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SF&D RR - Grand Canyon's Paintings


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  • [Fun] SF&D RR - Grand Canyon's Paintings

    Before the Lilly Belle became the Lilly Belle, it was part of Disneland's first passenger train, known as "Retlaw 1." Back then, it was named "Grand Canyon."

    The Grand Canyon, car 106, was distinctive in that on each side of the car, there were large oval murals depicting the view of the magnificent Canyon as seen from the South Rim. On either side of the ovals were painted banners bearing the car's name. The paintings were different on either side of the car as well.

    A friend of mine in SoCal is building an outdoor railroad based on Disneyland scenes (his layout can be seen in the current issue of Garden Railways: Garden Railways Magazine - Preview the Current Issue of Garden Railways. But his latest project will be a scale model of the Grand Canyon, in all of her 1955 glory.

    He has no problem building the car, but the two oval paintings presented a challenge. Good views are very hard--if not impossible--to obtain. Here's a shot of Grand Canyon showing one of her oval paintings. This is about as good as it gets:

    Photo courtesy

    Being a glutton for punishment, I volunteered to paint the ovals for Dave. Dave had two ovals laser-cut from styrene plastic. They are a mere 2.75 inches long, by 1.25 inches tall. We blew up the photo above for the first oval. It looks like this:

    Today, I got to work, using enamel paints on the tiny oval. The results of the first oval are below:

    I placed the oval on a large blow-up drawing. Dave and fellow artist David Meek created the banner artwork and the scrollwork, which will be made into decals.

    I will do the second oval tomorrow, and will post it here if anyone is interested. It is a different scene entirely.

    I will see if I can post photos of Dave's car when he completes it.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 11-07-2009, 02:26 PM.

  • #2
    Re: SF&D RR - Grand Canyon's Paintings

    That's awesome! I didn't know that about the train. Great job on the painting too, that must have been hard with a reference so small. Thanks for posting!


    • #3
      Re: SF&D RR - Grand Canyon's Paintings

      i'm very impressed with the painting
      and the fact that the reference is indeed small and blurry

      man i wish i can paint )
      Originally posted by JungleCruiseFan
      You know what they say- The party don't start 'til Jordon walks in.
      Originally posted by penguinsoda


      • #4
        Re: SF&D RR - Grand Canyon's Paintings

        Steve, as usual, your stuff is just awesome. Just awesome. Thanks so much for sharing your passion and talent with us.
        God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


        • #5
          Re: SF&D RR - Grand Canyon's Paintings

          OK, here's the second painting. I may tweak it a bit as well (I ended up lowering the butte in the first one, for instance).
          First, the original. This one was pretty bad:

          Photo courtesy

          Now, the painting. I took a little liberty with the highlighting to make the buttes pop out a little, and I made the assumption that the darkness on the bottom edge and left side was foliage:

          This photo is a little brighter than the first one. In overall tone, it's very much like the first one. After I tweak what I want (like making the horizon a bit straighter, for example), I will clear-coat them, and send them off to Dave. Sure am looking forward to seeing his work!


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