Tag Archive: custom


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This 2016 Camaro was brought to us by our customer Aubrey P., who wanted an electrifying look for her brand new car…

 

The Camaro Hyper Blue Metallic paint color is already pretty high voltage, so the artwork was painted right over the stock color.

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Bolts of lightning run across the hood, emanating from the Chevrolet bowtie emblem on the front, radiating outward. Even more electrical arcs flow off the backs of the wheel wells and down the doors, as well as a bit from the corners of each of the headlights.

 

On the back, the bowtie on the trunk lid was also hit by the lightning bug, and a “Phoenix” text emblem was designed to go on the rear at the customer’s request.

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This kind of  a simple though effective way to give a paint job some extra “wow” factor, without being terribly ostentatious.

We hope you enjoyed seeing 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 videos on YouTube

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

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Recently, the final episode of Overhaulin’ titled “Foose and the Bandit” aired on the Velocity Channel. Mike was called in to do his magic on the project, though he didn’t know it would be his last appearance on the show at the time… Continue reading

A few years ago, a customer brought his motorcycle to Killer Paint for some ambitious custom paint. He was interested in a fairly unique project theme- Evil clowns playing a high-stakes game of poker. He definitely was not looking for understated on this one.

 Low Front Angle of Evil Clown Ducati Bike by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint

This project got bumper to bumper artwork coverage, and then some. There is a lot going on on this bike, so it would be crazy to try and show every detail. Let’s see if we can show as much of it as we can…


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Okay then. What better place to start than the front?

The fairing and windscreen of the bike were transformed into one enormous wicked clown head, with the headlight forming the opening of its mouth. Some True Fire™ pours out the edges of its gaping maw.

The front fender forms the edge of the clowns’ poker table. Flaming poker chips adorned with clown skulls are strewn about, along with a few poker cards, including a Joker card, also aflame.


CIMG4919BThis side features a large, cigar-smoking clown, with fiery red hair. His poker hand is black Aces and eights, infamously known as the “dead man’s hand.” A closer look at the scroll on the front fender shows it to be a Deed of Souls. (click photos to enlarge)


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The other side of the motorcycle features a wicked shark-toothed jester with glowing eyes, clad in dark purple. His poker hand is nearly a royal flush of hearts, except for the missing ace of hearts… which his cigar-smoking marionette seems to be bringing for him… or is he stealing it? (click photos to enlarge)


CIMG4918BBack on the driver’s side , a few more evil clowns leer menacingly from the side of the gas tank. Next to them is a portrait of our customer’s wife. But under the “mask” of her face is revealed another wicked clown, with a stitched head and neck.


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On the back of the bike behind the seat is a particularly vicious looking clown in a bowler hat. With long, sharp needle-like teeth, drooling what appears to be blood, one could only imagine what he’s done.. or plans to do.


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Here are a few more detail shots of some of the other clowns to be found on this project from before the parts were reattached to the frame. (click photos to enlarge)


CIMG4928BThere is a lot to see on this bike, and pictures can’t always show the whole story. If you ever get a chance to see this bike in person, take some time to take in all of the details put onto this one.

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” 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

House of Kolor Official Website: www.houseofkolor.com

Ducati Official Website: www.ducati.com

This episode (Season 3, Episode 17 “That 70’s Van”) originally aired on December 13, 2005. This build revamped a neglected 1976 Chevy van that the owner’s daughter thought deserved a makeover.

Overhaulin Blue Flames Van by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint, driver side.

Once more, Mike was called in on the build to add his touch to the project. This time, instead of the regular flavor of True Fire™, it would be all done in True Blue flames, on top of a vibrant blue base coat.


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Chip’s concept called for the fire to run down the entire side of the van. On the back, Mike painted a blue dragon, from which the flames erupted. The space was a little constricted on the back, with the big rear windows and license plate to work around, but he managed to fit the big guy in there, with enough room to still stretch his wings.


Overhaulin Blue Flames Van by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint, Mini fridge door with dragon art.Overhaulin Blue Flames Van by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint, Interior speakers & Bench seats

The interior also got a complete facelift, and Mike lit up many of the interior panels with some more blue flames.  The mini fridge that was installed inside as part of the upgrades got another dragon on its door to match the one on the back.


Framed rendering of Overhaulin Blue Flames Van by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint Overhaulin Blue Flames Van by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint, Passenger side.

Mike still has a personally signed copy of the project’s concept rendering done by Chip Foose hanging in the front room of the Killer Paint shop.

You can read more about some to the other renderings hanging in the shop by clicking here.

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We hope you enjoyed taking a look back at this project. Did you see this episode on television? Tell us in the comment what you remember from the show.

Be sure to 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

Buy “Overhaulin” Season 3 on DVD: http://smile.amazon.com/Overhaulin-Season-3-Vol-2/dp/B000QGE80G/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1444249853&sr=1-1&keywords=overhaulin%27+dvd

Read Killer Paint’s “True Fire™ Basics” Blog 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

Foose Designs Official Website: www.chipfoose.com

House of Kolor Official Website: www.houseofkolor.com

This past spring, Mike traveled down under a few times, and spent some time teaching painting classes and doing some extra painting work as well. One of the projects he got to work on was this Volvo semi truck for KS Easter Trucking.

Semi Truck on the road, painted by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint

East Coast Airbrushing owner Rod Tickle, a long time friend of Mike’s, brought him in on the project. There was a tight deadline in which to complete it before it was to be revealed at a special event at the Kenworth plant, so Mike and Rod worked had to work hard and fast to get this sizable project done on schedule.

2C316A8B-D4D6-420A-9DB1-E7CE77475FC5-2The company wanted something special for this truck, so it got the custom paint treatment from bumper to bumper.

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All of the paint used in the artwork on this project was from House of Kolor, the paint brand of choice here at Killer Paint. Fortunately, it is available down in Australia as well.

The front of the truck is painted black, which then “shreds” away to reveal a vibrant orange background with True Fire™ flames. (see more on painting shreds here.) Each side has a large coal-black Pegasus, with a fiery mane and eyes. Its wings are also wreathed in flames.


Mike was able to shoot this video of the finished truck on his last full day, showing some more details of the paint work on the project.


It’s only been a matter of months since the project was completed, and we’ve heard that this truck has already starting winning awards at major truck shows in Australia.

612791D0-D260-4E72-89C6-1076580D923B-2Mike enjoyed his visit to Australia, and wishes it were possible to visit more often. Especially when he gets to paint projects as cool as this one while he is there!

We hope you enjoyed seeing how this project turned out. 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” 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

Airbrushing Shreds Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zE1P3pYJ78

East Coast Airbrushing Website: http://www.eastcoastairbrushing.com/

East Coast Airbrushing Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EastCoastAirbrushing

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

KS Easter Transport Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/K-S-Easter-Pty-Ltd-Brisbane-171436189578290/timeline/

The information here is intended to help painters and artists get the best results they can when painting realistic fire in unusual situations 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.

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.

True Fire Basics Part 3, “Your Sword vs. Your Shield” can be found here.

 


1623420_10152230157120605_346570136_n2We’ve previously discussed (in Part 2) the best situations in which to paint realistic fire- the background colors that tend to work best, the placement of flames that will give you the most bang for your buck, etc. However, sometimes you are presented with a situation that is not ideal for painting True Fire™ at all.

-What do you do when you need to paint fire on a white car?

-What if the object you are painting doesn’t lend itself well to having flames on its surface, or has some areas that you have to avoid that throw a wrench into the flow of a good fire application?

Let’s take a look at what you can do about that…


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In this case, painting on silver requires doing extremely pale flames.

Dark to Light, Loose to Tight

There is a reason that realistic flames work best on darker colors, and especially on black. When painting True Fire™, the goal is to make it look as much like real flames as possible.

First and foremost, fire glows. It is bright. Since paint does not, the way to make your flames appear luminescent is go for contrast- to paint brighter colors on a dark surface- use the difference to build the illusion.

When painting fire on a light-colored surface though, the background robs the flames of much of their brightness, and they will be less vibrant.

And while it’s by no means an ideal scenario, flames can sometimes be painted successfully on some lighter colors (with a lot of finesse). Unfortunately, the result typically doesn’t have as much punch as it would if the background were darker as compared to the flames on it.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t avoid painting on an unfavorable surface, there are ways to turn the tables at least a little in your favor. Then your flames have a better chance to look their best.


Backshading your flames will help them stand out when they would otherwise be washed out by the base color.

Call in Your Own Backup

If the base color is as light (or lighter) than your flames, then one way around it is to basically cheat just a little, by laying down a darker color just behind your fire. One that your flames will look good on.

If you are painting flames of a similar color tone to your surface, then you can put down areas of deeper color roughly where your fire will lay out. Or, if it is acceptable for the job at hand, you can do a color fade over a broader area.

One variant method is to lay down cloudy areas of black, regardless of the base color. When done correctly, it can be made to look like dark clouds of smoke. This not only maintains plausibility, but provides maximum contrast for the flames.


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Changing the base color on just part of a project can give you a step up.

Change the Tone of the Conversation

The most direct way to deal with a pesky base color is to change it to a more suitable color. Unfortunately, repainting a whole car is a lot of time and work. If it is a job for a customer, then they may not be up for something that expensive. However, changing the color in limited sections can sometimes be a feasible compromise.

Painting a two-tone section on a car is a good way to not only give your flames a better chance to stand out, but to add more interest to the paint job on the car overall.

Creating a section of more accommodating color gives you a well-defined area in which you know your flames can look good, and without having to change your painting technique to compensate for a weak background color.

(This approach can also be used even if the base color is already just fine for realistic fire, just to give the piece some added layers of complexity and impact.)


Know Where to Draw the Line(s)TRUE FIRE JOB (6)B

If doing a large two-tone color change is going to be too drastic for your project, then using the same approach in more manageable sizes is another path to consider.

Laying down stripes of an appropriate color to paint your fire on is a relatively painless alternative to larger base color changes. You can use simple, well-liked designs, like rally stripes on cars for instance, as a canvas for your flames. Then, even somewhat conservative customers are more likely to embrace the result.


FullSizeRender-8BCarve Yourself Some Space

If you are feeling relatively ambitious, then a more creative way to give yourself some favorable painting areas on a project is to section off areas with more creative designs than just simple stripes or bands of color. Different designs, shapes, or even emblems can be used to create a “window” where your fire can live.

One popular method at Killer Paint is to reveal sections of black by making them appear to be exposed by the “tearing away” the original base color, and making the edges look like shreds of material.

This approach gives a painter a lot of options, as one can vary the amount of surface area that is painted the new color. You can use just a few modest shreds as accents, or go all the way, and have large swathes of area exposed and painted your new color. Strategic placement of your paint spaces can also help you avoid awkward or unpaintable areas on a project as well.

Also, the quantity of fire in the “torn away” areas can be adjusted to suit the projects needs very easily as well… and you needn’t limit yourself to painting only fire in those spaces. There are numerous possibilities to take advantage of, using this approach.

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 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 3, “Your Sword vs Your Shield”: https://www.killerpaint.com/true-firetrade-basics/category/basics-part-3

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/

Several years ago, Johnathan Hillstrand, Captain of the crabbing vessel F/V Time Bandit brought his bike to us looking for a truly supreme paint job. The Time Bandit is one of the featured vessels on Discovery’s popular television documentary-drama the Deadliest Catch.

Jonathan Hillstrand motorcycle done by Mike Lavallee at Killer Paint

After discussing some ideas, Mike had an idea of what he was going to do on this project. The theme would elaborate on the Time Bandit concept, and show sailing scenes and battles at sea throughout different eras in time, including pirates, vikings, sea monsters, and more.


The Fuel Tank-

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The viking side of the fuel tank, still in progress.

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The left side of the tank portrays the ethereal visages of viking warriors and their ship at sea. This side is done in mostly cooler blue tones, with some purple and pink accents that help blend the scene from this side to the images on the tank’s top. A Swedish flag was added above the scene as an homage to the Hillstrand ancestry.


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The top side of the tank shows another viking vessel in the background, with a profile portrait of Captain Jonathan in the modern day. A time-spanning Time Bandit clock-like graphic is overlaid on the scene in a bright metallic gold, which catches the light brilliantly in the sun. This scene is done in warm glowing tones, in contrast to the harsher cold sea scenes on the sides.


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The modern-era scenery carries over onto the other side of the bike’s tank, where the current day F/V Time Bandit is shown battling a gargantuan monster-crab at sea. An American flag flies above the scene, a counterpart to the Swedish version on the opposing side.


The Front Fender-

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On the front fender is a montage of images from a sea pirate era, including a buccaneer captain that looks somewhat familiar. A sailing ship floats below the portrait, backlit by a late-day sun, casting a fiery reddish hue on the whole scene.


The Rear Fender-

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Above the tail light on the rear fender of Johnathan’s bike is a Time Bandit “Jolly Roger” flag, engulfed in flames.

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On the right-hand side of the fender is a manifestation of the Greek Sea God Poseidon, angrily brandishing his trident while a storm rages. On the opposite side is a crab pot being hauled onboard in spite of the ocean deity’s wrath. A map of the Bering Sea is superimposed over the whole set of scenes, painted again in a bright gold metallic paint that shines in the outdoor light.

SONY DSCOn the lower center of the fender, just below the tail light, the F/V Time Bandit plows through stormy seas, with the skull and crossbones emblazoned on the bow. The deckhands at work bringing in another catch can be seen more completely, just above.


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Right before Johnathan was to arrive to pick up his newly painted bike, Mike had the idea to etch the Time Bandit logo around the perimeter of the glass on the center gauge. It was finished literally moments before he arrived, so unfortunately there are no pictures of it to post. Captain Hillstrand definitely approves of his bike, though!

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:

Official F/V Time Bandit website: http://www.timebandit.tv/

Jonathan Hillstrand on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Johnathan-Hillstrand-191546427803/timeline/

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

Deadliest Catch Season 1 on DVD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00187FPCW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00187FPCW&linkCode=as2&tag=killerpaintco-20&linkId=EZHKFN2FMKQ4OIVV

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

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!


Kille Paint Spade Skull Emblem

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/

Back in 2009, a customer came to Killer Paint with a request to do a refrigerator for their home theater. Being fans of the Hellboy films, they wanted an over-the-top theme based on the then recently released Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army Custom Painted Refrigerator by Mike Lavalle of Killer Paint


Late model GE refrigeratorMany of the Killer Paint Custom refrigerators start off with a vintage unit. Models from past eras like the 1940’s 50’s and 60’s were built with an aesthetic that makes them very well suited to these kinds of projects.

Their style was more akin to the lines and curves that a car might have, unlike most modern appliances, which tend toward the flat and blocky.

They also tend to be much smaller than most modern full-sized refrigerators, so they fit much more easily into many non-kitchen areas of the home, such as game rooms, man caves, or home theaters.

In this case, the Hellboy fridge started out its life as an older model GE fridge. It was still in reasonably good shape and quite functional, but it had quite a few changes in store.

This refrigerator project was going to be much more than just a exterior face lift and a repaint.


Picture 650BNormally, when a refrigerator gets painted here at the shop, just the outside surface gets the makeover.

On previous custom fridge projects, painting or making any color changes to the inside of previous projects had been avoided, due to concerns about the potential durability and adhesion of the paint once the fridge is in daily by the customer, and can be troublesome to do correctly.

Mike knew that for this theme, opening the door to a sterile white interior just wouldn’t do. So for the first time at Killer Paint, the refrigerator was going to get painted inside and out.

The interior surfaces were prepared and treated in such a way this time that would allow the paint to stand up better to wear and tear. Of course, red was the logical color choice for the inside on this piece.

We’ll take a closer look at how the interior turned out a bit later.


IMG_2012BHellboy Fist of Doom Detail

On the front door, a very large portrait of Hellboy himself (as portrayed by Ron Perlman) dominates the majority of the area. Mike wanted to do it large enough that he could put far more detail into the image, including fine wrinkles and skin texture. Fridge Front Door Hellboy Portrait Close Up


While Hellboy himself dominates the front door, each side of the fridge displays its own sets of characters…

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The left-hand side features the film’s aquatic protagonist Abe Sapien, as well as the primary elvish characters appearing in the film- Nuada, Nuala, and King Balor.

A few other entities from the story, like the Angel of Death and one of the Golden Army constructs, are woven in to create a continuous tapestry of images (click to enlarge)

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The other side features the other members of the B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) who work alongside Hellboy in the film:

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The fire-wielding Liz Sherman (portrayed by Selma Blair) and containment-suited Johann Kraus (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) (click to enlarge)


Guillermo del Toro, the director of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, is well known for using fantastical imagery in his films, like the highly innovative Pan’s Labyrinth, whose influence is felt strongly in many of the elements of the Hellboy sequel.

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As such, there was a wide variety of subject matter available. The film is chock-full of visually spectacular scenes, as well as amazing characters and wonderful (or terrible) creatures. It’s almost too much to choose from, as far as deciding what to paint on this refrigerator.


Now let’s get back to all of the work that went into the inside of this refrigerator…

Inside door of Hellboy custom refrigerator by Mike Lavallee of Killer Paint

The inside panel of the door was also painted red to go with the interior. a faux-beveled border was painted on, and a large Hellboy logo, including the B.P.R.D emblem was painted prominently on the door.

The rest of the panel is filled with an arrangement of spiral glyphs, similar to those etched in Hellboy’s skin in the film. Cracks were then painted in to give the impression that the panel is made of a rock-like material.

Hellboy Custom Fridge inside door panel by Mike Lavallee of Killer PaintPicture 255B

For the small square door to the icebox, Mike sculpted another B.P.R.D. emblem along with scratches, cracks and other texture, then painted-weathered the panel to appear as though it were carved out of some kind of stone.


With a brand new bright red interior, and faux stone doors, there was no way that the original wire shelves and drawers that the refrigerator came with would look good if they were placed back inside. Since the fridge was going to be for a home theater, and not storing meat of vegetables for meals, it was decided that the drawers would be left out entirely, to increase the amount of storage space available for beverages and snacks.

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As for the shelves, Mike had something in mind to replace them. Using screen captures from the film, artwork was generated to use in order to etch the images on the underside of brand new, 1/4″ thick glass shelves. Three large shelves, plus one smaller shelf for the space adjacent to the icebox were made, and set on the pegs used for the original metal shelves.


A few months ago, one of the photos of the refrigerator showed up on a certain Facebook page…

Ron Perlman Facebook post of Hellboy Refrigerator by Mike Lavalle of Killer PaintRon Perlman himself saw and reposted a picture of the Hellboy fridge!

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!


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

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army” info page on imdb.com: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411477/

Purchase “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army” on Amazon:

Purchase the original “Hellboy” movie, also on Amazon:

Ron Perlman on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/perlmutations

Ron Perlman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/perlmutations