Monday, December 1, 2008

The pressure of automotive catalogs

More on the 1962 Mercury Comet catalog art.

Comet 4

When doing art for automotive catalogs you are confronted with a enormous amount of work which must be done under the pressure of a tight deadline. Not a good situation for even an experienced illustrator. You are usually working with another artist on the same illustration which can also be problematic. On the above illustration, I came to the studio very early and was pretty much underway with this background. When Jack Mills, the automotive illustrator, arrived he changed his mind about the scene's lighting situation and decided that he wanted to light the car from another direction, so I had to repaint the background. After that I presented him with small color sketches before starting to paint. Under tight deadlines you have no time to waste.

Comet 5

Comet 7

Charlie Shridde, a great illustrator in our freelance group, had some reference photos that he had taken during a polo match. He offered let me use some of them for reference material on this particular illustration which helped me a great deal.

Comet 11

For the figures I used my son Kurt and Charlie's wife, Jutta, she was one of Detroit's top models.

Comet 6

The models on this illustration were Terry Seaholm, a car penciler, for the foreground figure, and our rep Bob Witmer was photographed for the other two figures. For the gal inside the car I used Jutta and turned her into a blond. For the background reference, photos were taken in a local lumberyard.
Automotive catalog illustration was a very demanding and specialized field, not only from the aspect of the technical accuracy of the automobile, you also had to satisfy the art director and others at the ad agency as well as the manufacturer's advertising managers, all under extreme deadline pressures.

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