Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fresh Porsche Painting and a Fresh Perspective

As much as I'd like to make posts here a bit more frequently, I feel like I already struggle at times to manage the time I have involved in things I'm working on. That said, I'm happy to finally be sharing SOMETHING. Although I post almost everyday on IG (@pinstripe_chris) and FB (Chris Dunlop/Pinstripe Chris), posting here gives me the space to speak out loud about much more of what's going on and the process of doing things. On social media in general I get right to the point of my post- here I feel like I can open up a bit. So lets dive in to the why of this particular painting: Late Monday night I had been watching some videos on YouTube about other artists and their story (something I love to do and often inspires me)- a particular video resonated with me about how a particular artist was very aware of his 'bad paint days' (where artwork just does not come together) and rather then scrap the pieces he uses them as the story behind his day. One's mood can certainly effect artwork in many many ways- this artist chose to not use the bad days as self criticism, but rather evidence of what he was like that day. I had never thought about that before- I certainly have bad or off days where the artwork just does not meet my standards. Often times I will just smear the paint in worse just to end it, but not always. With that in mind, I had done a quick/rough paint comp of this Carrera RS piece that night with the aim of picking it up the next morning. The next morning my mood didn't match what I had started the night before. Rather then setting the piece aside, I decided to paint over what was already there (which served as a nice base) with a fresh look that I could connect with right then. The clean piece I had started with quickly become messy, energetic, and exciting. Admittedly I also enjoyed some good coffee in this process as well. This ended up being extremely cathartic for me, especially since I had spent the last month or so working on very clean illustrations for shops. It's tough to explain what it's like going from a clean to messy when the typical process is in reverse. I literally had to bury what I was comfortable with in order to create something authentic. When inspiration strikes, I grab anything and start drawing/painting on it. In the case of this piece I didnt have any canvas available so I grabbed a very used aluminum paint palette and worked straight over it. The result is a lot of spontaneous texture which I find interesting that the panel itself has its own story before it had artwork on it. There's a part of me that's apprehensive about sharing a more genuine/authentic side to what I really like to do- in this case, making a mess. I wonder if people who enjoy my clean artwork will be confused by my messier artwork. In a time when many creatives are focused on realism & detail, I would prefer to see the world thru a unique lens. I like the power of brush strokes and textures that life isn't likely to create. Does it seem like a step backwards? Maybe to some, but to me it's more me then I've been in a long time.
-Chris Dunlop / Pinstripe Chris

Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's been quite a productive week (by eliminating distractions)

It's kind of funny- last night when I was talking to my wife about how much I had got done last week I started to feel bad about how selfish I had been with my time; that I had spent all the sun up time (and some some down) working on artwork & paintings instead of putting nearly as much effort in to some correspondences and communications. I love talking with people about artwork and cars and artwork technique, but this week I just focused on having a bit of 'me time' for artwork which I really haven't had in a while. While I was thinking about the week I at first thought of it as selfish, then I started to feel like, "no wait, this is just a display of my work ethic and passion for what I do". I should ALWAYS want to be having this much fun and making new pieces! I should also want to spend time doing the other side of business things or at least admit that I need to hire some help to keep the gears moving while I'm producing artwork. This week was unique in that I started and finished 9 new paintings- NINE!! Most days that was 2 a day, which is jammin'. Interestingly I had got my oil paints out at the beginning of the week and then just never put them away. It is funny how the slowest paints have helped me produce the fastest artwork. And sure, not every piece is amazing, but the process of creating is sometimes more important then the end result. If I could just sling paint messes about every day I fairly confident that would bring me joy, however, I think my social media audience expects just a little more of me. So I've been working on a happy medium- a mix of messy but legible artwork which has been a unique challenge. I've spent years refining what I consider to be a clean art style, so this want to create messes is different. While I've always enjoyed graffiti and many artists I follow that do do beautiful messes, I recognized my happy spot. But now I think that happy spot was a great way to learn a lot of fundamentals that can now be bent and twisted to suit the mood for that particular piece. I've also spent the last several years working on speed and technique mostly on paper which has given me a little edge on canvas. But perhaps the most important thing that allowed me to be productive this week was (almost) a total lack of distractions. We got a puppy for Christmas and she certainly needs plenty of attention thru the day, but, not nearly as much as responding to comments, emails, messages as soon as they are coming in; a habit I'm very familiar with. Yes, those are the things that keep the gears of business rolling, but if my business is art I also need to be creating art, but in an authentic, organic way (not just because its what Im supposed to be doing). There's a time to handle the communications, or at least there needs to be time set aside for them, but when I answer everything in real time I am constantly disconnecting myself from my artwork, and that's not cool. There's still a balance there that I need to work on, but all part of the journey. One last big factor is that I didn't schedule in any commissions for this particular week which kept me 100% focused on what I wanted to create without limitations. Yes I do some commissions, but most of what I do is non commissioned, actually. And while they can be great, too many may take you of course of your goals or eat up more of your creative time then you think, which is why I don't schedule myself full of commissions.

Well I decided today was going to be a non-art day so I could prove to myself Im not a robot. Going to wash the car and cruise the coast with my wife- have a good one!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I bought a Porsche 996 and now I seem to be doing a lot of Porsche Artwork

I bought a Porsche... whaaaaat? No seriously, yes I did. And lately that's inspired an unusual increase in German car art. I'll get in to the story of my particular car in a separate post, but I can say even from my point of view it's sort of odd that I got one. I'm very much a hot rod/classic car person, and when it comes to luxury/exotics I'm very much a Ferrari person. I certainly don't like ALL Porsche's, but there are a few generations that have my attention for clean, classic design paired with surprising performance. Last night while looking at some fellow enthusiast's cars on the Facebook I happened across a couple shots of a 996 Turbo and decided I had to do a nice dramatic painting. Like NOW. So I black gesso'd a piece of illustration board so I could start with a dark base, then transferred a sketch/outline using a white chalk technique. Initially I was going to use Oil paints, but once I got lines transferred I decided I was going to dust off the ole' airbrush and use some of my favorite paints: Holbein Acryla Gouache. These are basically Gouache paints that will dry permanent like an acrylic (instead of being able to re-wet with water). They also dry in a nice rich matte sheen which is super clean. All the airbrush is done freehand (no masking or stenciling) followed by final details & highlights done using paint brushes and the same paints. I'm a big fan of illustrating/painting in this dramatic/dark studio lighting type of fashion, and I always light my pieces from scratch (no photo reference) and I've recently been informed that that is quite an odd thing to do. For me I feel like I understand lighting & toning well enough to create shape & light interaction from scratch without an image to work from- this gives me the flexibility to highlight what and how I want without being limited to source material. I had an absolute blast working on this painting, next step is to varnish then have it off the framers to get properly completed.

The finished framed original artwork is available, please email us if you are interested:

Monday, January 1, 2018

"Traditional Roadster" Sketch & Ink Video + a short rant

Well Happy New Year! Man it seems like forever since I've got up early enough to make cup of tea sit down to this blog. Last year I spent about a zillion percent of my time wrapped up on other social platforms like Instagram (@Pinstripe_Chris) where we have just over 53k followers, and Facebook (@Pinstripe Chris or Chris Dunlop) where we have over 13k combined followers- Im also a big fan of Pinterest (@ Pinstripechris or Chris Dunlop). Which got me thinking... reflecting, really, this morning- whats the deal with this blog thingy? In the early days I certainly put more consistent time in to it and and got more interaction out of it- in fact, its one of the few content sharing places where I don't feel limited to writing a short post. I love to write and tell the story behind what im creating, and believe me, there's always a story. While on IG or FB I may say things like, "Quick sketch with coffee" or something to that effect- the reality is I chose that subject, picked out the tools, decided on a perspective., and really years of work have gone in to making my simple sketch elegant. So why the lack of effort here on my part? Hmmm... might just be that I'm used to the other platforms and how they operate, which doesnt sound like a great reason at all. Guess im wondering if Blogging is what it used to be, or maybe I never used it the way it was intended- hmmm indeed. I've actually had this blog since 2010 when we still lived in Maryland and I was struggling as an creative, but starting to understand what I wanted to do. Sure it's only been 8 years, but thats longer then any other platform I share in- heck I dont think I've had my email address that long. Well I'm setting out to make some changes here, not specifically because of the new year, but because I'm always looking to optimize and like trying new things. So let me say a little about that video up there:

Several weeks back I was toying with the idea of shooting a quick video of a proper rough sketch complete with ink/marker/airbrush. Nothing too polished, but enough so that I could get it on camera and see what it looked like. I didn't want to spend a ton of time on my 1st go, so I kept it simple. A few nights earlier my wife Caity had helped me with some filming and I saw the improvements I wanted to make form there. Specifically, I wanted to actually shoot it myself on a tripod and move the camera my self to record the segments I could see I wanted to piece together. So I literally moved the camera, set up the focus & timing for each shot while I sketched- I had my wife help me with a few shots I couldn't easily get myself towards completion. Then I put everything together in an apple based video editing program that I crash coursed my self in enough to get by. Last thing I did was write a short loop of a guitar tune and add it to the video (unfortunately it rendered quieter then planned, but its in there). I really just wanted to see what it would be like to put together a cool vid, Im actually really happy with it for what it is. I also like how it shows the general process I use starting from Bic pens going in to ink, then paint. Hopefully it will help answer some questions I've gotten on the process, and certainly if you do have a question- feel free to ask!

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Ran When Parked": a classic tale of air cooled cars

Happy Friday!

Im looking at my posts here for the year going, "man, I sure missed a lot of cool things". So I'm going share some of what we've missed here starting with this classic Vw Bug piece called "Ran When Parked". Im a big air cooled Vw/Corvair enthusiast (I own 1 of each!) and I can't tell you how many times when browsing the classifieds for these I see the phrase 'Ran When Parked' or 'Haven't Tried to Start it', which to me essentially means: 'we tried, but it takes more effort then we are willing' to get it started. Im not sure which this happens more with in the cars that we've looked at, but it feels like more of a tradition with older Vw's. They're pretty resilient tho, so just a little TLC and they seem to get on to the road pretty easily... as long as the tires are round.

The Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Series Prints are SOLD OUT

Open Edition (Printed Signature) Prints are Available HERE

Monday, July 24, 2017

NEW Print Available today "Runner": a tale of robot esacpe

For Motor-Monday we're rolling out the brand new limited edition prints of "Runner": a tale of robot escape. Originally done using inks, markers & acrylics on marker paper, the artwork aims to capture Robot Number 3 mid escape- But from what? Well... we may never know. Or, will a future piece shed more light on the story...hmmm. These guys are signed & numbered out of 100 and available in paper or stretched canvas at

Thanks for looking!

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Bot-Rods": A New Addition to the Art Line Up

Well hello, blog friends! Let me start by saying I know it's been a while since the last post, but there was indeed a good reason for it; it seems for the last 4 months any attempt to create a post with photos didn't seem to work. I have no idea why, despite doing research on the issue, and then all the sudden it works. That's cool, I'll take it!

Alright, to the purpose of today's post:

Although we have a lot of catching up to do from... February?? Seriously! I'd like to start with something recent and fun. I've been starting to include my robot character artwork in to more artwork this past year and in the past few weeks had experimented with a new approach to that inclusion. Where previously I had been doing the Robot Artwork as it's own thing using a separate color palette, tools, and styles, recently I decided to re-approach it from my traditional illustration format using the tools, techniques & style that I am most familiar and comfortable. To my surprise, it went quite well! I mean, I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, but it felt like a refreshing way to combine the way I do illustrative car renderings with the Robot artwork that I enjoy so much. And so a traditional mix of Markers, Inks, Acrylics, and Airbrushing make up the examples shown here- some of my most favorite tools. The result of using the more familiar techniques allows me to get my concepts down quicker and cleaner as well as appease both my Hot Rod loving fans an
d my want to cross over in to the more 'story telling' side of things (which I generally feel is stronger with a character). This crossover lets me explore both the Car Design side of things in a traditional way, as well as add some flair to the artwork in a story telling way. I've got lots more to learn and explore in this method to really find a strong effective balance, but I look forward to sharing lots more "Bot-Rods"!

#hotrod #botrod #robot #scifi #artwork #pinstripechris #chrisdunlop