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

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The Process
 
1) Layout
After washing and drying Scatha I did a quick detail to remove any remaining spots or dirt. Then I laid out the basic design using a dry erase marker. This roughly followed my initial color sketch, but changed significantly in order to make it work from any angle and to accent the body lines of the car.

Art Car drawing     Art Car layout     Art Car layout     Art Car layout     Art Car layout

2) Under Painting
The first coat of paint does not stick well to the smooth BMW factory paint. Essentially this is the primer coat. The next layer of under painting is more precise and starts to firm up the specifics of the composition.

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3) Clearcoating
Unfortunately the smooth surface of the BMW factory paint, the relatively thin underpainting would be scratched off by the felt nibs of the paint markers I use for the linework. So the underpainting must be clearcoated for durability first.

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4) Base Lines
The under painting clearcoat makes the paint markers slide when drawing the base lines, hampering their ability to flow paint properly. This, combined with the necessity of being very precise with the lines, makes step 4 a very time consuming process. This is also the step during which I lay out the triangles that I use to break up large areas and create transitions. Any mistakes are patched with black paint, then white, then clearcoat to seal it.

Art Car base lines     Art Car base lines     Art Car base lines     Art Car base lines

5) Final Paint
This is the step in which I finalize all paint colors. This includes painting transitions between sections after those sections' colors have been finalized and painted. Note the first picture showing different color dots as markers for final paint color selection on the roof section.

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6) Final Lines
After final paint I put in the final lines. These must, of course, be totally precise and end up as the final definition of the most significant shapes and sources of  movement.

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7) Clearcoating
To protect the acrylic paint from water and UV light I brush on many layers of Liquitex Gloss Medium. This must be done in non-consecutive patches for the first layer to avoid poor texture as the medium gels very quickly when soaking into the paint. During following layers effort must be made to overlap brush strokes to achieve a reasonable surface finish. nothing painted by brush will ever be smooth like a factory paint job, but that is not the goal of this project.

Art Car clearcoat     Art Car clearcoat     Art Car clearcoat     Art Car clearcoat     Art Car clearcoat     Art Car clearcoat

8) Special Textures
After the clearcoat cures I used a Liquitex Flat Medium on the front splitter, rearview mirrors and lowest portion of the rear bumper. I also mixed pearl metallic powder into more gloss medium and brushed this combination onto the ocean on the driver's side. When the light hits it just right it sparkles like the sea.

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