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Diesel Evo
posted: July 1, 2008
Andy Foster is the art director at Motor Trend magazine. I've worked with Andy on a number of assignments.  Most of the images in automotive magazines are photography. I enjoy the freedom to use different media approaches when I feel they better suited the assignment. Also I enjoy contrasting the approach with the subject. Instead of the harder edged approach of vector I wanted to add a human quality to the mechanical subject matter. Andy called with a spread illustration for the evolution of the diesel. I was directed to include certain vehicle models from the past. The present day diesels are very different than their truck based ancestors. I did offer different approaches in the sketch phase, but the feeling went to the evolutionary steps. I still think the "Dinosaur" #3 sketch could have been fun. Still the challenge of resolving the morphing from one model into the next, and dealing with the old gutter ending up being my main hurdle. The illustration is on the newsstand now, but of course a few months back when I did this assignment the pain at the pump was mounting. Diesel prices are tracking gasoline, maybe the bicycle should have been the last stage on the right?
Left side...
Gutter...
Right side...
Spread...
9 comments
Mark Fisher July 1, 2008
Doug, a very nice transition. I want to see what lies on the next patch of road.
GMably July 1, 2008
Just yesterday I read about a vegetable oil conversion kit for diesels: http://www.greasecar.com/kit_detail.cfm?prodID=23 Makes me want to go diesel. I could see this painting as a mural. Nice!
Peter Cusack July 1, 2008
Great spread. What's the medium? Parts of it feel like pastel. Like in the cloud area. Maybe some of the ground is coming through there? Its very beautiful. I can almost feel the windmills moving. The dinosaur sketch would have been kick! Great work. Great post.
Doug Fraser July 1, 2008
Greg, there are bio-diesel stations out here using the waste oils from restaurants. When run in a diesel engine it's suppose to smell like doughnuts. Guess that might lead to more unconscious coffee consumption. Peter, I'm working with alkyds(oil base) paints & brush for the structure of the painting. Color then is added and tweaked with Photoshop. The Photoshop part has it's pros & cons.
Paul Rogers July 1, 2008
Most of us would have stopped doing sketches after the first one. These are all great, and the final is fantastic.
Adam McCauley July 1, 2008
I agree, beautiful final. Cool to see your sketch process too. Our pal Chantalle has one of those bio-diesel Vanagons, she loves it. Runs on vegetable oil converted in some contraption inside the van. She's a wacky Canadian too.
Carl Wiens July 1, 2008
Doug - tough choices for the art director! I like the dinosaur spread too. Fantastic final - looks like Alberta in the background.
Drew July 16, 2008
I just discovered your work and have looked at everything i can find on the web. Very awesome. Its really great you include your sketches to show your process for your designs, but I keep wondering about your reference material, too. It would be interesting to see a post with sketches and the relevant reference material to bring it all together. great work.
Doug Fraser July 16, 2008
Drew, as for reference, it's pretty scattereed. The background was of my own creation, with some reference on the wind turbines. The reference I do use is gleaned from the internet. I never can find the exact position for the cars and trucks. I piece together the general feel of the car from a pile of smaller gifs and jpegs. Also the refinery on the left is conjured up from past experience in my head. The stylized leaves and ant are again my own obviously. The dinosaurs are definitely from childhood interests remembered. Overal it was the general look of each automobile that I had to research. Thanks for the interest.
All images copyright Douglas Fraser