Portrait of Grandmother with Chevrolet Bel Air

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This post is about my recent portrait featuring a woman and a Chevrolet Bel Air. This portrait was drawn from old photographs assumingly taken in early 50's. The person featured in the portrait is the grandmother of the woman named Jen who commissioned me to create this artwork as an original gift for her mother for the upcoming Mother’s Day.

old vintage photos
The portrait of the grandmother was drawn from old photographs

The younger generation is luckier than our parents and older ancestors when it comes to preserving time and memory of their loved ones. Today almost anyone can make and share hundreds of photos and videos of decent quality without having to visit specialized studios and even enable real-time remote communication with his or her mother using free Internet tools when she is far away. Our parents had not all those technological benefits we enjoy today living in the digital age. Very often our parents have to content themselves with a few poor quality photos of their fathers and mothers. It’s pity those photos oftentimes do not look good enough to be hung on a wall or be displayed in a conspicuous place.

Chevrolet Bel Air drawing and woman portrait
The custom gift for Mother’s Day – the grandma portrait with a Chevy car

That's the reason why Jen has chosen a portrait of her grandma as a surprise gift for her mom who apparently had only a few old and faded b&w photos of her mother.

woman portrait with Chevy car drawing
The monochrome version of the grandma’s portrait

Chevy Bel Air drawing
The color version of the grandma’s portrait

I personally think this portrait is a good, creative and touching idea for the Mother’s Day gift. Jen wanted the portrait to have a vintage vibe and reflect the spirit of 1950s when her grandmother was enjoying her young years. She suggested introducing a vintage Chevrolet car to the portrait to support this retro portrait idea. To my surprise when I asked her to choose between two drawing styles for the portrait – drawing with color pencils and pen brushes (a kind of imitation of the traditional vintage drawing style) and black and white drawing with brushes and pen & ink using the hatching technique – she chose the latter option as she believed that the black and white hatching would give the portrait a very peculiar retro look. Well, I tried my best to impart the vintage vibe to the drawing and to adapt my hatching technique to the desired result. I also created a few color versions of the digital image of the portrait to add more retro appearance to the artwork. I hope that Jen's mother will appreciate the gift, and a large and good-looking portrait of the beloved mother and grandmother will find its place of honor in a conspicuous place of the happy family’s house to always remind them the person whose loving care can never be forgotten and underappreciated.

Related posts:
Drawing a portrait from an old photograph
Pin-up with a 1956 Chevrolet car


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