Vector: Jackie’s Honda S2000 Progress

I’ve been on a mission to try and get better at this sooner rather than later. I feel like I’m so close but I always get to a stage and get stuck and it’s frustrating as f***. I’m pretty confident in myself in outlining the car and all other details. I’ve got a tad better at colouring but now I’m stuck at shading and highlights. I can’t figure out how to shade properly for the life of me. I can do closed areas like vents but that’s pretty much it unfortunately.

I suspect that after I get over this hump of trying to learn how to do shading/highlights, I’m going to have a hell of a time with headlights and wheels. Anyway, thought I would share my progress on this… I’m hoping I can have a finished piece that’s worth looking at by the end of the year. Baby steps until then… I’ll keep posting progress as I go!

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Here is the base I decided to work with this time.



After about an hour and a half, I was able to get the line work done. I’m starting to find different techniques as I go that look better than others. Ie., thicker lines for the outline, thinner lines as I move to smaller details on the inside. It sort of looks like the game Auto Modellista on PS2 if any of you guys played that a long time ago…

I’m also finding that it’s probably best to try and stay away from small details that don’t really matter that can make the project a little more difficult and messy for an amateur. Things like windshield wipers, small grooves, etc. Little things that people wouldn’t necessarily notice or miss when they look at it. I was overall pretty happy with the linework of the S2000, most lines came out smooth and the car doesn’t look as beat up like my FRS did.


And finally, I got the base colour down. This takes no time at all, and makes it look half decent, but it’s really missing the reflections/highlights/shading. I am absolutely clueless on how to do this so if any of you vector pros know how to do it, help a brotha out!

As you can see on the front bumper, I was able to do some knife work on the vents to get partial shading which I was super proud of myself for, despite it being a super simple task. I tried creating highlights and ended up removing them because it looked like poop. I’ll take another shot at it tonight to see how far I get…

Vector Art Headaches: Part 2

I was finally able to get Adobe Illustrator from my good friend, Andrew – who also helped me build my current PC power plant to do all my editing. I was practicing my pen tool skills in Photoshop since that’s my go-to program, but it’s just not the same because you aren’t creating “true” vectors. So I asked him if he could help me out with this too, and without fail – he came through!

After long hours and multiple files of different cars to practice on, I made a somewhat acceptable piece. It is rough like no tomorrow but I guess practice makes perfect. I think I’ve put about 10 hours into learning the absolute basics. The saying that it takes you 10,000 hours to master something is probably true in my case – so I have 9,990 hours to go…

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Here is one of many bases I decided to work with. At first, I had picked out a very difficult base with tons of reflections, tons of complicated lines and I was just getting no where. I then chose a side shot of a car – which is a bit more simple – but still complicated due to the detail in the wheels. After several more bases that I gave up half way on, I decided on going with this.

Not the best base because it lacks proper reflections, it’s dirty, and it’s half in the garage and half out of the garage. The line work overall was easier to do and that’s what I wanted to practice.


Line working is probably the most tedious part of it all. If your lines suck, then your drawing will suck. No different than actual pencil and paper art – details matter here and you learn that quickly when vectoring. The trickiest part is creating curves because they are created through an anchor point, straight lines, and an adjustment point – AKA a Bézier curve – a fancy mathematical equation to do fancy things.

Anyway, I think I got the handle of lines – I still have a few things to figure out like how to create nicer curves over longer distances (see on top of the diffuser, roof line, and bottom/top portion of the wing). I would say the most difficult part is coloring and shading. For the most part, I just made up shaded areas on my own using fancy lines since the lighting wasn’t ideal in the original picture for me to follow. Lights are a solid colour because I have yet to learn how to do reflections and gloss. Carbon is way out of my league, but I think I have gotten a handle on gradients nicely – peep the noob titanium tips.

Overall – pretty decent but no where near where I’d like to be. Hoping to keep practicing on my own to get better at creating my own work. The toughest part is not having someone to ask for help and spending hours trying to figure out one thing properly through tutorials or youtube videos… Patience is a virtue, I suppose.

Vector Art Headaches

Not sure how far I’ll get with this but I thought I’d post it for the hell of it… Just in case I do happen to find some more inspiration or more patience to get it done.  I’ve recently been seeing a lot of talented guys – Jay (JDM EGO) being one of the first to really create inspiring automotive digital artwork. My knowledge and experience in that domain is so thin and virtually non-existent that it would take years to come close to the likes of Jay.

BUT – that’s not to say that I’m one to shy away from trying my hand at it. Since the days of JDM EGO art, there have been a handful of other talented artists that have come out and shared their talents through social media. A part of me totally appreciates the work that they do because it’s extremely time-consuming and I respect that. Art these days is under appreciated and in some ways, it’s dying because it can be easily bastardized – lots of copying, lots of new school talent coming across as professional talent… It’s not hard to separate the good from the bad, but it does start to turn into finding a needle in a haystack when you’re looking for good work.

But I digress – that’s a debate for another day. Ironically, this post probably falls within the realm of “new school/bad talent”. Back to the point of this whole post – I love art. I love creating art – whether it’s through a piece of paper and a pencil, my camera or digital art on my computer. I believe in being paid for good work – I also believe in “if you build it, they will come”. In other words, while I can (and like to) pay and support my fellow artists to create beautiful art for me, I enjoy trying to create the art I love in my own way. Here is my somewhat of a half-assed attempt…


I took a shot of my car I took earlier this year and I tried outlining it…


About 1.5 hours in, I got to this point. Not entirely happy with it, but not disappointed either. I’ll tell you this much – I need to spend probably double that time doing the exact same thing to get cleaner and smoother lines. Quite frankly – my lines are garbage in most areas except where you see straight lines. To be honest, after I’m done the lines, I’m not even sure where to begin with colour or shading…

Anyway, that’s where I am now… Not completely sure how to proceed so if anyone who does this has any tips – I’d gladly listen! My goal is to finish a piece and have it printed… When that’s going to happen is beyond me!

Toon Car Art

Man, this place has been dead lately… Not much happening in my world lately. Still been super busy with work, waiting on car parts, waiting for nice weather… It’s pretty much been a big bore around here. Diana has been obsessed with the Mindy Project lately and I hate just sitting on the couch doing nothing, so I’ve decided to pick up the pencil again and do some drawing for the garage.

Over the last few days, I’ve finished up the last three cars (excluding the Lexus, because I already got that drawn out) and picked up some frames today to hang them up. Everyone is really starting to hustle with getting their cars ready so it’s getting super exciting and I know everyone is really itching to start driving again… Probably a month left until we get the cars out!

Anyway, as a post to show you I’m not dead, I just decided to take some snaps of the new art. I was also too lazy to grab my SLR so this is from my iPhone… Updates soon! I promise!

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The three musketeers. STI, FRS, Civic.Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

A shot of the STIProcessed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

A shot of the CivicProcessed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

And finally, a shot of the FRS.