Death Metal Illustration

SO… as I mentioned in previous posts, is going to be more fun / sci-fi / comic oriented art like this:


(promo art for a story titled Death Metal, a comic I never fully latched onto enough to warrant finishing) and will be a portfolio dedicated to fine art images I’ve been working on. This illustration is an example of me having fun with inks and subject matter. Although I didn’t continue working on this comic story, for a time girls armed with chainsaws facing horror scenarios got my imagination going. Maybe it’s all of those B-movies I grew up on?  Maybe it was the Evil Dead reboot? Maybe I’ll revisit this subject eventually but for now I think I’ll let it lie!

As for the inking… I don’t think this is the best example of my work! I feel like it’s a weird blend of both tentative but at times heavy handed. It’s amazing how much thought and effort go into sketching and penciling something, and then, what I think can accurately be described as insecure inking, can sap the life right out of it. Might do well with some color but I’ve got a lot of other work to get through before I jump in with that!


“This Old House” Illustration

Dug through the archives to find this – another example of my old acrylic technique, illustration for a story called “This Old House” published in the now defunct, Blank Canvas Magazine. 

This Old House

Although it was ultimately published (in all of its glory), I had a habit of downplaying my older work. It was an awkward scene from an interesting play, wherein a newlywed couple cracks a hole in the wall of their house and begins pulling out miscellaneous items, including an old dress (I tried to find a link to the original story – but googling “this old house” didn’t turn up much beyond home improvement sites.) As a bit of self-criticism, I could’ve done more to make the dress appear old fashioned, as well as make those folds agree a little more convincingly, but what’s done is done! I think the rest of the technique holds together fairly well. Do you agree?


Mezcal Tee Shirt Design

Here’s the design for the new Mezcal Cantina (Niche Hospitality Group, Worcester MA)  tee shirts. Similarly themed from the past Mezcal post, this time I had some fun drawing a room full of calaveras rocking out, recently found out it will be used as the staff’s tee shirt design.

Mezcal Leominster Tee Shirt

This was all created as vector art, which not only means that it was easier to add all of those rib cages and teeth, but it can also be enlarged for a wall decal, billboard, etc… without losing any clarity.

Old Children’s book work

At sort of a loss for what to post today, so here’s an old painting I did for a Children’s book which unfortunately was not picked up and therefore I don’t have many other paintings quite like this! As for the project being dropped, no hard feelings (especially at this point in time), and at least I got to work on my acrylic technique and had this promo piece to add to the portfolio.

Kid in tree Childrens book promo

As you can see (maybe?) I was into this, “I want to be Norman Rockwell,” phase because I got the feeling that that’s what the writer was looking for.  At the end of the day I think I want to see myself as being more “edgy” but then I look at this and think, “nothin’ wrong with a little Norman Rockwell,” right? But then the world’s so full of imitators, what’s going to be that thing only McNemesis does and stands out?? Well, better stop typing and get working on it.


Theodore Ryken in Bruges

Theodore Ryken in Bruges (30″ x 40″. oil on wood) was the first portrait commissioned by Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, MA. Seeing as I’d posted sketches for this piece last year I thought I should follow up and show how it came out.

Theodore Ryken

Ahhh, backgrounds. While I was painting this I kept asking how I got here, and wasn’t this initially commissioned as a portrait of Theodore Ryken? Why am I still painting all of these bricks?

Well, that’s what happens sometimes. This portrait was well received, and I’m pretty satisfied with my brick renderings placing Ryken (as a colleague commented), “in his natural habitat.” Ryken was responsible for the formation of the Xaverian Brotherhood, a group Catholic teachers focused on bringing education to the poor, hence the open book and outstretched hand. It was important to the client that the religious garments were accurate to the time, down to the detail of which side Xaverian brothers wear their rosary beads, and the proper height that the crucifix would be worn.


St. Francis Xavier

This 30″ x 40″ oil on wood portrait (icon?) of Saint Francis Xavier was commissioned by Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, MA, photographed and transferred to a banner for use at school events.

St. Francis Xavier

I’ve always enjoyed Asian landscape paintings, and have experimented with Sumi-e technique, so it was fun for me to work in that style using a completely different medium. We (the headmaster, and a few trusted members of the administration, and myself) went through a lot of different ideas of what sort of background setting would suit St. Francis, and I was pretty happy that we settled on this one! As a result, not only was I able to paint some of those mountains, but I also enjoyed mixing a lot of symbolic imagery in to the piece. For example, I’d wanted to add a young plant or tree of some sort to the foreground, representing the new growth that would come from his work, and chose bamboo because of its symbolism in Asian culture having to do with perseverance. There’s also the water flowing from his sleeve (virtually) representing Baptism… but I won’t go on anymore! See for yourself and if seems strange (the footwear, the Shinto gate, the red obi etc…) know that there’s probably a reason for it, and don’t hesitate to ask!

Also, this is probably one of the last fine art posts I’ll be making to the mcnemesis blog. From now on I’ll be posting a strictly fine arts related portfolio at and keeping all of my comic book / illustration work here at McNemesis. The Fine Arts site is still somewhat under construction as I re-organize files and add to the portfolio, but take a look there if that’s the sort of stuff you’re interested in, should be completed soon!


Dr. Gonzo’s

Here’s a design that was used for Dr. Gonzo’s, ahem. “Wild Beaver Rub” tee-shirt design a few years back. It’s an old one, yeah, and for some reason I don’t think I ever posted it before..?

Dr. Gonzo Wild Beaver Rub

I’d initially drawn something a little more straightforward, wanting to show off my semi-realism skills if at all possible, I guess. I thought the concept for the shirt was wacky enough that contrasting it with this kind of art would be funny in a deadpan kind of way.
I'm So Hot Right Now




Drumpf am winning again

I posted this pig-nose Trump on Facebook a while ago (gut reaction to some statements he’d made at the time) but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to throw it up on the ol’ blog in response to the fact that this guy’s pretty much cinched the presidential nomination. We’ll see what happens… Wouldn’t mind working on another one on the same theme but I’m busy doing up sketches for a client at the moment so it’ll have to wait.

We’ll see what happens…




Illustrator, Artist. Worcester, MA – Michael McMenemy's Illustration & Comic Portfolio