Pleasingly vibrant.

Back at the start of January there was a post about clearing the decks to make way for fresh projects. It’s safe to say that this process is fully underway, though it’s a truism that as much as you try and finish off one set of things, you often can’t help yourself from generating more that only add to the pile. Not sure what that’s called but there must be a word for it somewhere.

The image above is the latest to get the “I must finish that sometime” treatment. It would be safe to say that it has been hanging around in the pending file for too long. It stated life as a very quick and rough biro sketch in a rather ropey old A3 pad used for just such things (see below). And that’s where it stayed. Then one day it got scanned, the reason for which now escapes me, and finally was printed out as a test to see how the printer would cope with rough water colour paper, reduced to A4. For some reason only the tyres got the benefit of some paint, until this week when I finally surrendered, and decided to give it a bit more love and attention.

It is still really a test image in the sense that the greys are mostly of a new kind not used before, made by Schmincke, which needed road testing. Lovely paint. It comes in refreshingly old fashioned little metal tubes, at 5ml size, and has a depth to it that makes it great to use. The other trial aspect is wanting to see how these new greys worked up against the luminous intensity of the Dr. Ph Martin’s liquid water colours used on some of the smaller paintings. Choosing a bright orange for the main bodywork has taken the colour contrasts to an unexpected though very welcome level. Although water colour is a favoured medium it often leaves the image with a very dull feeling. Using the liquid colours enables me to get that “pop” back into the picture. Bikes are exciting things and it makes sense to communicate some of that through the colour. It is gratifying to realise that the persistence of the old drawings nagging has finally led to a very pleasing conclusion.

Here below is a reference pic of the liquid water colour. Available in two sizes, as shown, and available in most good art shops. Thoroughly recommended if you’re looking to pump up the colour intensity in a water colour image.

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