The Classics

At the invitation of Richard Sheppard and his monthly sketch group I headed up to Cloverdale for the Annual Car and Motorcycle Show.  It was a bit like how I felt attending a Tattoo festival last year. I mean, out of my element. I wouldn’t really know how to converse with one of these classic car owners with any kind of knowledge. (I drive a 2006 Prius whose computer does all the thinking for me)

carshowLamy Joy fountain pen and w/c in (full spread) 8X8″ sketchbook

It was such a riot of color with these classics taking over the main street of town, spit polished and neon colored in the blinding midday sunshine. I walked until I found a super sleek and classically lined car with a spot in the shade for me to set up my little stool. Simple, all black. Ha!

Two tries and I started to get the shapes down and was feeling proud. . .until I realized that black is the hardest color to paint, especially when time is an element and it is reflecting light off every surface – the green of trees above, the red of cars across.

Meanwhile the owner turned out to be well known and an award winning car show personage so I got to listen to all kinds of car talk as others arrived and as he periodically brushed some infinitesimal dust mote off the surface.

It wasn’t til I got home that I realized that my sketch had robbed his beloved 1940 Ford Deluxe of it smooth luster. He was gracious and forgiving, a kind host to my intrusion.


Next I decided to go for color, which I thought might be easier, once my eyes got used to the bright glare. The music at this spot matched the Cougar in the foreground and I started to feel like perhaps I was in my element after all. I knew all the songs by heart!



  1. I really enjoy your sketches! Will you be offering a sketch class in the spring? I’ve moved to Chico, but my daughters live in Sonoma County still, I could combine a visit and a class with you!


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