Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's been quite a productive week (by eliminating distractions)

It's kind of funny- last night when I was talking to my wife about how much I had got done last week I started to feel bad about how selfish I had been with my time; that I had spent all the sun up time (and some some down) working on artwork & paintings instead of putting nearly as much effort in to some correspondences and communications. I love talking with people about artwork and cars and artwork technique, but this week I just focused on having a bit of 'me time' for artwork which I really haven't had in a while. While I was thinking about the week I at first thought of it as selfish, then I started to feel like, "no wait, this is just a display of my work ethic and passion for what I do". I should ALWAYS want to be having this much fun and making new pieces! I should also want to spend time doing the other side of business things or at least admit that I need to hire some help to keep the gears moving while I'm producing artwork. This week was unique in that I started and finished 9 new paintings- NINE!! Most days that was 2 a day, which is jammin'. Interestingly I had got my oil paints out at the beginning of the week and then just never put them away. It is funny how the slowest paints have helped me produce the fastest artwork. And sure, not every piece is amazing, but the process of creating is sometimes more important then the end result. If I could just sling paint messes about every day I fairly confident that would bring me joy, however, I think my social media audience expects just a little more of me. So I've been working on a happy medium- a mix of messy but legible artwork which has been a unique challenge. I've spent years refining what I consider to be a clean art style, so this want to create messes is different. While I've always enjoyed graffiti and many artists I follow that do do beautiful messes, I recognized my happy spot. But now I think that happy spot was a great way to learn a lot of fundamentals that can now be bent and twisted to suit the mood for that particular piece. I've also spent the last several years working on speed and technique mostly on paper which has given me a little edge on canvas. But perhaps the most important thing that allowed me to be productive this week was (almost) a total lack of distractions. We got a puppy for Christmas and she certainly needs plenty of attention thru the day, but, not nearly as much as responding to comments, emails, messages as soon as they are coming in; a habit I'm very familiar with. Yes, those are the things that keep the gears of business rolling, but if my business is art I also need to be creating art, but in an authentic, organic way (not just because its what Im supposed to be doing). There's a time to handle the communications, or at least there needs to be time set aside for them, but when I answer everything in real time I am constantly disconnecting myself from my artwork, and that's not cool. There's still a balance there that I need to work on, but all part of the journey. One last big factor is that I didn't schedule in any commissions for this particular week which kept me 100% focused on what I wanted to create without limitations. Yes I do some commissions, but most of what I do is non commissioned, actually. And while they can be great, too many may take you of course of your goals or eat up more of your creative time then you think, which is why I don't schedule myself full of commissions.

Well I decided today was going to be a non-art day so I could prove to myself Im not a robot. Going to wash the car and cruise the coast with my wife- have a good one!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I bought a Porsche 996 and now I seem to be doing a lot of Porsche Artwork

I bought a Porsche... whaaaaat? No seriously, yes I did. And lately that's inspired an unusual increase in German car art. I'll get in to the story of my particular car in a separate post, but I can say even from my point of view it's sort of odd that I got one. I'm very much a hot rod/classic car person, and when it comes to luxury/exotics I'm very much a Ferrari person. I certainly don't like ALL Porsche's, but there are a few generations that have my attention for clean, classic design paired with surprising performance. Last night while looking at some fellow enthusiast's cars on the Facebook I happened across a couple shots of a 996 Turbo and decided I had to do a nice dramatic painting. Like NOW. So I black gesso'd a piece of illustration board so I could start with a dark base, then transferred a sketch/outline using a white chalk technique. Initially I was going to use Oil paints, but once I got lines transferred I decided I was going to dust off the ole' airbrush and use some of my favorite paints: Holbein Acryla Gouache. These are basically Gouache paints that will dry permanent like an acrylic (instead of being able to re-wet with water). They also dry in a nice rich matte sheen which is super clean. All the airbrush is done freehand (no masking or stenciling) followed by final details & highlights done using paint brushes and the same paints. I'm a big fan of illustrating/painting in this dramatic/dark studio lighting type of fashion, and I always light my pieces from scratch (no photo reference) and I've recently been informed that that is quite an odd thing to do. For me I feel like I understand lighting & toning well enough to create shape & light interaction from scratch without an image to work from- this gives me the flexibility to highlight what and how I want without being limited to source material. I had an absolute blast working on this painting, next step is to varnish then have it off the framers to get properly completed.

The finished framed original artwork is available, please email us if you are interested:

Monday, January 1, 2018

"Traditional Roadster" Sketch & Ink Video + a short rant

Well Happy New Year! Man it seems like forever since I've got up early enough to make cup of tea sit down to this blog. Last year I spent about a zillion percent of my time wrapped up on other social platforms like Instagram (@Pinstripe_Chris) where we have just over 53k followers, and Facebook (@Pinstripe Chris or Chris Dunlop) where we have over 13k combined followers- Im also a big fan of Pinterest (@ Pinstripechris or Chris Dunlop). Which got me thinking... reflecting, really, this morning- whats the deal with this blog thingy? In the early days I certainly put more consistent time in to it and and got more interaction out of it- in fact, its one of the few content sharing places where I don't feel limited to writing a short post. I love to write and tell the story behind what im creating, and believe me, there's always a story. While on IG or FB I may say things like, "Quick sketch with coffee" or something to that effect- the reality is I chose that subject, picked out the tools, decided on a perspective., and really years of work have gone in to making my simple sketch elegant. So why the lack of effort here on my part? Hmmm... might just be that I'm used to the other platforms and how they operate, which doesnt sound like a great reason at all. Guess im wondering if Blogging is what it used to be, or maybe I never used it the way it was intended- hmmm indeed. I've actually had this blog since 2010 when we still lived in Maryland and I was struggling as an creative, but starting to understand what I wanted to do. Sure it's only been 8 years, but thats longer then any other platform I share in- heck I dont think I've had my email address that long. Well I'm setting out to make some changes here, not specifically because of the new year, but because I'm always looking to optimize and like trying new things. So let me say a little about that video up there:

Several weeks back I was toying with the idea of shooting a quick video of a proper rough sketch complete with ink/marker/airbrush. Nothing too polished, but enough so that I could get it on camera and see what it looked like. I didn't want to spend a ton of time on my 1st go, so I kept it simple. A few nights earlier my wife Caity had helped me with some filming and I saw the improvements I wanted to make form there. Specifically, I wanted to actually shoot it myself on a tripod and move the camera my self to record the segments I could see I wanted to piece together. So I literally moved the camera, set up the focus & timing for each shot while I sketched- I had my wife help me with a few shots I couldn't easily get myself towards completion. Then I put everything together in an apple based video editing program that I crash coursed my self in enough to get by. Last thing I did was write a short loop of a guitar tune and add it to the video (unfortunately it rendered quieter then planned, but its in there). I really just wanted to see what it would be like to put together a cool vid, Im actually really happy with it for what it is. I also like how it shows the general process I use starting from Bic pens going in to ink, then paint. Hopefully it will help answer some questions I've gotten on the process, and certainly if you do have a question- feel free to ask!

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Ran When Parked": a classic tale of air cooled cars

Happy Friday!

Im looking at my posts here for the year going, "man, I sure missed a lot of cool things". So I'm going share some of what we've missed here starting with this classic Vw Bug piece called "Ran When Parked". Im a big air cooled Vw/Corvair enthusiast (I own 1 of each!) and I can't tell you how many times when browsing the classifieds for these I see the phrase 'Ran When Parked' or 'Haven't Tried to Start it', which to me essentially means: 'we tried, but it takes more effort then we are willing' to get it started. Im not sure which this happens more with in the cars that we've looked at, but it feels like more of a tradition with older Vw's. They're pretty resilient tho, so just a little TLC and they seem to get on to the road pretty easily... as long as the tires are round.

The Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Series Prints are SOLD OUT

Open Edition (Printed Signature) Prints are Available HERE

Monday, July 24, 2017

NEW Print Available today "Runner": a tale of robot esacpe

For Motor-Monday we're rolling out the brand new limited edition prints of "Runner": a tale of robot escape. Originally done using inks, markers & acrylics on marker paper, the artwork aims to capture Robot Number 3 mid escape- But from what? Well... we may never know. Or, will a future piece shed more light on the story...hmmm. These guys are signed & numbered out of 100 and available in paper or stretched canvas at

Thanks for looking!

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Bot-Rods": A New Addition to the Art Line Up

Well hello, blog friends! Let me start by saying I know it's been a while since the last post, but there was indeed a good reason for it; it seems for the last 4 months any attempt to create a post with photos didn't seem to work. I have no idea why, despite doing research on the issue, and then all the sudden it works. That's cool, I'll take it!

Alright, to the purpose of today's post:

Although we have a lot of catching up to do from... February?? Seriously! I'd like to start with something recent and fun. I've been starting to include my robot character artwork in to more artwork this past year and in the past few weeks had experimented with a new approach to that inclusion. Where previously I had been doing the Robot Artwork as it's own thing using a separate color palette, tools, and styles, recently I decided to re-approach it from my traditional illustration format using the tools, techniques & style that I am most familiar and comfortable. To my surprise, it went quite well! I mean, I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, but it felt like a refreshing way to combine the way I do illustrative car renderings with the Robot artwork that I enjoy so much. And so a traditional mix of Markers, Inks, Acrylics, and Airbrushing make up the examples shown here- some of my most favorite tools. The result of using the more familiar techniques allows me to get my concepts down quicker and cleaner as well as appease both my Hot Rod loving fans an
d my want to cross over in to the more 'story telling' side of things (which I generally feel is stronger with a character). This crossover lets me explore both the Car Design side of things in a traditional way, as well as add some flair to the artwork in a story telling way. I've got lots more to learn and explore in this method to really find a strong effective balance, but I look forward to sharing lots more "Bot-Rods"!

#hotrod #botrod #robot #scifi #artwork #pinstripechris #chrisdunlop

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Mopar piece from the Early Days for Mopar Monday

For Mopar Monday here's a 69 Charger piece from the very early days of doing artwork full time. This piece was done completely freehand using Sharpies, pens, and markers- no rulers, curves or ellipses were used for any of the lines; Good Times! One of my best memories of the early days of doing this type of artwork was my lack of ability to afford the cool tools that would no doubt make for a cleaner, sharper, end result- but I rose to the challenge by using pinstriping techniques I had previously spent many years learning and it seemed to work. I used those techniques (and still do) for more pieces then I can count. Now a days if im after perfection I will likely grab the appropriate tools- the difference is often what im looking for in an end result. For example if im doing a build rendering, im going to want more accuracy. However if Im doing a more stylized piece of artwork I will do what feels the most stylistic which rarely involves many tools at all.

 We are currently doing a small print run of these, check them out at: