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Dedicated to Scatha, Earl Shepherd's BMW Z4 M Coupe and first Art Car.

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FAQ
 
 

 

What inspired you to take on this project?
The original BMW Art Cars. Specifically those of Stella, Calder, Lichtenstein and Warhol. It's a very tricky thing to apply an artistic style to someone else's sculpture while doing justice to both. Those artists inspired me to try my hand at it.

What is the medium?
Acrylic and enamel on car. I used Lyquitex and Golden acrylics, brushed on, and Deco Color enamel markers for the line work.

Why not vinyl?
Printed vinyl is, well, printed. And its resolution is not of sufficient quality. Also, it is essentially impossible to template a compound curving car section so that the overlaying vinyl print will be accurate to the millimeter across the entire section. Hand cut vinyl would have been prohibitively time consuming. Lastly, there can be clearance gaps between panels and difficult-to-hide edges with vinyl.

What challenges did painting on a car present?
Firstly, the size. The car is roughly 14 times larger than the my usual 24"x36" canvas, so elements of my Formal Impressionist style needed to be modified to suit the scale.
Second, the texture. The car's factory paint has very little texture compared to stretched canvas and the initial coats of paint do not bite well. Furthermore, the paint markers would scratch through the underpainting unless I first clearcoated it. This in turn necessitated an additional undercoat before final color could be applied.
Lastly, a car cannot be turned over and around like a stretched canvas. The combination of the car's curves and immobility made every inch of the project more difficult - particularly areas requiring specific precision.

How much paint was required?
Surprisingly little. I expected the large surface area, multiplied by the additional coats required, to suck up a lot of paint. But I only used up about 20oz of paint and 48oz of clear coat. So I have a lot of paint left over, after my initial investment, for future projects.

How long did it take to complete?
Roughly 300 hours; several hours every day for 10 weeks. This was in addition to the hours of pre-paint planning and prep work.

How durable is it?
From previous testing the acrylic paint seems very durable. I ran a test stripe on the hood through multiple track days, heat and rain. Aside from a few rock chips, which would have chipped the factory paint, it looked good as new. Rock chips are, of course, very easy to fix - just mix a little more paint.

Can it be removed?
Sure. Anything can be removed. Based on my testing it should peel off with a little effort, leaving the clean factory paint beneath. But I don't expect that I will want to remove it.

What is it like to drive on the street?
Terrible...because I prefer annonymity. But it is what it is. Do right by the car, and live with the consequences.

Aren't you afraid of damaging it on the track?
Nope. Chips in acrylic is easier to repair than chips in the factory paint. Besides, it's ok for there to be a degree of risk in art. As the original Art Cars were raced, it's certainly fair to take Scatha to the track for non-competition events.

Does this mean that you are done modding Scatha?
Of course not! I have no immediate modding plans, but her sporting side is certainly not frozen in place.


 
 
 
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