Tag Archive: fire


The information here is intended to help painters and artists get the best results they can when painting True Fire™ on their own projects. For detailed instructions on painting realistic fire, we recommend that you watch Mike Lavallee’s “Secrets of Airbrushing True Fire” DVDs.


DSC_0003BThe technique for painting True Fire has been around for many years now, and yet it is still very much in demand.

Since the first “Secrets of Painting True Fire™” DVD was released, custom painters the world over now use this method to paint realistic fire and flames on their own works. Unfortunately, not all artists have the same level of success doing so.

While there are many keys to creating believable and eye-catching fire jobs, there are probably even more pitfalls that might keep an artist/painter from achieving the results they could have.

The first step toward success on the path to painting flames is to know as much as you can about what you are trying to paint. Without a firm grasp on your subject matter, you could be starting off on the wrong foot.


Understanding Fire-

Every person has seen fire, and recognizes it when they see it. As such, an artist who intends to paint realistic fire does know what flames look like, and might believe they have a full understanding of it when they attempt to paint it.

Unfortunately, having simply seen fire doesn’t mean that someone can always recreate it in paint accurately or realistically.

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Conceptually, fire is very simple. However its appearance can be very complex from an artistic standpoint. It can appear in many forms. From deep, smoldering flames, to wildly raging infernos, the shape, color and movement will all vary, depending on the kind of fire. The size or intensity of the flames, the temperature of the fire, as well as air flow or other movement can all affect how a given fire’s flames appear.

That is why it is important to collect many images of actual fire to use as reference before attempting to paint flames.

Study the pictures, not simply to replicate the image, but to understand how the colors and shapes come together. How they flow. Where the colors are dense, or where they are hazy, and so on. Trying to paint fire based off of one’s memory, or idea of fire, and not how it actually appears, can make things way more difficult than they need to be.


Obtaining Reference Images-

There are many ways to get images of fire to use when painting realistic flames. The easiest, and most powerful method is via the internet.

Image searches on search engines like Google can yield wonderful results, but sometimes a lot of digging is required to find truly useful pictures. Try different combinations of keywords to find pictures that might not come up with simple search for “fire.” For example, a search using a term like “grease fire” or “forest fire” will typically get much more interesting results.

Be sure to save any good images you find, so you won’t have to go searching for it again later. Try multiple search engines, too. Results from two different sources can be surprisingly different.

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Pinterest boards are a good way to find collections of related images

Social media image sites like Pinterest and Instagram are also good resources to find resource images.

Pinterest is especially effective because users organize their images into categories, so if you find one good image there, you are likely to find others related to it in the same place.

You can even “pin” them into your own collection, and you will be able to access them from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection whenever and wherever you might need them.


Taking Your Own Photos-

Another option of course, is to photograph some fire yourself. This is a difficult proposition for a number of reasons:

The first is safety. Fire is extremely dangerous, and you should only photograph fire in safe situations. Use extreme caution at all times around open flames.

Fire reference photo

This photo might look okay at a glance, but when you zoom in,  it is actually fairly blurry. (click to enlarge)

The other problems are technical. Flames are notoriously difficult to photograph well. Fire is constantly moving rather quickly, so many images will come out blurry, especially in low-light situations where cameras take longer exposures. So setting up a camera on a tripod, and adjusting your camera’s settings can help to improve the results somewhat.

Even if the photos don’t turn out perfectly, they can often still be useful. You can still get a good idea of the brightness, color range, and movement of fire from a picture, even if it is a little bit blurry.

That is really all you need, after all. You are going to want to create your own flames when it comes to painting anyway.


Never Stop Learning-

fire helmet 2bThe more pictures of fire and flames that you have, the more options and ideas you will have available to suit the specific type of look you want to achieve.

After getting the look of painting fire correctly under your belt, you will eventually need to look at your reference photos less and less as it becomes more intuitive for you. This can take a lot of practice over a long time, though.

Even then, it never hurts to go back and look at your fire reference images. You never know when you will spot something new that you might not have realized before.

We hope you found this information useful. You may also wish to read True Fire Basics, Part 2 “What You Throw Down,” or True Fire™ Basics, Part 3: “Your Sword vs. Your Shield” or True Fire™ Basics, Part 4 “Square Pegs in Round Holes” on our website. We hope to have even more posts about painting and True Fire™ in the future.


If you are interested in purchasing DVDs from the “Secrets of Painting True Fire” series, click here.

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.

Visit Killer Paint’s online gallery here to see more examples of Mike Lavallee’s work.

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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 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

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: http://www.coastairbrush.com/products.asp?cat=227

True Fire™ Freehand Templates: http://www.coastairbrush.com/products.asp?cat=215

Screen shot 2015-08-20 at 3.34.23 PMBefore we take a look at this project, we at Killer Paint would like to ask a moment to focus on the rash of destructive wildfires taking a heavy toll on the western United States this summer. Whole towns have been forced to evacuate, and many people have lost their homes and livelihoods as houses and businesses have been laid to waste in the wake of these fires.

It is equally important, if not more so, that we take the time to recognize the men and women who dedicate themselves to fighting these fires, giving their every effort to protect lives, property and the environment. We offer our thanks to the firefighters doing their best against sometimes terrible odds in trying to oppose these primal forces of destruction.

FireCrossBlackBandRecently, in our own proverbial backyard, three firefighters working for the U.S. Forest Service lost their lives fighting the wildfires near Twisp, Washington, on Wednesday, August 19. We offer our sympathies to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who gave their lives protecting others here and elsewhere.


Some time ago, a customer came to Killer Paint, requesting a special custom refrigerator, based on a World War II bomber.

1512347_10152081036890605_526938099_n2 This unique conversion was one of the more elaborate fridge projects done at Killer Paint. Actually, most of the work wasn’t paint at all. Mike’s concept idea was to make the refrigerator look as though it had been built from a salvaged aircraft. The entire exterior was re-skinned with aluminum sheeting, rivets, and much more…

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The owner of this refrigerator, Troy W. was the pilot of a converted B-17 that had been put to use in aerial firefighting. The aircraft, dubbed the Flame Dame was the model and inspiration for this project.

So to match to appearance of this plane, hundreds of the rivets were attached one by one to form panel lines similar to the original World War II bomber. The aluminum was lightly scuffed and weathered to give it a distressed, worn look, and the rivets were lightly stained to make them look aged and a little gritty. While the refrigerator was brand new, it wasn’t supposed to look that way.

Small metal pipes were bent into shape and attached to the side of the fridge to simulate fluid lines, along with many other details that were also added.


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The “Flame Dame” pin-up art on the original aircraft was a very basic art style. Mike wanted to put something more artistically robust on the door, though. He chose a classic pin-up, a homage to the great Gil Elvgrin, to turn into the new Flame Dame, with a fiery dress and mane of hair.


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Some more added details include a large “124,” which was painted on one side to match the number on the original Flame Dame bomber, while some smaller aluminum pieces made to look like access panels were added, too.

Here is a video showcasing the project. The door is wired to set off the digital player built into the refrigerator and play several different aircraft sounds.

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Mike also wanted to incorporate some authentic aircraft parts into this refrigerator. For instance, the door handle is made using an air speed indicator pitot tube. The Grimes wingtip lights that are mounted on the upper sides are actually wired up to light up and flash in conjunction with the sound triggers when the door opens.

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With all the hardware going on the outside of this thing, Mike decided to add something fun and convenient to the mix as well.

So he went and got a mountable metal bottle opener and secured it to the side of the fridge on a round baseplate.

It may not be something you find on the outside of any aircraft, but it is definitely something that works well on the outside of a refrigerator.

At least now nobody will have to go anywhere to open their cold ones.


1524667_10152091387895605_1234058207_n2The final touch that Mike likes to put on many of the custom fridges that come out of Killer Paint is to light the back with neon.

Sure, LED lights and such are cheaper and easier to work with, and there is a multitude of color choices available, and so on. The problem with that route is that they just don’t light up with quite the same full-bodied glow as good old-fashioned neon.

After trying out some of the other high-tech lighting packages, it was clear that neon was still the way to go, unless something specific were requested. In this case, after considering a few options, Mike decided on basic red for the lighting, creating a fire-like glow, and to tie in with the pin-up art on the door,

When this baby is placed in its final location, the light really turns the whole thing up a notch, especially in “man-caves” and home theaters, which is the place most people have in mind to put one, when they come to Killer Paint looking to get a custom refrigerator of their own.


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Just because this refrigerator was complete didn’t mean that the work was done. You can’t just throw this one in a cardboard box with some foam peanuts, especially with fragile glass neon tubes on the back.

After having a sturdy shipping crate built with foam padded lining, the Flame Dame fridge got packed up all safe and snug, and was ready to ship off to its new home.


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To accompany the project, Mike also painted the back of a bomber jacket with a second Flame Dame pinup to match the one on the door of the fridge. A local seamstress sewed the patches from different firefighting organizations on the front and sleeves of the jacket as well.

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 Killer Paint Website: www.killerpaint.com

American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

NCW Fire Relief Fund: http://www.cfncw.org/firerelieffund/

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation: http://www.firehero.org/

KP Blog Archive- Helping a Veteran and Firefighter Battle Cancer: https://killerpaint.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/helping-a-veteran-and-firefighter-battle-cancer/

Washington State, Volunteering as a Firefighter: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/WildfireVolunteer

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This project was just delivered to our customer, Tiffany G. She brought in her 2015 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler trike and wanted an elaborate vampire theme and some fire to go with it.


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A cemetery setting is the backdrop for this theme, so there are a bunch of other elements involved, working to tie the whole thing together.

Tombstones and skulls and such are woven into the artwork, and lots of ominous mist snaking its way throughout the different pieces of the design along with the True Fire™. Of course, there have to be numerous bats found throughout the artwork too.

IMG_1884BOur customer wanted the vampires on her trike to be on the sensual, mysterious side of the spectrum, and not in the monstrous or gory range. So Mike made sure to keep the blood to a minimum. But still enough to make sure there is no mistake that these are vampires, despite their beauty.


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This project got more than just a paint upgrade, though. To the inside of each of the fenders, a pair of physical skulls were fabricated to partially cover and disguise the handles mounted there.

Once they were made, the open-topped skulls were attached firmly to the fiberglass shell before being blended seamlessly into the body.

Mike made sure that they each received some added shading and highlights so that they will both have a little bit of extra depth and pop.


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In order to not go into overkill (*cough*) with too many vampires, and help incorporate some more cemetery elements of the theme into the design, Mike put a grim reaper on the other fender. He also tucked a weeping angel statue on the side panel of this side. (Don’t blink!)


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Along with the almost obligatory fire leading the front fender, there is a sultry vampiress as well, done in much more vibrant, colorful hues to stand out on the front of the trike.

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The rear end of the Freewheeler got something a little special. Mike painted a portrait of our customer Tiffany in his trademark Skelebrities™ style. The background has a cemetery gate that carries over onto each of the fenders, while ghostly figures also lurk around in the background.

(It is difficult to tell from these photos, but the tail lights were reworked, and new lights in an iron cross design were integrated into the fenders.)

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We hope you enjoyed seeing how this project turned out. We know the owner of this unique trike sure did! Let us know if there is anything you would like to see us post here in the future!


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Maybe this trike gave you some ideas, or you already have an idea in mind for your own 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 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

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

This episode originally aired Jan. 24, 2006. This time Chip Foose and his team took on two overhauls for an employee of NAPA Auto Parts. In addition to her ’67 El Camino, they also Overhauled her NAPA 2003 Chevy S-10 pickup.

OVERHAULIN' (61)BChip Foose working on the truck

Mike was brought in to add some heat to the paint job in the form of True Fire.

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The truck got a classic True Fire streak off of each of the wheel wells.

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Nothing is safe from the airbrush on these projects. Even this oversized NAPA hat gets touched by flames.

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In the end, it is probably safe to say that this is the hottest “delivery truck” at NAPA

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Do you remember seeing this episode on television? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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/

Chip Foose Official Website: http://www.chipfoose.com

Our customer Yanee brought in her Can-Am Spyder a while back to get the Killer Paint treatment. So Mike laid some sick shreds and True Fire on it, and she was crazy happy with the result. So much so, that she came back to us to get her accompanying trailer done up to match.

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Here is the result:  Plenty of shreds to look like the original paint is being torn away, and rich, hot orange True Fire underneath, matching the existing paint job on her Spyder.  And of course, a flaming skull on the front end.

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Mike added a little something extra on the top too- A Seattle Seahawks tribute on the top for her. She is a big time “12th Man.” She loves her ‘Hawks, and loves to show it, too.

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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” 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

Masking for Shreds Tutorial on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zE1P3pYJ78

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

This episode originally aired on May 21, 1010.

In this episode, Bill Goldberg and the “Garage Mahal” team were tasked to… (blah, blah, blah… BMX Garage, yadda yadda.)

Sure, the garage turned out great, but Mike wasn’t messing around in the garage. He was out back working on something much bigger- The family’s riding/skating pool. He was painting a pretty massive mural for the Taylor family, and it was going to require all of his attention.

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Goldberg and Mike discuss how the project is going…

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While it was still dark, the original concept sketch of Mike’s design was projected onto the surface at the full size, to get things blocked out.

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Mike had to take his shoes off to avoid scuffing or damaging the paint while he worked. In addition to the main mural, he added faux cracks and stains around the edges to tie it all in.

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And at the end of the day, voila! Here is the completed mural!

Picture 849BDespite his tough-guy appearance, Goldberg is a actually pretty nice guy.

Picture 848BDid you see this episode on television? What part of the project did you like best?

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/

  I know I’ve built this huge reputation for being the fire guy but let me tell you I have not always been on the friendly side of the flames!  Let me start from the beginning.  It all started when I was about 12 years old in my dad’s workshop in the basement.  It was the day before Halloween, and my brother Bob and I were going through my dad’s taxidermy stuff to try to make our costumes. No store-bought costumes for us! NO WAY.

I wanted to be the Wolf Man, so Bob decided to help me make my costume.  I found some flax ( flax is a hair-like substance that is made from some plant and is tan in color. Dad used it in his bird taxidermy)  Now that I had the hair, I had to figure out how to attach it to my face :).  Glue was out of the question. The next thing I ran across was a roll of window putty. Perfect!  I took some of the putty, and put some  across my cheek bones, chin, upper lip, forehead and sideburns.  Next, I took handfuls of the long flax material and pressed it into the putty, longer on the sides and chin, mustache and eyebrows, and really long on the forehead and sideburns! Next I took my dad’s camo makeup, and finished coloring my exposed chin with brown color.  I took my plastic vampire teeth and broke the top from the bottom, and put the top part upside down on my lower teeth to complete my WOLFMAN look.  It looked awesome to us!  We were laughing and thinking we were sooooo cool!  now we had to make it look REALLY cool and scary so I took a flashlight while Bob  shut the lights.  I took my mom’s double-sided makeup mirror ( you know the kind that has a side thats normal and the other side has a magnifying side?)  I flipped the mirror to the magnified side and put the flashlight under my chin and made my best wolfman faces and sounds……too COOL man!  It was then my brother got the bright idea to take a candle to make it look even spookier!  Me being an idiot, I agreed to do it… He lit the candle and put it under my chin in the darkness of the basement I looked pretty damned spooky in the mirror. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH spooky. Then bob thought it would look even scarier if he came closer to my face with the candle! Uh, yeah!!!!!!

As he got closer to my face with the candle the flame connected with the flax beard!  the flax had been drying since , oh, I don’t know, Egyptian times!!!! And all I could see in the mirror was the wolfman going up in a flash! have you ever seen flash paper the magicians use???? Yeah, like that!  Only after the screaming was over and my brother found something to put my face out that the real burning happened!  The putty that I used to hold the flax to my face was….uh, FLAMABLE! yeah!   it was REALLY flammable!  In fact, it was bubbling like the cheese on a freshly baked pizza!   Then my ass got beat by my dad for almost setting the house on fire!

It was a couple of years later when the flame master struck again… When we were kids we made these cannons out of  soup cans, we would take about 5 soup cans that had the tops and bottoms cut out of them we taped them together with duct tape  to make a tube, then we’d attach a pop can at the bottom with the open part to the inside. Then we put a tiny nail hole in the bottom of the can just opposite of the opening.  Next, we all bought the family sized can of Zippo lighter fluid and put a couple of squeezes of fluid in the nail hole.  Then you shake it up till you couldn’t hear the fluid anymore and it was now in a gas form. then you light a match and touch it to the hole and then BOOM! the cannon was supposed to go off, NOT!  so what did I do? yup! MORE FLUID!  shake it up, light the match, touch it to the hole… Nothing! grrrrr! more fluid!  shake, touch the match… Still nothing!   by now all my friends cannons have worked without a hitch, mine not so much.  Now there I was with what amounted to a bomb in my hand.  I wanted to light this thing  bad!  So I did what any kid would do! I lit a match and dumped it down the front of the cannon. hehehe!  still I got nothing!  I repeated this maneuver a couple more times and got the same results every time.  By now my friends had backed away from me by about 50 yards! Hahahaha  pussies!   I couldn’t believe that damn thing hadn’t gone off!!   So there I was holding this bomb in my hand , then I did something that at the time didn’t seem like such a stupid idea! I looked down the front of the cannon! and  there in the very bottom of the pop can was the smoldering head of the last match I dumped in there. it was at that exact moment in time that my brain separated from my body!  I thought I’d just blow out the smoking match head… and in slow motion I filled my lungs with air and exhaled down the length of the tube until the air hit the smoldering match head and then I saw this little red glow and then the match got the air it was looking for and I think it was at that exact moment my brain reconnected with my body and I realized just what I had done but it was too late!  as my  eyes widened in shock at my stupidity I saw the flash!  I couldn’t move fast enough! BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The next thing I remember was the smell of burnt hair and sound of running feet of my friends to my side!  by the grace of god I wasn’t blinded or worse!  I didn’t have any better luck with fireworks either!    a few years ago I decided I was gonna give the kids a 4th of July to remember!  I went down to the fireworks store on the reservation called BOOM TOWN, and spent about $600 bucks on all the coolest fireworks, I had a huge box of every imaginable thing you could think of from jumping jacks to the big roll of über firecrackers, sky rockets, mortars etc!

Everything was going great till the parachute incident!  One of the rocket deals had the fireworks float to the ground with the flares attached to little parachutes. Well, the parachutes were floating everywhere, and I didn’t notice the one stray chute that floated into my huge box of fireworks!!!!!  Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Immediately, it looked like World War Three with fireworks blowing everywhere!  They were bouncing off the house and blowing up. The kids and Nic went running for cover in the house, while I tried to keep the place from burning to the ground!  It all lasted about 5 minutes, but felt like it lasted an hour!  Hahahahaha! Oh well, I guess I should stick to just painting fire huh?  Happy 4th everybody! Be safe!

I always worry about doing work for finicky customers or high-profile people I haven’t gotten to know yet.  just recently I was asked to “do my thang” on actor Johnny Depp’s” 51 Merc being built by BS Industries in Burbank ,Ca.    what a freaking ordeal this was!  let me  start at the beginning.    I was told by my producer that they were going to be doing a show involving Johnny Depp’s Merc.  I said   “I HAVE to get in on that build! and lo and behold I was in!    SWEET!      now came the hard part, what to do on his car?   I was told he said i could paint anything i wanted on it.  great! now what?  we all put our heads together and did online research  and came up with that he is part native american, I believe Apache, he likes things in 3’s ie: triangles or things in multiples of 3’s etc.  AND, he has a moustache and beard collection ………!

ok, now what do I do with that information??    I decided that the beard and moustache thing was useless to me and trew that out of the mix.  I took everything else and came up with a piece for the trunk.      the car was going to be painted dark DARK green almost black.  the paint had green pearl in the black basecoat and then was given a couple coats of Kandy Organic Green to intensify the color.  in the shade or in low light situations  the car looks black but in the sun the car reflects green on all the high points.   the plan was to put a long narrow band of green fire off the front wheels flowing all the way back over the rear fender skirts. this would go great with the chopped top bad ass look the car already has.    on the trunk I designed an apache skull and headband with three eagle feathers hanging from the side. behind the skull I painted the letters JD in a way that they looked like they were chipped from flint and when the letters were together they made a triangular shape similar to an arrow head.  behind that I did spread eagle wings with green fire flowing off of them up the center of the trunk.

sounds cool huh? it looks sweet!   but thats not the saga I was talking about.    Uh, No!                    so there I was in Burbank Ca. at BS Industries hot rod shop waiting to get my eyes on the project of the day. after a couple of hours Bodie Stroud the owner of the shop pulled up with the rolling chassis of the Merc directly from the paint shop.  the car was pulled into the shop and unloaded from the trailer.  I was eyeballing it to fine tune my design.   Bodie was mic’ed up and they began to film his interviews about the build, Johnny’s expectations of the completed project, he even mentioned what I was going to be doing on the car.  this all takes time to do because they do things multiple times to assure they have enough footage so the editors have enough to work with for the final cut.

so there I was waiting……watching the clock tic away.  I only had today to paint this car because filming ended on this episode today, NO DO_OVERS!  no pressure or anything!   while I was waiting I was contemplating getting my stuff ready so they wouldn’t have to wait on me and we could just paint and film.  so I went over to my suitcase to get my pattern for the trunk piece and my exacto knife and box of blades, all 100 of them.   I looked in there and saw the gallon Ziploc bag that had my stuff in it and opened it to find that TSA at Seattle’s SEATAC airport had taken them out of my bag!!!!!!!!!!!!   NO Knife! sonofa!**! mother f*&#!rs!  now I have to take time I dont have and run and get another knife and blades and get back in time to start.   Off the set to Michael’s art supply to get a replacement knife and blades then mad run back to Bodie’s place.   so now we’re back and I get my sketch out and make the appropriate cuts in it to get it ready.  still not ready for me!  ok, I guess I’ll get my airbrush and paint ready. so I head back to my suitcase to retrieve my airbrush hose and get ready to hook it up to the shops air lines.  I was just about ready to attach my hose when realized I didn’t have the airbrush hooked up to it! DUH! had I hooked up without the airbrush on the hose the air would have just blown out the end whipping the hose around like a crazy cobra on crack!  not to mention it would have messed with the already on going filming.

so I go back to my suitcase again to now ge my Iwata custom Micron airbrush.  I reach into the bag and guess what????   THOSE MOTHERS TOOK BOTH OF MY AIRBRUSHES TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   SONOFA BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  NOT THAT!  ok now my heart is racing and I’m starting to sweat like a pig!  what the hell do I do now??!!!!    I’M SO SCREWED!   I have to find somebody to beg borrow or steal an Iwata airbrush to finish this project!     I call on my good friend David Monig who owns COAST AIRBRUSH  (THE ONLY PLACE YOU NEED TO GO TO FIND ANYTHING AIRBRUSH RELATED!) www.coastairbrush.com

I asked him if he knew anybody in the Burbank area that carried Iwata.  he was in the middle of another call and asked me to hold on.  damn!  I had to do something else!  (sorry dave)    we located an art store in the area that carried Iwata ( the only airbrush that fits my hose) and took off!    while I was on my way to the art store my phone rang,    it was Dennis my producer!   “where are you mike?” he asked.  ” I don’t want to tell you I said!”   “what? ” he asked, “whats up man? we’re ready for you”    I told him what happened and to say he was aggravated would be putting it mildly!   I assured him I had the situation under control and I’d be back in 20 minutes or so.   after I dumped $200 on a new airbrush we headed back to the shop again.

now when I started this project today I had 5 hours to paint the car, not bad, i could do that easily. But with all the bullshit I now have 3 hrs to do the same job!  it has to be right, and it has to be perfect! and I have to do it double time!    I love it in the kitchen baby!     when i got there I hit the ground running! and painted like a fiend!   I kept one eye on the car and the other one on the clock on the wall!   after all was said and done I miraculously got the car finished with 10 minutes to spare! ha-ha!   now it was time to split.  after a hurried goodbye and a quick photo session I was off to LAX fo fly home.  we had to leave early because the traffic is just stupid on the way there at that time of day.  we got lucky with the traffic and even got there early enough to catch an earlier flight!

I’ll have more photo’s of the car when it’s finished.  I got word today that Johnny loved the car and said it was bitchin’!  so, now the pressure’s off!    for now!