Meet Pedro, a young guy from Portugal originally, now a fellow Dutchman. He’s been passionate about cars his whole life, having raced karts, Formula Ford, and even Formula 4!
Safe to say that Pedro likes his lightweight cars. He traded in his Lotus Elise after he fell in love with the mid-engined, agile Porsche 718 Cayman. Its low center of gravity and smaller footprint than the 911 played a significant role in this consideration.
Pedro sought a unique way to celebrate his Midnight Blue Porsche 718 Cayman. So that’s where it all started.
Capturing Pedro’s car the right way
As we discussed the perfect angle to capture his Cayman, Pedro sent me a photo of his weekend trip – His Cayman, racing through the infamous Carousel of the Nürbrugring Nordschleife.
We concluded that we should capture his car at the ‘Ring. The artwork would capture that moment, a valuable memory.
The first 500km of Pedro’s new Cayman include a few laps at the Nürburgring Nordschleife!
Preparing the artwork
Now that I know the scene around Pedro’s car, it’s time to start visualizing what the artwork will look like. I always create a digital sketch to show the artwork’s composition before putting a stroke to paper.
My idea is to capture the car close-up, going through the Carousel at quite a low angle. Why? Because you can’t photograph that view without putting yourself at serious risk. A blank canvas is perfect for creating a scene that doesn’t exist in a picture!
With this sketch, Pedro knows exactly what the artwork will look like before I spend countless hours drawing it.
Getting the color right
This Porsche’s Midnight Blue paint job is a unique, deep color. To nail this in the artwork, I create a color palette that shows all the hues of the car, from dark to light.
Pedro confirmed the accuracy of the palette – time to start drawing!
The fundament of the artwork
The sketch is where the magic starts. I use a simple 2H grey pencil to bring the composition for the artwork to the blank piece of paper.
The key is to get all the proportions and lines of the car just right. I can render the perfect color, but the artwork will always look weird when the sketch is out of proportion.
I started off coloring the 20″ Carrera Classic wheels that Pedro fell in love with. The car is in motion because it’s driving through the Nürburgring Carousel. To add this sense of speed to the artwork, I need to blur the wheels’ spokes.
It’s essential here to get the perfect amount of blur. I don’t want the car to look like it’s standing still in the middle of the Carousel (too little blur). But I also don’t want it to look like it’s going 150 km/h through this lower-speed corner (too much blur).
I used my alcoholic-based markers to create smooth color transitions in the wheel. The brightest part of the spoke fades into the dark gap between the spokes for a blurry effect. To finish it off, I used a white pencil for more blur (and more speed!) on the wheels.
A drawing like this of your car?
This next stage is where the cars starts to come to life. It’s where I color in ‘high contrast parts’, such as the lights, air intakes, and windows. Drawing these parts in first gives me a good sense of where the car’s color needs to be.
How I get these windows and lights to look so realistic? Reflections! I use dark markers to draw the trees around the track reflecting in the windows. Then, I use a white gel pen for the brightest highlights in all the glass parts. This contrast between dark and light makes these parts look quite realistic already.
Making Midnight Blue more Midnight
Rendering the perfect color is tricky. I tried my best to get the Midnight Blue color natural right from the first layer, but I’m having a hard time. I started by coloring the car’s front side, but the color I put down so far looks too blue and saturated.
So I checked in with Pedro, and he confirmed; it’s not ‘Midnight Blue’ enough.
I need to do some work to fix this. First, I make the highlights in the hood less saturated by going over them with black and white pencils. This gets rid of the oversaturated blues.
But the most important step to making this color true to Midnight Blue is making it darker. I do this by going over the dark blue shadows with a black pencil, making the paint job of the car deeper blue.
Ready for the ‘Ring
Now that I know how to draw Midnight Blue correctly, I’m also adding that color to the side of the car. This completes the car’s paint job, with a little bit of the race track reflecting in the Cayman’s door already.
Pedro calls the color ‘absolutely lifelike,’ so I’m ready to add the last tiny details and the license plate. Almost time to move on to the background behind the car; the ‘Ring Carousel!
As the final step of the process, I’m using light grey and beige markers to add the background around the Porsche. Layer by layer, the track’s asphalt, and the Carousel’s concrete arise.
This puts Pedro’s Cayman in the perfect spot for one of his best experiences; racing it on the Nordschleife!
Pedro tells me the finished artwork has become ‘an absolute masterpiece.’ That only means one thing; time for Pedro to collect his artwork!
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Picking up the artwork
Pedro came by on a nice Saturday morning to pick up his artwork. And, of course, we had to take the 718 out for a spin!
The final result
To this day, the artwork is proudly hanging in Pedro’s office. It was great helping Pedro celebrate his Cayman through this art piece. We went through the creative process together. To capture not only his car but also his story and passion surrounding it.
Here’s what Pedro thinks about his artwork:
“The artwork is the pinnacle of my passion and memories around my Cayman. It’s a reminder of the good times I’ve had. And to be honest, I look at it every day.”
“Getting my Porsche Cayman was a big milestone for me. I’ve had great memories, experiences and friendship moments with the car. But I wasn’t sure how to visualize this passion that I have for this car.
I thought about framing a picture or buying a miniature replica, but that didn’t have much meaning to me. Instead, I wanted something more special, something with a process.
This was when I stumbled on Ruben’s art and thought, “This is exactly what I want!”
The process was fantastic. Before drawing anything, we discussed my favorite angle of the car. We also talked about my favorite memory with the car and pictures or references that remind me of the car.
To me, the artwork I have now represents my passion, a job that I had and my experiences and friendship moments from that time. All that is captured in one artwork.
And to be honest, I look at it every day!”