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Chris Dunlop/ Pinstripe Chris working on artwork

Chris Dunlop (aka Pinstripe Chris) is an automotive design and render artist based out of Southern California. He started out  as an automotive painter that specialized in custom paint and high end restoration work on Classics & Exotics in Rockville, Maryland. From there he began airbrushing, doing sharpie art, and pinstriping. Soon after he was doing his artwork nearly full time, he was dubbed "Pinstripe Chris".


After several years of mixing full time artwork with painting cars full time, Chris and his wife Caitlin opened up their own paint & body shop where they specialized in classic and exotic cars. During their time in the shop many of the most well known Sharpie Cars Chris has done were completed there including the Sharpie Mustang and Sharpie Camaro.


During the time at the shop Chris had started drawing cars more and more as a means to display paint schemes & build ideas with clients- with people coming a great distance away it seemed the best way to communicate ideas beforehand. Early inspiration came from seeing Chip Foose & Steve Stanford's beautiful rendering work that displayed great ideas as well as being very tastefully illustrated.


Following a stretch of shop ownership, Chris and Caitlin decided that in order to get really serious and participate in the heart of the custom car industry, they would need to relocate to Southern California. Two weeks after the completion of the Sharpie Pro Street Camaro they bought 1 way plane tickets to Huntington Beach, Ca carrying only what they could fit into a couple backpacks, but leaving room for art supplies. They landed with no place to call home or jobs, but had prospects and determination. Days after arrival Chris had landed a job at a local Hot Rod Shop as an apprentice, and Caitlin at Disney Land. While working at the shop full time, Chris spent evenings working on drawings and pinstriping at other local shops.


After about a year of full time shop work, there was enough evening artwork to where it was starting to overlap in a conflicting way.  So Chris decided to go full time with artwork and leave the shop. Since then, he has been doing automotive design and render full time and still fits in some airbrushing, pinstriping as well as other sharpie vehicles.


Chris is not a classically trained artist in that he did not go to school for it. Much of what he has learned to do has been from trial and error, as well as countless hours of daily practice. The early days of painting and repairing cars had also offered him a lot of education in forms, lighting, and how different types of colors work on uniquely shaped surfaces. This later translated into a strong understanding of lighting cars & shapes without the need for reference material. He typically works in traditional media (or analog, as he calls it) using markers and airbrushed paints on illustration papers. Chris is also capable of producing digital renderings when there is a need to do so, although analog is his preferred method. At the studio, they also photo and print many of the original pieces of artwork and offer them as limited run archival prints, completely done in house.


Chris' passion lies in custom cars, hot rods, and exotics- there's always a variety of artwork in the works to keep things fresh and is never limited to one genre. He also offers design consulting and quick renders to test out build ideas, paint schemes and modifications efficiently. From there, quick sketches & renders are used in the basis for the final artwork.

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