Saturday, June 25, 2011

VW Bus

This magnificent old Volkswagen bus was parked in my mechanic’s lot.


I couldn’t resist doing a miniature watercolor portrait of it while I waited around for my car inspection.

My family used to own a VW bus, a slightly newer model. It was terribly underpowered, and gave an earnest whine as it struggled slowly up even the smallest hill. People would pass us, laughing.

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Previously: Mud Puddle
Book about the VW Camper

14 comments:

Greg Newbold said...

Haven't seen a classic 21 window bus for a while. I had a friend in college who had one-he painted it yellow and black like a taxi cab. Thanks for sharing Jim.

Chloe Cumming said...

Lovely little portrait...

I recently got your color and light book for my birthday and I'm enjoying it very much.

daylily fan said...

I believe these classic VW vans were powered by the same air cooled engine as the same era Beetles. So, it's little wonder that they were underpowered in the vans

Michael said...

An excellent lifestyle choice. No rent or mortgage and plenty of time and place to paint.

Wolf Lahti said...

I had a 1963 bus with the 1500 cc engine and never had any problems with speed. Acceleration was an issue, yes, but once I built up velocity, I could easily keep up with any bicycle on the road.

Dave said...

The Watercolor of the old V W bus is very cool and I for one am glad that you're into Watercolor rather that that sticky oily stuff.

Ruca said...

Very very nice watercolour sketch. Muito fixe!

wade_watson said...

This is funny. I just clicked your entry after watching a 23 window Microbus sell for $198,000 at a big collector's auto auction shown on Speed-- surpassing dozens of slick sports cars and impeccable vintage stuff. If you can talk the guy out of this one you might have a real investment.

peter richard harren said...

Holy crap! That is gorgeous! Happiness! You're my hero!

Arts in the Family said...

That's my dream van. What a beauty!

Alberto Ramirez Jr.

Petr Mores said...

I noticed you used a fairly striking red brown pencil for some shadows. Was that a deliberate departure from the actual model, or something that was there, or something that you emphasized? I am keen to learn about the logic behind such choices. A gem of a painting, as usual!

James Gurney said...

Wade, our mechanic sold it for $19,000 dollars to Motor Trend magazine, which will restore it. It only had two owners and was all original. My mechanic was sad to sell it, but he just didn't have time to restore it.

Petr, there was a bit of rust under it, and on the top of the roof, so that's why I used the red pencil. But there's some logic behind the choice, too. Sometimes I use colors for the darks instead of black to give some chromatic character to the shadows. Shadows in the real world always have something going on in them.

Thanks, Chloe, and happy birthday.

Dave, we love your new picture. You've taken us on some unforgettable art museum jaunts in your Foxmobile, a genuine VW camper with delicious coffee.

Wolf, you had us laughing!!

Daylily, so that explains it!

Greg, I'd like to see one painted like a cop car.

Michael, ah, the rolling studio. We will dream, too.

And thanks for your kind words, Alberto, Ruta and Peter.

Rebecca S. said...

Great bus! The illustration reminded me of one of my favourite illustrators, Shirley Hughes. My husband had a VW Westfalia van when I met him and sold it to my brother who used it to live out his temporary dream to be a hippie in Mexico and California.

Sebastian Gaydos said...

Oh! I love the cartoonish effect of this VW portrait. Sometimes you can't help but smile when you remember an old ride you used to have. Are you still using it now?