Sunday, December 30, 2012

Portrait of the car owner as a young man


Insert standard apology for my recent lack of posts here.  The holidays and a number of other factors conspired against my blogging ambitions.  But that's eggnog under the bridge now that the holidays are more or less past us at this point.

Speaking of the holidays, I was commissioned recently to do a unique portrait in time for Christmas.  The portrait, which is of a young man and a super awesome ride he owned years ago (a 69 Z28 Camaro for those of you keeping score at home), was drawn using a number of old family photographs for reference.  These had to be supplemented with photos of similar Z28s I found on the intertubes.  Side note: Years ago, before the prevalence of Google, reference images simply had to be pulled from magazines and newspapers and any other available source.  Illustrators usually kept large file cabinets full images they'd collected over the years.  The convenience and ease of using Google images for reference in my illustrations is not lost on me.  Ever.

I think I may have mentioned before my fondness for drawing.  This fondness extends to just about everything.  Cars, however, have never come easily to me.  I was never the kid who drew cars (I stuck with dinosaurs and ninjas for the most part) and, as an adult, I've rarely been asked to draw a car in anything other than an ancillary way (as background, for instance).  Until now, that is.  I figured it would be difficult for me and I was right.  Unlike faces and animals and any number of other organic subjects, a car is a precise, symmetrical object.  And this one gave me fits.

I went through at least four different sketches of the car, trying different angles and perspectives.  They all looked pretty bad.  I won't post them.  I finally came up with one that was acceptable-ish.  As difficult and unpleasant as roughing out the car's body was, the opposite was true for the coloring.  I found, in spite of my automotive phobia, it was super fun to do the paint and the chrome.

Ultimately, I think this illustration came together nicely and I'm pretty happy with the result.  Still, I won't make a habit of drawing cars if I can help it.


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