Here’s a piece of art i just did for the upcoming Kaiju show at world famous Double Punch in San Francisco ! The show is titled Kaiju Bazaar, ya Bazaar like a shopping market place .. ha-ha .. Oh you will see why it’s called that soon enough 😉 And they will be announcing very soon whose int he show it’s gonna be a good one ! But first, another one of my step by step thingys … after kicking around a few ballpoint pen roughs we decide on one direction and I proceed to start the final painting.
So I start with a nice 14 x 9 inches, heavy weight board by Crescent. I like the hot press surface and pencil directly onto it with a HB and 2B Berol pencil. If I’m looking for a bit more texture i will use a cold press surface ..or even gesso the board, but because of time constraints it’s hot press. Any ways, I start with loose pencil work to rough in what goes where ..
as i go along a tighten up the pencil work …notice the creatures eye at top “dots” the “i” in Kaiju ? niffty, yes ?!
Some indication of values are blocked in … this being a group show I didn’t want to put one of my Kaiju or someone else .. just tried to hint at creatures in the Bay …
Yes I know these San Francisco landmarks aren’t all lined up like this .. heck it’s a fantasy scene ;-P…can you name all the landmarks? Look for TransAmerica building, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Tower, Coit tower …
pencil stage is done, I lightly spray fixative the drawing and move on to under painting with paynes grey acrylics with some matte medium and water .. using a 1 and 00 sable brush I darken up the pencil work and wash in medium to dark tones …
after I’ve worked may way across the board, it’s time to airbrush in the sky using the same paynes grey mixture ..oh the words have all been masked off with 3M removable tape .. I don;t use frisket anymore, as it lifts up the paint sometimes and really I don’t mask off stuff in my work too much anymore ..
above, you can see the masking pulled back .. it protects the words from being sprayed .. I’m checking if I went dark enough.. and yes looks good to me 😉
Now that the values are set, I start glazing in the colors, starting with the sky, I lay in transparent yellows, reds, blues ..
going back into the background and painting the landmarks, here the Golden Gate Bridge…
at this point the back ground elements almost done, I’ve added some red oxide tone to the title with a paper towel .. to just give it a quick wash of color.. now to mask off the title and start adding a stone-like texture to it …
using my Iwata HP-B I take the nozzle off and lower the pressure to allow a splattering effect .. using red oxide, mars black, and some forrest green I add paint to the title ….
removing the title masks clean up the edges and add tones ot the creatures around it ..
at this point it about adjusting values, darks and lights, and cleaning up edges ..
lots of work but I can see the finish emerging 😉
and that’s all there is to it ! The final piece was clear coated with Monster Kolor and will be on display and sale at the show in November. Hope you enjoyed this, for those on Twitter you saw this live over a few days 😉 you can always see what I’m up to or follow me via Twitter, under ” maxtoyco “
Over the years Mark Nagata has collected thousands of toys and a fair amount of titles. The man behind San Francisco-based Max Toy Company is widely known as: Toy Collector. Illustrator. Magazine Founder/Publisher. Toy Designer. Artist. Author. Husband. Father. But the one description that might fit best is an unofficial one – Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador.
In the Japanese-inspired art and toy area, as well as throughout the larger toy collecting community, Mark is welcomed and recognized for his personal passion and commitment to supporting artists all around the world and the unique works they create. Beginning as a collector in his youth, Mark has had for years a keen eye for great art and a personal interest in collecting that he has spread through a variety of outlets.
Trained at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Mark honed his skills working for himself and for some of the most notable businesses in the country. As a freelance commercial illustrator, he completed works for such prominent companies as Lucasfilms, DC Comics, Hasbro Toys, IBM, Sony, and numerous advertising and design firms, both national and international. Mark’s colorful style graces over 40 cover paintings for R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series – Give Yourself Goosebumps.
After hundreds of assignments, Mark made the decision to move in another direction, and that choice has led to whole new career as a successful businessman. For four years, the owner of one of the largest Ultraman toy collections in the world co-published Super 7 Magazine showcasing the finest in Japanese toy collecting.
“I’d been collecting Japanese toys all along and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them,” Nagata says.
Mark’s devotion to presenting collectors with a selection of original figures inspired by classic Japanese toys from the 1960s and ‘70s as well as new versions of licensed Japanese characters is at the heart of Max Toy Company. Named for his son, Max Toys specializes in custom and limited editions of “kaiju” (Japanese monsters) toys and artwork. Many of the original toys produced are hand painted by Mark, a tradition that goes back to Japanese toy makers of the past.
“Since our target is the soft vinyl Japanese toy collector, which is a very small niche, our runs of toys can be extremely small,” Mark says. “Runs range from 500 pieces of one toy to just one for a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind custom figure.”
Through Max Toys, Mark has taken great pains to widen the reach of his two passions – toys and art. He played a significant part in the development of the first group kaiju show in the United States. Held at the Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago, Illinois in 2007, the “Toy Karma” Show featured detailed work from artists from Japan, the U.S. and South America. Participants marveled at the custom-painted toys and art on display. “Toy Karma” led to Mark being asked to be one of the artists spotlighted in the “Beyond Ultraman: Seven Artists Explore the Vinyl Frontier” exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The October 2007 show, held jointly with the Los Angeles Toy, Doll and Amusement Museum, marked the first time – in a museum setting – that the influence of Japanese toys on California artists was explored. The exhibit featured more than 30 of Mark’s original paintings, toys and a selection of his vintage toy collection.
Mark continued to be at the forefront as interest in Japanese-inspired art and toys expanded in 2008. Prestigious art houses Philips De Pury and Christie’s in New York and London sold Mark’s hand-painted custom kaiju toys in its auctions, spreading this unique art and toy movement into new and uncharted areas of the art world.
In 2009, Mark once again took his love of toys and art overseas this time to a receptive and welcoming audience in Tokyo, Japan. Here, Mark curated the “Kaiju Comrades” Art Show, once again bringing together artists from various aspects of the kaiju toy realm in this first-of-its-kind toy art show. The following year found Mark in Barcelona, Spain co-curating with Emilio Garcia “Kaiju Attack,” the European country’s first kaiju art show.
As the growth of kaiju art and toys increases worldwide, Mark continues in his unofficial role of Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. He has written and had his artwork and toy designs included in several books and magazines, both domestic and international. In 2010, Mark served as guest lecturer on kaiju and the toy-making process at the Morikami Museum in Florida. The San Francisco resident and his art can also be spotted in the first volume of the “ToyPunks” DVD and the “Toys R Us” DVD, while the video for the number one song by Owl City “Fireflies” featured Mark’s popular Kaiju Eyezon character. During this same time period, Mark has spearheaded the “Toy Karma 2” and “Kaiju Comrades 2” shows and has plans for future shows both in the U.S. and overseas.
“Max Toys allows me to produce original artwork, new toys and work directly with a lot of talented artists,” Mark says. “Max Toy is a synthesis of toys and art, both life-long passions.”
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