Category: Art


Approaching the anniversary of his passing, we are going to take a look at the revolutionary work of artist H.R. Giger, and the style his work gave birth to- Biomechanical Art.

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Born in 1940 in Switzerland, Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger, known to most as simply H.R. Giger, gained early success with his art at the end of the 1960’s, via production of posters featuring his art.

His unique style was one of stark surrealism, in which he usually depicted the intimate fusing of mechanical features or parts to distinctly biological components or beings. Giger’s compositions were usually desaturated or completely monochromatic, and the scenes were often emtionally (and visually) dark. This approach resulted in evocative, often bizarre, sometimes disturbing imagery in his paintings.


The visceral style of H.R. Giger strikes a deep and distinct chord. It presents us with universally familiar elements, yet portrayed in an unearthly context. It creates a deep resonance with its audience, regardless of whether the reaction to it is positive or negative. His creations and their lasting impact have had a great deal of influence on many artists in their own work, whether they realize it or not.

Given the style of artwork produced here at Killer Paint, it is not surprising to find some Giger-esque artwork here at the shop from time to time.

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Such designs have been created for customer jobs, side projects, and even television appearances. Mike even designed some Freehand Templates designed specifically for doing biomech artwork

An episode of “Payback” with the rock band Korn focused on an automotive project featuring biomech-influenced elements and artwork on the project. You may even recall the “Under Pressure” episode of “Rides”, in which both cars for the painting competition were painted with a biomechanical theme.

Using Giger inspired elements on vehicles both large and small works very well, and there are many ways that biomech artwork can be worked into the paint design. A number of color palettes can be applied effectively to these designs, or just done in monotone grays. The density of the composition can be varied as well, all the way from a few sparse elements to a super-dense layout, packed with visual components.

H.R. Giger was a mad genius of sorts, and brought something entirely new to the table with his work. People will probably likely feel the effect of H.R. Giger’s art for many years to come- the ripples of the creative splash he made in the world of art before he left it.

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We hope you enjoyed this post.  Let us know if there is anything you would like to see us post here in the future!


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Maybe this project gave you some ideas, or you already have an idea in mind for your own car, truck, motorcycle, refrigerator, etc?

If you would like to contact Killer Paint about working on your own project, visit our website, or contact us at info@killerpaint.com


Related Links:

The Original Killer Paint Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-Original-KILLER-PAINT-INC/297040465604

The Official Killer Paint Website: www.killerpaint.com

The Official H.R. Giger Website: www.hrgiger.com

Killer Paint videos on YouTube

Biomech FX “Skull Buster” templates at Coast Airbrush: http://www.coastairbrush.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Biomech_FX_Skull_Buster_Set

Biomech FX “Spinal Trap” templates at Coast Airbrush: http://www.coastairbrush.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Biomech_FX_Spinal_Tap_Set

Killer Paint’s “True Fire™ Basics” Blog Series: https://www.killerpaint.com/true-firetrade-basics

Killer Grunge FX™ Spray at Coast Airbrush: https://www.coastairbrush.com/products.asp?cat=789

Grunge FX™ Tutorial Video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96hjkbrwprA

True Fire™ Instructional DVDs:
The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 1
The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 2

True Fire™ Freehand Templates: Artool Freehand Airbrush Templates, True Fire Template Set

House of Kolor Official Website: www.houseofkolor.com -The preferred paint of Mike Lavallee & Killer Paint

 

At the Killer Paint shop, you’ll find plenty of artwork and decorations all over, from the front room to the bathroom. One set of pieces that are on display around the shop are some of the illustration renderings of cars done by some big names.

Chip Foose Project Renderings on Display at Killer PaintIn the front entry room of the shop, three such pieces signed by Chip Foose hang on the wall by the window. These three are all projects from episodes of Overhaulin’ that Mike appeared in.


Blue True Fire van rendering for Overhaulin by Chip Foose Blue True Fire Chevy Van by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint for Overhaulin with Chip Foose

This piece is from Season 3 episode 17 of Overhaulin’, “That 70’s Van” where Mike gave this Chevy van the True Blue fire treatment, including a fire-breathing dragon on the back.


Chevy Tahoe rendering for < by Chip FooseChevy Tahoe, with True Fire stripe by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint for Overhaulin with Chip Foose

This Chevy Tahoe got its makeover in season 4, episode 4 of Overhaulin’“Bling!” Mike’s flames appear in the black stripe down the sides of this truck.


Dodge Mgnum rendering for Overhaulin by Chip Foose the magnum finishedB

This Dodge Magnum appeared in episode 12 of season 3 of Overhaulin’“Fiery Brit”. Rally stripes engulfed in True Fire™ run up the hood and re-appear on the back end of this project car.


 CNN Hummer roof Art rendering for Overhaulin by Chip Foose Overhaulin crew with Mike Lavallee and Chip Foose for CNN Hummer project

The bathroom, of all the places in the shop, is probably the most interesting in terms of decor, artwork and assorted memorabilia at Killer Paint.

We’ll cover it in its entirety at a later date, but on the bathroom wall, there is another rarely seen Foose mockup, from the special CNN Hummer project on Overhaulin’ from season 5. This particular design was designated for the roof of the vehicle. The finished version can be seen in the photo above.


Hot rod rendering artwork by Chip FooseAnother Chip Foose original hangs on the wall in the office just below Mike’s legendary Hellion painting, the lion with the fiery mane that helped launch True Fire™ into the mainstream.


1951 Mercury concept art rendering by Steve Stanford for Mike Lavalllee of Killer Paint

The most recent addition to to the Killer Paint collection is very special. Mike has been working on getting his 1951 Mercury, dubbed “The Dead Sled,” completed for a while now. (At the time of this posting, it is down in South Los Angeles, in the hands of body modders Lordz of Customz, getting an extreme low, aggressive chop.)

Meanwhile, vehicle art legend Steve Stanford agreed to do a rendering of Mike’s Dead Sled as it will appear when completed, according to Mike’s plans. This original masterwork now hangs proudly on the wall in the office- a rare gem in its own right, and one of the most prized possessions at Killer Paint.

We hope you enjoyed taking this peek at the Killer Paint shop. Let us know if there is anything you would like to see us post here in the future!


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Perhaps these projects gave you some ideas, or you already have an idea in mind for your own car, truck, motorcycle, refrigerator, etc?

If you would like to contact Killer Paint about working on your own project, visit our website, or contact us at info@killerpaint.com


Related Links:

The Original Killer Paint Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-Original-KILLER-PAINT-INC/297040465604

The Official Killer Paint Website: www.killerpaint.com

Killer Paint’s “True Fire™ Basics” Series: https://www.killerpaint.com/true-firetrade-basics

True Fire™ Instructional DVDs:
The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 1
The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 2

True Fire™ Freehand Templates: Artool Freehand Airbrush Templates, True Fire Template Set

Harley-Davidson Official Website: http://www.harley-davidson.com

House of Kolor Official Website: www.houseofkolor.com

In case you missed it, you can read True Fire™ Basics Part 1, “Know Your Fire,” on our website by clicking here.

For True Fire™ Basics Part 2, “What You Throw Down,” on our website, click here.

The information here is intended to help painters and artists get the best results they can when painting realistic fire on their own projects. For detailed instructions on painting realistic fire, we recommend that you watch The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 1 DVD.

True Fire Custom Paint by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint

When painting realistic fire, it is important to be able to balance the amount of airbrushing you do freehand, versus the amount done with a template or shield. To achieve believable looking flames, it is necessary to mix it up.


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You don’t want flames that look like this. Change it up and give your flames some movement and body

Give Fire Its Shape

If one tries to paint flames entirely freehand and without any templates whatsoever, the results tend to look less crisp, and lacking in fullness and excitement.

At worst, you can end up with what we sometimes call “angel hair” fire- which can look long and stringy, and have very little of the energy that gives fire its distinct character. Using a freehand shield helps add some definition and variation to your artwork.

Some people avoid using templates or freehand shields due to the cost, but investing in the right tools for the job can really make a difference in the final artwork you create. You may be surprised at the improvement.


Too Much of a Good Thing

Tribal Flames on Motorcycle Tank

Solid flames are okay… just when you are doing a “tribal” design.

On the other hand, if one relies entirely on templates to build their fire, they are likely to have problems of a different sort.

Too much template usage can have the opposite effect- it gives the flames too much structure, and creating good fire in artwork requires striking a balance.

Overbuilt flames start to look abstracted or stylized, often looking more like layers of tribal blade designs than True Fire™. At the extreme, you can get what we often refer to as “Swiss cheese” fire- appearing like large blocks of fiery colors punctuated with many overly-defined holes in them.


Have a Target- Practice Hitting It

The key to solving both of these problems (and more) starts with something we’ve discussed before- Making sure you Know Your Fire.

True Fire™ Mailbox by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint™Arm yourself with good reference photos and a studied knowledge of flames that look like the kind you would like to paint (remember, fire has a broad range of appearances.) Then you will be better able to strike a balance in your painting technique.

If necessary, practice on scrap panels, or smaller items like mailboxes, bicycle helmets, bowling pins or metal folding chairs, until you feel you have your technique down. Then you can move on to larger projects like motorcycles or cars.

You really don’t want to be working out the kinks in your airbrushing process on something expensive!  It’s just a recipe for disaster… Especially if you mess up on something that doesn’t belong to you.


Your Own Twist

Mother's Wax PT Cruiser by Mike Lavalle of Killer Paint

It should be noted that this all assumes that you are trying to paint truly realistic fire.

Sometimes stylizing your flames might be desired, depending on the circumstances. Make sure that is your goal from the beginning though, not the result of poor technique.

Some people have their own “brand” of fire, their personal style. If it works for them, more power to them. But if you are doing a job for a customer, make quite sure that they understand exactly what they should expect from you when you use the term “fire.”

We hope you found this information useful. We may have posts about airbrush art and painting True Fire™ in the future, so stay tuned! Thanks for visiting!


Click the corresponding link if you are interested in purchasing The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 1and/or The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 2

Artool’s True Fire™ Freehand Templates, used in painting realistic fire, can be purchased from Coast Airbrush here, and the “2nd Degree Burn” templates are here.

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Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about reference materials for painting realistic fire, or share with us your favorite ways to gather images for inspiration in creating your artwork.

If you would like to contact Killer Paint about working on your project, visit our website, or contact us at info@killerpaint.com


Related Links:

True Fire™ Basics Part 1, “Know Your Fire”: https://www.killerpaint.com/true-firetrade-basics/category/basics-part-1

True Fire™ Basics Part 2, “What You Throw Down”: https://www.killerpaint.com/true-firetrade-basics/category/basics-part-2

True Fire™ Basics Part 4, “Square Pegs in Round Holes” https://www.killerpaint.com/true-firetrade-basics/category/basics-part-4

The Original Killer Paint Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-Original-KILLER-PAINT-INC/297040465604

The Killer Paint Website: www.killerpaint.com

True Fire™ Instructional DVDs:
The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 1
The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 2

True Fire™ Freehand Templates: Artool Freehand Airbrush Templates, True Fire Template Set

House of Kolor Official Website: http://www.houseofkolor.com/

Here at Killer Paint, there tend to be a lot of skulls and skeletons around the shop. No big surprise. However, there are some skeletal figures in residence that Mike didn’t make or paint…

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Catrina (or Calavera Catrina) figurines are a favorite of Mike’s to collect and display in the shop.  They are strongly associated with the Mexican Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) celebrations and have become an iconic cultural image. Mike prefers to collect authentic Mexican-crafted pieces. (Most of these figures were acquired from Heart of Mejico.)

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Imported dolls can cost more, but each one is hand-crafted and painted, so no two are exactly the same. Each figure has its own quirks and unique appearance.

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If you ever happen to come by the shop, make sure to take a look at these fantastic figures!

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There are a lot of other interesting and unusual things hanging around the shop. We hope to show you more of the stuff we’ve got here at the Killer Paint shop in the future when we have the chance.

We hope you enjoyed taking a look back at this project. Let us know if there is anything you would like to see us post here in the future!


ShinyDimemsionalSpadeSkull

Maybe this project gave you some ideas, or you already have an idea in mind for your own car, truck, motorcycle, refrigerator, etc?

If you would like to contact Killer Paint about working on your own project, visit our website, or contact us at info@killerpaint.com


Related Links:

The Original Killer Paint Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-Original-KILLER-PAINT-INC/297040465604

The Official Killer Paint Website: www.killerpaint.com

Killer Paint’s “True Fire™ Basics” Blog Series: https://www.killerpaint.com/true-firetrade-basics

Killer Grunge FX™ Spray at Coast Airbrush: https://www.coastairbrush.com/products.asp?cat=789

True Fire™ Instructional DVDs:
The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 1
The Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire™ – Part 2

Killer Paint on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/killerpaint1033/

Heart of Mejico Website: http://heartofmejico.com/