View Full Version : 55 Chevy WIP

03-20-2005, 04:43 PM
Hi everyone.
I haven't posted in awhile because of other projects. I have started another car and am posting the initial sketch and the start of the background. For those who follow my work this is Prismacolor on Stonhenge. It's about 12x15 inches. I guess I'm going to have to step it up on this one after seeing the Mustang that Lucio posted. What a painting!

Katherine T
03-20-2005, 04:49 PM
George - before you go any further - can you explain how you go about setting up your compositions. I'm always intrigued by how you get your cars to fit their backgrounds - especially as with all that shine you sometimes get quite a lot of reflected background in the car.


Karen Cardinal
03-20-2005, 04:51 PM
Ohhhhh yea George! I'll definately be watching! :D

I was going to say... I certainly wouldn't want to try to follow up Lucio's work. Is that fabulous or what!

I know you will stun us as well though! :D

03-20-2005, 05:30 PM

what color is this one going to be? My sil has this EXACT car right now in white and yellow combo. Its in cherry condition and runs great. They take it to the rod run in Temecula when that event occurs. Great fun! I can't wait to see wht you do with this one.


03-20-2005, 10:55 PM
Yes, George! Please give us (me) insight into your process?
Even a Blue Oval guy can appreciate a neat '55!

03-21-2005, 05:48 AM
the enthuisam is already stirred. i'll be watching. bill

03-21-2005, 05:54 AM
Hi George - I'm sitting on the edge of my seat! :) Nice rendering of the brickwork so far.


Rosa Weitzel
03-21-2005, 08:16 AM
I know it will be great, I love cars looking forward to seeing this one progress.
Had a 56 chev gold and yellow loved that car. Do you have a picture your working from?


03-21-2005, 12:02 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments. Katherine, when I go to car shows or some event that has cars on display I take tons of pictures. Some of the pictures will work as they are with just a little tweaking, by that I mean simplifying the area around the car or the distant background. Some pictures like the Packards that I last posted need something different to set them off. In that picture I thought that the old house would fit the era of the cars a bit better. Some pictures I just take everything out like people standing around, lawn chairs etc. and just let the car be the main object with just a very simple background like distant trees or hills as in the Indian motorcycle.
I have made a little progress so I'm posing a couple of pictures. The restaurant needed some going over (mainly the brickwork needed some variation and darkening) and I have started on the wheels and tires. I don't do every picture the same, meaning sometimes I do the background and sometimes I start on the car.

03-21-2005, 12:46 PM
Okay, George,

So you're still gonna make me wonder what color this is gonna be, huh??? :wink2:

Looking fine so far. (Like I could almost paint a car, NOT)


03-21-2005, 02:08 PM
Well I'm glad to see that your old, antique car is younger than me. Not by much, but still. :D

Thanks for doing a wip on this, it will be so much fun to watch you work!

Katherine T
03-21-2005, 05:23 PM
Thanks George

OK - so now tell us how you get that chrome to gleam! :D


03-21-2005, 07:14 PM
I'll tell you how chrome shines. There's really no trick to it at all. Think of chrome as mirror, or maybe a mirror in the house of mirrors at the carnival. A mirror with convex and concave shapes. Everything surrounding the chrome surface is reflected off of it. The simplest reflection is that of the sky, the horizon and the foreground. The sky starts at the top with a darker blue and as it nears the horizon it becomes lighter. The horizon (simplified) is a darker irregular line which could represent distant trees or hills. The foreground mimics the sky, meaning that the distance is light and as it approaches the near foreground it becomes darker. Now when you throw in surrounding objects like people, buildings, other cars or even the other parts of the same car they all get reflected from the chrome surface. When the surface is convex the shapes get elongated or stretched out and conversely when the surface is concave the shapes get squeezed together. Usually it's better to simplify the rendering because if you add too many elements the chrome doesn't have the typical look. There are times when a chrome element, like a flat bumper reflects nothing but the ground around it so you have to represent this by making the bumper green otherwise it wouldn't look correct.
I hope this explains "chrome" a little better for you.

03-21-2005, 07:44 PM
I was going to answer your question about the color in the post to Katherine but it ran a little long and I didn't know if there was a limit to the amount of text in one post. Unfortunately the colors aren't white and yellow, it's just fire engine red. White and yellow are hard colors to get reflections out of. Because they are light they just don't reflect like darker colors so therefore it's hard to get dramatic reflections. I'm sure you've seen a shiny black car with a nice paint job, the paint looks like it's a foot deep.
To answer the other question about my process I'm not sure exactly what you want but I'll give you a quick overview. I first find the picture of the car I want to paint with the angle that's interesting. Next I decide what kind of environment I want the car to be in for the background elements. Now I take my photograph and put it into Corel Draw and draw the outline shapes with a wireframe drawing. When you're drawing a car it needs to be exact and it takes long enough to do with colored pencil without adding more time for the sketch. Now I'll print out a copy of the line drawing and figure how I'm going to arrange my backround and sketch it out on the sheet. Once that's done I take my 8-1/2 x 11 to the copy store and get it enlarged to the size I'm going to use and then detail in my background on this sheet. I then darken the pencil lines with a fine black marker. I read a tip in Ann Kullberg's book about using a lightbox that I already have, namely my french doors. I tape my drawing sheet to the door and then position and tape my Stonehenge over this and lightly (very lightly) trace it. I tried using a mechanical pencil but even with an HB lead it sometimes seemed to scratch the paper so now I just use a #2 pencil that has been sharpened and then the tip just blunted off a little. Once sketched, I started coloring/painting. Like I said earlier, I sometimes do the car first and sometimes do the background. I took a piece of 1/2" mdf board about 24x24 and screwed a couple of legs to it so that it sits at about a 45 degree angle. This is my drawing board. It works like a small easel. I have a goose neck light with a spiral daylight flouescent bulb in it clamped to my board so that I can move it around. I use an inexpensive electric sharpener for my pencils and sticky tack for pigment removal.

03-21-2005, 10:27 PM
George! Thanks for the info. I am anxious to see this grow on paper!
I have a black 85 Mustang (LNor), and you are right on! When she's all washed polished and waxed, it seems I could just reach into the metal!
Are those Cragar mags on your 55? Nice job! :cool:

03-21-2005, 10:39 PM

thanks so very much for the detailed explanation! You are a very sharing individual! I also am a Corel fanatic and a certified expert of the draw product for several years having been a user since version 1. I just LOVE that program. It can do anything. I still use Photoshop and PSP for the raster stuff though.

This explanation helps me a lot. I understand exactly how you are doing this now. Your work is lovely. I am just going to tell you that I am thrilled that you are not making this model turquiose and white. In that very model year and color I made a hole in the dashboard with my head and am very lucky to be here to talk about it. Dad hit a tree after passing over some black ice. I was only 13 and I still carry over 200 stitches over my left eye. I loved the car, just not in that color combination any more. :crying:

I am really anxious to see how this one develops...do keep us posted. This is good.....um huh. My sil will love seeing this one too!!


bearded bob
03-23-2005, 03:36 PM
I just took one look at the reflections inside the wheel rim and went AAAAARGGGH!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :envy: Great work George, as always! And thanks so much for the commentary, really helpful.

03-23-2005, 04:03 PM
I haven't gotten too far but thought that I would post a couple more pictures of my progress. I have a few days off over Easter so I might get a little more done. I thought I would start with the chrome because even though I tape a piece of paper over the area where my hand rests the blank paper seems to pick up any stray bits of pigment etc and being as you want the chrome area to be the brightest I didn't want to take the chance of smudging those areas.

03-23-2005, 10:38 PM
This WIP is just great! Thanks for sharing the process!

03-23-2005, 10:56 PM
That chrome w/ the reflections is just fantastic, as is the rest. Have been watching this a while and really enjoying it!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

03-23-2005, 11:17 PM
Hey George! Wonderful Wip!
I am really anxious to see this piece finished!

03-24-2005, 04:20 PM
Thanks Bob, Jerry, Judi and Lucio. I always enjoy watching a WIP to see how someone else develops a painting so that's the reason for this one. I made a little progress today. I finished up the interior area and the remaining chrome. This weekend I'll start on the body. Lucio, I don't know how you can complete a painting in just 2 days. I usaually have a minimum of 45 hours in mine.

03-24-2005, 05:39 PM
I'm rating this one. Thanks for the demo and the explanations!!

03-24-2005, 10:43 PM
Lucio, I don't know how you can complete a painting in just 2 days. I usaually have a minimum of 45 hours in mine.
In 2 days you will have 48 hours to work :D
Just kidding George . As I said some of those pieces were paper test or a kind of work of love( love for art). Actually they are small pieces. If I have to work in something big like 15x 10 or 30x 20 , I spent 5 days.

03-25-2005, 07:53 AM
Many thanks for the WIP and the detailed explanations, George! This is turning into another stunner! Look forward to seeing it completed. Great idea, Robin - I'm rating this, also!

Glad to see there are a couple of Corel Draw fans here! I've been using it since version 3. I've also used Illustrator and IMO Draw is a far better porgram.


03-25-2005, 08:13 AM
George - this is awesome! One of the most exciting things for me is once all of the sketch work is complete and I start adding color & details, I loose all track of time because I love observing my own progress with a piece. Watching you work is the next best thing! I can't wait to see this one complete. I'm working on a pet portrait currently, then its back to the automotive work.

Everyone have a great Easter-

03-28-2005, 04:13 PM
Hi gang,
Well I made a little progress over Easter. I had more family things to do than I thought but they come first so here's the latest.

03-28-2005, 05:37 PM
:clap: :cool: :clap:
YES! family first! always!
Thanks for the update!

03-28-2005, 06:07 PM
Wow George, I love it :) Very inspiring stuff, I can't wait to get my current pieces finished so I can paint some of the hotrods I managed to photograph over Easter. Thankyou for the WIP it's fascinating stuff.

03-30-2005, 11:16 AM
Hi all,
A little closer. Maybe a couple of more days. I'm trying to get it in before the nice weather so I can get out on my motorcycle and shake this cabin fever.

Katherine T
03-30-2005, 11:20 AM
Looking good George - you've been out polishing again :clap: :clap: :clap:

What sort of bike do you have?


03-30-2005, 06:02 PM
Rated this one, hope others will too! I think this should be in the HOF/library. :clap: :clap: :clap:

03-31-2005, 12:20 AM
Hey, George, I've seen some '55's that had this exact color scheme- right after someone drove too far into the garage!!! LOL!

It is looking great!

I identify w/ the cabin fever! My Mustang's been calling my name the last few days!

03-31-2005, 09:45 AM
Oh George I just loved it when you started laying down the red! It reminds me of a car right before it gets painted. You know that ugly gray primer first but when the color gets added it just comes to life! Great job as usual. :wave: wanda

03-31-2005, 11:49 AM
Well I think I'm finished. If anyone has any suggestions for anything to improve this picture please let me know. When you concentrate on something for such a long period of time you just can't see what it needs. I even stay away from it for a few days and then go and have a look. Usually at first glance you see something that will help but I think It's finished. I have posted one picture of the whole piece and one closeup of the foreground area. I used a scrumbling technique with Clay Rose, Ochre, Indigo Blue and Warm Grey 50% to kind of replicate the concrete and give it some texture.
Katherine, I just bought a brand new Yamaha FJ 1300 sport touring bike. My wife and I enjoy bike trips and this one is great. Robin, thanks for the rating.
To all the others that have followed and commented, thanks a bunch. You're all a great help and inspiration.

03-31-2005, 02:18 PM
George! It's incredible!!! :cool: You give me a new level of respect for CP's!!!
This is a perfect example of what I aspire to!
The only 'improvement' I can imagine is if it had a 'Blue Oval', instead of a 'Bowtie'! :wink2:LOL! But that can't be helped! :( JK!

OK! Go do another, PLEASE! I love your work!

03-31-2005, 04:02 PM
What can I say? Another fabulous piece, George!


03-31-2005, 05:22 PM
George - Great piece!! Thanks for the WIP and also the close-up at the end. I know I'm repeating myself, but you realy capture the reflections in the paint so well.


03-31-2005, 06:07 PM
Thanks Dan, Sanford Wanda and all. This one was great to see come alive. With the car just being a white spot on the paper it was exciting to see it transform into the finished piece. I work on it in the mornings because I work an afternoon shift but when I get excited about a painting I can't wait to get home from work and spend a few hours on it before I go to bed. With the size constraints of the forum, if anyone would like to see a larger version you can go to the following link to see it better. There is one smaller version there that I use for posting to other sites but there is also a larger picture.

03-31-2005, 10:49 PM
Great work! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Love everything , the colors, the brilliance,the details...Everything!

03-31-2005, 11:37 PM
OH!!! GEORGE! :clap: :cool: :clap:
I went to your link! Oh! I thank you for letting me see these pieces!
I saw the Stang and the Shelby Cobra! Incredible!!! :eek:

04-01-2005, 01:30 AM
Absolutely stunning :clap: :clap: :clap:


04-01-2005, 04:03 AM
The only thing that would make me love that picture more George, is if it had my signature on the bottom instead of yours! It's fantastic, wow, I love the sheen on the car, I love the texture of the road, I love the chrome, the background, everything! Wow wow wow. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

04-01-2005, 06:43 AM
My GOD! :eek: This is serious jaw-dropping business George!! Look at those reflections - they're amazing. And that brick work looks as though it was a bit tough! Excellent work. And a brilliant WIP. I've rated this thred too! :D

~Claire :)

Katherine T
04-01-2005, 07:38 AM
George - I think you forgot the frame! :D Well done :clap: :clap: :clap:

I've also rated this - it was really good to see it done from the beginning.

George - I was scouting around a store which has "serious" sales figures for its reproduction art (colour prints and lithographs on canvas) - and noticed that what they had up on their walls was quite a few close up crops of particular sections of vintage motors, sometimes at interesting angles. These were typically smaller size images and presumably works well in that sort of size.

Maybe an interesting close-up (macros shot) would be a possible for a future painting?


Flame Lily
04-01-2005, 09:09 AM
George! WOW!

I want that CAR! I can just picture it in my driveway (and telling my kids not to touch! ) :D

Very nice, thank you so much for sharing :clap:

04-01-2005, 07:09 PM
Oh my!! this is the most beautiful painted Chevvy!!!!

Perfect, I can see you surely have mastered those wc pencils..

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Do you use the pencils on the apper, or wet the tips and use brush???