Part 1 outlines Pete’s background and a history of some of Peter’s work, and also includes a video tour of his personal gallery.



Dupont—Madison Avenue At Speed, 7′ x 18′, 2003

How does he do it? Multi-layering process and technique.

“I work in a very unorthodox manner. The paintings are composed of abstract elements, non-objective in certain areas, surreal in others, all combined with a unique layering process to produce what appears to be a real image, yet is totally abstract in its process, technique, and execution. I utilize an experimental state-of–the-art waterborne automotive paint, Dupont Cromax-AT (aqua tint), and I have developed a unique technique and layering process that combines industrial paint technology with traditional brushwork.

Prior to having my hi-tech panels fabricated by Kenneth J. Hermann, Inc., I did the entire fabrication process myself, from welding to grinding, and priming the aluminum surface, before the actual painting could begin. I painted the #24 Dupont Nascar racecar in 1994. It was unveiled in front of 4,000 Dupont employees, vendors, and VPs at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas in conjunction with the company’s new product release.  This occurred three years after I was given the experimental waterborne paint on a handshake!

Most everything is life size in format utilizing the experimental automotive waterborne paint Dupont supplied to me alone. I paint using a multi-layering process of pure color over pure color. No colors are pre-mixed. The colors refract once clear coated, and the process produces a luminosity and depth of color along with a surface finish not possible with traditional paint mediums. To fully see and feel this they really must be seen in person. I can achieve a great amount of saturation of color with even 25 or more layers, and the first color that went on is still there to see, barely visible, but it does its thing and adds to the effect. The process involves the application of dozens of layers of transparent paint—each pure color over pure color—no colors are pre-mixed (example, blues over yellows to produce greens). Usually no more than 8 to 10 pure colors are utilized to produce an entire painting.

I apply wet over dry, wet into wet, however each individual layer allows the pervious layer to show through. Up to 25 layers or more are applied. The painting is given a clear coat, which I then wet sand. One final clear coat is applied and the layering process becomes quite evident. The colors refract, showing and blending through one another, giving the paintings a look and feel, a depth and saturation of color, and a luminosity and surface finish not possible with traditional paint mediums. This process allows me to explore color, shape, and form, and gives the artwork an entirely new dimension.”


Side view: Seven point crossfire perspective.

“To achieve the close-up overall view of the automobile, I developed a technique which I call crossfire perspective. Seven close-up photographs are taken along the entire side of the automobile. One photograph is taken of the front bumper area, one at center line of front wheel, one at A-pillar, one at center line side of car, one at the sail panel, one at center line of rear wheel, and one at the rear bumper area. All seven photos overlap so they do not match. I then draw the car from these photographs. In theory, you are viewing the automobile from all seven points, which actually cannot happen. This creates an illusion which the eye accepts, and when the final life-size painting is viewed in person, it appears close-up and real from anywhere you view it.”

The Making of Dupont.

A Gallery of Pete’s work.

Life-size Budweiser Clydesdale in progress

There are a few posters available of Peter’s work.

Peter has posters available at a reasonable cost of three of his paintings—Stingray, Mako Shark, and the 100th Anniversary Harley Davidsion poster with paintings of 1903 and 2003 Harleys. If you’d like posters of his work, contact Dean’s Garage and I’ll forward your request to Pete.

  1. Beautiful work, AMAZING!!!

  2. I always admired Peter’s work when he was a designer at GM. But his full size paintings that he is now doing are absolutely jaw dropping. He has taken the Automotive Art genre to a whole new level.The Stringray/Mako Shark pieces are so cool.Great work.

  3. We met Pete in the 1960s right out of school. He has been a joy to know and watching his talent blossom over the years has been a real treat.
    David and Pat North

  4. christopher dowdey

    WOW! I met Pete at a couple of art shows…and his work is just unreal…..great attention to detail and the size goes back to the old full size tape drawing we used to do in the studios..but it appears Pete took it to new levels of realism. I find myself really inspired by his work!

  5. I met Pete at a GM meet at Carlyle, PA some years ago and I was lucky enough to spend a few hours in his trailer with him and his work. It was the most rewarding experience I’ve had at any such gathering! At 93 now, and designing and painting portraits of cars for most of 75 years, I think I’ve seen as many works of various artists and designers as anyone. Peter’s work transcends anything I’ve ever seen. I hope his medium’s permanence allows his work to keep a well-deserved place in the future of art history.

  6. David R.North

    Pat and I have been to Pete,s studio and he has invited
    Many of our mutual friends to see him work on his fantastic
    Paintings. All are impressed with both Pete and Jan,and
    Rave over the joy of seeing the paintings .

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

clear formSubmit