It’s been a very long time that I wanted to do an illustration of a badass American HotRod! I love these sexy monstrous looking vehicles! So apart from collecting thousands of Hotrod photos from the web I have not been too active on the actual design front.
A few days ago, I was browsing some hotrod pictures on webshots, when I surfed in a gallery of wallpapers featuring hotwheels toy models with a Christmas themed background! I thought that this is a wonderful idea for a Christmas-card! So the “Hotrod illustration” initiative woke up in me and I begun developing the idea of the Hotrod more seriously, as this would be the item that will be featured in the foreground of the card.
The actual development process proved to be a lot of fun as I wanted to create a rather futuristic Hotrod instead of a classic one, but with a serious doze of retro involved. After all hot rod craziness begun in the 50’s along with Rock’n’Roll, I definitely didn’t want to leave these elements out of the creation.
A few thumbnail 2-minute sketches helped me to establish a radical form for my vehicle, I didn’t want to go too far on the wild side with the design; I was looking for something fresh, futuristic yet maintaining that 50’s Rockabilly tradition. Of all of the sketches you see on the left, the bottom right one rang a good bell for me! This is what I wanted to create. A few other concepts are interesting, like the one on the top left which reminds me of a 50’s-60’s racing car, having inspiration from that streamline design era.
The next step was to do a sketch in the exact angle that I wanted to show the car, so getting reference from the profile design I did the sketch on the right, in order to use it as a base for the final illustration. Amazingly enough, the whole sketching process didn’t take me long at all, I guess these are the benefits of being unemployed for some time now, as I can finally enjoy loads of spare time in drawing, and I can tell you I’ve been a good friend of the ol’ pencil and paper lately 🙂
On to the illustration itself there are a few things that need to be mentioned: The body was fully painted in Photoshop, first by outlining the whole sketch using paths and then stroked them to produce a crispy line art for it, then painted every individual panel with the light sources (2 of them) in mind. For those radical wheels now, I must admit that I’ve cheated a bit as they where modelled in 3D Studio Max, rendered in there, then imported to Photoshop and retouched them to look right with the rest of the combo. The whole illustration took me about 14-16 solid hours to complete. The full size of the illustration is 5736 X 3127 pixels at 300dpi, meaning that it will make a perfect print of 48.8cm X 26.5cm in real size.
If you’re interested in buying a print of it, I can print it on top quality polypropylene (of the above dimensions) and the car can be coloured on any colour you fancy!