THEIR FIRST CAR – charcoal and carbon drawing of Grandma and Grandpa

I doubt too many of my readers (a whole six people!) would remember the days of “outdoor plumbing”. That’s basically a nice way of saying:”You have to go outside to use the bathroom and ‘its’ inside that little, wooden shed.”  Yes. I’m talking about an “outhouse”. That was something I remember all too well, as a very young kid, going ‘up North” to visit Grandpa. 

Grandma and Grandpa are from a “by-gone” era. One that was to witness the most rapid advancements in technology the world had ever seen. I never knew my Grandmother but I sure got to know Grandpa. It was while looking through some copies of old photographs that my Mother had received from her sister, that I found a picture that just screamed:”Draw Us!”  So…..that’s what I did.  Below is the reference photo I used.

Oh wait!  Before I forget. I need to let my Aunt Vi know;  “Yes, Aunt Vi. That really is a drawing and not two photographs overlaid.”  There. Got that cleared up and out-of-the-way. I just hope she believes me (sigh).


My imagination gets ahead of me sometimes and things just pop into my head that even surprise me. While looking at the photograph above, I was also looking at a photograph of an old Buick that Grandma and Grandpa owned shortly after they were married. But I didn’t like the photograph of the vehicle and I didn’t like the images of either Grandma or Grandpa when they were sitting in their vehicle, or standing next to it. There just wasn’t any strong expressions there. So, guess what I did?  I improvised!

Instead of using the old Buick, which wasn’t completely visible in most photos that Mother had, I decided to use an old Model T from 1923 in its place. The entire concept of the drawing was to utilize the child-like expression of my Grandparents in the photo above, in showing their excitement and anxiousness in becoming “newly weds” who had just bought their first car together.

Now, if there happen to be any relatives or family members who are reading this blog post, who wish to scold me for not holding to “facts” or historical accuracy, all I have to say is:”Well, bless your heart.”

Below is the final result. It was drawn on Fabriano Artistico bright white 140 lb hot press water-color paper. I used carbon for the Model T mostly, and charcoal for everything else, including the glass of the windshield and head lights.



Posted below are some of the close-up photographs of the drawing.  CAVEAT: The photographs posted do not do justice to this drawing. The brilliant white of the paper really lends a strong contrast to the shades of blacks and grays and makes everything “pop”. Wish I had a better camera (sigh)







SIZE: 22″ x 30″ Original

I will be making this drawing available for reproduction as well.  I will be offering two sizes for fine art prints and I will also be offering a Limited Edition, museum grade print, which will be nearly the same size as the original.

TO ANY INTERESTED RELATIVES THAT MIGHT BE READING THIS BLOG: If you are interested in owning a print, please contact me directly and not through a Facebook page of a family member.  My email address can be found in the CONTACT tab.

Thank you to everyone who visits and reads my blog!  Please spread the word if you find my work entertaining or enjoyable.



2 thoughts on “THEIR FIRST CAR – charcoal and carbon drawing of Grandma and Grandpa

  1. I love this one Mark, absolutely love it. I can’t imagine how excited a family member would be to own one of their very own. It is over the top Special in my book.

    I’ve always wished I could draw what I see in my mind, but I’m so hopeless. I can never get it down on paper with how my brain visualized it. It’s okay though, it gives me a better appreciation of what others can do, and boy, can you do. You’re an amazingly talented artist, and to be honest, my words don’t even do your hard work justice, even that seems to be lacking. So, I hope I can convey to you what your work does for me visually. You really are brilliant. I am so proud of you, and I don’t even know you except for your posts at CTH, which I enjoy by the way. I think that’s what your art does. It brings me happiness and pride.

    Anyways, I just wanted to drop you a line and say thank you for sharing. I loved looking at all of the details, and the happiness and giddiness of your Grandparents shone through bright and clear.
    Be well,


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