My Painting in grayscale lacks something

I took this image of a 1963 Chevy Lowrider, at a car show. I  decided to paint it in grayscale. Am not planning on changing that. What if anything do you suggest I do to give it more life? Something is missing and I can’t put my finger on it. 



  • I think the only thing that’s missing is the title.
    the painting looks great.  It has an Edward hopperish feel to it.  Like there’s something dark hiding underneath the surface.  I get that feeling from the two figures in the back seat looking off in the distance at something we cannot see.
  • Really? 
    It’s been a long time, since I put myself out there. I wish I knew more about using archival technique. Well, that’s why I’m here. To learn from you all. 
  • It's missing the shine. The chrome. The reflection of the world around them.
    I used to have a 63 chevy and a 65. Mine were beat up hand me downs but they still were chrome a bit pitted but still shine. A showy car will shine. Your chrome and paint isn't shiny. Look at the contrasts in the same mirror below sharp lines and contrasts . 
    The guys inside are just posing. It's theater. The car is the star.

    A note.  It's really hard to evaluate a painting that isn't photographed well. 

  • I think it boils down to what you are trying to say.  What’s the story?  Is the car the star or the people inside the car?
  • Kingston, 
    I think you hit the mail in the head. Starting from the photo. The photo is pretty good but blown up, it loses so much detail. Second, you’re correct about the reflection/s. 

    We are car buff. I act have a ‘67 SS Fast Back, that we are restoring for me. 

    Right now the painting reminds me of a car with primer vs paint. It doesn’t look finished. 

    I do want to keep it grayscale. Will need to study it to see what changes I will make. 

    Thank you for replying.

  • Sorry for the typos, I have a toddler crawling all over me. To top it off, she keeps stealing my eye glasses! 
  • Not sure how to reply to individual comments, yet.

    You do have a point. We attend a lot of car shows, even out-of-state, my husband is a renowned upholsterer, this is our world, has been since we were young. 

    I believe  I’m trying to give the viewer, a sense of our world. It’s important that I focus on the car and the passengers. Can a painting be successful and have more than one main subject?

    This is my husband’s’77 Monte Carlo. 
  • The Monte Carlo is a cool car.  I like the older carts like that.
  • I like it a lot, the only thing that jumped out was that the line between the doors seemed to dark.   I tend to get hung up on it.  And the other thing is that it led me right into the back seat of the car.  Your mileage might vary.

    If you really wanted it to be all shinny and chromy, and vivid people but couldn't pull it off, then yeah, big failure.  I just assume you wanted what you have, and it is great.  Which again is my problem with the value of the crack.  it really pops.
  • That is a cool photo….energetic but also kind of calm at the same time. The painting looks great! I agree with the above comments that the car needs to be shinier cause your mind knows that's how chrome looks so there's a bit of tension when it's not represented that way. Also, if you want to give it more life than it might work to give it a focal point like the guy in the front with the hat cause there's a really good contrast of shapes and values. 
  • I enjoyed this perspective of a subject I am not overly familiar with.
    I agree that it would pop more if it was possible for you to convey the shine of the chrome.
    I do feel a wee bit uncomfortable looking at the driver.  My back gets tired and sore in sympathy for him as he seems to have no seat back to lean against.    I am positive that IRL the seat will be below the window and, therefore, technically not visible to the viewer.  I just wondered if other people may feel the same as me, or maybe I am just really odd?
  • toujours said:

    I am positive that IRL the seat will be below the window and, therefore, technically not visible to the viewer.  I just wondered if other people may feel the same as me, or maybe I am just really odd?
    I had not noticed, but given the perspective, and its absence, it would have to be at least a few inches below the window.

    So IRL, a total backbreaker.

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