Watercolor Painting – Grant Thomas

Grant Thomas - Watercolor

This is a visual explanation behind the creation of Grant Thomas’ watercolour painting “360 Reflections” – a detail of the rear boot of a Ferrari 360 Spyder reflecting the windows of the Ferrari of Ontario dealership in which it was sitting.
Multi-award winning Canadian automotive artist Grant Thomas, has his work as part of personal collections in Canada, the US, the UK and as far aways as Australia. While known for his watercolours, he is always advancing and experimenting, currently undertaking oil on canvas and more abstract steel constructs combined with canvas painting, both excitedly received. While sometimes painting other marques, Grant’s favourite has always been Ferrari – both their road and race cars.

Find out more about Grant and his artwork on his website: http://www.grantthomasdesigns.htmlplanet.com

Grant Thomas - Watercolor 1

First is a tonal study sketch to determine the darkest darks (air intake & lower left) and lights (upper right) and to nail down the composition. I wanted the door handle but it disrupted the compostion to my eye, so it had to go (sadly). A small colour study was done as well.

Grant Thomas - Watercolor 2
Starting at the far end of the boot and working forward. The goal is to make the farthest reds more orange and lighter and going more alizarin/blood red as you move forward. I realize this is opposite to the artist’s rule that states “cooler colours recede, warmer colours advance” but the light source is at the top and I want the brighter reds nearer the light.

Grant Thomas - Watercolor 3

Starting to model the air intake and moving forward with the bodywork.

Grant Thomas - Watercolor 4

More intense rendering of the intake and starting to introduce more evident alizarin crimson reds to the closer sections of the car.

Grant Thomas - Watercolor 5

Now starting the interior seating area of the car. Definite purple hues in this area. This section will become much darker as it is in definite shade, only lit by reflected light and the (comparatively) dull lights of the dealership in which I shot the picture. Also began the nondescript background/floor. This will remain just a meandering wash of blues, purples & neutrals.

Grant Thomas - Watercolor 6

Darkening the interior quite a bit. Starting to block in the rubber areas, taking artist’s licence with the blacks and using purples instead. Black would have created an unpleasant effect. I try never to use it. More intense modeling of the air intake as well.

Grant Thomas - Watercolor 7

Starting the leather areas. Darkening it behind where the window glass is.

Grant Thomas - Watercolor 8

Clarifying the seats with sharper rendering and stitching/piping/embossing details. Added the white highlight edge of the glass with opaque paint. Body panel seams rendered using purple. Again, I try never to use black.

Grant Thomas - Watercolor

Left the engine cover octagonal grating for last as it was going to be time-consuming. First I constructed the grate flat using Adobe Illustrator on a Macintosh. I then scanned in the blank section of the painting and warped the grate to fit my painting’s perspective. Using a printout and graphite, I traced it down to the painting and then rendered it using dark purple, going slightly lighter towards the rear. Finished up by tightening up edges, window marking details etc.

1 Comment

  1. Very nice! What is your location? Do you have classes?

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