New Media – Steven Cavalieri


Steven Cavalieri gives us a brief example of how he creates original automotive illustrations using a computer and illustration application.
Steven studied at Art Center College of Design back in the 1970s before computers were accessible for this type work. He has since embraced the new media and has worked as creative director at such companies as Macromedia, Infoseek/, and OmniSky. He currently works as a creative and design consultant as well as illustrating cars for several major automotive magazines.

See more of Steven’s artwork at his web site:


Like traditional automotive illustration, wheels say a lot about the personality of the car. If I am drawing an existing car I research the details as much as possible.


Tires can also be very important—and in some cases model specific. As in traditional painting and drawing, layering helps give depth and assists in transitioning from light to shadow.


Contemporary cars can have large wheels with vast open spaces between spokes. This makes it necessary to spend time illustrating the brake components. Again, researching the materials, colors and other details becomes more important.


Now I assemble the completed wheel, tire and brake elements. Depending on the car, I typically copy and modify the first wheel to create the second—taking care to size and position rotors and wheels appropriately for front and rear applications.


Once the wheels are ready I space them out on a baseline, usually 3x the diameter of the tire, again depending on the type of car. Notice that even though this illustration is a profile view, using perspective helps communicate depth and the illusion of distance.


Now that I have a base to build up on, I start with an outline of the body shapes. I can push, pull and redraw lines until I am pleased with the proportions.


After I am satisfied with the outline I simply convert the shape to a solid fill. I start to add shut lines and other details making adjustments to the proportions—ensuring they relate well to each other.


Next I use gradations, transparent layering, shadows and highlights on the body sections to bring out subtle surfacing details.


After all the detailing is complete I can add elements to the background and reflective details of items in the foreground.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>