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Car Painting

December 28, 2012

We had a record 45cm snowfall yesterday. Getting out of the garage this morning was a chore. Shoveling the driveway, spinning tires spitting gravel, the whole nine yards. But! we were rewarded with a brilliant sunny day as payback. You don’t want to pass up a sunny day during Montreal winters. I had to get out and take advantage.


Last winter, after I complained about the lack of outdoor sketching,  my friend Shari introduced me to painting from the car. She has a decent sized vehicle. Our car (a soft top Mitsubishi that’s sadly out of place in snowy Quebec) isn’t quite as comfortable for this sort of thing. I actually found the dashboard and window frames pretty irritating. Until I decided to just paint them into the scene. Suddenly they were a lot of fun.

This was about 2 hours, painted on a Macbook Air in CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 5, on location at the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery. I have to say, deciding at the last minute to add-in the car interior would have been impossible in traditional media. I ended up extending the canvas a number of times.

Another interesting bonus – the shadows don’t move in December. The sun is so low, it’s raking shadows all day long. I guess winter painters might have known that already – but it was neat to find out first hand.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2012 9:07 PM

    Wow. This caught the light better than any photo could ever hope to do. Amazing, Marc.

  2. December 28, 2012 9:14 PM

    Very cool!

  3. Michael Anderson permalink
    December 28, 2012 10:11 PM

    Very nice digital painting & great that you did it on a Wacom tablet!

  4. December 29, 2012 2:11 AM

    I love how you turn so many different situations into loads of fun. The wealth of fluffy snow is gorgeous. I am commenting from a sunny 32 degrees C in the South African Lowveld…cool for this time of the year….and you have inspired me to sketch our friends around the pool, eating watermelon and making lots of noise. I am also inspired to sort my sketching pack for next week in the bush, where I hope to get some rhino studies. SO THANK YOU for the inspiration!
    As an aside… Please remember our rhinos, very endangered by poaching and lack of action by CITES.

    • December 29, 2012 9:53 AM

      Sketching Rhino sounds incredibly interesting. Posting drawings would be a great way to spread the word about the issue. If you get some good feild sketches let me know, I could post them on USK!

  5. December 29, 2012 2:55 AM

    This sketch is fantastic. I like the contrast between the light outside and the dark interior of the car.

  6. December 31, 2012 1:46 PM

    Sitting in a car with lots of tech to sketch a wintery day – I like it! Very cool approach and technique. I see a lot of on-site iPhone and iPad sketches, but this is the first time I’ve seen somebody take a laptop and tablet out of a studio. Great sketch; keep ’em coming!

    • marctaro permalink*
      December 31, 2012 5:45 PM

      I’m so used to working in photoshop, it’s much more natural for me than the iPad right now – if figure it’s only a matter of time til the touch devices catch up. But there are quite a few laptop painters these days – here’s on group:

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