Artomotive Adventures: Painting a Pao! / Take On Me

Sarah J Coleman
3 min readMay 2, 2023

With a rolling canvas in front of us, and a long weekend, why wouldn’t we do it twice?

This much-loved Nissan Pao, at the end of its life and destined to be recycled for parts, was re-imagined this time as a vehicular extra in A-ha’s phenomenal hit record, Take On Me.

The vid. The superb, revolutionary video made with 3000+ rotoscoped drawings.

We used snow white Montana spray paint (A LOT OF IT!) and Posca pens.

With an 80s theme still firmly in mind (because I WAS an 80s girl and don’t think I ever quite left the decade behind!) we whited-out the Vaporwave car, and I applied an homage to the 3000 or so rotoscoped pencil sketches used in the iconic, groundbreaking 1985 video (which took months to create, but we had a couple of days!)

I couldn’t actually use pencil or charcoal on the smooth surface of the car, even painted in aerosol white, so went for a near-simulation with specially-mixed graphitey colours in chunky Posca markers.

We’d love to have used the original track on our film but couldn’t afford the licensing — I did ask for a price and got one fully and fairly in line with the track’s legendary status — so we went with something that had a similar vibe and pace. Sorry Morten. Yours would have been better…

(Did you know the song was released twice? The first time it didn’t ‘take’ — here’s that version, in case you’re interested.)

Watch the film of our process here.



Sarah J Coleman

Artist + illustrator of over 800 books and owner of the same amount of pens. Enough to write you a picture AND paint you a story. /