointing them in the right direction 😉 A few months back I started noticing the work of Candie Bolton via Instagram. I had commissioned a painting from Candie of my two black cats, Lulu and Trixie, aka Double Trouble and this stunning painting was the result.

DoubleTroubleHonestly, I was amazed to learn that this was her only 3rd attempt at a full color painting. A few fellow artists who have seen this original at my house do not believe that this was her third attempt ;-P Ha ha.. well, regardless I knew Candie had the talent and passion to further her skills. I think you’ll agree that she has what it takes to make it in this business. I look forward to seeing more beautiful work from her and I really can not imagine where she’ll be at in another 5-10 years as she’s only in her twenties !

doubletrouble72Double Trouble pencil sketch


Here’s a short interview I had with artist Candie Bolton, March 2014.

Question: Can you tell us a bit of your background? How long have you been drawing? Did you go to art school?

Candie: If I had to guess I’d say I started drawing when I was 3 years old. My parents knew I had a talent for it when I was in kindergarten and my art was being featured in the school newsletters. I had a couple art classes in high school, a basic art class in community college, and a whole lot of art history, but aside from that I haven’t had much schooling in it.

Question: What influences your present art style ? Do you have any favorite artists or toy creators?

Candie: When I was a kid my drawings were influenced by nature and animals, but as I got older my interests shifted towards anime and everything Japanese so I tried to emulate manga artists for a while. My style now reflects a blending of those two influences. My absolute favorite artists are James Jean and Audrey Kawasaki, but I try to absorb influences from a wide spectrum of artists.


Cupids Volley ( from a recent Dragatomi show )

Question: I know you like cats and even have a very cool cat tattoo. Can you tell us why you like cats so much ?

Candie: There are so many reasons! Aside from being incredibly adorable they also make great cuddle buddies. I grew up with a lot of animals so it’s hard for me to pick favorites, but cats are definitely high on my list.

Question: You only just started painting, but I have been very impressed by your skill set. How is it you’ve been able to pick up painting so well so quickly ?!

Candie: I’m not deserving of your praise, I still have so much to learn! I don’t believe skills are gifted to people at birth, it’s something that you have to earn through hard work and dedication. I’ve been drawing my entire life so maybe those skills translated well to painting. Either that or all of my art history classes mentally prepared me for this moment!

PenFoxSkullsFoxes and Skulls

FoxSkullsdivine intervention small  Divine Intervention

Question: Max Toys is releasing a special Negora set with a giclee with your art. Can you tell us how that image came about .. Double Trouble ?

Candie: The only direction I was given was to draw two black cats so I played off that idea of duality by making the piece symmetrical. I came up with all the background imagery of fish and bird skulls because I was trying to think of what cats like and what a cat would consider “cool”.

Note: Sorry this Negora set has now sold out !

Mothra_sketchMothra and Twins

MothraThe painting above is in the upcoming Atomic Meltdown show at Clutter Gallery March 8th, 2014.  (Note the painting has sold !)

CandieBolton_march72Question: Where would you like to be with your art career in a year from now ?

Candie: What’s most important to me is that I keep improving my skills. I hope that a year from now I can look back at the paintings I’m doing now and feel like I’m a million times better than that. Career-wise I hope to have my first solo show, and a few of my own toys out by then!


I want to thank Candie for taking the time from her busy schedule to answer these questions. Honestly, if you haven’t heard of her, you will in the coming months 😉

Follow her to find out what shows she’ll be in below. I’ve got a few Max Toy projects in the works with her including this ;-P

KitsuneBackTo contact Candie and buy giclee prints and more check the links below:

And of course follow her via Instagram:

Posted in anime, art show, art toys, cats, dragatomi, Japanese toys, kaiju, manga, Max Toy, Max Toy Company, negora, painting, soft vinyl, toy maker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments