Wild Watercolors Capture The Artistry Of Classic Vehicles

Not paint ON cars. Paintings OF cars!


Watercolors are almost the opposite of what’s expected in pictures of cars and motorcycles. The soft, vague style of watercolor is a sharp contrast with the hard, precise lines of the machinery depicted. We’re used to seeing the quasi-scientific engineering exploded diagrams that capture all the detail but little of the spirit.

South African artist Claudia Liebenberg turns that around with her paintings, capturing the ghost in the machine, but few of the precise details. She calls her dad a “full-on motorhead” who fostered her interest in machinery. “This is where my appreciating the sound and smell of a good machine comes from, the love of the lines and the fluid contrast of the colors,” she explained.

Liebenberg paints using photos of the subject vehicles, because photos pick up the reflections and the lighting, she said. “I wouldn’t mind painting a machine ‘live’ though,” she adds.

Scottsdale, Ariz. coffee emporium Four Till Four Coffee is one of Liebenberg’s clients, commissioning paintings of favored Porsche images.

For the latest car news, follow @MaximRides and Dan Carney on Twitter.