This work is a journey in time, between 1966 and 1970. The decor is a restaurant in St-Tropez that I photographed during a stay in Saint-Tropez in 2007.
Being an Italian restaurant at the time, I wondered what would be the Italian cabriolet type car to place in front of this charming storefront.
THE CHOSEN BUIDING FACADE
It’s the upper circle shape of the windows and the front door that made me choose this facade.
The wooden door was also one of the reasons for this choice. The pilasters, a kind of vertical pillars beside the windows, are reminiscent of Roman architecture.
THE CHOICE OF THE CAR
The question was asked on Lemireart's Facebook page, and two Alfa Romeo cabriolet models caught my attention. Since I was aiming for
a date around 1967, I went there with the most recent of the two proposals.
The traditional red color was chosen the body color. The reason why Italian cars are often red, derives from motor racing during the 30's up to the 60's. Each race factory team had to display their national colors. France was pale blue, Italy was red and England was dark green…
INSPIRATION FOR DRESSING
Then came the idea of adding a young women dressed in period of the car. It was a movie program shot in Saint-Tropez that I had to watch!
With french movie "Le Gendarme à Saint-Tropez" featuring Louis de Funès, I was well served by the many characters and extras of a young age that appear in this film. Dress and hairstyle were mostly inspired by this film.
A PHOTO SHOOT TO FIND THE IDEAL POSITION
It was during a photo shoot of a modeled scooter made in Montreal, during the summer of 2017 that I was able to find a stereotype on which the model had a usable pose for the work I was doing to plan.
See for yourself that her outfit is in the 60's style too. I finally used the 5th picture for the standing position with the jacket on.
THE BEST DRESSING COLORS TO CHOOSE
Once the drawing of the girl is done, I have colored in a few versions and published on Facebook to have the opinion of my feminine fans.
In the options, there was also a scarf on the head, the choice of 2 hairstyles, long hair inspired by Barbara Eden, the actress who played Jinny, and a dark hairstyle and typically 60's.
I also tested a more delicate hand position on the one with blond hair.
A MOVIE DIRECTOR WORK
Once the car and the female character are set, I only had to compose the image, like a movie director.
I went for a few options of the lady's position, adjusting the size of the facade and scaling the young women in relation with the car.
It should be noted that the pilasters were moved to test spacings of the building’s door and window openings.
Adding a second window was considered in order to get a wider format of the image.
In the end, I decide to respect my first idea to use the facade with a single window.
CHOOSING THE MOST COLORED MOMENT
For coloring, I choose for the occasion to create a lit environment at dusk, during the blue hour.
The blue hour is the period when the sun is down but the sky is still blue.
It allows to play a lot with the different brightness and colors of the lights.
The three wall lamps add a lot to the atmosphere as well as lighting the interior of the restaurant.
With the car whit the lights on, it's like if the owner was still inside paying the bill and the lady was patiently waiting outside.
To fix the scene in time, the official posters of the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival were placed in the door of the restaurant. Both events usually take place in one or two weeks apart.
And all Italian restaurant owners that are race fan must have a Ferrari sticker in their door!
THE FINAL RESULT
Finally, the final image was resized by the withdrawal of the sign from the restaurant whose name is also used in Nice. Another reason for resizing is to be able to print the image in a more standard sizes like 12X18 or 16X24 inches.
As the work is done digitally, I would not be surprised if it comes back with modified elements. Stay updated by join my mailing list!
The above work is available for purchase by clicking here.