Pinstriping Done by Hand


(Video Link)


Royal Enfield is an Indian manufacturer of classic British-style motorcycles. Much of the work is done by hand, including painting the iconic pinstripes and logo on the gas tank. This amazing video shows one plant worker -- or artist, I should say -- adding perfectly formed pinstripes completely freehand.

-via Boing Boing | Jay Leno Explores Royal Enfield

I've known a couple people who did hand pinstriping, and from a basic standpoint, that's usually how it's done by anyone with a steady enough hand not to need tape (like, not me ;)) - just chalk the line and run the brush very carefully (unless you're running on an existing seam). Speed wise the best I've seen is about half that speed, though that was on a stationary car and usually with a new pattern each time, so not as much muscle memory. After enough years that guy's obviously built some serious confidence and has a naturally steady hand. Nice work.
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My Dad was a sign painter from the 1920's til the 1990's. Hardly ever used a pattern, freehanded everything. I would watch him do detailing like this all the time. Steady hand and lots of practice. Glad to know things like this still exist. A lot of it has been replaced by stickers.
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I'm not sure what it is about the country, but they have supreme artists like that. Even their handcrafted protest signage is perfectly kerned and straight...it's almost a shame they're single-purpose items.
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That is truly amazing. One thing, though. You referred to him as an "artist", as have people posting here. This is not an art, it is a craft, so he is a great craftsman. Works of art are intrinsically final and do not have any practical utility. Craft is the application of intelligent skill, usually in a repetitive manner.
This takes nothing away from the craftsman, but I think that this is an important distinction.
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I'd like to see some pieces that guy has done when he's not at work and can show his creativity. I'll bet he gets asked to customize moto-taxis' all the time!
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That definitely takes some raw skill, but it isn't free hand. He is clearly tracing lines etched into the tank. To me free hand means unaided. He is definitely aided by the perfectly placed lines already there for him.
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