The Art on Leather  Process

The "canvas" that I produce the art works on is tanned leather whereby the subject of the work is carved and modelled into the hide to provide a permanent three-dimensional aspect to the subject. 


All my works are produced on the finest quality cowhide leather which is specially imported from Argentina.

To achieve as realistic a result as possible I specifically concentrate on the composition of the picture, the specific details of the subject motor car and finally the colouring of the piece with acrylic paint.


The Process starts with the subject of the work being drawn onto damp leather.  Then the background area around it is bevelled down to create the sense of depth between the subject and the background - the same effect that is created on a medallion by having the background pressed down.


In a method that is similar to that used by a sculptor, the details of the subject are then modelled into the still damp leather using specially designed tools. 


This process allows me to reproduce the very finest details of the automobile into the work adding to the authentic and accurate reproduction of the particular model - in this case the superb BMW 635 CSi.  In fact ultra fine detailing is possible - literally down to individual components such as the mesh 'spokes' of the wheels and the radiator grille.


The final step at this stage is my signature being carved into the work along with the Genuine Leather logo being stamped into the corner.


Once the leather dries the tooling and modelling will be permanently embedded into the leather which is now ready to be painted.


The painting stage: I utilise the finest quality fade free artist acrylic paints for this stage.  The layers of paint are slowly built up to provide a level of transparency which more closely resembles the actual depth one sees in an actual automobiles paint work. Each vehicle requires between twelve and twenty layers of paint by completion.


Once this stage is completed, the colouring is protected with a final coat of a clear matt varnish ensuring a lifetime of trouble free enjoyment. 



Why use expensive leather as the base medium of choice? 


The high quality leather is considerably more expensive than canvas and the investment in the many various tools required to produce the works is also considerable.


However these high costs are offset by the fact that once the leather has been carved and modelled it provides, as described above, the considerable pleasure of engaging the additional human sense of touch.


There are very few Art on Leather practitioners. Especially compared to the number of conventional artists in the world today, there are very few practitioners of Art on Leather


This is probably due to the fact that it takes many years to master the intricacies of effectively managing the damp leather, the wide variety of tooling and modelling processes required all combined with the high start up produce high quality results


So these works are indeed rare in the art world today - especially so with regard to reproducing automobiles where the fine detail in certain areas such as the wheels - especially wire spoked wheels - and radiator grilles, requires considerable experience and a serious commitment to detail and accuracy - as seen with the images of various works on this page. 


Should you have any queries or require further information on the Process you are very welcome to contact me through the Contact form.

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