Pencil Drawings

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Illustrations of classic cars

If you’ve been browsing Dermot’s Ebay shop and thinking to yourself “I could do that, if I knew how, but I don’t, and I probably never will but would love to know how he does it anyway”, then here’s a rough guide on how it’s done. Creating images is something that humans have been doing for hundreds of years. From early cave drawings during the stone age right up to the present day with hundreds of pictures on mobile phones and cameras, we love looking at them. When it comes to giving those images as gifts to friends and loved ones, the choice is endless. Photographs, limited edition prints, original paintings and drawings, perhaps presented in a suitable frame. Whatever form it takes, a gift is for holding, admiring, enjoying the visual pleasure it brings and evoking pleasant memories. 

As the choice of media widens, the quest is for artwork that’s slightly different from the normal, an original piece that is unique. Unfortunately there’s the catch, if you want an original, then the cost could be just too much for the budget you had in mind, even for a signed limited edition print.

Welcome to the thinking behind Dermot’s Ebay shop. There can be nothing simpler than a piece of white paper with a pencil drawing on it. Every child has started out doing just that. So, why not copies of original pencil drawings, reproduced to emulate the original as closely as possible using digital printing? Also, make the subject of the drawings something that drives the passion, in this case old automobiles, showing as much precise detail as possible with just the right amount of technical accuracy. The print is then signed by the artist after some very close critical inspection to verify that it’s exactly right. The one huge difference between a photograph and a pencil drawing is that the former has to look like the subject it’s showing, whereas a pencil drawing has to actually look like……a pencil drawing, in the same way an oil painting is an impression of the subject rather than a visual record.  

Like many artists, Dermot started drawing at an early age and hasn’t stopped since. His favourite subjects were always something to do with road transport – cars, trucks and buses. Born and raised in London, the sights and sounds of those vehicles on the streets of such a thriving city has always fascinated him, especially the buses. If he’s forgotten faces and names of people he’s met since the age of four, you can bet he can remember the cars they were driving as if it were yesterday.

Dermot’s favourite medium is definitely pencil sketching and rendering. He started producing drawings of old British cars that he remembered since childhood, the everyday motors that friends and family owned. Not necessarily classics but evoking nostalgic memories nonetheless. Many people remember the first car they’ve ever owned, or the family automobile loaded up for the annual holiday, perhaps the car on that first romantic date.

The next logical step was to make those automobile memories available to others through his drawings. Amending the original hand drawn image may be as simple as changing a wing mirror or spotlight, or adding a number plate, the result is an artwork that is as close to a personalised illustration as it gets at a fraction of the cost of a commissioned original. 

Here’s the rough guide:
  • Take as many photographs as possible for reference.
  • Decide which picture shows the best aspect. For a car, this will be from the front as a three quarters view. This will show the front and one side. 
  • Trace over the photograph, highlighting the main features, with a hard pencil.
  • Transfer the pencil tracing to good quality cartridge paper and start shading with a softer pencil. HB, B and 2B grade are usually all you need. Vary the shading to show the reflective surface of the paintwork. Accuracy and technical detail are important, the customers know what their vehicle looks like and they want to see that in the drawing. If their car is an old favourite, it’s very likely they are the experts.
  • When finalised, clean up the image to ensure the white areas that remain are as white as they were originally using a pencil eraser.

As a variation on what a famous artist once said, take away all the bits that don’t look like a fantastic drawing of an automobile that an enthusiast would love to own!


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