SPOTLIGHT: Motorsport Artist Henk Holsheimer

Image top: Original charcoal drawing ‚1967 Shelby Mustang GT500‘, charcoal on drawing board, 70 x 50 cm, signed Henk Holsheimer, 2014

Former Lego concept manager Henk Holsheimer is an automotive artist based in Munich, Germany. Using his favourite medium charcoal, he produces unbelievably detailed pieces for both automotive and private clients.

Born in the Netherlands but raised in Frankfurt, Henk was inspired by his artist father Albertus Holsheimer, a designer for Ford and General Motors. Brought up in a world of car events and marketing materials, he spent hours copying scenes in charcoal from the book The Motor Racing Sketchbook by Carlo Demand. From there his passion for sketching race cars increased until eventually Henk’s drawings sold at his father’s exhibitions, helping to spark the beginning of a career in automotive art.

Above: Original charcoal drawing ‚Louis Chiron’s Bugatti 51 after winning the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix‘, charcoal on drawing board, 73 x 54 cm, signed Henk Holsheimer 2002

Today his work sells for hundreds or even thousands of euros and can be seen all over the world. In 2006 Henk was tasked with creating the official artwork for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este poster and catalogue cover, as well as exhibit his work. Based on the water’s edge of Lake Como, it’s a prestigious annual event that displays some of the finest historic cars from the 1920’s to the 1970’s.

Above: Original charcoal drawing ‚Auto Union at Monthlery GP 1934’, charcoal on drawing board, 51 x 74 cm, signed Henk Holsheimer 2004

Henk Holsheimer’s favourite subject is the pre-war era of open wheeled Bugatti’s, Alfa Romeos, Auto Unions and Mercedes Grand Prix cars (see our recent article on the Mercedes W125 here), due to the atmosphere and excitement of that golden-era. He also prefers the cars of the 1950’s and 60’s, the elegant lines fitting in with their surroundings and thus offering more balanced proportions.

Above: Original drawing ‚1994 Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6‘, white pencil and chalk on black paper, 40 x 30 cm, monographed H, signed on back Henk Holsheimer 2013

Above: Original charcoal drawing ‚Porsche 917 Prototype hanging in windtunnel, Stuttgart‘, charcoal on paper, 85 x 55 cm, signed Henk Holsheimer 1996

A regular attendee of events such as the Goodwood Revival or the Mille Miglia, Henk spends a lot of time thinking about car and background combinations with the aim of capturing the essence of the subject. Most of the time the artwork is commissioned so exact subject/background combinations can be limited to some degree, however when he does have free reign he likes to spend more time on each piece in order to create a more exciting composition.

Above: Original charcoal drawing ‚Kimi Räikkönen McLaren Close-up‘, McLaren MP4-17D, charcoal on drawing board, 96 x 60 cm, signed Henk Holsheimer 2003
Above: Original charcoal drawing ‚Jaguar E-Type’, charcoal on drawing board, ca. 85 x 60 cm, signed Henk Holsheimer 2006

Henk’s main medium is charcoal on drawing card or thick paper. This allows a greater suggestion of speed and depth in his art pieces, but the downside is that any mistakes can’t be erased. Each of his automotive artworks needs careful planning and consideration before the charcoal even touches paper, however it’s a quick process with Henk’s talent allowing his creations to be completed within as little as a few hours.

For more information about Henk Holsheimer and to commission or buy a piece, please visit his fantastic website You will also find examples of his design and abstract work.

*Article originally published in 2015 under our previous operating name, The Man Shed 

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