1964 Falcon Futura Convertible. Oil painting on 20x14 inch board


  • Oh this is so cool! The car is spectacular, is it yours? And the painting is nicely executed, I like the surfaces - the metal parts look properly metallic, the glass - very glass-like, the soft top has a fabric quality 😊 Well done!
  • edited September 8
    Thank you @BBB, no I wish it was mine :-)

    Its from a photo I took in New York when I took my daughter on a weeks vacation for her 21s birthday 8 years go.

    Thank you for your kind comments.

  • edited September 8
    Awesome. @MichaelD. The chrome, the lights, the paintwork, the colour, the composition ... I love everything about it and the warm green background sets the car off beautifully. Well done!  :)

    (I used to own a car like this only it wasn't a convertible. )
  • Thank you so much @tassieguy, I am glad you like it.

    Very pleased with it myself.

    Great that you owned one, I wish I had one of these 

  • I love it @MichaelD! the colors look perfect,  reflections are amazing :)
  • Oh wow! This is great, @MichaelD Everything works so well! And that chrome bumper!!

    It's so pleasing to look at!  Wish I had a car like that.  Great job!! 

  • edited September 8
    Thank you @Bucky, I like it when a piece gets a “wow”   :o

    Much appreciated.

    Yes I would love one like it too.   :)
  • Fantastic work!  The background color you chose is perfect for this.  You definitely got the textures and reflections right on this.  Right up to the plastic rear “window”.

  • Thank you @GTO, I appreciate your comments.

  • Your mastery of the surfaces is just wonderful. And we know it comes to man-made things the eye picks up any deviation in perspective or line... I can't see any.
    I'd like to ask about process. What did you use to sketch? How did you progress from sketch to painting without losing your sketch and getting lost on where things should be, or being so wedded to your sketch that it feels clunky? I'm not sure if my question is clear.
    I have a painting with lots of architectural details and I'm struggling with the transition from sketch to painting.
  • I am itching to slip around the side, jump in and drive away, but the wheel is on the wrong side for me, damn!  Really well done.   A work to be justifiably proud of.
  • edited September 9
    Thank you @Abstraction
    for this I first traced from the photo and transferred to the board as a guide.

    Where is the skill in that, some may say ?

    Well many well known and respected artists use tools like projectors to outline their work to start on.

    It is not a method I always use, I either do free hand or a grid. But you are absolutely right about the eye very easily detecting when something is out or deviated, so I used this method to get as close as I could.
    I feel I am competent at drawing, but this took a good while to paint, so drawing it first would have made it 3 times longer.

    Having said that the transferred image was very faint, and as you point out gets lost during the painting process, so it really is just a guide rather than a paint by numbers type process.
    You can not really be wedded to the sketch or transfer and have to adjust and correct things accordingly as you go along.

    This is when the slow steady free hand painting has to take over. The majority of the lines, straight and curved are free hand painted, I used a plastic ruler for some of the very fine straight ones on the bumper.

    The grill above the bumper is also my own version and not true to the source photo. I made those diagonal vents bigger, so there are less of them in my painting, they are all free hand painted. But there were several times when I got some of them out of whack, and had to remove them and start over.

    It was a slow process, I took over a week on the grill and bumper, doing a few hours daily, slow and steady. But importantly knew when I needed to stop and come away form it. It can be easy to get to involved in the detail that you dont see it. So its good to leave it, come back next day and see what does not look right and needs addressing.

    I hope that helps, feel free to ask anything else.

  • Ha Ha Thank you @toujours, the wheel is on the wrong side for me too, but I would still give it a go  :)
  • That's great, I totally support your approach. I used the same transfer technique for the architectural details in my portrait. I obliterated the details in places when I painted a pair of statues and the faces of my kids in the portrait because in painting that kind of form the lines are restrictive - but I need to get the pillars and lines and things right - so your description above is very helpful. I've used painters tape as well for long indentations in the rounded pillars - which all have to be in perspective as well. Ultimately I will carefully paint freehand over them for final coats. That's the plan, anyway - still thinking it all through.
  • :) Thanks @Abstraction, I will admit in the past I was not comfortable with the idea of tracing but, as I mentioned other artist methods above use various similar methods. Some of the masters using lenses and mirrors in the past. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one of my favourite artists Norman Rockwell used to project the image onto his work surface.

    I would be careful with the tape as it can make things look like they are cut out.

    For example, I was tempted to use it, though I never have before, and consequently didnt, on the edge of the car when doing the background.

    All those edges of the car metal and the fabric hood and the background green were done at the same time while they are both wet, bringing each surface as close as possible together, then running over the both edges simultaneously with a wide sift brush, then correcting any errors of one side straying into another. Its a fine slow process and makes it look more natural.
    Though, clearly one is the background and the other isnt, you dont want them looking separate if that makes sense.

    If the tape works for you though, that is fine it may be right for what you want.


  • I'm just using the tape for block in, really. It speeds it up because there are so many straight lines that need to be in perfect perspective. As I said, all final layers will be by hand. I love very fine work.
  • Of course, sorry I should read properly  B)
  • Hey Michael,
    what a lovely painting.
    The Reflections make it so real, and the drawing looks perfect.
    I'm also tracing when I know I have to get everything perfect. It doesn't make the painting any lesser compared to a freehand drawing that you would eventually get right.
    The methods used to finish a painting are irrelevant to the end result.
    Good job, a painting you can proudly hang on your wall! 

  • Thank you @Marinos_88, I’m glad you like it.

    I agree 

  • Fantastic, impressive, pleasing piece.

    I agree with others about the tracing.  To trace when the end result is a drawing... I don't like that concept.

    But tracing for a painting is a totally different thing.  Don't take away any credit because of that.  

    Paint is a world of colors and values and it's a zone we step into once the pencil is away.  They are independent of each other.

    You did great on this!
  • edited September 10
    I agree with the others about tracing in instances like this, @MichaelD. It would take me ages to get that drawing right  and, unlike me, you work a regular job and have limited time to paint so I think taking a shortcut is fine. And as you say, there is still a lot you have to do to get the painting right. Other well established artists trace or use projectors and grids. And old masters like Vermeer  and probably, Caravaggio, da Vinci and Ingres, all used the camera obscura to draw from so you're in good company.  And you're quite up front about it so there is no question of trying to deceive. It's a fabulous painting whatever methods you used.  :)
  • edited September 10
     @ MichaelD; I have taken to doing the same thing, with the calendar series I have just (yeh!) finished painting. 
      I run my laptop through my big tv screen.   I found if I brought a photo up of the building I wanted to paint and made it the same size as the paper,  I could tape the gessoed paper over it and trace the important lines of the buildings using a watercolour pencil of shades melded with burnt umber. 
     It had to be done at night with the lights switched off.  Then I could overlay the people and horses in front. 
    After that, I taped the paper to a board and had the same size pictures on the screen to paint,  It is much easier having the reference and the actual work the same size as there is less thinking when painting the shapes, etc..  I had to make up a lot of what I was doing as I often used modern photos and had to draw in my own clothes, harness, carts etc...   A picture I used of half a horse standing in a paddock, would become a whole horse harnessed to a cart in the middle of a town by the end of it. At times, I changed the position of the legs of a person or horse, by freehand so it all became completely unrecognisable from the original photos.   
    Therefore, I am not ashamed to say the underdrawings were traced from the photos I had on the tv screen.
    I have never seen a lightbox, but presume what I have discovered that worked for me, might be a similar thing.    The light from the tv shines the picture through the paper.
    My only trouble with working off the big tv screen, is I am unable to colour match anything since the light of the screen prevents comparisons.
  • @allforChrist, Thank you I am pleased that you like it, and @tassieguy @toujours,

    Yes I dont see the tracing as an issue, more a guiding tool to get where it needed to be.

  • Amazing…
    Until I zoomed in, I thought the painting was the reference picture! It doesn’t get much better than that!
    You do good work!
  • a very fine painting this is @MichaelD ! top notch like the subject itself  :)
  • Thank you @buchmarshall, I am pleased that you like it


  • Thank you for your kind words @anwesha:)
  • I saw this old 1969 photo in a collection on youtube yesterday and had to share a screenshot of it with you.   I had to giggle, even if it is not the same model as yours!  I hope I am not breaking any copyright laws by sharing it.  I will remove it if necessary.

  • Wow @MichaelD!  You did a fantastic job with your painting.  I love the shiny/reflective metal and all the grill detail with more reflections in that.  It's positively perfect.  Bravo!!
  • edited September 11
    Similar @toujours, though this one you posted is a hard top.   :)
  • Thank you @A_Time_To_Paint, I am pleased that you like it.

  • Great painting @MichaelD, beautifully executed. I can really appreciate the composition of this, particularly the negative spaces around the vehicle. 
  • Thank you so much @Roxy much appreciated.

    I am intrigued, what is it about the negative space that does it for you ?

  • Spectacular @MichaelD! The color of the car, the reflection in the car’s paint. Just the whole painting. Can’t say enough about this. Reminds me of the 1968 Chevy Impala SS convertible I had in high school🙂. Beautiful job!  
  • Thank you so much for your kind [email protected], I am pleased that you like it.

    I just had a look at some photos of the kind of car you had, great.

    I would definitely like to do more paintings of these kinds of classic cars.

  • Thanks to everyone of you for the all of the -Awesomes- and kind comments, it really is appreciated.

    Down the line after it is varnished I intend to make a floating frame for it.

  • Wow! That is beautiful.
  • Thank you @John1966, I am pleased you like it, much appreciated.
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