Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sketching at British Car Day

Restoring classic and vintage cars is amazingly popular here. I am not sure if it is just a Hutt Valley thing, but even in the small amount of driving that I do, I would see on average between 2-6 classic, beautifully restored cars being driven on the road almost every day. I find that quite remarkable.

Original sketch: about 3cm tall, 0.05 technical pen on $2 Shop paper.

British Car Day is apparently an annual thing, held around the same time of year as American Vehicle Day,  but I had never been to either before. There was an amazing number of classic cars at Trentham Park on this gorgeous summer day. I wonder if there is a bit of a link between sketching these cars (rather than taking a photo) and the restoration of classic cars (rather than buying a new car off the line): neither is a fast, run-of-the-mill process.

Original sketch: about 4cm tall, 0.05 black Staedler technical pen on $2 shop paper. 
I was really happy with the people in this sketch: the guy strolling around, the guy comparing cars to his notes, 
the proud owner with his hands on his hips, the friend chatting and looking about.

Sketching-wise, the weather was great and I could have spent a week sketching there. But I didn't find it an easy afternoon. The sun was really very, very hot, and I ended up doing my main sketching in the visitors car park just to be in some shade. (This sounds counter-productive, but many people who came to look at British Car Day drove there in their ¨other¨ classic car, so even car park had heaps of great cars too, although I think that meant I probably wasn't actually sketching a British car then...).

I also found that with the cars in the event parked in semi-circles, to sit and sketch them from the front would mean that I would be sitting in the main thoroughfares, rather than being tucked away in a corner. I wasn't worried about sketching per se - I was fairly confident that if I had said to anyone there, hey can I sketch you in front of your car, they would have happily let me and told me all about themelseves and their vehicle, and probably have called their friends over to have their car sketched too. It was more that I still wasn't confident that my sketch would be any good, and therefore didn't want to draw attention to myself. ;o) I was on my own this afternoon, and I think I would have felt better if I were sketching with a group.

Original size: 15cm x 25 cm, Pitt Fine pen, $2 Shop paper

So I kind of pieced together cars, people & bits from different scenes, took a photo of the backgrounds I missed sketching and tidied it up at home, and did the painting at home. I don't feel that I captured the sheer size of the event either - with the exception of the sketch below, each of my sketches could have had another 5-10 cars in it. From an urban sketching point of view, not my most successful outing! But probably good practice for next year anyway. I'm still glad I went.

The sketch below is the only one that I did 100% from start to finish at the event, as this was one car where I could actually sketch it at leisure tucked away in the shade, out of the thoroughfare. I don't think it was a British car though.

Original size: A4. Pitt pen, black, size Fine.

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