Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shining, Shimmering, Splendid - A Pinup of Princess Jasmine

I've always loved classic pinup art. Those paintings by masters like the great Gil Elvgren were always so attractive to me, and it wasn't just because of the beautiful women in them. It was because artistically speaking they were simplifications of reality. Elvgren was especially a master of simplifying everything so that his paintings had a nice graphic quality in addition to form-based rendering.
Although I've always admired and looked up to artists who could pull off the pinup genre really well, I've never really set out to do any of my own until recently. And in this case the idea to do a pinup of Princess Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin was really more of an accident. While I was working on another painting, I got the serendipitous image of Jasmine reclining ever so sensually on her palace balcony in the moonlight. So I started sketching it out in between sessions working on my other projects and little by little I eventually finished it. 
The key difference though between my pinups and those of the artists that I admire was how I wanted to depict the ladies. In most pinup art the woman is staring right at the viewer and smiling while intentionally posing for the viewer. While there's nothing wrong with that, I instead wanted to capture more intimate moments because I wanted my pinups to have a candid quality to them.
So I present to you now "Shining, Shimmering, Splendid," the first in what I'm hoping will be a long series of Disney pinups done in my style.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Long Beach Comic Con 2014

I’ll be exhibiting at this year’s Long Beach Comic Con 2014 on the weekend of September 27-28th. The event, which will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center, will be open on Saturday from 10 – 7 pm and on Sunday from 10 – 5. Tickets are $30 for Saturday and $20 for Sunday. All of the info can be found at
I’ll be exhibiting new artwork as well as selling some old favorites. As usual I’ll also be giving away free prints and small posters for my fans, so be sure to follow via Facebook or Twitter for the announcement of the prizes and how to be able to enter the contests.
I hope to meet some of you there!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Assassin's Creed: Unity Chapter 2 Online!

The second chapter of the Assassin's Creed: Unity promotional site is up and features 2 of my paintings with cool layering and animation effects. They were either based on or inspired by storyboards originally provided by the client. These scenes are intended to tell stories of key historic moments leading up to the French Revolution. If you're a fan of the franchise or of concept art in general, I think you'll definitely like the site:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Drawing Tutorials -The Foreshortened Figure

I’ve always enjoyed the act of teaching – helping someone else to understand a concept a little better is one of those unexplainable joys for me. It’s why I spent many semesters as a Teacher’s Aid while at Art Center and even more so why I’ve spent the past two years teaching on and off at the LA Academy of Figurative Art.
I’ve had a few people online ask me for drawing tips over the last year, and normally I just take the time out right then and there to answer their questions. However, drawing isn’t something that can be thoroughly explained through text alone, which is why I’ve decided to compose a set of Drawing Tutorials for people to download and have. So far I’ve created some for drawing the human head and for the figure in foreshortening. I plan to create more as time allows and as interest in them increases if they’re actually helping people.
If you have any feedback on them or suggestions, please write me as I’d love to know how to improve them for the benefit of people who actually need them. Until then, keep drawing!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Assassin's Creed: Unity - The Guillotine

As I've mentioned in a previous blog post, I've been working on the promotional campaign for the upcoming Assassin's Creed: Unity game by Ubisoft. I had such a blast working on those paintings that once it ended I had to do one more! So I drew inspiration from one of the most iconic elements of the French Revolution - the dreaded guillotine.

In this scene a French captain addresses an unseen crowd moments before the deadly blade is to be dropped on the poor prisoner's head, completely unaware that he is being watched by our Assassin Arno, who has a different outcome in mind.

Since I can't share the official artwork I did until after the game comes out, I hope this extra piece wets your appetite in the mean time :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New Web Comic Strip "Forever Life's Intern"

I’ve been really entertained and inspired by  web comics recently that I decided to create some when I feel I have a good enough joke or idea. While I don’t plan to become the next “The Oatmeal,” I do hope to at least generate a chuckle if not point out some contradictions in the daily mechanics of life.
So without further adieu I present my new web comic aptly titled “Forever Life’s Intern.” Since I’m such a big comic book nerd, this first strip chronicles the discussion between two comic book fans as they discuss the complexities of their appreciation for Batman and/or Superman. It was born out of my puzzlement by the fact that so many Batman fans out there seem to think that hating Superman is a prerequisite to liking Batman. If you ask me, I say “why not both?”
Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Assassin's Creed: Unity Promo Campaign Art

I'm super excited to announce that I'm getting to work on the promo campaign for the new Assassin's Creed game - Assassin's Creed: Unity by Ubisoft. This installment of the franchise takes place on the eve of the French Revolution and is also the first title to feature a multiplayer gameplay component.

As part of the promotional campaign Ubisoft is launching mini-stories that tie in their main protagonist with key moments of the revolution on their site. Chapter 1 of 3 is live now, and it features my paintings with some minimal animation and layering effects. The second and third one are mine. Original storyboards were provided by the client. Hope you like it!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Just Say the Word" - Dwayne The Rock Johnson as Black Adam

Earlier this week Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson teased that he will be in an upcoming DC film as a character that has the power of Superman, is NOT Green Lantern, and finished it off by stating, “Just say the word.”
In case you’re not a total fanboy or don’t happen to know much of DC mythology, he is most likely referring to the character of Captain Marvel, who is in real life young Billy Batson who at the proclamation of the word “Shazam” transforms into the adult Captain Marvel.
Though seeing The Rock as a hero would be cool, I personally would prefer to see him as Black Adam, the villainous counterpart to Captain Marvel. Not only does he already bear a physical similarity to the character, but seeing Dwayne in the role of a villain would be really satisfying, especially in going up against the boy scout image of Henry Cavill’s Superman.
This illustration was originally intended to be a quick photoshop chop job, and if you would’ve asked me last week if I would have ever imagined myself painting The Rock as a villain, I would’ve easily told you no. But as I started to put down on the screen what I was seeing in my head, it just became too much fun not to finish as an illustration. Plus, I’ve always enjoyed Black Adam and the whole lightning thing so those two things definitely didn’t make it harder to want to paint.
In any case I’m willing to bet DC will announce who he’ll be officially playing sometime this weekend at Comic-Con.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Many Faces of Batman - The Best Batman Fan Art

Hi, everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I was traveling for work and then subsequently got a terrible cold. Anyhow I'm all better now and have been working on some cool things about which I'll post very soon. In the mean time I thought I'd share some news that I got this morning.

My Batman art got featured by ForeverGeek alongside some other really cool Batman fan illustrations. What I thought was really cool was the different styles used and the interpretation of the visual aesthetic of the character. Please check it out when you have a moment.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Congratulations to the Winners of my FREE SONIC PRINT GIVEAWAY!

As promised the winners of my free Sonic the Hedgehog "Underhog" print giveaway were selected today. Thank you to all who entered, and especially to my friends who helped make the selection of the winners even more random. If you find yourself one of the lucky winners, you'll be contacted by email directly for your information. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

All Work and No Play Makes Spidey a Sad Boy

I suppose this is what happens when you cross fan art with social commentary. I came up with the idea for this gag illustration after watching “The Amazing Spiderman 2″ on opening weekend, but only just now got around to finishing it. It pretty much summarizes how I felt about the new franchise, the larger Marvel cinematic universe and the realities of binding contracts.

For the unaware, Spiderman is currently being distributed by Sony Pictures, who acquired the rights from Marvel back when Marvel was almost going bankrupt and needed the money. Because of this, and a legal clause mandating Sony to release a new Spiderman film every other year in order to maintain the rights indefinitely, our favorite web-head will never be able to be a part of the larger Marvel cinematic universe barring some unforeseen legal arrangement between Sony and Disney (who owns the rights to the Avengers and most other Marvel properties).
Seeing as how the internet moves on to the next hot topic while still chewing on the one it has, I wish I would’ve posted this before “ASM 2″ came out, but as they say ‘better late than never.’ Who knows? Maybe someone will re-post this next year when the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” comes out.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sonic the Hedgehog "Underhog" Exclusive Print Giveaway

When I first started sketching what would become my Sonic the Hedgehog themed piece, "Always Root for the Underhog," I never would've imagined the positive reaction it would end up having with so many people. So as a thank you for all the kind words expressed to me about it, and even a few arguments as to whether or not he could beat the Flash or Superman, I decided to GIVEAWAY a few of my limited edition signed prints for FREE  (as I'm known to do from time to time).

How to Enter

If you already follow me through my mailing list, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger or Tumblr, then you're already signed up. If not, you can follow me on any one or all of those sites. The more you do, the greater your chance to win.

How to Win

1. Link, Share, Reblog, and/or Retweet (each method counts as ONE entry, up to FOUR entries per person)
- If you have your own individual blog, mention this contest with a LINK back to this page.
- If you prefer Facebook,  SHARE this post to your own wall and mention my Facebook page MauricioAbrilArt
- If you're on Twitter, look out for my contest tweet and retweet it.
- If you're on Tumblr, look out for my contest post and reblog it.
2. Email me at with 1. your name 2. hometown (not your address, I'm just curious to see how far this contest reaches) and 3. proof of your entry/entries by providing either screenshots or links.
3. Each email received will be assigned a number for each entry completed, and the winners will be chosen by selecting at random from a pool of numbers.
3. Keep a lookout on my Facebook and/or Twitter as I announce the winners May 30th.
Thanks for looking and good luck!

Monday, May 12, 2014

"POPcade" Show a Success! Pt 1

Popzilla Gallery’s 5th art show entitled “POPcade” opened this past Saturday to a HUGE crowd, and I was privileged enough to have had two pieces in the show. Popzilla’s hook is to take a specific theme and combine it with pop culture, and this time was no different. With over 70 artists and more than 120 pieces, “POPcade” mashed video games both old and new with elements from television, movies, and books like I had never seen before.

The show had everything from a painting depicting Link lost in Bikini Bottom to a drugged out Mario in a painting inspired by the movie poster for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” It was a fantastic turnout, and I am happy to share that both of my pieces were sold halfway through the night.

If I can be honest, when I first agreed to participate in the event I had no idea what to do. I was excited by the theme, but I was petrified by the endless options at my disposal. Then I remembered that I used to LOVE playing Sonic the Hedgehog and thought about what I could do with the character. He runs really fast and collects rings along the way, so I started to think  if there were any famous rings from pop culture and what could Sonic do with those.
That wasn’t really inspiring me either, so then I focused back on his speed and it automatically hit me. What if Sonic was racing somebody? And not just anybody but somebody incredibly fast? And then I asked myself what character in pop culture is incredibly fast? The Flash! And Superman! And in fact there was even a big event in comic book history where Superman raced the Flash. So I thought it’d be funny to see this little blue-haired hedgehog inserting himself into this famous race determined to prove he’s the fastest of them all!

My second contribution to the show was an entry for the “Video Game Vixens” Pinup series. Since I wasn’t early in registering for the event, almost all of my favorite female characters from video game lore had already been reserved (each artist could only do one and each character could only be done once). Luckily nobody had asked for Harley Quinn from the Rocksteady Arkham games so I chose to go with the version from “Arkham City.”

The show will be open for 4 weeks so all of the great art can still be viewed at the Rothick Art Haus (170 S. Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA) during their normal operating hours.
I hope everyone had a great weekend and a special Mother’s Day if you’re in the U.S! I’ll be posting a more in-depth look at my process for each of the two pieces next for those that are interested so stay tuned. Until the next time!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"POPcade" A Video Game Tribute Show at the Rothick Art Haus

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be a part of POPzilla’s upcoming gallery show “POPcade” which will be a pop art tribute to video games old and new! The show opens this Saturday May 10 at 6pm (till 10 pm) and will run for 4 weeks. It will be held down in Anaheim, CA at the Rothic Art Haus where I’ll be exhibiting two brand new pieces that I did specifically for this show.

The first is a tribute to one of my favorite video game characters from when I was a kid. Here’s a thumbnail preview of my painting showcasing everyone’s favorite blue-haired hedgehog :) I’ll post the full image after this 

The second is my contribution to the “Video Game Vixen” pinup series that the gallery is holding. Since all of my favorite female characters from video game lore were already taken by the time I had signed up, I asked if I could illustrate someone from the Rocksteady Batman “Arkham” games, and they said yes! So I chose to go with one of my favorite comic characters in general – Harley Quinn from the “Batman: Arkham City” game. Sneak preview now, full image after this weekend so stay tuned :)
Hope you can make it out!
170 S. Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, California 92805
Saturday, May 10
6 pm – 10 pm

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

WonderCon 2014 at Anaheim Wrap Up

WonderCon 2014 was this past weekend down in Anaheim, CA and I had a blast meeting a lot of great new people. If you’ve never been to a comic-esque convention, then suffice it to say that it was a three day gathering of artists, exhibitors, vendors, fans, creators, publishers and other entertainment organizations all in the spirit of the characters and stories that span the gamut of comic books,  movies, literature, tv and anything else you might imagine.

This gentleman was one of two winners for my free print giveaway during the first day. He is a huge Batman fan and was excited to have a large print of my “Solemn Knight” painting showing Batman reflecting on arriving at a crime scene a few moments too late.

These good folks were one of the two winners of the free art raffle held the first day. The gentleman in the center won the Superman print from my upcoming animatic for his brother who is the big Superman fan in the family.

He liked my art so much that he decided to come by the booth the next day and commission a sketch for his Superman blank cover comic. For those that don’t know what blank cover comics are, they’re essentially complete comic books printed without the cover with the intention that you can either create your own or have an artist draw it. So I was incredibly honored when he asked me as it was not only the first time someone has ever commissioned work from me at a convention, but also because he wanted me to draw two of my favorite characters ever on his comic book. Talk about pressure! I was starting to get nervous because I didn’t know what to draw, and I didn’t want to draw something simple or derivative.

But then I thought about the idea that Superman and Batman complement each other the way that the yin and yang symbols do and then it hit me – draw them as a yin and yang with their capes comprising the shape of the circle. I was incredibly happy with my concept and even more so because he loved it and was happy with it. Perhaps one day I’ll turn it into a full colored illustration :)
Hope everyone had a great weekend! Part 2 coming soon.