Pastels and New Media – Steven Cavalieri

Steven Cavalieri Tutorial

Steven Cavalieri gives us another example of how he created an original automotive racing poster for the first 24 Hours of LeMons using a mixture of computer and traditional pastel illustration.

Steven studied art back in the 1970s before computers were accessible for this type work. He has since embraced this new media along with traditional methods to produce some interesting and fun results. The 24 Hours of Lemons is the creation of Jay Lamm, editor of Corvette Magazine and automotive provocateur. It is an endurance race for $500 cars. The creative brief was to design a poster reminiscent of early LeMans races with a twist: use a Pinto and Gremlin instead of a Porsche and Ferrari as the automotive subjects.

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

Steven Cavalieri Tutorial

Since I couldn’t just go out to the front yard and draw a still life of the scene, I have to make up the composition. The Gremlin is on its roof!

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I sketched a rough layout for approval from Jay and then I proceeded to create drawings of the cars independently. I transferred the individual drawings to one sheet of vellum to create my final composition.

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I added a wash of black chalk with Bestine solvent to the back of a sheet as a basis to transfer the line art to charcoal paper. Then I retrace the line art I have already created to complete the transfer. This process allows you to re-apply and transfer line art to as many sheets as you desire.

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Once I have the line art positioned I start illustrating with color pastels. I usually start with the lightest colors. Working on colored paper makes this obvious since there is already value density to the working surface.

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Then as I work add the darker colors while adding details and blending along the way. It’s easy to over work pastels, but since this is a poster for a weird “over-the-top” event, I’m not worried about over working it.

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I photographed the pastel art on a easel taking care to get the least amount of distortion while maintaining all the textural detail of the pastels and paper.

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Once on the computer I decided to move the hue and color balance of the digital file to get an extreme value shift for drama, especially considering the subject matter. Then I added the title, logos, and supporting text to create the final poster.

Steven Cavalieri close up

Close up image showing detail.

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