In case you are wondering what´s going on behind the scenes when creating a print or poster, here is a short rundown of the process I follow most of the time when creating a minimalistic piece.
When creating a 3D version of a car or scene, the process is different, although there are similarities. I will post that process in the future.
OK; let´s jump into it.
When I have a subject (be it a client car or a personal project), it´s time for what is sometimes the most time-consuming part of the process: Finding the right angle that shows something interesting and preferably unique about the particular car.
What sets a 2D experience of a car radically apart from a real-life one, is the lack of depth and option to move around the car.
Often a picture of a car is much less exciting than seeing the same car in real life; simply because the 2D representation doesn´t do the car justice. So finding the right angle is crucial. It also helps set the tone of the piece: should it be a factual representation? Dramatic? Elegant? Cool? Romantic? Grandiose? These are things to take into consideration.
In this example, I have taken an older design I did of a Lamborghini Countach.
The Countach, in my humble opinion, is one of the most iconic and characteristic cars ever built. Its angles, corners and extreme presence presents a lot of options when it comes to angles. In this version I chose to focus on the rear wing, as it´s one of the most eye-popping parts of the car. The best way to show the wing is by letting it somehow stand out from the rest of the car. Isolate it, as it were. So, to accomplish that I chose a very low angle, which also adds drama to the overall look.
Next step is importing the image into the illustration program Adobe Illustrator (but you can use any vector image application).
Here, I choose and trace the most important lines. And by "important" I mean lines and areas that make the car as "readable" as possible. Too many lines and areas, and the piece becomes cluttered. Too few, and you can´t really tell what´s going on - or the car simply ends up looking flat and uninteresting.
As I’m using a minimalistic style, I’m omitting all unnecessary details from the car.
The broader lines tell the story perfectly fine without details like license plate, assembly screws, side blinkers etc. For other pieces, certain details might be crucial because these are what make the car special and personal.
Here comes the fun part! Coloring all the shapes and trying to find the right values (light and shadow) to make the car as readable and interesting as possible.
Along with the initial task of picking the right angle of the car, this is the step that can end up being the modt challenging.
Maybe shapes don’t read well. Maybe there are too many or too few shapes or lines, and maybe a simple line or area can make or break the whole piece. There is only one way to find out: trial & error, and then keeping at it until it’s right. Or perhaps sleep on it to get some perspective.
When I begin a piece I often have a clear idea in my head when it comes to coloring. But sometimes my initial idea is either boring or just doesn’t look good.
For this particular piece I went with a blue color scheme to begin with, but it just didn’t seem to match the wild nature of the Countach. So I tried a bunch of other combinations including a more dark and sinister version, and the orange/yellow combo, you see here.
In the end I went with the yellow/orange version as my number one choice, and kept the black and red as a variation.
That’s the frustrating and fascinating part about any type of art: It rarely feels like your work is fully done; or even if you feel it is, it can be near impossible to “kill your darlings” and just stick to one variation. In the end, it´s a matter of taste and personal preferences.
The finished piece is then printed on either canvas, special semigloss (silky) print paper or on more classic art paper with structure. And since this particular piece is done with vector graphics, it can be blown up to ANY size without losing any sharpness or detail.