Friday, June 22, 2018

Old Pickup Trucks

"My Old Ford F-1" digital, 2018
Tom T. Hall, the famous country singer/songwriter has a song that enumerates the things he loves, including "Little baby ducks, old pickup trucks..." Like Mr. Hall,  I too love old pickup trucks--not that I work on them or own any, I just enjoy the old ones because they have curves, elegance, even a kind of grace that trucks these days don't possess. A few years ago I owned a restored 1950 Ford F-1 pickup--so old that it had no seatbelts, a non-adjustable bench seat in the cab and an oak plank truck bed. It was a real honey, but like so many things, it eventually had to pass on. Thinking about it today I dug out an old snapshot and sketched it using Sketchbook and a Wacom tablet. It was a dark metallic green, but I left the image colorless to explore the curves.

Many of the post-war machines of the mid-twentieth century, pickup truck or otherwise, were classics. During the 1930s automobiles became streamlined, more in tune with the streamline trend in Art Deco, but the world war interrupted that progress. Early European autos of the thirties were particularly beautiful (Bugatti, for example). But its the great cars from about 1948 through the 1980s that give me the most pleasure. These cars were big and solid, and they became more and more powerful, culminating in muscle cars in the sixties and seventies.

"Two Antiques," ink and watercolor
There is a vintage car dealership here that specializes in those kinds of cars--the ones boomers remember from childhood. They have a big lot and showroom and almost any day you can go and find cars to sketch. The last couple of sketches I made at the lot there are posted here. The first
"Yellow Pickups," ink and watercolor
is a watercolor and ink of a 1959 Chevrolet and a sixties Mustang side by side in the showroom window. The light was such that one side was shaded. I started this as a pencil drawing, laid in colors, touched it up with ink and then added highlights and lighter passages with white gouache. This is about 3.5x7.

The lower sketch is 3.5x11 in one of my pocket sketchbooks, two antique pickup trucks, each a shade of yellow, parked outside. The nearer one had large knobby tires and a visor and had been much modified and restored. The other, while a bright canary yellow that was clearly not a factory color, seemed more true to the original production model. Both were interesting to draw and paint while passersby lingered once in a while. 

During the summer I expect to have more chances at these old beauties. Time will tell.

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