Bill BittarWritten by
As families and car enthusiasts checked out classic models to doo wop music during the Monroe Street Rodders show on Fireman's Field in Monroe Sunday afternoon, Pat Dougherty quietly sat in front of his easel, sketching out — and greatly exaggerating — the details of a white Plymouth. Dougherty, of Stamford, is a car caricature artist.
In the drawing, the Plymouth's wheels were enormous, as well as the engine which towered majestically over the hood.
"I'm trying to make the car look mean," Dougherty explained.
The name of Dougherty's business is Daddy Paddy Art and its slogan is "We draw your car the way you see it."
Dougherty has a strong allegiance to Chrysler Corp., the company that manufactured the Plymouth. "My drawing will have rival car companies' names shooting out of the exhaust pipe," he said, making two boys who stopped to see his work burst into laughter.
Dougherty told stories of how Chrysler had the world's best engineers and designed rockets for NASA that launched U.S. astronauts to the moon and built high quality equipment for the military.
Despite the company's history, Dougherty said eight out of 10 car enthusiasts are not loyal to Chrysler. He expressed his belief that they're choosing "sizzle" over substance.
The Fine Details
Dougherty put down his pencil, slid off his stool and walked up to the Plymouth he was drawing. "Now I have to see if this car has drum brakes or discs," he said.
Even while doing a caricature, a car's finest details are important to Dougherty, who also is an automotive technician and transmission specialist. The owner of the car, and potential customer, also would notice anything that's out of place.
Dougherty gives a car's owner first dibs on buying a drawing and if they don't have the money on them at the time, he jots down their contact information.
If the owner doesn't want to buy a drawing, then Dougherty sells it to anyone else who's interested. Daddy Paddy Art's drawings typically sell for between $250 and $300.
The artist often shows up at car shows and starts drawing the cars he's interested in when someone walks up to him and wants to buy his work. But he is also commissioned by people to draw their cars.'
The King of Rat Fink
Dougherty was inspired by the late Ed Roth, an artist famous for a drawing style known as Rat Fink.
"I had the pleasure to meet Ed Roth in the '80's," Dougherty said. "He was the king of this style of art."
Dougherty's interest in sketching car caricatures didn't come until late in life.
He said, "I used to draw for an architect many years ago, but I got into the automotive art, which I should have done a long time ago."
For more information on Daddy Paddy Art, call Pat Dougherty at 203-391-4398 or send an email to email@example.com.