Outdoor Car Show Sketching

Last weekend I went to a large, outdoor car show in the park at Montmorency Falls, just east of Quebec City.  This is a show of hundreds of cars with thousands of people paying their eight bucks to look at them.

I mention this because people who haven’t done much location sketching often express how they’d be afraid to sketch in public.  I always respond with “people interaction is one of the best things about location sketching because only nice people ever talk to you and the interactions are always fun.”

I have to revise that view just a little bit.   Am I a bad person for getting annoyed at LOTS of people being really nice?  I started sketching and because there were so many people telling me how talented I was, asking if I was an artist, and telling me that they couldn’t draw, that I had a hard time actually getting any sketching accomplished.  Still, it was a great day and the people were wonderful.

I’m old, so ‘cool car’ means cars that existed when I was a kid.  In 1956 I was eight years old and Ford Fairlanes were everywhere.  And so, with every car imaginable on display, it was nature for me to find a ’56 Fairlane to draw.  I sort of messed up the wheels but otherwise I was happy with this result.

Stillman & Birn Gamma, Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Gamma, Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

After attracting more than my share of observers while doing that long sketch, I decided a better tactic might be to wander around, drawing pieces of cars.  That was fun too and I did this page.  I didn’t complete the ’30s Ford front end as, well, I was getting really hungry and I would have had to stand in line for an hour to get something to eat.  I didn’t have the patience for that so I decided to go home.

Stillman & Birn Gamma (10x7), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

Stillman & Birn Gamma (10×7), Namiki Falcon, De Atramentis Document Black

3 thoughts on “Outdoor Car Show Sketching

  1. Fantastic sketches, Larry, especially that ’56 Fairlane! When I was at the car show last week, it was hard to get a good angle like this because the cars were parked really close together. And you know what? I encountered the same thing — many people stopping to chat, commenting on my sketches, telling me car stories and (in one case) showing me photos on his phone of sketches done by his granddaughter! I wonder what it is about car shows. . .? Still, it’s hard to beat the fun!

    – Tina

    • The cars in a row problem affected my choice as well. This Fairlane was on the end of a row, affording me the 3/4 view I was after.

      Interesting that you’ve seen similar responses at your car show. I really think that car shows are inhabited with people with true passion and vested interests in what’s on display so they’re more involved than people in a museum or tourists at an attraction. I went to the event by myself and, frankly, I felt lonely because I didn’t have anyone to talk to about ‘back when I owned a ’65 Mustang….’ and stuff like that. The thing that’s so great about car shows is the infinite number of sketching targets, though they are rather complex objects if you want to include all the details.

      Cheers — Larry

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