“ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS CAR ART, SO I GAVE UP THE DAY JOB AND HAVEN’T LOOKED BACK”
Where do you start?
Pretty simple, you send me the photo of your car or the subject and I’ll turn it into the piece of art that you want. I usually get sent a physical photograph or a digital rendering on a disc or memory stick, which I can download and print off. It’s important you send me the views you want — generally, that’s a front threequarter shot, but I can collate a montage of several views dotted around the composition depending on how detailed you want it to be.
Are there options on how many views you want?
Of course. The most cost-effective is the one-view composition, which generally takes a week and will cost around £400-450, but it’s pretty common that most will want more than that — maybe a rear three-quarter too or a detail like the badge on the front. Or indeed, the ultimate, a fully detailed drawing of the engine bay, too. These obviously take more time.
Does the client get a say in how the finished piece will work?
Definitely, that’s why I love this work because you get to interact with the owner of the car, or the person commissioning the work.You find out how they tick and therefore, exactly what they want. I’ll then do a layout sketch, which is free, so that there are no surprises when the finished work is revealed! You then basically know exactly what it is you’re getting and that the layout is right. That and the size, the details — everything really. But once we’ve arrived at a conclusion, there’s no going back — I take a deposit, then I’m drawing and colouring it!
Where did you do your training?
Like most car-nut kids, I was always drawing cars and I realised that that was what I wanted to do, eventually gaining the equivalent of an A-level in Art. From there, I attended Portsmouth College of Art graduating with a tech illustration diploma and did my first actual illustrations for Marconi Space and Defence. Most of that was black and white and just illustrations, which was a bit tedious, so I used to do graphics and car art for people as a sideline. Eventually it got to the point where you have to make a decision — I wanted to simply do car art and I gave up the job and went on my own and haven’t looked back.
We noticed there are several copies of each piece of work.What happens there?
The actual commission is for an original hand-coloured drawing, but I usually ask the client if I can have the piece scanned and then printed as a limited run. That’s usually around 650 and each one is numbered and signed by me. I have also run copies of well-known cars, say a Shelby Cobra, which I’ve been lucky enough to get, in this instance, Carroll Shelby to sign. Those are obviously very limited and I’ll generally get a run of 20 signed by a celebrity car owner. I also have a massive collection to choose from of illustrations I’ve done in the past — plenty
of which are on the website (www.christopherdugan.co.uk, or www.motoring-man.co.uk/artwork). And it’s not just full-size prints either, as I can do cards from one to a box of 20.
Do you have to have a full-size commission?
That does make up the bulk of my work but there’s obviously different sizes, I can also do you a line drawing of your car, too — these can be very effective and are pretty low cost. A small print can be as little as £35 ranging up to £120 for a full-size line drawing.
Who are your automotive heroes and your inspiration?
I have to say my favourite era is the ‘50s and ‘60s and I love British sports cars — Jags, Healeys and Astons. Equally, I have a passion for Lotus Cortinas and any ‘60s Ford really, although I’ve never drawn enough Anglias, but that’s being increasingly put right! As for my hero, it has to be Jim Clark while Sir Stirling Moss is right up there, too. I have worked with him several times, he’s great to talk to, especially on the subject of cars.
What’s your favourite classic Ford?
With my hero being Jim Clark it’s got to be a Lotus Cortina, but I’m not likely to be able to afford one so I’m very fond of the whole Mk1 Cortina range — especially the GT. Chris Dugan, 02392 252610, firstname.lastname@example.org
Although Chris works on commission, he often produces limited runs of prints, like this Rothmans RS1800.
Tools of the trade: Chris mainly works with gouache along with pen and ink.
As a big Jim Clark fan, it’s only right that Chris should do a rendition of one of his Cortinas.
As a huge classic motorsport fan, Chris has plenty of inspiration to draw from.
Broadspeed Anglia treatment is one of Chris’ latest works.
Artwork can take a week upwards to complete, and it’s all done in Chris’ home studio.