Childhood art

James / March 6th, 2011

I took a painting class when I was 12 years old, inspired by the work of Bob Ross. I remember being really frustrated with these paintings because Bob Ross made it look so easy. It wasn’t.

Some weird nightmare made onto scratch board with Indian paint. (around age 13) The teachers must have thought I was really disturbed.

Another weird drawing (probably around age 15) inspired by the vampire’s shadow in Nosferatu.

Grayscale painting. I was just mixing my palate when my imagination took hold and these evil tormented faces emerged. (around age 18)

Inspired by Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” album. (age 17)

Sketch of Rob Zombie. (age 18)

Chess set I made in wood shop class when I was 13.


  • Jenslyn87

    March 6, 2011 at 9:17 am

    That’s quite impressive :O

  • Lodmot

    March 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

    That’s fucking awesome! Way better than what I can do.

  • March 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I like that chess set.

  • scronan

    March 6, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Cool stuff James. No pictures of you yelling and smashing crappy Nintendo games though, lol. 😉

    Wood shop…man those were the days. I still have an oak table and a cabinet I made back then sitting in my living room right now. The cabinet was designed specifically to hold NES games (and I got teased when I brought the game carts into the shop and measured all the dimensions so it would hold 60 or so games). Then I used it for holding CDs in college…and just a few months ago I returned it to its original purpose and now its holding my new collection of NES and SNES favorites.

    Do you still have the chess set?

  • March 6, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Metallica FTW! dudee that is very cool.

  • March 6, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Paintings are surprisingly good! Do you still draw today, at all?

  • Whitoko

    March 6, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Those are pretty good James, nothing to be ashamed of for the least.
    The only thing I can draw are my own hands… by outlining them on a piece of paper!


    March 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Do you have a close-up of the chess board? i would like to see more detailed picture of the pieces. They look pretty interesting.

  • Butch Bitch

    March 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I love the nightmare image you did at age 13. It reminds me of the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

  • horrorfanboy

    March 6, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Awesome art work, James. The grayscale painting is amazing.

  • March 6, 2011 at 10:25 am

    There’s some good Bob Ross paintings in there. Thats how I started painting in oils. Then I branched out when I was in college. Now its only comic book illustration. Hope to find time inbetween projects to paint again someday. Thanks for sharing!!

  • March 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

    For some reason, I too used to watch some Bob Ross when I was a kid. I don’t know why, but I think it was his giant afro that reeled me in. Not sure if they are any repeats of his show on now, but I’ll check it out.

  • March 6, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Bob Ross > *

  • March 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Wow, James, you really do got talent. Do you still paint? If not, you should. If I had the money I would so buy one of your paintings. Thanks for sharing another one of your many talents with us. Have a good week. : )

  • Joe

    March 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I can see the nightmare paintings may have started the independent horror film craze that you are deeply passionate about now. The paintings are kick ass, and I’m on here ever day checking out your new stuff. Keep up the kick ass’ness!

  • Srceodizno

    March 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Holy shit that’s fucking unbelievable. I’d never be able to draw like that in a million years. I never knew that James was such an artist.

  • bigfan

    March 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    the Nosferatu character looks the same as the person in the nightmare art you drew. with the long fingers and hand .

  • benjigoenitz

    March 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Very good art James, you are a very talented person =).

  • March 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Extremely impressive, good sir. That artwork is awesome, especially considering the age at which you drew them.

    (Sarcasm)Why are you making Mike do all the artwork? You have talent, you should do some artwork!

  • March 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    For someone who’s primary trade isn’t painting, those are pretty solid.

  • atomichead777

    March 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Those paintings are superb! And that nightmare picture looks very imaginitive, like in a Tim Burton style. This is nice!

  • TomM

    March 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Is there anything you can’t do? Nice artwork; really good for not being your “main job”. I really liked the chessboard you made in wood shop. Keep posting these things!

  • adecourv

    March 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Don’t sell yourself short – These are incredible.

  • March 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    These are fantastic. I absolutely love the Master Of Puppets and Rob Zombie one. \m/

  • tenchibr

    March 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Here’s a suggestion for the future:

    – You have proved you can draw, and Mike has proved he can make videogame videos.

    – SPIN OFF! “Motherfucking Mike: the Show”!

    – You draw his title card, and he talks about glitches in games!

  • Jimbo

    March 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Nice happy little trees.

  • bend3r

    March 6, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    The nightmare one reminds me of Nick Blinko artwork

  • Valis77

    March 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Love the Titanium White.

  • ralphpotato

    March 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    That is so funny. It’s like nice little trees and then OH SHIT! THIS KID IS DISTURBED! Lol

  • Etkar.H

    March 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    James…you always make my day with your stories. 🙂

  • ZidaneTribal

    March 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I’m 17 now and I can’t even draw a stick figure.

  • Rockymyowen

    March 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    This shit’s great!

  • Vinny1138

    March 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    James, Wow. For 12 years old, those are some pretty impressive paintings that are practically on par with Bob Ross. When you said you could paint, I didn’t think it’d look That GOOD. Great pictures James, Especially the nightmare pictures.

    Do you still have that wooden chess set, and can you still play chess with it?

  • Kiarachu

    March 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Wow!This is some awesome art!I like very much the last of the landscape painting.And the nightmare one is amazing!
    I hope that you still continue to do some painting/drawing practice because you are very talented!
    It’s not so late..I’m 32 and I started to draw some time ago thanks to the DSi application “Flipnote Studios” and “Art Accademy”

  • Paulballsftw

    March 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Wow I used to watch Bob Ross all the time too when I was a kid. James you and I had the similar childhood. I am 34 and I had a best friend who is around 31 and we were into the same movies, music, video games and pretty much everything else as you growing up. I am sure if we ever met we would be able to chat for hours and hours.

  • Senter

    March 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Wow i’m jealous. You’re truly multitalented. Art ended in an insufficient for me.

  • CyanideInsanity

    March 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I’d guess you we’re preemptively drawing what was to come later before you even knew you’d be playing horrible games for ALL ETERNITY! lol

  • March 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks, I’m not sure if I still have the chess set or not. Probably the pieces, but not the board. There might exist some more pictures of it though. I found some more of my childhood stuff, a lot of it is very odd to say the least. When I get around to scanning them, I’ll post more of it.

    Always remember Bob Ross, the happiest man to ever live.

  • albert21

    March 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm


  • March 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Wow james….those landscape paintings are really good..

  • AikoujOi

    March 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Very nice artwork James. They’re really good

  • March 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I have never herd of anyone who took LSD at 13 years old until today! At least that’s what it looks like you where on during the Nightmare sketch..Man I could stare at that and just zone out. Great stuff!!!

    You and Mike should work on a piece together, kind of like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing 😉 where One side is yours and one is his. Just an idea, but either way, you should make more!

  • St_Cerberus_Engel

    March 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    That’s really cool. Nightmares can be a great source of inspiration. H.R. Geiger paints for therapeutic purposes due to suffering from night terrors and he is one of my favorite artists. Birth Machine is one of my favorites of his.

    I love the one you drew when you were 13. It reminds me a lot of the scene from Dr. Seuss’ Grinch Night when the Grinch opens his Paraphernalia Wagon.

  • Schloss Ritter

    March 7, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Nice work, James. Puts my old amateur work to shame.

  • dakaarts

    March 7, 2011 at 1:44 am

    james, 2 things stunned me:
    1. U kick ass drawing! :O those pictures are awesome! (upload more!)
    2. U like heavy metal?! ROCK ON JAMES >:D \m/ (tell us ur fave bands 😀 mine is Trivium and BFMV )

  • March 7, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Good stuff James. I’m a very right brained person as well, and grew up into a lot of the same things including painting/drawing, music, film. I think what keeps me coming back to Cinemassacre every day is how well i relate my childhood to yours, and i think thats common amongst a lot of Cinemassacre followers. Only wish I would have also gotten into film and directing at a young age too man, you’re stupid inspirational.

  • whyhuman

    March 7, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Holy crap..These are pretty good. Especially for the ages you drew them at.I would have to say i like the Scary Guy and the Psychoschizofrantic the best.Good work James.I am a true fan.Artist like you have inspired me to create my own website with skits and short animations.My site is still under construction and the skits are still being made.The site is called and should be ready in a few weeks.I have to say i didn’t realize how much work it took until me and my brother started filming.For now the only thing we have released is a few animations on youtube.The main character in this one is somewhat of a tribute to Nosferatu.

  • March 7, 2011 at 7:01 am

    i would love to get my hand over that wood chess.mind if i borrow it :p
    like ur drawing btw. fav one is Rob Zombie. he looks like he has problems tho XD

  • ZackFair

    March 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Very Nice james.

  • LCmiracle

    March 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I’m totally gonna use that Grayscale painting of daemonic face as a album cover if I were a band manager

  • March 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Wow, i really like the Metallica art!

  • March 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Awesome paintings and drawings. Bob Ross would be proud.

  • March 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I like the nature paintings and the nightmare painting.

  • March 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I’m 14 and I have many of the same pictures, but the psyche I have everything in order)).
    Cool pictures, James!

  • March 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I downloaded the Nightmare picture. It’s just so awesome in a wired way.

  • March 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Holy fuck James this is awesome

    i-I am NOT that good at art at all

  • Boneychuck

    March 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Those look like some happy trees 🙂

  • OgrimD

    March 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Nice James, i love the greyscale painting.

  • Strazdas

    March 8, 2011 at 6:04 am

    At 12 you drove at least twice as good as i draw being 21 🙂

  • TheBunbryist

    March 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

    So… How much for the greyscale?

  • March 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    your talent is an embarrassement to me

    I am no where near as talented as you

    Now lets get this straight:

    All I have in this world is my boom and my word and I don’t break em for nobody

  • SonicX007

    March 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Nice disturbed painting, hope u got better XP

  • March 8, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Some of these are really impressive. The nightmarish one looks like an old etching, it’s really really cool. It sort of reminds me of savage pencil, and that’s a big compliment. savage pencil is a British underground comics artist. check out his site

  • March 9, 2011 at 3:08 am


  • walkingstickman

    March 9, 2011 at 4:57 am

    I might be looking at it too close but looking at the nightmare picture, it sure has alot of castlevania and twilight zone influences in it along with horror elements in horror films.

    Also when you mentioned Bob Ross, I couldn’t stop thinking about this:

  • Faun

    March 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Those are cool, especially the first paintings. They’re very pretty. 😛

  • Undertaker

    March 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    wow these r really good. i love how artistic u r James

  • March 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    The demon picture reminds me of the demon scence in ‘Night Of The Demon’ (1957) !

  • newageretroryan

    March 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Re: Grayscale painting

    You cannot grasp the true form of James’ art!

    Paula fainted!

    *Jeff got sunstroke*

  • March 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    without sounding like an asshole. How is it your art work got worse as you got older? lol

  • GoochSniper

    March 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    The bottom nature pic and the nightmare scratchboard are actually very nice pieces of work. Any chance of auctioning this stuff off?

  • March 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    @GoochSniper It has setimental value. There is no way- and I repeat, NO WAY he’s going to auction stuff like this away. 30 years later, it’s going to be collecting dust in an attic, forgotten, if you were to buy it.

  • TheMadHound321

    March 11, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Its good to see im not the only person who Has disturbing images in my mind. In year six camp in a rainforest all the pictures where on a laptop and i kept seeing faces in them which no one else ever saw.

  • March 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I really dig the indian wood scratching and the tormented faces.

    I don’t like Bob Ross all that much but I suppose he’s good for motivating people

  • March 13, 2011 at 11:09 am

    TMNT is hot, so hot right now, that you will want to check it out after checking out Jame’s art, he is an amazingly talented man.

    TMNT cartoons here, totally free, have I gone made from to much BOOM! no I am actually a mad keen James fan and love his work !!!!


  • ulmuchiha

    March 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    you might be able to give mike a run for his money 😀
    You should try making a title card 😀

  • acquiesce67

    March 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    The fifth one down is my favourite, it looks great.

  • adamL

    March 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    DAMN JAMES! Anyone who does a sketch of Rob Zombie from the cover of Hellbilly Deluxe is fucking awesome. But your teachers might have been right about you. : P

    The second set of mountains, I needed a moment to believe you painted that when you were thirteen.

  • March 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Those first couple of paintings just need a bit of this and then they are just awesome

  • Jaymzz2

    March 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    love the scratch work…i still do that to this day…fell in love with it in HS….the others are awesome as well much better than i have ever done

  • BigCisME

    March 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Wow James, these are really good especially the one done on scratch board. I am 100% serious when i say that looks like a professional made that, and the fact that you were 13 amazes me. What other hidden talents are you hiding?

  • Freaknut

    March 21, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Loved the nature landscapes. After reading some of the other comments, I agree that I had trouble believing they were done by a 13 year old. I was seriously impressed. They shoulda gave you your own show. “Happy-Go-Paint Time with James Rolfe”. I know I’d watch it. 🙂

  • chrisRAWRZ

    March 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    woah i love the paintings you did with the mountains it looks really cool and i love the nightmare one you did with scratch board.

  • ClassicGamer

    March 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    These things are works of art! Certainly better than me at age 12, all I can draw is Samus, Link, and swords. xD Have you ever displayed these in public(other than here)?

  • quixote

    March 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

    As an art teacher for gr 6-7 I would jump up and down with joy if I had half my kids give me those paintings at the top.

  • March 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    jesus that’s badass. you did some of that when you were 12???? god man, keep your ear on your head

  • Snaggleboot

    April 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Thats just uncanny, I made that same sketch of Rob Zombie from his album cover a few months ago, and I’m 18

    My sketch can be seen on deviantart if you’re interested

  • Born in the wrong time.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    The variey of your work is simply sublime.

  • Dial-V-for-Vicky

    July 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Amazing work, for when you were 12 🙂 keep up the GREAT work.

  • jimbosclice

    August 9, 2011 at 12:53 am

    holy shit fuck man

  • PhilipHanan

    September 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Wow. I mean WOW! I wasn’t half the artist you were at age 12. In fact, I’m still not half the artist you are at age 29.

  • popit

    April 24, 2012 at 5:10 am

    your a great artist.

  • PICKYmeansbusiness

    May 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

    The grayscale one is awesome. I see the vampire shadow from the second abstract painting in the scratch-board one too.

  • coleboswell

    May 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Bob Ross is the BEST! I’m a 21 century kid but still the 90’s and 80’s rock even though I’ve never lived at the time, but the shows and games are awesome! (I cant watch Bob Ross with out falling asleep).

  • July 26, 2012 at 7:52 am

    O___O Wonderful!I did not know what you are drawing too! Landscapes are made beautiful…
    I like it!

  • Maggie1983

    September 10, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Your nightmare paintings are more interesting than “happy little trees” anyway. lol

  • Edouard224

    October 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Im 15 and i can’t draw shit 🙁

  • Aitsuki

    October 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Very impressive James, didn’t know you enjoyed drawing also.

  • Jang Lee

    April 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Age 12, huh, really good for a youngster! The “Master of Puppets” is kind of radioheadesque, and these horrifiying paintings remind me a little of the illustrations in “Where the Wild Things Are”.

  • Trolmaster

    February 8, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    I’m 15 and my drawing are shit compared to you WHEN YOU WERE 13 !!!!

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