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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Triumph TR3 portrait in progress 1

Most of my Fans are animal-lovers, but this new portrait I’m starting for Joe Policastro is something very different…it’s a car portrait!

Joe's 1960 Triumph TR3.

Colored pencil portrait of a Triumph TR3 in progress in Kevin's studio

I coached Joe on how to take good reference photos of the Triumph for me. As we were deciding which of Joe’s photos to use and the best way to portray the car, Joe asked me,

“Do cars have the detail of a dog's coat, eyes, souls and personality to you? Is this what you are trying to get me to capture?

Never thought of cars as being anything but inanimate objects.”

My reply:

They do have the same visual detail as a human or pet to me. Headlights instead of eyes, a grill instead of the intricacies of an ear… As for souls and personality, I’m surprised you being a car buff would ask that. I have definitely found my own cars to have personalities. Especially my older cars that I owned for a long time. I wonder if new cars are just blank slates, all alike as if they were cut with a cookie-cutter, and it’s only with age and the partnership with their human driver that makes cars develop an individual personality. I got emotionally attached to some of my cars, and not others. Why? Their individual personalities? I have been extremely blessed to have had THE BEST personalities in my cars as well as dogs and cats.

What I’m trying to get you (or any client) to capture: an image that moves you emotionally, makes you feel something when you look at it. Love, admiration, pride, satisfaction, whatever. The purpose of art is to make us feel.

I got a kick out of Joe’s reply. He wrote:

“Thanks for the reply. Yes each of my older cars have a unique personality. Sometimes they can be sweet and other times I hate them because they are such a pain and always demanding attention.”


This is where I ended my first day's work on the front bumper and headlight. In my next post I'll talk about how I get a car to look "shiny" using colored pencils.

Colored pencil portrait of a Triumph TR3 in progress


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