Monday, March 26, 2012

This was a fun chop to create! I've been thinking of older Cadillacs a lot lately, and have been finding original publicity photos online and saving them to my hard drive. This was a black-and-white press photo of the new-for-1971 Eldorado convertible, a car that is most definitely a modern classic. In addition to the design changes, detailed below, I added in a subtle 4-color hand-tinted look to the rendering.

For this design "tweak," the biggest change I made was restoring the hidden headlights of the 1967-68 Eldorados. Besides being a very period touch, hidden headlights really clean up a front end. I broadened the grille to full-width, removed the stand-up hood ornament and added the Cadillac wreathe-and-crest to the hood, a '67-'70 styling cue. Then I cleaned up the bodysides, removing the mid-level chrome spear and the front nameplate and engine logo. I moved the front cornering lights down into the rocker panel to blend better with the chromed rocker panels between the wheelwells. I left the nifty decorative rear fender "vent" as it's such a great nod to not only the original Eldorado of '53 but most Cadillac models of the '50s. Then I added back in a teeny tiny letterspaced E-L-D-O-R-A-D-O nameplate on the lower front fender and a wreathe-and-crest logo on the rear fender. Last addition? A Connecticut license plate.

Overall, I tried to "clean up" a classic GM design. Ballsy perhaps, but the late, great Bill Mitchell isn't around to yell at me, lol. But that would be COOL!

T E C H N I C A L   T H O U G H T — At first I completely "shaved" the sides of the car, airbrushing in a perfect white paint job where I had removed the chrome bodyside spear etc. But the sides looked too "flat" without reflections. I looked back at the original image and added back in the very subtle horizontal reflections all along the lower sides of the car. Now I think they look like I didn't quite remove the chrome spear correctly, lol. I went back and forth several times, with them, without them, with them, without them, finally deciding to leave them in the final rendering.

Popular Posts