Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday Rick Baker!

Award-winning Makeup Artist and Mentor to generations of Effects Artists, Rick Baker, celebrated his Birthday yesterday. I sketched this out as a Birthday “card” in honor of the event. Happy Birthday Rick Baker!

"Happy Birthday Rick Baker 2014" 10 x 8. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Happy Birthday Rick Baker 2014” 10 x 8. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

Also posted in General Musings, New Art, Things that Inspire Tagged , , , , , , , , |

“Villains in Animation” at Van Eaton

This past weekend, 11/8/2014, the “Iron Giant” show opened. This coming weekend, 11/15/2014, is another trip into the Universe of Animation. This time I will be joining a large group of terrific artists at the Van Eaton Gallery in Sherman Oaks, CA to take part in the “Villains of Animation” Group Art Show.

As this is a new venue for me, I wanted to really make a good first impression. I was alloted space enough for one 12 x 16 painting. So, I started thinking about all the animated villains with whom I was familiar. I landed on Elmer Fudd. A classic, right? My thought was to portray him as he might be in the “real world”. I figured that meant he would be a gap-toothed, dirty, back woods fella straight out of “Deliverance”. Also, he would have to be packing some serious heat. In the cartoons, Elmer is always going “full auto” on Bugs Bunny, which is amazing since he only has a double barreled shotgun. So, I would give him an automatic rifle with a large magazine and tons of extra ammo. There would also be tons of spent shells on the ground. Seeing as this is supposed to be the “real world”, I thought the landscape should reflect Elmer’s “Scorched Earth” tactics. This is what I dreamt up…

"Wabbit Season" 12 x 16. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Wabbit Season” 12 x 16. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

So, I am looking at it, and I’m looking at it, and I’m looking at it… Something is not sitting right with me. I like the concept, but the execution is somewhat lacking. I look at the calendar. I have time. I decide to do something I have never done before a show; paint another painting.

I had another idea from a different show that I thought might work here. For that show, I was going to do a unique take on “Scooby-Doo” villains, in particular “The Creeper”. We never saw any of the SD villains in their lairs, prepping to go out and do their scary things. My idea was to paint the painting as seen from the Creeper’s point of view. You would be looking at a cluttered makeup table. The Creeper Mask is on a head form in the corner. The mirror is surrounded by newspaper clippings about the Creeper, and maybe a foreclosure note from another bank (Motive!) Reflected in the mirror would be the face of the Creeper’s secret true identity, Mr. Carswell.

As nice as that was , I felt it to be a little too complex. I had to streamline the joke. Once again, I decided on doing something else not seen before in “Scooby-Doo” episodes. I would paint up a Mugshot of the Creeper as he was being processed at Police HQ. That was much clearer and straight to the point. Here you go…

"Mugshot of Mr. Carswell, a.k.a. the Creeper" 11 x 14. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Mugshot of Mr. Carswell, a.k.a. the Creeper” 11 x 14. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

Already, I was liking so much more the execution of this piece. Where things were getting muddy in the “Elmer” piece, this remained clear throughout. To maintain the “realism” I used Phil Silver’s face as a basis for Mr. Carswell. The recently deceased Richard Kiel served as inspiration for the Creeper mask.

That’s pretty much it. The paintings in the show have gone up for sale today. The show opens Saturday, 11/15/2014. Please come by and check it out if you are in the area!

Thanks for looking!



Big Daddy Roth revisited

This Labor Day weekend saw the opening of another art show at “Creature Features Gallery in downtown Burbank, CA. This show is called “MonsterFink” and it celebrates the grotesquely beautiful Monsters and Cars art created by the legendary Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and the slew of imitators to come after him. The walls were lined with paintings and sculptures all sporting day-glo paint jobs. The art may have been low brow but the quality was high! In addition to the visual delights, the band “Boss Fink” rocked the crowd while a slew of hot rods cruised Magnolia Ave thanks to the good folks at “Autobooks” next door.

Do check out the show if you can. There is a lot of fun stuff to take in! All the art is for sale. However, if you are operating on limited funds, you can also buy prints of the amazing work, including MINE! Speaking of which, here it is!


"Hybrid Fink" 18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Hybrid Fink” 18 x 24. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares


Thanks for looking!


Also posted in New Art, Paintings for Sale, Things that Inspire Tagged , , , , , , , |

Creature from the Black Tie Lagoon

Starting this weekend, 8/9/2014, Creature Features in Burbank has opened a Group Art show commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Studios amphibious monster classic, “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. As with previous art shows, Creature Features has lined the walls with a staggering array of “Creature'” themed art. Once again, I was racking my brain, trying to come up with a unique take on the subject matter. I had originally planned to go the parody route and do my own version of the Harvey Kurtzman cover art to “MAD” magazine issue #1. The couple recoiling in horror against the wall would be caricatures of “Creature” stars, Richard Carlson and Julie Adams. Eventually, I became just as bored with the idea as you are now having just read that description.

Then, I started playing with the film’s title, trying to come up with some sort of play on words. I was messing around with things like “Black SALOON” or “Black Baloon” when I tripped over “Black TIE Lagoon”. That little insert hung with me. In the film, the Creature and the Beauty do a sort of dance when she decides to take a nice refreshing dip in the Lagoon, unaware of the titular Monster lurking in the water below. Why couldn’t they then formally dance? The idea of the Creature in a tail coat immediately suggested the work of classic Illustrator, J.C. Leyendecker. In particular, an “Arrow Collar” ad he illustrated formed the basis of my entry.

With the reference set, the painting came together quickly. I do think this might be one of the better pieces I have done.

"Creature from the Black Tie Lagoon" 18 x 24. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Creature from the Black Tie Lagoon” 18 x 24. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

Thanks for Looking!!


RIP Dick Smith

It was with great sadness that on July 30, the Makeup community said goodbye to a giant. Richard Emerson “Dick” Smith passed away at the age of 92.

For those reading this who might not know, Dick Smith was considered the Godfather, the Dean of Makeup Artists.

He was a legend in the industry not only for the characters he created for films such as “The Exorcist”, “Amadeus” and others, but also for the countless technical innovations he brought to the craft. Just as remarkable as all of that was Mr. Smith’s willingness to share his boundless knowledge with anyone who asked. In a time of people hording makeup information like state secrets in order to gain a leg up on the competition, Mr. Smith was like an open book. He always felt that the exchange of knowledge was the key to evolving the art of makeup. He was an inspiration to generations of Makeup and Special Makeup Effects Artists, including “yours truly”!Dick Smith lived a full 92 years. I had to honor that, and his effect on my life, in the only way I knew how. In searching for an appropriate reference from which to paint, I chose a photo from his post retirement years. That is because this is the Dick Smith I “knew”. This was the Dick Smith I got to meet, if only for a quick 2 to 3 minute chat while I was at K.N.B. EFX Group. This was the man who, despite no longer working on film projects, was still regularly coming out to visit the shops to study up on what others were creating for the industry. This was the man who was still passing on his vast experience to others through lectures and his correspondence course. This man was an example to all of how to live a life.

Thank you, Mr. Smith, for all that you have done, and continue to do, for us.


RIP Dick Smith

"R.I.P. Dick Smith" 11 x 15. Acrylic on Watercolor paper. © Mark Tavares

“R.I.P. Dick Smith” 11 x 15. Acrylic on Watercolor paper. © Mark Tavares

Batman and the Annoying Sidekick

Well, we are two weeks out from another San Diego Comic-con. If that wasn’t exciting enough, news comes down the wire that the Original “Batman” tv series from 1966 is FINALLY getting a Blueray release this coming November!! Holy Long Overdue Bill, Batman! (I apologize. I couldn’t help it…)

So excited was I that another childhood wish was being fulfilled, I was inspired to paint a little something in celebration! Here is “Batman and the Annoying Sidekick”!

"Annoying Sidekick" 15 x 11. Oil and Acrylic on Watercolor Paper. © Mark Tavares

“Annoying Sidekick” 15 x 11. Oil and Acrylic on Watercolor Paper. © Mark Tavares


I had almost forgotten how much I used to enjoy drawing Adam West’s Caped Crusader when I was a younger lad. I think I just may have to do up some more. Stay Tuned!!


John Chambers Makeup Artist to the Apes

If you have been keeping watch, you know that I am proud to be one the many fine artists whose work is on display in the “Art of the Apes” show at Creature Features in Burbank. My official entry, “Take your Stinking Paws off my Heart”, took me a while to complete. Complete it I did though, and just in the nick of time.

Being a former Makeup Effects Artist, it was important to me that I be a part of this show. Like just about every other FX artist I know, “Planet of the Apes” was a major sign post along the weird route that led us to Hollywood and the business of “Show”. The Ape makeups that John Chambers and his team of artists created for that film and the subsequent sequels burned themselves into my brain. So, when the opportunity arose to have some fun with the whole concept, I jumped at the chance. I am proud of my contribution. In a different show that have been enough, but my makeup roots were calling out to me, demanding I do one more painting.

Chambers is a legend in the Makeup field. He came to Hollywood from the Military where he was a Medical Technician, creating prosthetic devices for disabled veterans. His expertise with rubber and plastic compounds, mold making and fabrication techniques, as well as being a fast worker, would come to serve him well in Hollywood.

It was in television that Chambers would first make his mark. He contributed masks, props and makeups to shows such as “The Outer Limits”, “Mission Impossible”, “Lost in Space” and many more. He even created Spock’s pointed Vulcan ears for “Star Trek”. Given that he was fast and reliable, Chambers was sought after by other makeup artists to create prosthetics for their various projects. He never received credit for these projects, but the money was particularly good.

Chambers came to be involved in what would be the defining film of his career, “Planet of the Apes”, after a short test film shot as a proof of concept won the film it’s green light. In the test, an out-of-the-kit Orangutan makeup was done on Edward G. Robinson by Fox Studio Makeup Head Ben Nye. While the makeup showed that serious talking apes were viable, the powers that be knew a more refined solution would be needed. Chamber’s incredible technical prowess would end up creating cinema history and earn him the first ever Academy Award for Makeup.

This is my humble tribute to him.

"John Chambers, Creative Makeup Designer" 19 x 27. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“John Chambers, Creative Makeup Designer” 19 x 27. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

Thanks for looking!


Art of the Apes

Well, it is finally here! The “Art of the Apes” group art show, inspired by the “Planet of the Apes” film series old and new is opening this Saturday, June 21 at Creature Features in Burbank, CA. I have seen bits and pieces of the art that will be displayed there and I can honestly say it will be a HUGE show! I am disappointed that I am going to miss the opening, but I look forward to seeing the reactions to it online.

Oh, and here is my little offering…

"Take your Stinking Paws off my Heart". 30 x 40. Oil and Acrylic on Canvas. © Mark Tavares

“Take your Stinking Paws off my Heart”. 30 x 40. Oil and Acrylic on Canvas. © Mark Tavares

Seriously, if you are in town over the next month, go check out this show! It’s going to be FUN!

Thanks for looking!


H.R. Giger

Greetings once again!

Well, the “Godzilla:All Art Attack” group show has been a success. The opening brought in a huge crowd, and the event was chronicled on several important websites. Taylor and Eric should be very proud. I am very happy that I am included in such a fun event. Of course, that has made coming up with something better for the next show, “Planet of the Apes: The Evolution”, a much harder task. I have the “bones” for several decent ideas. The problem is that I can’t, as yet, quite figure out how to properly assemble those bones into a decent painting.

Just to give my mind a break, I thought I might work on something else for the moment. As you may have heard, noted Swiss Surrealist painter and sculptor, Hans Ruedi Giger, passed away last week at the age of 74. In case there is someone reading this who might NOT know, H.R. Giger is probably most famous for designing and helping to create the titular creature from the 1979 horror film “Alien”. Many considered his work to be genius. I am not sure about that. It was, however, intense, fascinating, and inspirational to generations of creature creators and nightmare designers.

I had thought about doing a tribute piece that involved his most well-known creation, but there are plenty of those on the Internet already. Instead, I chose to do what I always do and focus on the man himself. Giger himself was as intense and surreal in appearance as anything he created with his airbrush. A most interesting character indeed.

Mark Tavares's painting of H. R. Giger

11 x 15. Acrylic on Watercolor Paper. © Mark Tavares


Rest in Peace.



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Godzilla All Art Attack art show

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful Sunday honoring the Mothers in your life! In addition to being thankful for the Mothers in my life, I am also quite proud to announce that a new art show in which I have taken part opened this weekend. The “Godzilla All Art Attack art show opened to the public on Sunday. The show is being presented by “Creature Features” on Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank, CA, to commemorate the opening of the new “Godzilla” film this Friday, May 16. There is a huge display of artistic talent on display and I am honored to be a part of that crowd. Here is my piece entitled “Steve Martin’s Impending Regret”.

My Godzilla painting "Steve Martin's Impending Regret"

28 x 22. Oil and Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

The original is listed for sale in my “Current Work” portfolio. I have also made prints available through Fine Art America. Simply click on the “BUY PRINTS” link and it will take you right to the store.

If you find yourself in the Burbank area during the month of May, do yourself a favor and check out the show! (BTW, it’s FREE!) Click HERE for info!

Thanks for looking!


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