Frye, "Bad Penny," 2009
CDC Concepts "Bad Penny," 2013.
Amigo Vaughan Ling brought this to my attention recently: Daily Spitpaint group on Facebook. I am more comfy with sketching with line, and my color usage is basic, so this is way out of my comfort zone, but I'm enjoying it. The thirty minute time limit forces you do abandon all sorts of left brain cogitation and push to finish something. My vehicle focus is going to limit my subject matter somewhat, but definitely a good exercise and skill boost. All sorts of kick-ass humbling talent involved including David Levy and Sparth. We all should have 30 minutes to spare a day to create something like this. Maybe I'll drop the Call of Duty and make THIS my new lunch time activity...that'll be tough to do.
I present two advertising illustrations for the 1960 Pontiac convertible. I talked in class about Fitz and Van, an illustrating team at General motors. They did the second piece above- Fitz doing the car, Van doing the scenery and figure work. While collecting some of this old ad art, I accidentally purchased a non-Fitz and Van piece from their era and was very interested to compare the two works because the car and perspective were identical. When I scanned these in and scaled them, the overlay was remarkable, I'm thinking that the same photo reference of the car was used for both, though the lighting comes from a higher angle in the second image. What is interesting is while the first illo is good, how much better the second, Fitz and Van is. This is why the team of Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman was so valuable to General Motors in the 1960's.
Moving on to Van Kaufman's work, someone has made the right call- we have no kids in the image. This, of course, is the two-door convertible, and the market for this particular model is a couple or swinging single. In pure advertising strategy logic, the two couples interacting are appropriate for the car. Now these folks have style, apart from the relaxed, energetic interaction, there's all sorts of style with these folks. While the first guy couldn't figure out his camera, it looks like this guy has a yacht, as implied by the cap and harbor scene. He's the regular captain of a ship! My general feeling is that Van intended the couple outside the car to look longingly, jealously and the driver and his gal and their great car. You get a feeling of consumer want and envy here. The guy in the sportscoat is just dying to ask the yacht captain the secrets of his success. That little tilt of the lady in yellow's head just has the wistful dreaming indication. Maybe it's just my imagination.
The car illustration: Art's work really pops. There's all sorts of things he's doing that the first artist is not. Starting with value range, the important basis of any illustration. Looking at the fronts of both cars with the color stripped away, look at the range of value on the right side, the liveliness of the hood itself and the fluidity of the reflection of the windshield- the work on the right pulling the window frame reflection into a dynamic, elegant point emphasizing the hood spear stamping. Even the reflection of the rear view mirror, probably eliminated by the first artist as a fussy, distracting detail is actually just another level of interest in Art's hood. The headlights are alive on the right, glazed with cataracts on the left. The Fitz and Van car has a bit of the turn of the tire to help the car feel like it is going somewhere, less static. The only thing that seems to be minimized are the wiper blades, which integrate into the cowl better in the second piece, probably not accurate. The focal point of the car is the front near corner, where the sunlight dazzles to pure white of both paint and chrome, and the blue turns nearly black. Contrast and value. Punchy. Attractive
When you get to the color, I did an eyedropper test in Photoshop on both cars and with Art's Pontiac, there is quite a bit of flop from purple to greenish blue. The first piece has one blue that carries through the whole car. Fitz and Van's pieces had an exemplary quality from their earliest collaborations around this time and it is little wonder that they basically owned the Pontiac brand image years after this, right up to the point when illustration ran out of favor and photos became de riguer, unfortunate as the photos were never quite as adept in selling the dream as these paintings were.
John A. Frye 10/31/13 Happy Halloween!
From Concept Design Academy's blog. Late notice, but I will be teaching vehicle design starting next week.
John Frye's Vehicle Design Course at CDA Link...
Last call for enrollment for "Intro to Vehicle Design" with John Frye~!!
To sign up, visit our website at:
This is a great class for anyone interested to learn how to draw and design vehicles. John is currently the Digital Design Modeler/Studio Illustrator at Honda R&D and have much experience in both toys and game vehicle concept design.
Great for students who have taken Vis Com 1 and wanted to continue their learning.
Class starts on Friday, Oct. 4th. Sign up soon~!!
Apparently, at the designer night drawing competition at this year's LA Auto Show (couldn't make it, business trip with bad timing), the three way final challenge was to draw a Lotus 49. None of the bonehead designers knew what kind of car it was. You only have a few minutes to pull it off, so that's tough, but you'd better know that the 49 wasn't a passenger car. Good grief, kids. Here's my off the top of my head quickie in less than five minutes.