I grew up listening to George Thorogood. Before I showed up to this planet, my dad was a rock and roll star. He casually listed Thorogood's cover of "Who Do You Love" as one of the greatest songs ever made. I now realize he was right. Who do you love?? Do you love the young and carefree gal that goes with you everywhere - even on your motorcycle? Do you love the mature woman? Or do you love the idea of a woman, but prefer to focus on other things; even though these pursuits may strangle you?

I created this illustration originally for the Phidias Gold show "Stack the Deck" (original board still available, email phidiasgold@gmail.com for details). Above, you can scope out the line art version, and the "candy" version of the skate deck. For the show I transferred the inks to a board and selectively painted on top, which you can check out in the last image.

I will be releasing 3 limited runs of the skate decks. Two of the designs are seen above, and 1 additional colorway will be unveiled soon. Check this space for the announcement of availability!! 

Lastly, I am on Facebook.

take care,

This past week Austin played host to SXSW. Over the 10 days my studio space transformed like Voltron into a pop-up shop featuring myself, Mad Gods, and the 33 1/3rd crew. It was super hip-hop! I released a line of t-shirts with Mad Gods that I will be blogging about very soon.

Additionally, I haven't drawn caricatures in years, but after I dusted off the markers I had a great time drawing the crowds! A few I had left over to scan are posted above. I see you L. Shima and Scooter.


At the other end of the spectrum, here is a suite of recent figure drawings and portraits from life. Charcoal + Pastel.

take care and be easy,

Yo yo!
I have a "Workshop" feature in the current issue (in the U.S.) of Imagine FX #80 titled "How to Draw and Paint a Poster with Type." Over 4 pages, I outline how the above illustration was created in a number of annotated process-based steps. I cover my thoughts on draftsmanship, type design, reference photography, value, etc. Also, in the back of the issue you can find a CD containing all my working .psd files from this project that you can download and explore!

Thanks to Claire, and all the fine folks at ImagineFX!

take care,

Phidias Gold x Francis Vallejo
I designed a shirt for apparel brand Phidias Gold's Winter 2011 line.

Recently the homie Wesley hit me up to do a shirt for a fresh new clothing line he was premiering. I had freedom to do anything I wanted as long as it fit the brand's mantra. I've been fascinated how artists draw the opposite sex in relation to their personal tastes i.e. the Gibson girl, Jeff Jones' girls, Adam Hughes girls, etc. So I brought in a model and shot her in a grip of different scenarios and wardrobes. What resulted is my best attempt at the Vallejo girl. Say hi, she'll be showing up again.

The original drawing had to be tweaked a bit to fit the final print as you can see, but for a look at the original crop check above. In addition, I provided an optional back design that wasn't able to make it into the final - you can check that out here.

I'm pumped with how it turned out! The Phidias Gold crew did a fantastic job. Make sure to check out the other pieces they have in their collection! Lastly, you can check the shirt out in the real world below.

take care,

**bonus commentary**
The highlight of this process was the struggle to create this image which ended up being composited into the final piece. I originally became aware of this sort of shape 3 years ago while working on some monotypes. When you press two plates together with watered-down paint in between, air leaks into said paint and creates these incredibly organic and fascinating vein-esque leaf patterns. Since then, I've intermittently attempted to create a clean usable copy of this shape, but have had no luck...until now.
I knew I wanted abstract, organic shapes for the background of this picture to balance the planned, representational qualities of the figure. This led me to getting my Jackson Pollock on and throwing globs of paint down onto all sorts of paper, looking for appealing marks. I scanned all that in, but wasn't completely satisfied. Something was missing. It happened to be raining that day, and I remembered a piece of plexiglass sitting in front of the studio door that I had to push aside to get in. Then the light bulb went off. I ran outside, and luckily, the piece of plexi was still sitting there. I pulled out the random screws, and broke the piece in half. I quickly dobbed some watered down acrylic house paint on one piece, and pressed the other piece on top. I could watch the air pockets snake their way through the paint. Now the moment of truth: I pulled the pieces of plexi apart and the shapes, after 3 years of failures, maintained their shapes perfectly!!! I was so amped I didn't make any prints for fear of smudging them into oblivion. I let them dry on the glass, and scanned the glass in itself. I cleaned up the shapes digitally, comped them in, and now you can see them on the shirt. That was the exact mood I wanted for the abstracts, and I was pumped to have finally found the method to make it!**